Sunday, July 01, 2012






Not The Holocaust, Again

Chris Hayes interviewed Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who has been involved in conservative causes outside and inside of Kansas.     He served as a legal consultant to the State of Arizona in designing SB 1070, the private prison anti-illegal immigration statute upon which the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a mixed verdict last week.    Over the course of four segments (video available on MSNBC website), Hayes proved himself well-versed on immigration issues and roughly the equal of Kobach, while at least two of his guests, Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa and Demos' Heather McGhee proved that, well, they have strongly held opinions.

In the segment posted below, Hinojosa comments

So just tell me- you describe for me- and we're not even talking about the term "illegal," okay, which Elie Wiesel is the one who taught me 20 years ago stop using it because, he said, "there is no such thing as an illegal human being.   He just said "you know what, the Jews were declared illegal and that's how the Holocaust started so to declare a population illegal...






No one could know exactly what Elie Wiesel told Maria Hinojosa and under what conditions, in whatever context.     But the term "illegal immigrant" (in contrast to the term "illegals" or even "illegal alien") is not synonymous with labeling someone illegal.      "Illegal" is herein used not as a noun, but as an adjective- a word modifying "immigrant."    Therefore, referring to someone as an "illegal immigrant" is not declaring him or her "illegal" but merely illegal as an immigrant.   The left should not twist the language to suit a political agenda, as the other side does with the pejorative "illegals" or "illegal aliens," the latter a redundancy, thus suggesting political motivation.

Prior to the process of extermination, Jews in Germany were subjected to discrimination beyond being treated as second-class citizens, and the regime did not consider them to be fully German, despite German citizenship.   Supporters of the regime were obsessed with the concept of race and considered Jews not to be "Aryan."    Ironically, it is the (pro-immigrant) left which in the U.S. today emphasizes the racial difference between Mexicans and native-born Americans, to the point of considering some adversaries racist.  

Evidence is scant, moreover, that whatever Weisel told Hinojosa, Jews were "declared illegal" as she claimed she was told (evidence to the contrary welcomed).

None of the above, however, is the major problem with Hinojosa's statement.     Sorry, Maria, but attempting to enforce the law- or, at the extreme, throwing individuals out of the country for having violated immigration regulations- simply is not comparable to the Holocaust.    There is no extermination camp in Dubuque nor concentration camp in Crested Butte, nor will there ever be.

This was not the first time for Hinojosa.    Interviewed recently by Chicago public radio station WBEZ, she offered nearly the same story, albeit avoiding reference to the Holocaust.

The right is wrong when some of its cultural fanatics compare abortion to the Holocaust.   But so is Maria Hinojosa, as well as Elie Wiesel, dead wrong, assuming her recollection is accurate.     Despite any claim she may have to particular insight as a liberal, a (broadcast) journalist, or a first-generation American born in Mexico, her analogy is little better than reprehensible. 




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