Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reality Is Way Out Of His Grasp

The Inlander's attempt to have "both sides" represented in their commentary in the form of our former congressman, George Nethercutt, again has paid off in spades. Nethercutt presents a bizarro world that doesn't come close to touching reality.

First he ties together the events of Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer was not indicted for killing a young unarmed black man, and President Obama's executive action on immigration as if they are intertwined. And he has this to day:

Young people need to be taught right from wrong, how to deal with authority figures, what it means to be law-abiding and responsible; doing so shows them someone cares about them. Racial profiling by vindictive police forces isn't the sole cause of racial division in America. My experience is that the vast majority of police officers work to assure that society is orderly and to prevent crime. Certainly there are national examples of police abusing their authority, and such abuse may be race-based. But that abuse is outweighed by overwhelmingly honorable police officers, facing tough duty and danger each day. First responders deserve our respect and our thanks.

Apparently, young people are not being taught right from wrong, how to deal with authority figures, or how to be law-abiding and responsible. And there's the answer. If only young people were obedient and subservient, we wouldn't have these problems. Oh, and most police officers don't profile people based on their race and those that do are not the cause of racial division.

Well, isn't that special? What are the causes? A long history of oppression, lynching, and Jim Crow laws? New voter ID laws? The systemic institutional discrimination? He doesn't say. Also, George Nethercutt has no clue that "my experience", as he calls it, with police officers is from the perspective of someone who benefited from white privilege all his life.

But he's not done jumping back and forth between two unrelated topics.

Nationally, Republicans are in a lather about President Obama's left turn on immigration. Constitutionally and philosophically, he clearly reversed himself with his convoluted "prosecutorial discretion" legal argument for stopping deportation of immigrants in the United States illegally. In my opinion, his executive order was unlawful.

Who knew George Nethercutt paid so much attention to alleged unlawful behavior on the part of the Executive Branch. No wonder he was screaming so loud about the illegal invasion of Iraq, use of torture, indefinite detention, and dark sites. Oh...wait. I guessed he kept that to himself or something.

Time to change subjects again.

Rather than threaten government shutdowns and cumbersome defunding of government immigration agencies, Republicans nationally should adopt the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Big Brothers-Big Sisters models of reaching out to immigrant and non-immigrant children and families, not only to give them a helping hand, but also to educate them about politics and policy.

Yes, he's referring to the Republicans who want to deport, deport, deport, as if they were interested in any demographic other that old white males.

Back to racism.

Obama, as America's first biracial president, must be careful not to show racial bias himself. Racial discussions are valuable as long as they take a critical look at all aspects of bias, not laying all blame for racial disruption on white bias.

George Nethercutt, blindly benefitting from white privilege, has no idea how much he benefits from white privilege. Sometime ago, a local state legislator, Kevin Parker, dressed up as a homeless person and noticed a remarkable difference in the way he was treated. And he was still white.

I bet George Nethercutt could take it a step further and learn a valuable lesson in racial bias if he wore the right makeup and walked through a "nice" neighborhood or drove a car up and down Division a couple of times at night. Yes, even here in bland, white bread Spokane. Then maybe he wouldn't be so concerned about a biracial president talking about the realities of race in America. It's not blaming racial disruption on white bias. It's a matter of talking about the reality of racism in America.

And George Nethercutt could use a healthy dose of reality.

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