Misleading Headline Intensifies Racism
To the Editor:
It is disturbing to have noticed a headline in CR 8/27/21 “Illegal Immigrant Suspected of Sexual Assault.” Clearly any alleged crimes such as the one described by your reporter Mike Donoghue should be fully investigated and followed up on without fail. Unfortunately, your headline may reinforce mistaken ideas from certain less than sufficiently informed readers about the character of all of those who are working in the United States while possibly lacking official permission to be here.
Until this past January we had suffered through four full years of near daily carrying on from then President Trump about the necessity of following through on his twisted dream of erecting “A Big Beautiful Wall” along the southern border with Mexico. He took great pleasure in disparaging our southern neighbors from Mexico, Central and South America with ongoing falsehoods about the tendency for such nations to export lawless and lazy intruders to this country. Trump told us in no uncertain terms that these families, mostly fleeing from violence and desperate poverty in their countries of origin were eager to take up residence in the U.S. in order to receive welfare benefits. Mr. Trump, of course, regardssuch “safety net” offerings as being much too generous and all but entirely unjustifiable.
The racist imagery put forward by Trump and by implication the person who chose the headline for the article mentioned by me above is clearly contradicted by facts. Furthermore, it is part of a much larger assortment of lies put forward by Trump and the right-wing news media who seek to provide rationalizations for keeping the skin color of the population of this country as close to “pure white” as possible.
According to data provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety arrest rates among so-called undocumented immigrants are considerably lower than arrest rates for native born U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. This official data covers the time period from 2012 through 2018 and also reveals that arrest rates for “the undocumented” were stable or falling during that time period. U.S. born citizens were twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes and 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.
Readers are left to wonder whether your publication intends to make future headlines to the effect that U.S. born citizen so and so has been arrested for a similar crime to the one that you just featured on your front page. Most “undocumented” residents of the United States are actually very hard working, and evidently relatively law abiding according to the data from Texas, where there seems to be about the loudest clamoring of all against the presence of the so called “aliens.” It is in the Lone Star State that their grossly incompetent demagogue Governor Abbott seems to be among the most boisterously in favor of perpetuating the racist stereotypes about our neighbors from the south. Given the blatant bigotry of Trump, Abbott and most other top G.O.P. officials it is no small wonder that only very small percentages of Latinx voters choose to support Republicans.