Don’t You Dare Drop the “I” Word

With the onslaught of news concerning gay marriage, the mainstream media has all but ignored the bizarre, leftist group, which is seeking to equate the term “illegal immigrant” to the use of the n-word.

Monica Novoa, campaign coordinator for “Drop the I-Word,” appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to defend her position that the term “illegal” is inhumane and on par with a slew of other racial slurs.

Color Lines News, the home to such insightful pieces as, “Why Tea Party Law Makers are Trying to Conflate Poverty and Drug Addiction,” sponsors the campaign.

When Novoa appeared on The O’Reilly Factor she seemed to believe the term illegal demeaned alien citizens. Possibly, Novoa and the crew over at Color Lines believed if someone was termed an illegal they were less likely to get the honest, tax paying life style the rest of us “legals” have come to enjoy? Or maybe it was simply a slow month and they were looking for something to “occupy” their time? Needless to say, O’Reilly quickly brandishes Novoa for her lack of information and conceptual evidence. He gives her plenty of opportunities to articulate her position, and simply cannot do it.

Novoa says that calling someone an illegal alien dehumanizes that person. She questions whether the United States is humane enough to pass legislation, which to any self-respecting person seems completely logical. For Novoa, we already live in the communist state where nations cease to exist and all people are treated as one. She seems not to realize there are laws and regulations that correlate the operations of interstate commerce and homeland security.

The rationale for the dropping the “i-word,” according to the campaign’s website, is that no human is illegal. Everyone has a right to exist. I agree wholeheartedly. That’s why I vote pro-life — because I see the beauty and potential in every unborn child. Yet somehow, I’m still lost on her logic.

The movement has received the endorsement by the General Commission on Religion and Race in the United Methodist Church, an organization focused on “moving the United Methodist Church from racism to relationships.” Note that the GCORR has no official affiliation with the actual Methodist Church.  On its website, the GCORR writes they are currently collecting 10,000 signatures from various United Methodist churches who are pledging to drop the term illegal from their discourse.  

In the promotional video for the campaign, entitled “Drop the I-Word. Don’t Feed the Hate Machine,” the group complains about the overuse of “illegal” by government officials and media professionals. They lament the fact that the use of the word illegal on television has quadrupled since 2009. Maybe there is a correlation here? With the increased number of illegals, people across America are becoming more aware of their threat to the security of our nation. The video suggests that the term illegal creates economic reprisals for undocumented workers and promotes racial terror.

The video then goes on to reprimand right-wing strategists who are claimed to have used the term illegal alien to cast immigrants as the enemy. They compare the phrase illegal immigrants to the use of the expressions such as the death tax and climate change. At one point the video highlights the phrase “Support immediate deportation of illegal immigrants convicted of a crime” as if to chastise the Republicans for promoting deportation of convicted criminals who never had the right to be in the nation in the first place.

Here’s a simple question I wish O’Reilly had asked Novoa, and which I ask to all the hard working people on the “Drop the I-Word” campaign: Should we call them criminals instead? That’s what they are, yet somehow I don’t think the Color Line people will like that term more.

According to “Drop the I-Word,” illegals would prefer we call them undocumented workers. My fear, however, is eventually the phrase “undocumented worker” becomes just another racial slur and we are left with millions of people breaking the law and no “politically correct” name for them.

Where do we go from there? Do we simply allow them amnesty so we don’t hurt their feelings? No matter what name we call them, illegals are breaking the law and there are consequences for that.

Caitlyn Jarvis | St. Anselm College | @CaitlynJarvis

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