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Letters to the Editor

Diversity IS America

I'd just like to point out a few things to the Xenophobe [who] wrote in to the editor [June 28 Metro Pulse] about illegal immigrants. This country was built and populated by immigrants, legal and otherwise. It's been that way from the beginning.

It is true that immigration depresses wages but that is only because minimum wage keeps them artificially high in the first place (a different discussion altogether). Businesses will always go after the cheapest, most efficient labor pool, of course, otherwise prices rise and profits drop.

The truth is most illegals are pretty hard workers and have to be pretty crafty just to stay in the country. I think America is a better place because of them. Last time I checked unemployment was still at minuscule levels, so there are jobs out there, even with illegals taking some. Just drive down Kingston Pike and look at all of the "help wanted" signs if you don't believe me.

While I agree that we should be alarmed at the America we are leaving to our children, it's not for [the same] reason. Most immigrants assimilate after a generation, and cultural diversity is not going to cause any more problems than we have had for hundreds of years. I think cultural diversity is what helps make America great, in fact.

Erik G. Hamm


I assume the fact that [Metro Pulse] published yet another letter [June 28] hostile toward Mexican immigrants means there are a lot of other locals who are equally ignorant and intolerant.

I rather doubt K. Haun would have written such an ignorant letter had her ancestors been Hispanic. This means, of course, that Haun thinks it's OK for her ancestors (I'm assuming she's not a pureblooded Native American) to come over here and take jobs from hard-working Americans, but not if they don't look like she does—presumably white union guys.

If "cheap immigrant labor depresses wages for everyone," as K. claims, the U.S. should be the poorest nation on Earth by now. This is typical union crap for "Keep those damn immigrants away. They work too hard and make us look lazy!" If such nonsense were true, then relatively homogeneous, white European, Southern Appalachian "cultures" ought to be much wealthier than those immigrant-depressed labor markets like Manhattan, Miami and San Francisco.

And of course, we can't have all these immigrants' children taking perfectly good college opportunities away from all those hard-working union white guys' kids. I mean, just look at MIT. Nothing but a bunch of immigrants. Probably go to hell any day now.

Haun's "cultural suicide" argument is equally ignorant and shallow. The most creative and vibrant societies are those with the most cultural diversity. The U.S. for over a century (since all that "cheap immigrant labor" began flooding the country in the latter 1800s!) has lead the rest of the world in creativity of every kind—music, literature, science, pop culture, you name it.

As every biologist knows, the greatest diversity, richest ecosystems, and fastest rate of evolution occur at the intersection of different ecosystems, geographies and climates. The same is true for human society. The greater the diversity, the greater the wealth—biological or financial.

K. thinks it's all that "cheap immigrant labor" breeding like rabbits that's causing all our environmental problems. Couldn't possibly be white union guys driving gas-guzzling Cadillacs, running air conditioning all summer, and consuming like, well, like rabbits, could it?

K. says, "We should be alarmed at the America we are in the process of leaving to our children and their children." Jesus! Does she actually believe that her generation is the very first one in America's history who has created such a perfect (white union) society, that new immigrants can only make things worse for the very first time? Especially those Mexicans. I mean, they even look different! Probably wouldn't be so bad if they looked like "us," talked like "us," hung out with "us." Whoever the hell "us" is. Gee, I might not even be able to tell the difference. Wow! Now that's a scary thought!

Robert Loest