I grew up in a rural town in Southwest Michigan called Orangeville. The term “one-horse town” comes to mind. We had a gas station, a general store, a tavern and three churches. The population could be generally categorized into three groups: rednecks, farmers and Hispanic immigrants. The rednecks came up from West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky during the Great Depression, married the farmer’s daughter and forgot to go back home. As I recall, the family next door to mine, the Elkins’s, were from West Virginia. The dad had been a coal miner, and the mom was a short little woman who birthed fifteen children. She made the best corn bread in the county, and, thanks to her prolific loins, we were always able to field a baseball team.
The Hispanic families were mostly from Mexico. They had their own Apostolic church about four doors down from us, and every Saturday night they’d open the windows and sing so loud we couldn’t hear the television. I went to their church one time, but didn’t understand a word they were saying. On the plus side, those women made the best hot tamales I’ve ever tasted. To this day I still buy a few dozen every year when the church does their annual fundraiser.
We rode the bus with many of the Hispanic kids; they had names like Saldibar, Tores and Anaya. Everyone got along with them, and I recall no racism on the part of the children. Not to stereotype, but I recall they were incredibly fast. I never figured out why. Two of them, Angel and Ernesto, were good friends of mine. But they all had one thing in common: they were Americans; they came here legally and swore allegiance to our country; they all had jobs and worked very hard. Many of them joined the military and fought, some even died, for our country. I was always in awe of anyone who could speak two languages, so I took two years of Spanish class. I was never a good student, so I eventually said “adios” to that gig.
Fast forward forty years. I live in a different rural community, mostly Dutch farmers, just south of Holland, Michigan. They’re a hard-working bunch, and they usually succeed in making the American dream come true, despite the nefarious machinations of the government. There is a population of Hispanics here as well, but things have changed. I know that some of them are here illegally. I know that some of them aren’t learning English or trying to assimilate into our culture. In short, they no longer try to become Americans, instead, they try to make America into Mexico. I don’t like that.
It’s kind of like a city person moving into the country to get “their little piece of heaven”, but the heaven quickly turns to hell the first time Farmer John spreads manure on the corn field across the road. So they go to the township board and try to enact an anti-odor ordinance. I don’t like that either. It’s the country, with all its smells and cows bawling and roosters crowing. Just deal with it or go back to the city. But don’t come here and try to change the community I love and live in.
I know that many of the Hispanics coming here to America are doing so legally. I had a man call me a few weeks ago to take my Concealed Carry class. His English was broken, but understandable. He had a green card and was a legal resident alien. I told him I’d love to teach him how to protect his family, and then I thanked him for taking the time and effort to follow our immigration laws.
I think one of the big reasons I don’t like illegal aliens is the basic disrespect they show for us. If a man comes to my house, opens up my refrigerator and helps himself, despite my protests, then I have a problem with that. If I ask a man not to smoke in my car, and he does it anyway, that’s a problem with lack of respect for your host. I don’t cotton much to that. It just rubs me the wrong way. Because of the lack of respect of over twelve million Hispanics, I find myself feeling negative thoughts toward every Hispanic I see. I don’t know which ones are here legally and which ones are flaunting their disrespect, expecting us to take care of them and their progeny. So it’s a real conundrum for me. I was raised to respect everyone, regardless of race. But what happens when they don’t respect you back?
Respect has to be earned. It’s a two-way street.
So this is the part where all “progressives” call me a racist. Conversely, this is also the part where I tell “progressives” to call 1-800-BITE-ME. And if the line is busy, go to www.go-pound-sand.com and lodge your complaint there.
I know in my heart of hearts there are many respectful aliens who deserve American citizenship and would be assets to our country. I say we snatch up the best of the best and throw the others back in the lake. It’s a little like fishing. You throw out your line, catch a fish and reel it in. If it’s big enough, you keep it. If it’s small, or a carp, you throw it back.
But here’s the problem. Many of these Hispanic fish aren’t biting the hook; they’re jumping into the boat, bypassing our laws, in such alarming numbers that our boat may be swamped. In my mind, the only answer is to build a cage around the boat and then begin the process of sorting through the fish by hand, keeping the good ones and throwing back the bad.
I would like to respect all Hispanics just as I did when I was a kid. But first, they have to respect me. Coming into a man’s boat uninvited shouldn’t get you free food stamps, free medical care, subsidized housing and in-state tuition. It should get you thrown out on your ass.
A country with no borders is not a country.