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Minority Surge, Civility Drop

The census bureau estimates that the percentage of minorities has dramatically increased in six Washington area counties, N.C. Aizenman writes, and our readers who comment make it a noisy immigration debate where positions are strongly held and civility too often gets left on the sidelines. Several of the writers attack the Post for producing another "sob immigration" story, some decry what they see as another defense of illegal immigration (although the statistics presented do not present a legal-illegal breakdown) and several have pointed out in response that the United States is a nation of immigrants.

This is one of those articles that makes newspaper people of my generation question why anonymous reader comments are permitted, especially on subjects that touch raw nerves. I have come to believe that inclusion of such comments is a useful reminder for all of us that there is much work to be done on the frontier of human understanding.

We'll start with cancer1, who said "...Once again, another bleeding sob story by the Washington Post on the immigrant issue. They never use the term illegal alien or illegal immigrant, because this is what they are..."

And Tupac_Goldstein wrote, "If you don't speak Spanish, you better learn quickly."

But squeakycat said, "Love it when folks like Cancer1... go ballistic over "illegal" immigration. The immigrants are illegal because our immigration policy is stupid, but that's probably not the way those who were smart enough to be born in the US view this."

Pete433 asked, "So what are we supposed to do? Cheer? Pit one race against the other? Somebody wins..somebody loses? I'm white and love living with Mexicans, Asians, and blacks. Great, backgrounds, etc. I don't keep score.......but I see the Post does."

stanlee_98 said, "The problem is not immigrants (illegal or not). The problem is that we allow way too many people from third world countries. Europeans don't come in large numbers, they are mostly well educated, learn the language and assimilate. Latinos seem to be the only group too lazy or dumb to learn English. We need to build that fence on the border..."

Garak said, that "...All this crap about 'illegal' is just that--CRAP! You conservatards are no different than the morons who want to imprison people who drive 1 mph aver the speed limit. All this garbage whining about "illegal" is just a cover for a bunch of insecure and frustrated knownothing racists who are afraid of the future. The future is coming. Get over it..."

oggtheblog wrote said, "Sure. Round'em up and kick'em out. Just one little problem: you won't eat.
Who do you think is working the fields? The slaughterhouses? The canneries? The big distribution centers? Better put in some tomato plants and buy a fishing pole."

CursedSeedOfCainan wonders "how much of this is class versus race. There are lots of majority white communites I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole because they are low-class. Same goes for heavily minority areas, even more so. It's money not race that dictates where people go and live nowadays. I would love to see the Post do a story on economic segregation..."

I'll give the last word to BartonKeyes, who wrote, "I guess if I were an American Indian I would be thinking 'Now the white eyes know how we felt when all those pale skinned, strange speaking people kept coming onto our land.' And back then those white eyes called it Manifest Destiny and didn't worry about its impact on the original Americans. Today we know all too well about the negative impact and call it an illegal invasion."

All comments on the growth of minority population report are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  August 9, 2007; 9:49 AM ET
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