The mainstream history of the AIDS epidemic points to "Patient Zero" Gaëtan Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant who was the equivalent of "Typhoid Mary" infecting a significant number of same-sex partners in cities that were Air Canada destinations. So, if Gaëtan Dugas was "patient Zero," The Lyin' Dumbas2 (Die Liegen Blödmann) is known hereafter as Hater Zero. If this is (fair & balanced) political epidemiology, so be it.
[x NY Fishwrap]
We're Better Than That
By Eags (Timthy Egan)
TagCrowd cloud of the following piece of writing
More than a century ago, in the first attempts to shape the face of a nation open to people from all nations, the United States banned convicts, prostitutes and Chinese laborers from landing on our shores. Later, “idiots” were added to the list of forbidden immigrants. Alas, it was too early keep Donald Trump at bay.
But on this upcoming Independence Day, at a time when Trump’s response to our better angels is to go small, mean and tribal, an American ideal is in peril. Not open borders, which is something the United States hasn’t had since 1875, but open minds.
In committing economic suicide, Britain is trying to close the door and hide from the world. It felt good, no doubt, to tell those overbearing bureaucrats in Brussels to bugger off. We’ll stick with our bangers and mash without any interference from Europe! But the Brexit vote was also a drunken swing at those “others” remaking the image of a lost England. To hear the haters tell it, “Polish vermin” and brown-skinned hordes have overwhelmed the little island nation.
Trump wants us to follow the Brits into a corner of isolation — by race, religion and trade. His philosophy, the rant of a besotted boob making things up in public, is anti-American at its core. In rejecting our former colonial masters, we threw off monarchy, the class system and a state religion. We opened our doors to all nations, all religions, all opinions.
The New World can certainly learn much from the Old World. But the sun never sets on a stupid idea. And this vote to stop the spinning globe and get off at 1952 is among the stupidest. Britain is cracking up now because it followed the crackpots. The United States could make the same mistake — rejecting free trade, and rejecting a welcome mat for free people.
Today, about 13 percent of Britain is foreign-born. What’s disruptive, especially in the timeless tableau of rural England, is that the number of immigrants has more than doubled since 1993. That’s what caused some of the open hatred in the campaign to leave the European Union. Trump is playing with that same fire now.
The United States has an almost identical percentage of foreign-born as Britain, and their presence has also been disruptive. But it’s not unprecedented. As a percentage of the population, there are fewer foreign-born residents in the United States now than there were in 1870, 1890, 1900 and 1910 — not long after a plaque welcoming the “wretched refuse of your teeming shores” was latched to the base of the Statue of Liberty.
In place of Lady Liberty, Trump would build a wall, trigger a huge recession and apply a religious test to entry. He would do this, he says, because “we are losing everything in this country” and “we don’t know who these people are” — that is, these people coming to our shores.
But in fact, we do know a great deal about the 42 million immigrants here, legal and illegal. A majority of them came before 2000. Almost 30 percent of those over the age of 25 have college degrees — roughly equal to the population as a whole. India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and Canada are the top countries of origin.
What’s disruptive here, as in England, is the changing face of these immigrants. Ever since Congress abolished national origin goals in 1965, the trend has been away from Europeans. And today, about half the babies born in the United States are nonwhite. In places like Wichita, KS, more than 80 languages are spoken by families in the school district.
Among the new Americans are a deranged few who kill for religion. These Islamic fanatics should be rooted out, isolated and of course kept away from assault rifles. But Trump has tried to equate immigration in general, and free trade, with fear of both homegrown terror and the new global economy. He’s counting on the same contagion of stupidity that infected Britain to carry him.
Look at the Pittsburgh area, where Trump chose this week to stand in front of a wall of compacted garbage to make his case for a trade war that could cost Americans at least three million jobs. The city of Pittsburgh has lost more than half its population since 1950, and is the only major metro area with more deaths than births.
No amount of Make America Great sloganeering will bring back the old industrial base. Pittsburgh is banking on immigrants, and a brain economy tied to global trade and education, to rebound. The city’s official Welcoming Pittsburgh campaign specifically targets the very people Trump has demonized. And it seems to be working, a bright spot in landscape of decline. Of late, Hispanic migration to western Pennsylvania is double the national average.
These new residents will wave flags on the Fourth of July, eat too much charred food, and hear something amid the bombs bursting in air of what makes America truly great. It’s grounded in hope, instead of hate. Ω
[Timothy Egan writes "Outposts," a column at the NY Fishwrap online. Egan — winner of both a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 as a member of a team of reporters who wrote the series "How Race Is Lived in America" and a National Book Award (The Worst Hard Time in 2006) — graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Whitman College in 2000 for his environmental writings. Egan's most recent book is The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (2009).]
Copyright © 2016 The New York Times Company
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License..
Copyright © 2016 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves