Thursday, April 29, 2010

Concern Trolling the Immigration Reform Boycott

The Denver Post's "libertarian" columnist David Harsanyi writes,
I wonder how many of these government officials realize that by boycotting Arizona — where the hospitality industry employs a large numbers of immigrants (most of them here legally) — they are only ensuring Latino immigrants will lose their jobs? The more impact the boycott has, in fact, the more it will hurt all low-income employees.

This is a classic trope amongst conservative concern trolls. It's really a soft sell of extortion, "Go ahead with your planned action and you'll just hurt the people/cause you claim to support." It's not all that different than when insurance companies claim that government regulations will lead to higher rates. Be that as it may we're talking about bigger issues. Yes, bigger even than the immediate economic concerns of some Hispanics in Airzona.

This boycott is about protesting Arizona's gestapo-esque immigration regime. It's about human rights, simple justice and upholding the basic tenets of American society.

I guess I understand why Harsanyi and his ilk find this line of argument to be persuasive. As conservatives their interests don't range much beyond slavish devotion to corporate interests. They are driven by money and always and at all times focused on monetary issues. Even, as we see here, when the issue is one of civil liberties (something I though libertarians like Harsanyi supported) the conservative still thinks that other human beings are as obsessed with monetary concerns as they are.

Social justice and societal change are long and hard battles. America's Hispanic community has faced decades worth of struggles in large part at the hands of Harsanyi's ideological fellow travelers. For Hispanics a temporary economic setback is but a small price to pay for one's dignity. Harsanyi obviously feels differently.

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