A Rose by any Other Name – Illegals
by L. J. Martin
I’m a member of SPJ, the Society of Professional Journalists, and when I joined I was sure I would be a “minority.” It goes without saying—merely by reading newspapers and magazines, listening to radio, and watching television—that American media is liberal. I presume this is a result of the predominance of liberal professors in universities and colleges, which in turn is to a great extent a result of tenure and the presumed stability of jobs in those institutions. No question, if you want to eliminate risk in your life, become a government employee, and more so, an employee with tenure—then you can spend your life attacking those who earn the money and pay the taxes so you can get your monthly pay check no matter your performance. Nothing nurtures the average liberal more than a government tit. Risk-reward goes with a reverence for our free enterprise system, and conservatives obviously have a much greater respect for those roots of American success than do liberals.
As a member of SPJ I receive their magazine, Quill, and enjoy reading it and do so, from cover to cover, although I do so with tongue in cheek. In this last issue I read an article by a journalism professor who’s the daughter of whom she wants to be called an “undocumented worker” as opposed to an “Illegal immigrant.” Her mother has become a citizen and I compliment her for that effort.
The professor lobbied to have the organization get rid of the “I” word. Consequently an SPJ committee has “strongly recommended” that members, journalists, stop using the word “illegals,” in their writing. The belief is the words “illegals” and “Illegal aliens” dehumanize and criminalize a person, without the required court action.
No one is more of a believer in the Constitution of the United States of America than am I. She says, “When police arrest someone on a burglary charge we don’t refer to them the next day as ‘illegal burglars.” They are burglary suspects. She maintains this action will make “our stories more accurate and consistent with our Constitution.” I think the Constitution is pretty specific when it comes to citizenship, and if you’re in this country without citizenship, without a visa, without a limited right of visitation, without entering via a port of entry and declaring yourself, you’re an illegal, i.e. you’re here illegally.
I can’t disagree more with this stance of SPJ. When have your heard the word burglar and thought of them as a “legal burglar?” However, when you hear the word “alien” you don’t necessarily think of him/her as being illegal. You might think of them as being from another planet. The term “illegal alien” is specific, and yes, an “undocumented worker” is an Illegal alien, so why color the former with a more attractive word “worker,” or with the term “undocumented” when undocumented in fact means “illegal.” Many of them may be dope dealers, which I guess you could look upon as work? If properly documented they would be a “legal alien,” so if undocumented why not an “illegal alien?”
It’s another in a long line of examples of the political correctness police obfuscating the truth. It’s time we call a spade a spade, and that’s not a racial comment. We should continue to call Illegals “illegals” no matter how nice a person they might be, or how evil. A rose by any other name….
L. J. Martin is the author of 30 published books and has dozens of articles in national publications. He writes the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com. He’s married to an NYT bestselling internationally published author of over 50 novels. They live in Montana.