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December 22, 2008

Comments

Michael R. Nelson

Irving,
Thanks for speaking out. While I will defend the right of Lou Dobbs or the worst Internet bigot to say or write stupid and vile things, I also believe in the power of the marketplace--both the commercial media marketplace and the marketplace of ideas. So how can we have more voices speaking up for tolerance? Let's hope Web 2.0 and other technologies will help by providing more outlets. Let's hope President Obama will be able to use his unique background to highlight how immigrants and diversity have made this country so successful. And let's hope that the worsening economic situation doesn't spark more ha;te and scapegoating.

vinnie mirchandani

Irving, you inspired me to write my own post below - with a bit more cheerful set of words about immigration.

http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2008/12/do-words-matter.html

Angela M. Epstein

Irving:

Words matter; I have no doubt. I do not have scientific evidence to support my statement and I guess no one is interested in finding it; especially the media. I am often in shock at the freedom people like Dobbs exercise to incubate hate. However, what shocks me the most are the corporations that support them because I do not know if their executives close their eyes to further their own personal beliefs and agendas or simply do not act with the ethic and responsibility such positions come with inherently.

For many years now, I have heard the argument of the “ratings” and “first amendment”, so often, that I have come to the conclusion that they are only used and invoked as a cover for the corporations to do nothing about people who clearly pose a threat to the people they demonize, or as protection for malicious “personalities” whose inflammatory comments might influence some from their audience enough to see the beating of immigrants as “fun” or even worse, as patriotism.

Responsible media should be a concept spread throughout all media outlets. As customers we should become more demanding but I guess the question is who will ever pay attention in this environment of self serving personalities and politicians. Maybe Walter Isaacson, for whom I have great respect, will consider this issue important enough to bring it to the Aspen Institute that he chairs after leaving CNN.

Fortunately, people like you make a difference and have the honesty to bring these things up to the public. Unfortunately, many in your position or with your background, chose to remain silent.

Joe Metzger

Irving,

I have been enjoying your blogs a great deal. In this case you are right that "words do matter". I always try to be very clear about what I say because so many people put so much effort into twisting ones words against them. We should always be mindful of how our words and deeds impact others and accept responsibility for them.

I must say that I am surprised at your comments regarding Lou Dobbs. I will admit that I have only been exposed to his show a few times but I found the it to be very valueable. My experience is that he presents all sides of an issue and then shares his opinion. What I heard was always reasonable and rational. I would have agreed if you had used examples of the pure propagandists such as Limbaugh, Hannity or Beck. But from what I have seen Dobbs is fair.

The issue of people who have chosen to enter our country illegally is so filled with emotion that most people seem unable to be unable to view it objectively. And of course there are the propagandists out there doing incredibly effective jobs spreading FUD and keeping things confused.

I think that if most Americans were able to back off and give the question calm consideration they would tell us the following:

1) Americans are very sympathetic to all people who are in need.

2) We want to help everyone. However the reality is that our means, while enormous, are limited. If we could somehow embrace all 5+ billion currently on the planet, bring them here and help, them we would.

3) We have legal processes for immigration in order to prevent chaos. They are certainly no more perfect than anything else. If they need to be reviewed then let's always do so. But forcing yourself in line in front of others is simply wrong.

4) Anyone who enters our country illegally has chosen to consciously break our laws ... that means they are a criminal, end of story. It does not matter how "good" they are nor how "tragic" their circumsatnces.

5) All the other tangential topics are beside the point. Don't let the hate mongers, the profiteers and the opportunists use this situation for their own personal gain ... ignore them, they don't represent the views of the rest of us anyway.

6) Rewarding wrong behavior results in more wrong behavior. If we grant general amnesty for a specific group of criminals every 20 years then we will encourage theirs acts rather than discourage them.

Robert Pattinson Girlfriend

What's in a name by which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? - Shakespeare

I think the same is true to words, these are just letters, arbitrary!

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