For the past two days, the top news story was Trump using the term “anchor babies” and refusing to walk it back. I’ve never heard this term. Apparently, it refers to a baby whose mom enters the country and in order to give birth so that her child can have a better life than the one they’d have if they remained in the country of origin. And one newscast described it as a pregnant woman waiting until she’s just about to give birth, crossing the border and giving birth in the US. This gives the kid automatic citizenship, free education and health care, and all the rights of an American citizen. Even though the mom may be deported.
Let’s be real–when Trump and co are discussing anchor babies, they’re referring to hispanics coming from the southern border. I don’t think Canadian immigrants bother them as much. So I called a friend from Texas and asked if “anchor babies” were actually a problem. Were there hundreds or thousands of women engaging in this activity? She laughed and said “I’ve never heard of such stupidity.” I may look pregnant, but I’m actually not. So I was trying to imagine how difficult it would be to go into labor, sprint across the border and continue running with a newborn dangling from my umbilical cord. If this is actually happening en masse, I’d love to see video footage of it.
Kudos to our news for bringing us every latest update on a term that a lunatic has used to describe a possibly non-existent problem. But that lunatic knows how to stay in the press by making outrageous claims, whether it’s calling immigrants rapists and murderers or continuing to use slurs like anchor babies. Why has no one in the news been debunking Trump’s claim that anchor babies are an epidemic which must be stop? There is little analysis of his actual claim, only whether or not the term is offensive. And how Jeb Bush used it in an attempt to keep up with frontrunner Trump. At one point, some news anchor suggested that 7% of births are from undocumented moms. Now if you’re a conservative and wanted to debate the billions that this 7% of kids born to undocumented moms costs, go ahead. Whether I agree with you or not, it’s a valid concern if you want smaller government spending less. (Many of the American people have forgotten that anyone white in this country descended from immigrants.) Instead, we are debating how Jeb Bush is now now using the slur anchor babies even though he once chaired the Hispanic Leadership Network which sent out a 2013 memo asking candidates not to use this loaded description. Trump claims that a hypocritical Bush signed it, yet there were no actual signatures on the memo.
Can we dispense with the loaded terms and cut through to what is really happening? Many Republicans hate latinos, regardless of what terms they’re using. They’re often racist bigots who also hate blacks, gays and women’s right to choose and receive equal pay–but let’s stick with latinos right now. In the last presidential election, the GOP lost badly. In their soul-searching afterwards, they determined that they would have to court latinos if they are to remain a viable party. Latinos are one of the fastest-growing voting blocks and few support Republicans. The GOP also determined that they lost badly in 2012 with women, after many candidates made outrageous claims about legitimate rape and forcing rape victims to give birth to the kids of their attackers–even if they were related! Though Mitt lost to Obama, the GOP did win a majority in Congress. They had campaigned on a platform of jobs, jobs, jobs. Yet when they got in, they focused on introducing dozens of anti-abortion bills. So even when the GOP realizes that they have an issue with attracting voters like latinos or women, their policies never change to reflect their low popularity among problem sectors of voters. Because their old, racist white base will flock to the candidate who is using the most racist buzz words. Creating “epidemics” like anchor babies to stir up working class white people who can’t understand why their jobs are gone. So in their ignorance, they blame people with jobs who come from a different country. Regardless of the fact that whites wouldn’t take many of these jobs if offered to them.
And no one in the news media wants to examine the reason many good-paying jobs which whites and everyone else used to accept are disappearing–often because of trade deals like NAFTA, which Bill Clinton passed and which killed 1 million manufacturing jobs, and the TPP, the secret trade deal affecting 40% of the world’s economy with which Obama is trying to outsource many more US jobs. These deals are put forth by Democratic presidents and backed by Republican in Congress.
Ed Shultz was recently fired from MSNBC for slamming Obama and the TPP, because the establishment must silence any criticism of the president which cares more about corporate profits than good-paying jobs. But rather than pinpoint why we’re losing jobs and stopping Obama from losing us many more, MSNBC is fired the only anchor routinely bringing the disastrous secret TPP to light. However, they adore giving hourly updates to how offensive the term anchor babies is and who used it when and whether or not who is prepared to walk it back or whether or not someone who is now saying it once signed a memo to the suggesting the term not be used. Good work, news media! You have become a tabloid junkfest regurgitating and analyzing slurs from idiots rather than analyzing how the current administration is screwing us. We can’t rely on news like that to keep us informed on vital issues which should inform our voting. And I think everyone who agrees that this country is a mess and would like to exit that mess would prefer actual news over dissections of inflammatory words.