I'm in philosophy mode this morning and thinking about the "resolution" here in Prince William County. I refer to the prescribed actions the BOCS now calls the "rule of law," (sounds like a police state to me but who am I?) the policy taken from a hate group, promoted by nativist extremists, and the ruining of our county's reputation: we are now considered the most oppressive, backwards region in the country. How utterly embarrassing, destructive and unjust!
Since I've been visiting "Citizen Tom," the blog name derived from Thomas Paine, I ran into some great Paine quotes that describe this situation. I'm sure others will come up with quotes to refute these, but Thomas Paine was a moral man who believed in justice for all peoples, not the some.
Discrimination is not justice. Hatred is not justice. Persecution is not justice. These are what we have currently in our county thanks to extremists. Where do they lead? According to the Anit-Defamation League, "Just as the Holocaust started with the hate-filled words of Nazis, hate crimes also often follow hate speech. When the hard drives of criminals who have committed violence against minorities are searched, links to derogatory Internet sites are often found."
But I will leave it to good old Tom to preach. He does it much better than I. I will provide some context to the quotes, however.
The "resolution" was implemented before any studies were conducted or evidence shown it would be effective in correcting what are actually neighborhood problems, not necessarily immigration-related conflicts. Unthinking factions have promoted their myths about immigration as truths, and others have blindly accepted. Thus, Mr. Paine might say,
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." -- Thomas Paine
"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
-- Thomas Paine
The implementation of this resolution has promoted discrimination, the rise of hate groups and economic demise. Many of those favoring the resolution attribute crime to "illegals" solely based on lack of citizenship; they see "illegals" as an invading enemy which must be combatted. Thomas Paine suggests:
"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Furthermore, groups like HSM have decided to become what they call "foot soldiers" holding back the "invasion." GL, president of HSM, has visited day laborer sites, dressing in army uniform and threatening to return with weapons. John Stirrup is a member of HSM.
"He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death."
Would Thomas Paine agree with the mean-spirited tactics used by Prince William County to combat "the invasion," as Vice Chair John Stirrup refers to it? How about Corey Stewart, a self-proclaimed Christian who has turned against his own religion's attempt to help immigrants and told the religious community to "mind their own business"?
"I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy." -- Thomas Paine
"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."
What logic could entice HSM, John Stirrup and Corey Stewart to inflict a policy counter to the prosperity of this county? Cruelty? Bigotry? Or perhaps just a lust for power? Why do they continue even in the face of such justified criticism?
"The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance." -- Thomas Paine
If we were to truly listen to the words of a great American, we might be able to solve this conflict effectively and quickly. However, when we see ourselves as the center of the world, the epitome of justice, and the sole hammer of law, we betray ourselves, our country, and our human race.
"The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." -- Thomas Paine
Let's not live in a myopic bubble of self interest. If we continue to do so, we will inflict our county and this nation with more of the acid of injustice.
*for research and supporting evidence of these statement, see other postings under the title "immigration" and Anti-BVBL.