John Kelly, like all of us, is descended from some people who were “too afraid” and others who were “too lazy to get off their asses” to get their paperwork in order. And I am sure he and we are also descended from some kings and queens and lords and ladies.
But tell us again, Kelly, in light of your insulting remarks about DACA people now wondering what’s next: how exactly did the Irish become white? Did some Irish-Americans “become white” by adopting the anti-black racism of white American Protestants? Noel Ignatiev’s book, How The Irish Became White, quotes Frederick Douglass, who said in 1853, “The Irish, who, at home, readily sympathize with the oppressed everywhere, are instantly taught when they step upon our soil to hate and despise the Negro….the Irish-American will one day find out his mistake.” The becoming-white of the Irish in the United States of America is a long, complex story, which John Kelly and Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly and all of us would do well to study today, with a more empathetic eye than I can detect from them so far. If Democrats don’t want to take the deal that John Kelly says is so incredibly generous, so be it, maybe they are fools–but it sure seems like Kelly’s trash talk and Trump’s trash talk is designed more to avoid blame than to find a deal that can get through Congress. Is that leadership? We have a president who says he would “love a [government] shutdown” over the Dreamer/immigration issue: is that leadership, or passing the buck and trying to shift the blame? It is probably going to be up to McConnell and Ryan and Democratic leadership to work out some kind of deal, probably temporary, and hope for better days down the road. Dreamers will be left in more or less the same uncertainty they’re in now. Kelly is truly out of line to question the motivations or reasoning or actions of people in a situation he can’t seem to imagine himself facing. I do not want to become the victim of anybody, legal resident or illegal immigrant, and I expect my government to make some effort to preserve public order and keep me safe from evildoers, but none of that means I have any right to heap gratuitous insults on young people whose only real home is the US but who are still in legal limbo.
John Kelly and Donald Trump are just “joking” and “negotiating” toward a deal, some say. Negotiating is great, and a sense of humor is a worth a lot (as Joe Biden said today, the president sure is a joke, all right). And I say a president whose mother and father got here by way of chain migration, whose mother did not speak English as her first language and who arrived in the US with no skills, whose grandfather got here by evading the German draft and who got five draft deferments himself–a guy like that who talks the way he does about immigrants is a vicious little man who has no memory of where he came from or who he really is. His chief of staff, John Kelly, ought to know better too, but it seems he’s too lazy to study it. (Speaking of lazy, Kelly was asked if Trump had read the Schiff memo, which is about 10 pages: “no, no, it’s quite lengthy.”) And when Kelly talks smack about Dreamers because maybe they don’t trust Donald Trump is dealing with them in good faith, he’s really lost it.
P.S. Meanwhile the annual trade deficit with China: $370 billion–is that still a problem now that Trump is our president? And the annual US government budget deficit is headed toward a trillion dollars–problem or no problem?