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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Ammiano, McGoldrick, Protesters and Xenophobic Immigrant Haters

Today, the Board of Supervisors sent back to committee Supervisor Tom Ammiano's resolution commending protesters' efforts to shut down BIO 2004's conference in San Francisco. Not a single Supervisor condemned the resolution.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, as usual, rambled (video) about the entomology of the term "tragedy of the commons" to explain why it had been adopted by the Reclaim the Commons group Ammiano sought to commend.

What Supervisor McGoldrick failed to discuss (he's facing a tough re-election in an overwhelmingly immigrant district) is that the "tragedy of the commons" analogy has been a leading argument by those seeking to ban U.S. immigration.

The anti-immigration set argues the lifeboat version of the "tragedy of the commons" by linking carrying capacity to a need to stop accepting additional people. They reason that U.S. immigration allows a safety-valve for other countries to avoid dealing with issues of overpopulation which will lead to a Malthusian disaster if we don't keep the foreigners out. In the lifeboat analogy, the far-right suggests accepting immigrants will sink America and we should let the foreigners drown rather than accept them into America or provide foreign aid.

In recent years, xenophobic right-wingers have co-opted this argument to further their anti-immigrant agenda. Using economic based analogies such as this have been a way to cover-up the racist tone of their argument against foreigners.

more to come

- Bob Brigham
Bob Brigham Politics: Bay to the Beltway
Online + Campaigns + Politics + Elections + San Francisco + News + Blogs + Presidential + Battleground + Senate + Congress

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