Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crafton's Lawyer is Playing with Fire in Personal Attacks on Immigrant

Eric Crafton commenting less on English Only is actually good for English Only because when he opens his mouth on politics and culture he tends to polarize and piss off.

So, maybe it was better that Crafton's lawyer spoke on his behalf. Or was it?

First of all he accuses an immigrant who is suing Metro to stop the January 22 ballot initiative (early voting starts January 2) of attempting to take away "the people's" right abolish Metro government or direct it as they see fit.

But if we assume that the El Salvadorian plaintiff in this case is actually one of "the people," Crafton's lawyer does not seem too keen on her right to level her grievances against this Metropolitan government:
[Crafton's attorney] said he suspects Quinteros is a political puppet being used by opponents of the English-only measure who fear that they cannot defeat it at the ballot box. The move will backfire, he said.

"I think there is going to be some backlash at immigrants for this," he said. "Here's a woman to whom we've stretched out our hand, and she's kicked us in the shins."
Implied in this personal attack are 3 significant threats:
  • A double standard that recognizes Crafton's people's right to abolish or change government, but ignores the right of other people to do the same.
  • A denigration of immigrants as independent moral agents who can exercise their inalienable rights just like others and an attack on their dignity by calling them "tools" of someone else.
  • The insinuation (and incitement?) of some sort of collective backlash by non-immigrant Middle Tennesseans against our immigrant communities.
That third threat to immigrants is particularly abhorrent given that it plays on ingrained prejudices and inflames bigotry already boiling.  Eric Crafton and his legal team apparently intend to make this case mean, nasty, brutish, and short.  They don't look like they might eschew using intimidation to leverage English Only.

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