The right geek is very, very tired. And it’s only been three weeks so far:
I was alive and politically aware during the post 9/11 W. Bush administration, and back then, I saw my fair share of leftwing nonsense. I vividly remember, for example, a young lady shrieking hysterically at me on a Boston street because I had the audacity to question the motives of an ANSWER-driven protest against the war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, mind you. Not the legitimately controversial war in Iraq. Believe me, Bush Derangement Syndrome was a real phenomenon and a toxic one. All the same, it doesn’t hold a candle to what is happening now.
True. For me, the most tiring thing of all is scanning the news each day and seeing the coverage—wall-to-wall hysteria, designed to drum up even more hysteria. In recent years I’ve grown to distrust the MSM more and more, but it has reached the point where I discount virtually everything I read, which is not a good point to reach.
And one of the things of which I’m sickest (but perhaps I’m repeating myself here) is the constant use of the phrase “undocumented workers.” It’s a brilliant coinage, though, and I seem to recall that it’s been in use for well over a decade. I’m not sure when it began, but its two words encapsulate an astounding amount of thought-shaping in one succinct little package. “Undocumented” indicates a mere misplacement of papers, or perhaps even a sort of modesty about an accomplishment. And “workers” is absolutely a compliment: they are here to work, not to slough off or rip off or do a single bad thing—even when we’re talking about felons, as we were in a recent ICE raid. They are doing the work Americans won’t do!
That doesn’t mean that a great many illegal immigrants (some on the right prefer the even harsher word “aliens,” which is technically correct) are not here to work. Many, many are indeed here to work. So what? They are still not “undocumented,” they are here illegally.
Now, what you might want to do about that (or them) is another story, and reasonable people may differ. But that has nothing to do with the fact that they came here illegally and that other immigrants have patiently waited in line (and are still waiting) to get their documents to be allowed to come here legally.
Another euphemizing word of which I am very tired—one used by both left and right, because it is now a standard term—is “sanctuary city.” But take a look at the meaning and history of the word “sanctuary” and you can see from whence it came:
Sanctuary is a word derived from the Latin sanctuarium, which is like most words ending in -arium, a container for keeping something in—in this case holy things or perhaps holy people, sancta or sancti. The meaning was extended to places of holiness or safety. A religious sanctuary may be a sacred place (such as a church, temple, synagogue or mosque), or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar…
The area around the altar came to be called the “sanctuary”, and that terminology does not apply to Christian churches alone: King Solomon’s temple, built in about 950 BC, had a sanctuary (“Holy of Holies”) where the Ark of the Covenant was, and the term applies to the corresponding part of any house of worship. In most modern synagogues, the main room for prayer is known as the sanctuary, to contrast it with smaller rooms dedicated to various other services and functions.
The term evolved to mean the shelter offered for several hundred years by churches and other houses of worship to the accused. The word has deep and positive spiritual connotations; here is my very first exposure to it as a tiny tyke who had to ask what it meant because I didn’t know:
About three decades ago the term came to be applied to those who protected from deportation people here illegally from Latin America. This was the context:
Sanctuary of refugees from Central American civil wars was a movement in the 1980s. Part of a broader anti-war movement positioned against U.S. foreign policy in Central America, by 1987, 440 cities in the United States had been declared “sanctuary cities” open to migrants from these civil wars in Central America.
These sites included university campuses and cities.
It still does include those sites, although most of the illegal immigrants are not refugees from those civil wars; they are economic refugees.