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But that man is COLUMNIST

So I wrote this post over at Sadly, No!. There's no need to read it unless you want to not break my heart, but the subject matter itself -- that is, this post at Gates of Vienna -- is just typical boilerplate won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-white-man sublimated racism. The thing that really sort of has become an obsession of mine is this line:

The columnist Kevin Myers in Ireland thinks that no country has ever accepted, never mind assimilated, the volumes of immigrants now present in his country.


Now, first of all, there's the phrasing. Usually, when you're quoting someone in a positive way, in a way that's supposed to bolster your argument (which, in this case, is "immigration from the darkie lands will destroy the white man forever"), you don't want to phrase it as "So-and-so THINKS such-and-such". It has an inherently skeptical feel to it. You want to go for "According to so-and-so", or "So-and-so says", or something like that -- using the "So-and-so THINKS" formulation sounds like you're describing what a crazy man told you on a street corner. "The columnist Kevin Myers in Ireland thinks that bees come out of his teeth."

But the article's author is not a native English speaker, so I'm willing to indulge him that far. What's particularly hilarious is the strength of the claim.

Now, I realize that this is largely a dogmatic crypto-racist right-winger talking to other dogmatic crypto-racist right-wingers, and that, as such, I probably shouldn't expect a high standard of evidence. This is moron-to-moron talk, and really doesn't come up to a much higher burden of proof than the goofballs who take smoke breaks together at the chicken-pulling factory and complain about how the Jews killed Kennedy. But Gates of Vienna at least pretends to take itself seriously as an intellectual organ -- presented in evidence, the fact that every one of this guy's posts are extremely highfalutin and about seventy pages long -- so here's another tip for them: when you quote someone in a way that is meant to strengthen your argument, take pains to ensure that the thing he is saying isn't completely and obviously untrue.

Over at Sadly, No!, we have this running joke that conservative columnists are so unaware that there exists such a thing as the internet, which can be used by anyone to fact-check suspicious claims, that we have begun to suspect that Google is in fact an invisible magic creature that only we, the liberal smartasses, can see. We refer to it as "The Great Gazoogle". So, for example, if someone were to say that "no country has ever accepted, never mind assimilated, the volumes of immigrants now present" in Ireland, all you would have to do is look up the demographics of the Republic of Ireland to discover that 10% of the population are non-Irish nationals (that is, immigrants). Since the total population of Ireland is 4,234,925, those of us who got through 4th grade are able to calculate that the volumes of immigrants now present in the country is slightly more than 400,000. This means that, in fact, dozens of countries have assimilated, let alone accepted, far more immigrants than that. In fact, the United States accepted more than 400,000 immigrants from Germany alone as long ago as 1850, and managed not only to survive, but to thrive.

In fact, to put an even finer point on it, the United States has accepted more immigrants from Ireland than Ireland has accepted from everywhere. To get downright bitchy about it, there were more Irish immigrants to the United States before 1960 than the total number of Irish people living in Ireland since 1960, by over a million people. There are eight times as many immigrants living in New York City alone than there are in the whole of Ireland.

To put it another way, THIS IS THE STUPIDEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD ANYONE SAY AND IT TAKES LIKE FIVE SECONDS TO PROVE IT WRONG AND WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN SAY IT.

Comments

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krinndnz
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
First reaction was "why the fuck do presumably-American right-wingers care about Irish immigration?"

Then I went and looked at the context and wow it really is that stupid.


I love "great gazoogle" joke, by the way.
mrwomack
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Nice title for that one, too - you're on a namin'-things roll!
brandawg
Oct. 10th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
Quit confusing the issue with facts, Leonard!
doraphilia
Oct. 10th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
neo conservatives live in a fantasy world where they make up facts to make themselves feel better. this is like bush saying the other day that the US military does not torture, ever. It's so strange.
archaica
Oct. 10th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
Great Gazoogle! Brilliant!

They would be just as miserable in their Fortress Amerikkka as they are now. It's in their nature.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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