Monday, November 15, 2010

Is This What You Mean by "Pro" Life?

h/t racismreview

The Tennessee report has discussed the comments of a Tennessee state representative thus:

Rep. Curry Todd remarked during a Fiscal Review Committee presentation this week that the idea of government-funded care for pregnant women [Mexican immigrants] who cannot prove they have United States government permission to be in this country struck him as not unlike inviting a rat infestation. The Collierville Republican made the comments after asking CoverKids program managers whether the state checks the citizenship status of care recipients. . . . [They] responded that CoverKids doesn’t provide medical coverage to pregnant women, but it does offer “unborn coverage …. ”Rep. Todd responded: “Well, they can go out there like rats and multiply, then, I guess.”

I hardly know what to say. You know I favor a single-payer healthcare system. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people receiving care, regardless of citizenship or birth status. But everybody should find these comments abominably reprehensible:

I did find others who had an easier time expressing themselves:
Rep. Curry Todd: Who's the Real Rat Here?

Posted by Betsy Phillips on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Lind has this choice quote from Collierville Rep. Curry Todd up at Post Politics:
Todd goes on to say the issue remains, saying, “I don’t want to see any child not have care, but I feel they are abusing our system here because they know they can get these kids services, and the taxpayers in Tennessee are the ones having to pay for this, it's not them.”
Now, I realize this whole incident — starting with his remarks earlier this week comparing undocumented immigrant mothers-to-be to multiplying vermin — has proven that Todd's not a very thoughtful guy. But he's in the state legislature. Shouldn't he have some basic understanding of how our state works?

Does he not know we don't have an income tax?

If you buy things here in Tennessee, you are a taxpayer in Tennessee, regardless of your legal status. This idea that there are two discrete groups — taxpayers of Tennessee, and people whose residency gives them access to our services — is breathtakingly false.

Regardless of how you feel about the immigration issues, there's no need to lie. If you live here and you buy things, you are a taxpayer at the state level. And so you are indeed having to pay for programs.

To say otherwise either reveals a politician as incredibly stupid or a liar.
Now mind you, this guy is "pro-life" but claims he's concerned about "anchor babies." The problem with that is that the whole notion of "anchor babies' offensive to many and a myth created by anti-immigration nativists, and it's nonsense that doesn't account for facts (pdf). I gotta raise my hand as one who's offended by the term. Especially since I cannot imagine that immigration from southern Europe, though drastically decreased from previous decades, remained within legal bounds after the immigration act of 1924.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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