Derogatory terms won’t solve illegal immigration issue

Published 8:43 am Thursday, July 23, 2009

By Staff
Several Daily News Sound Off callers and at least one letter writer have wondered why we fussed over Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson’s use of the term “wetback” to refer to illegal aliens.
After all, one caller rationalized, Hood’s just vocalizing what Beaufort County residents think.
Even if that were true — which for the majority of county residents it probably isn’t — there are overriding reasons not to use the term or any like it.
Besides being inflammatory and racist, it’s downright embarassing.
Bombastic, ignorant grandstanding by elected officials only makes them — and by association the people of Beaufort County — look like small-minded fools. Moreover, the inflammatory rhetoric does nothing to improve the image of politicians in the eyes of most citizens.
Neither does it help resolve the very real crisis of illegal immigration and the effect it has on our society.
And that’s the point, isn’t it?
How do we as a county determine how best to encourage legal immigration and discourage illegal immigration?
Using degrading terminology certainly won’t do it.
Just because some of Richardson’s followers revel in the man’s pompous drooling is no reason for the rest of us to condone his theatrics. It’s a pathetic shame that some politicians inflate their enormous egos at the expense of the public good.
Richardson’s the grand master in this arena.