Maajid Nawaz on why Tommy Robinson is popular and why working class Britain is moving rightward

Maajid Nawaz, no longer demonized by the Southern Poverty Law Center after he filed a lawsuit against them, here has an 7½-minute radio discussion explaining why “mainstream working-class Britain is becoming radicalized.” He suggests that the causes of radicalization are “legitimate grievances that are exploited by hardened ideologues who then manipulate vulnerable young people by pointing to those legitimate grievances, and then radicalize them.”

Some of the underlying grievances that radicalize young British Muslims, he says, include racism, the continuing detention of Muslims at Guantanamo, and the invasion of Iraq. For white, working class Brits, he uses the example of Tommy Robinson, whose “legitimate grievances” include the denial of an entry visa to Lauren Southern under terrorism laws while allowing far more extremist Muslim clerics to enter Britain. Grievance #2: British grooming gangs that were ignored by the government and police, creating a conspiracy of silence—out of fear of being called “racist”—that angers citizens. Grievance #3: a double standard when it comes to free speech: Tommy Robinson is demonized while not calling for violence, yet Hezbollah is allowed to flaunt its blatant terrorism in public.

In other words, these grievances give the impression of hypocrisy on the part of the government, providing the populist Right leverage to radicalize the “mainstream working class”. The same hypocrisy was on tap in America this week, with the New York Times hiring a racist technology editor, Sarah Leong, and then the paper and other Left-wing media defending her racism because she was Asian. As I said, the newspaper’s hypocrisy just gives people a reason to gravitate towards Trump.

Nawaz says we need to understand which grievances are legitimate to address them properly and prevent radicals from taking advantage of them to move the populace Rightward. While the radical ideology needs to be challenged, we ignore the underlying grievances at our peril.

I suppose a similar grievance in America involves immigration. The underlying legitimate grievance is the flood of immigrants, many illegal, into America, and the refusal of the Left to address this problem. (One might, from seeing the Left’s silence, feel that they’re in favor of completely open borders.) This grievance fuels Trumpism and its odious tactics of separating children from parents, building a border wall, promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, and so on. The Democrats really need to take the immigration issue seriously and propose solutions, not just ignore it and call (rightly) for restoration of children to their immigrant parents.

Nawaz makes a lot of sense here, and the lessons he draws for Britain also apply to the U.S.

101 Comments

  1. WDB
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    sub

  2. Monika
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    We have similar problems in Germany, as a result we have the odious populist AfD party.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I certainly understand the problems, the radicalization issue that Nawaz is covering but I don’t see the immigration issue as something to point the figure at the “left” saying they are the ones who need to address this problem. The left may be blamed for lots of things but last I checked this issue is a congressional issue. It is our grid-locked, do nothing congress that has caused this big problem. And they are the only ones that can fix it – who else makes federal law?

    Trump and Obama both have made executive action front and center in this problem and have made it much worse but the real problem is still congress – not the left, not the right. We can blame everyone and we can radicalize the left and the right but it is congress that causes this situation.

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      The blindness and deafness of the left goes back almost two decades, before the refugee crisis. As a result of 9/11, Muslims became
      distrusted and disliked, and with good reason, because they denied that their religion was the motivation behind terrorism, and because they created the false picture of “victimization” which led to their inventing the term “Islamophobia” even though Muslims in Europe and the US had far greater rights than they had in their native country…and far greater rights than NON MUSLIMS had in Muslim countries. The left embraced Islamism and rejected religion as any motivation because accepting it would undercut their
      claims that US “imperialism” and the Iraq war were the reason for Muslim terrorism. As for Muslim sharia, honor killings, child marriage, and execution of gays and apostates, the left continues to ignore these deliberation. All of this strengthened the right wing, which moved into the moral void. And it will continue to expand in Europe, thanks to the left, which upon reflection actually CREATED the right, by recusing itself from the truth.

    • Mikeyc
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      You’re right that the left shouldn’t be the only ones to address the problem. First they have to admit that there is one. Dr PCCe’s point, and he’s right about it, is that the Democrats have let the right define both the problem and it’s solution. Abdication on this is just one of their very many deficiencies as a party.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        “…Democrats have let the right define both the problem…”

        How so? By refusing to bring immigration legislation to the floor? Nope… that was Republicans.

        • Mikeyc
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          I didn’t mean to suggest that the Republicans didnt have an active role in preventing them from doing anything. This is not a new problem and the Dems have been in position to do some things (DACA was an end run around the Republicans), but they have allowed the Republicans to control the debate.

          Btw, sorry for any misplaced apostrophes- stoopid autocorrect.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            I fail to understand why everything has to remain a left right discussion. This problem has been sitting in the congress for years without agreement and without action. Do we think the masses are going to solve it – that makes no sense. It is the adults in the congress that must legislate a sound and reasonable immigration plan. Our failed congress is the problem. Just pointing figures at the left or right solves nothing.

            • Historian
              Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

              I agree with you on this one Randy. In February, a bipartisan immigration failed in the Senate, largely due to Trump’s promise of a veto. Even if the bill had passed the Senate, whether it could have passed the House and then a Senate override of a veto was highly unlikely.

              One must ask whether Trump and most Republicans actually want a resolution of the immigration issue. If this issue is actually “solved,” what would the Republicans run on? The same question can be asked regarding abortion. If the Supreme Court should overturn Roe that would be another issue down the tubes for the Republicans.

              Republican success has been due largely fostering grievances and fear among whites, particularly the religious right. Their strategy is to keep these issues alive so that the base is kept constantly enraged. It would be political suicide for them to see these issues go away.

              http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-immigration-trump-20180215-story.html

              • GBJames
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

                Exactly, Historian.

                I find it dismaying to hear people blaming the failure to address the immigration issue on Democrats.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

                And the sad failings in congress have lead to further illegal actions by Trump at the border. We now have over 500 kids with no parents because of the actions taken by the administration. Other than a judge telling him he has to do something about this mess what will be done?

              • mikeyc
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

                GBJames – I think I’ve been unclear. I’ll try again. The immigration problem today is primarily the fault of the Republicans, for the reasons you and Historian cite. I am not blaming the Dems solely. I am agreeing with you both. The fault I find with the Dems is they have let the Republicans define the debate in exactly the manner described above. Now, instead of talking about reform we’re arguing about who’s going to pay for the wall and how to get children re-united with their parents.

              • GBJames
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                I think you’re clear enough, mikeyc. I just don’t understand what exactly is meant by “letting Republicans control the debate”. I don’t understand how that happens in the context of actual power being held by Republicans. We’re arguing about wall payments and the fate of children because these are real-world features of Republican control of government. Should we be ignoring these things?

                What is the message you recommend Democrats give at this time?

              • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

                … further illegal actions by Trump at the border. We now have over 500 kids with no parents because of the actions taken by the administration.

                trump’s family separation policy was malicious, but how was it illegal?

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I thought I’d made it clear that the right, in trying to address the problem, is screwing up badly. But of course to the public it looks as if only one party is even trying, and I suspect that makes people more charitable towards the GOP.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        But the Left (if by that we mean Democrats in Congress and the White House) sought to address the problem and were blocked by Republicans. How can you say only one party is even trying, PCC[E]?

        • Adam M.
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps Democrats don’t consider illegal immigration to be a problem at all (i.e. perhaps they really do want open borders), but if they do consider it a problem, we don’t hear much in the way of solutions. “Abolish ICE!” doesn’t play well and can hardly be called a solution. Giving amnesty to current illegal immigrants doesn’t do anything to prevent the problem from recurring in the future.

          Republicans have a solution, for whatever it’s worth: deport illegal immigrants, especially those with criminal records; build a wall to prevent new ones from entering; punish businesses that hire them to reduce demand for illegal immigrant labor; restrict chain migration so one legal immigrant doesn’t automatically become ten; and maybe reconsider birthright citizenship, so a woman can’t just cross the border and give birth here to gain the right to stay. It sounds plausible, at least superficially, even though they probably wouldn’t actually do anything to hurt the business interests that donate money to their campaigns.

          What is Democrats’ plan, and why aren’t they talking about it?

          • Adam M.
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            They may be quietly writing some bills in Congress, but I’d expect them to be trying to win over the public – and I think the article here is more about public perceptions and those who use them to nefarious ends.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

              The Democrats have made clear they’re in favor of comprehensive immigration reform — with their voices and with their votes. They’ve also made clear, with both voices and votes, that they’re willing to work with “moderate” Republicans to achieve it. But so long as the Democrats are in the minority in both houses of congress, they cannot so much as bring a bill to the floor. And so long as the Hard Right has a large enough contingent in the House of Representatives to kill any bill, comprehensive immigration reform is dead on arrival. (This is one of the reasons former Speaker John Boehner threw up his hand and quit, and why current Speaker Paul Ryan is following him out the door.)

              For the immigration hardliners on the Far Right, nothing less than massive deportations and zero-tolerance will do. Anything that could lead to an eventual path to citizenship for anyone here illegally is labeled “amnesty” and is dead on arrival. And the establishment Republicans in congress are way too petrified of the Grand Old Party’s current white nationalist base to do anything to buck them, for fear of drawing a hard right primary opponents in districts that have been ruthlessly gerrymandered to ensure Republican rule.

          • Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Immigration is certainly not the problem Trump says it is.

            If I were creating the Dems’ immigration platform I would base it on taking advantage of immigration and counter the doom and gloom of Trump’s view with facts. We have migrant workers who are willing to do the jobs Americans don’t want to do. We have top students from all over the world wanting to study at American universities, some of which stay and start companies that employ people and make the US richer. Even those that go home after college take US ideas and culture with them. While this is hard to measure, I suspect it is a huge benefit to the US over the long haul as it helps spread US culture and creates markets for our products.

            The Dems should avoid “solutions” like abolishing ICE. Even if that became part of the implementation of a new policy, it shouldn’t be a goal.

            • Filippo
              Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

              “We have migrant workers who are willing to do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.”

              Right. Americans don’t want to do those jobs for the pittance immigrants are paid. At the same time I don’t think the work ethic of native U.S. citizens is what it was, nor what it should be. In any event, employers and investors want to pay as little as possible, whether a job is off-shored or not. (I guess that that is one of those vaunted “American Values” which one hears spouted by Americans to no end. Beyond that, each U.S. state has higher and nobler values than any other state. Just ask Nikki Hailey, former South Carolina governor. She’ll tell you.)

              • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

                I think that it has been shown that Americans don’t want those jobs even if they are paid minimum wage or even higher. Obviously, there’s a pay level at which non-immigrants would take the jobs but, from a practical point of view, only immigrants will do this work given how the work market is currently structured.

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          PCC said “looks as if”. Since the Republicans are in control, only legislation they initiate has any chance at all of even being discussed. Meanwhile Trump is blaming failures on the inability to get Dems to vote for their brain-dead policies like The Wall. Finally, Dems are forced to spend a lot of their air-time being against Trump policies like the separation of children from parents at the border. It all looks like the Republicans are running the immigration show because they are and they still can’t get much done.

        • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          You and a few others here are fixating on our dysfunctional Congress. But the real battle is being waged not on Capitol Hill, but in public opinion. And the demagoguery of the Right is vastly superior to that of the Left.

          As Mikey notes, the Left — the Dems in particular — must first acknowledge there is a problem. Most Americans favor a fair & final resolution to illegal immigration. Yet the Dems are screaming about fewer separated illegal families than under obama, calling for the abolishment of our immigration & customs agency, and threatening public disturbances & harassment of officials until they get their way. People notice.

          A jury in the sanctuary city of SF in the sanctuary state of CA acquitted an illegal with a lengthy rap sheet, who shot & killed a young woman as she was walking with her dad along the Embarcadero. People notice.

          For eight years, obama refused to put the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” next to each other. People notice.

          But hey, it’s firing up ‘the base’, amirite?

  4. GBJames
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “…the refusal of the Left to address this problem…”

    This is not my understanding of things, at least not at the level of national politics. For many, many, years it has been conservative Republicans who have blocked immigration reform efforts in order, presumably, to maintain the grievance for political advantage.

    • Rita
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Right. Several times bi-partisan proposals to solve immigration have been shot down by conservative Republicans, often it seems only because some Democrats were in favor of them. Trump even had a meeting with members of Congress from both parties and they all came out announcing an agreement had been reached, only to have Trump check with others and nix it within 24 hours.

      PCC is right though in that a reasonable immigration solution is not pushed hard by most Dems running for office.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    PCC quoting Nawaz [I haven’t watched vid yet, but will]:-

    #3: a double standard when it comes to free speech: Tommy Robinson is demonized while not calling for violence, yet Hezbollah is allowed to flaunt its blatant terrorism in public

    It is spun by the right as a curtailment of Robinson’s free speech, but it is more accurate to say he [& all the rest of the British press] were not permitted at the time to name the defendants in an ongoing criminal case. Robinson did so while standing outside the court & streaming to facebook. I am told he was also pointing at people entering the court & saying some of them were defendants – though I have no clear idea if this is true – can’t find video to support this & haven’t time to look up if the defendants were on bail.

    The demonization angle is true in the sense that there are official eyeballs on him at ALL times now & thus he was convicted of breaking the bail conditions of his suspended sentence in a superfast five hours from arrest – whereas Muslim sexual grooming gangs have been swanning about in various towns & cities for years without police intervention. That has pissed a lot of people off & grown Robinson support – he has been released from jail with a nice little earner: minimum £20k in crowd funded donations, higher profile = can get paid more for interviews plus a potential damages legal claim against the system.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Muslim sexual grooming gangs. Never heard of it, so i looked it up.
      Yikes.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        And much, much worse than reported. Below the level of organised gangs are small groups & singleton Muslim men abusers who regard non-Muslim girls & women as ‘loose’ [because forthright attitude & immodest dress] & available.

        This is a problem with many males of course, but it’s amplified among Muslims – because they are socially isolated from the rest of the population, because they have a parallel system of ‘teaching’ [madrassas], because Muslim boys & girls are brought up separately, because unattached Muslim girls & women are chaperoned & thus unavailable & lastly because of the Qur’an & Islam. I don’t see such a problem with Asian males in Hinduism or even Sikhism although both resemble Islamism to a degree with respect to females.

      • Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Think of how remarkable it is that you hadn’t heard of it. What that says about the British cops, press, government.

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Robinson might not be calling for violence but he has a history of violence, including against the police. He is still using the name of a football hooligan hero of his and shows little interest in distancing himself from thuggery.

      Robinson is currently free but this is pending a retrial. Since he has not only confessed to contempt of court but apologised for it I don’t give much for his chances. His recent denial of his confession on a TV show, despite the transcript of his trial being available, hasn’t done anything for his credibility except among conspiracy lunatics.

      The Right are peddling the story Robinson broke the Rochdale scandal, completely erasing Labour’s Sara Rowbotham. Rowbotham broke it at great public cost to herself; Robinson merely exploited it, even putting the trial of the grooming gang around risk for his own purposes.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely – I despise the guy as a bottom feeder, liar & thug.

        Sara Rowbotham: brave, persistent woman, I see great things in her future – she’s sharing deputy leadership of Rochdale Borough Council at the mo’ – perhaps she’ll go national one day.

  6. Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Rotherham was only one of many such cases. There have been gag orders to prevent discussion of others. Police lied. This seems to me the main, and legitimate, grievance. Establishment Britain has been willing to sacrifice the welfare of children to its amour-propre.

  7. Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    It has been noticed that the merest attempt to mention the Sarah Jeong tweet controversy on her Wikipedia page quickly gets deleted and locked down.

    The “talk” page (link here) for it is quite something. The excuse being made is that since she hasn’t been fired over the issue, it therefore isn’t significant enough to mention!

    And so far not a squeak on the actual page.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Wow. This is from an idiot called “Openlydialectic” as a defense for “vandalizing” another’s comment on the Jeong page; “You can’t be racist towards the so-called “white people””

    • Rich Sanderson
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      That sounds like the PZ Myers page on “RationalWiki”.

      Dare to bring up any of the numerous and serious allegations made against him, and they are very protective of that page!

    • dd
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I have no idea that “talk” pages existed. It’s fascinating.

      Clearly Wikipedia wants to bury the event.

      And BTW, Did anyone see Bill Maher’s show? Did that article in the NYTimes saying that he was obsolete and the Australian Hannah Gadsby the new thing cause him to change his style and content?

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        So ‘incredibly unfunny’ is new thing in comedy?

  8. Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    And the latest excuse for the Jeong tweets. Apparently “whiteness” is not a skin colour. (link).

    “Let’s say it clearly. You cannot be racist to white people. Whiteness is a social construct. The entire category is socially constructed through defining the dominant group at the top of racial hierarchies. It’s not a color of skin, you anti-intellectual dingbats”.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      How amusingly clueless, and the spitting insults as a signature of the Ctrl left.

    • Adam M.
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      It has nothing to do with skin color, but still somehow leads to people burning faster in the sun and thus being fit only to live underground… 😛

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    The underlying legitimate grievance is the flood of immigrants, many illegal, into America, and the refusal of the Left to address this problem. (One might, from seeing the Left’s silence, feel that they’re in favor of completely open borders.)

    Gotta call BS on this. Illegal border crossings into the US have been on the wane for the better part of two decades now.

    This nation could’ve had comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform back in 2013. A reform bill authored by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” passed the US Senate by a vote of 68-32, with 14 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats in voting for it. The hard-right, immigration hardliners in the House of Representatives put the kibosh on it.

    Hell, there was a bipartisan proposal earlier this year to resolve DACA and other immigration issues, drafted by Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham (no immigration softy, he) and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. At a televised cabinet-room conference on Tuesday, January the 9th, Donald Trump told Durbin and Graham he would sign it. But two days later, on Thursday January the 11th, after far-right immigration hardliners (including West Wing troglodyte Stephen Miller and the Freedom Caucus’s Mark Meadows) jerked him back from the brink of sanity, Trump reneged and went off on his “shithole countries” rant.

    That illegal border crossings are on the rise (which Trump frequently attributes to the influx of MS-13 gang members) and that Democrats want “open borders” are naught but propaganda tropes pushed by the Hard Right.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that review. If I recall correctly it was the lack of any real government that caused a few to gather in Philadelphia about 230 years ago to hammer out something better. The Article of Confederation were a joke. We have now reached a point when the current government is becoming nearly as useless as it was prior to implementation of the constitution. An overhaul is in order. But instead we have chosen up sides and spend most of our days just hammering at the other side. Is this what educated people do now? Just side in our institutions and point out all the faults and provide no answers except mine.

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      All true but the Dems running in the midterms don’t seem to have gotten behind a concrete immigration reform proposal. Mostly they only decry Trump’s immigration debacle.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s worse than that. Can you (or anyone) articulate what the Democrat’s proposals are for immigration reform, other than “Trump = bad”?

        • GBJames
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          That’s easy. Just look at past attempts at reform that have been jettisoned by Republicans.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        There is little point to “getting behind a concrete proposal” at this point. They have behind concrete proposals in the past. Until they have the power to implement something it would be pointless, especially at a time when Republican endorse tearing children from their parents at the border.

        If they gain control of Congress and then fail to get behind a concrete proposal you’ll have a better argument.

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Hardly a ‘debacle’ at this point when public opinion polls show a majority blame the illegal parents themselves, not the government, for the separations, and when trump’s chaos-making once again induced the Dems into a frenzy of irrational, emotionally-driven, embarrassing public spectacle.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Lindsey Graham.

    • Historian
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      You are absolutely correct. Right wing lies must be called out at every turn and without hesitation. The attempt to blame the Left (ambiguously defined)as a cause for the so-called immigration crisis is nothing more than an attempt by Trump and the Republicans to keep their base in line.

      Indeed, the immigration controversy may have helped Hillary overall more than hurt her, but it may have hurt her in the decisive battleground states. Eric Levitz in New York Magazine reports:

      “That means a minority of whites want reduced immigration (as Trump does), while a 56 percent majority of whites are not anti-immigration, with most wanting to keep current levels. The key finding here is that Trump only marginally improved over previous Republican presidential candidates among anti-immigration whites, gaining eight percentage points among them over Mitt Romney. By contrast, Clinton improved over Barack Obama’s performance by seven points among moderates but also by a huge margin among pro-immigration whites. Together, those last two blocks of whites are larger than the anti-immigration block … And turnout was not higher among anti-immigration whites.”

      nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/new-study-trumps-immigration-agenda-hurt-him-in-2016-midterm-strategy.html

      Trump’s anti-immigration tirades appeal to those whites, who define themselves by their skin color, and scared out of their minds that the brown people are growing in numbers so quickly that whites will no longer be a majority. This is actual racism. They are not interested in “Americanizing” immigrants. They just want to keep them out. This fear of the dominant majority losing power goes back to the earliest days of the Republic. There is really nothing new here. The Alien and Sedition Acts, the rise of the Know-Nothing Party (fear of Catholics), the anti-Chinese immigration hysteria at the end of the 19th century, the power of the Ku Klux Klan and the passage of anti-immigration legislation in the 1920s are a few examples. The country survived these crises and I think will survive this one.

      Democrats need to continue to support the reasonable, moderate immigration legislation that they have been doing in recent years, if for no other reason that the majority of the country supports it. However, they need to be more aggressive in not allowing Trump and the Republicans to dominate public discussion. Passivity is not a good strategy to fight the far right wing, which dominates all three branches of government.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        “… it may have hurt her in the decisive battleground states.”

        None of which were border states (unless we’re counting the Michigan bridges and tunnels that keep us connected with our amigos in Canadastan). 🙂

        • mikeyc
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know about you, but I would support opening the borders in Michigan. Lots of nice, polite people coming here? We sure could use that right about now…though… come to think of it, I’d have to suspect the sanity of any who wanted to come here.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            Hell, if it wasn’t for the Windsor-Detroit tunnel, as a teenager I’da never discovered LaBatt Blue or “deuces” (“222s” — aspirin with codeine, sold OTC by our benevolent northern neighbors). 🙂

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Historian, anytime anyone starts yapping about Democrats and “open borders,” they’re just peeing on your pantleg while bemoaning the inclement weather.

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        “Trump’s anti-immigration tirades appeal to those whites, who define themselves by their skin color…”

        What did you really expect, after the regressive left has for years been defining The Struggle in terms of racial & ethnic identities, all the while demonizing whites? Jordan Peterson warned about this. Identity politics is a double-edged sword.

        “”… and scared out of their minds that the brown people are growing in numbers so quickly that whites will no longer be a majority. This is actual racism.”

        You all keep claiming that, but what is your evidence — beyond mind-reading — for it?
        Point of fact: it is the Left who openly salivate over the prospect of swelling their voter base with immigrants.

        • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          That many Trump voters are afraid of dominance by non-whites seems to be such a no-brainer that the burden is on you, Matt, to give an alternate explanation for their anti-immigrant attitudes. Are you suggesting that they are largely color-blind and are only afraid of them taking their jobs? That they would be anti-immigrant to the level they are even if the immigrants were white and spoke English?

          • Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            The burden is most definitely not on me, as I did not make the assertion.

            In terms of persuasiveness & explanatory power, ‘It’s a no-brainer’ is up there with ‘It’s got electrolytes.’

            The complete inability of the liberal elite to comprehend the concerns of mainstream America is symptomatic of that elite’s near total isolation & growing ignorance. Apparently, even eloquent clarion calls like Naawaz’ are not enough to shake that.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          “… it is the Left who openly salivate over the prospect of swelling their voter base with immigrants.”

          Citation needed.

          On the off chance that you’ve never taken a US civics course: Immigrants — legal or illegal — cannot vote, only US citizens are eligible.

          One must be a permanent legal resident of the US (i.e. a green card holder) for a minimum of five years before even applying for US citizenship. After applying, the applicant must undergo a background check (including biometrics), pass a civics and a English-language proficiency test, and undergo a naturalization interview.

          The claim that Democrats want to swell the voting ranks with illegal immigrants is risible rightwing bullshit. You probably buy into the “anchor babies” nonsense, too, huh?

          • Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            “On the off chance that you’ve never taken a US civics course….”

            Please point out where I claimed non-citizens could vote.

            FTR, my first wife was a foreign national who eventually gained her US citizenship, so I know a little about the process.

            Your comment is typical for the arrogance of the leftist elite, to condescendingly assume that anyone who disagrees with you must be either ignorant, uneducated, &/or stupid.

            Your inability to counter reasoned argument is no excuse for your ad hominem attacks, and frankly I’m growing tired of them.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 6, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

              If, as you say, you’re “familiar with the process,” why in the world would you parrot obtuse rightwing talking point about “the Left” trying to swell the voter rolls with immigrants?

              • Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

                Please point out where I claimed non-citizens could vote.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

                You said “immigrants”; the foreign-born who can vote are “naturalized citizens.” Why, if you were referring to citizens, would you insist on calling them “immigrants,” unless they never quite overcome the stigma of being foreign-born for you, never become as fully American as those born in this country?

                And I’m still waiting for your citation to a reliable source that that supports your assertion that “the Left … openly salivate over the prospect of swelling their voter base with immigrants.” You’ve accused Historian of engaging in “mind reading” above; isn’t that precisely what you’re doing here?

              • Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

                I’m a naturalized US citizen but still refer to myself as an immigrant in the appropriate context. I think having immigrated earlier in life means you are always an immigrant.

                I suspect naturalized citizen is lower on the totem pole than those born in the USA as our citizenship can be revoked under certain circumstances, though I have no idea what they are.

    • Angel
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      ++

  10. Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I love Nawaz! He’s a brave soul in a dangerous time. Thank you for supporting him.

  11. dd
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the best articles on immigration:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/

  12. eric
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Nawaz says we need to understand which grievances are legitimate to address them properly and prevent radicals from taking advantage of them to move the populace Rightward. While the radical ideology needs to be challenged, we ignore the underlying grievances at our peril.

    AFAIK our most recent unemployment rates were under 4%, lower than any large western country except Germany. We have less social services than any other comparable western country and they typically put more restrictions on who can get them. And the immigrant crime rate is mostly lower than the crime rate amongst legal citizens. So what exactly is the legitimate, underlying grievance here? That they’re taking our jobs? They aren’t. That they’re sucking off the teat of government services? They aren’t. That they commit crimes at higher rates? They don’t.

    Frankly I think there is very little legitimate grievance here. It’s bigotry down to it’s core. People getting attacked for speaking Spanish in check-out line – does that sound like a legitimate grievance at work? White supremacists proclaiming that the white race will be extinct if we allow hispanic immigrants – does that sound like a legitimate grievance? Protestant fundamentalists worried about the influx of mainly catholic peoples – is that the legitimate grievance? No, no, and no. We should not be ‘addressing’ such complaints, we should be standing up to such people.

    Now, I recognize that unemployment in the US is greatly heterogeneous, and some communities legitimately need help. Likewise with crime. But these localized problems aren’t going to be solved by kicking peaceful working people out, they’re going to be solved by investing in our business, infrastructure, police, etc. Detroit needs businesses investing in it. Baltimore needs less corrupt police with greater public outreach resources. Neither – and no other places like them – are going to get better through any sort of anti-immigration measures.

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      The situation in the US & UK differs regarding Islam. The UK openly bends over backwards to coddle the most vile, medieval aspects of islamic culture.

      So what exactly is the legitimate, underlying grievance here?

      What is the gripe about illegal immigration? It’s illegal.

      That they’re taking our jobs? They aren’t. That they’re sucking off the teat of government services? They aren’t. That they commit crimes at higher rates? They don’t.

      Illegal immigration applies a downward pressure on wages. legal immigration, in the form of H1-B visas, etc., does the same.

      Some data show that homicide commission rates are higher among illegals. But, even granting that crime rates are generally lower, as with the social-services-use issue, you all have failed to make the case to the general public.

      Ultimately, moving beyond the wonky talking points, the Left needs to make a compelling case for immigration, whether legal or not. Why, when natural resources are being exhausted and urban sprawl is a plague, do we want still more inhabitants, especially when the newcomers are on average less educated & skilled, and culturally less ‘advanced’ regarding things like sexism, superstition, and treatment of animals?

      And sorry, ‘but muh $2 avocados!’ is not a valid response.

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I agree “the Left needs to make a compelling case for immigration”. I’ve said that for years. It really bugs me when the Left talks about concepts like immigration and diversity as if they are obviously good for our society. While valid arguments can be made for these concepts, most people’s unconsidered gut reaction is that these are bad things. The Left does need to justify them.

        • Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          True. It’s because these positions are treated as dogma or Revealed Truth, beyond the point of debate, and any who disagree are simply demonized as irredeemable heretics.

          • Posted August 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            I am not convinced that most of the Left think these things are beyond debate but they just assume that they are obviously true. It is not as if the Right asks them to prove them. They are too busy promoting their lies to allow them come to come in contact with facts and reasoned argument.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        “Some data show that homicide commission rates are higher among illegals.”

        Care to share a reliable source for that assertion?

        ‘Cause studies done by the Journal of Criminology and the libertarian Cato Institute contradict it.

  13. Diane G
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    sub

  14. Posted August 6, 2018 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    I am not convinced there is any particular evidence of a new right-wing shift. There has always been a fringe of lunatic yobs, led by what amount to thugs & some other more ‘clubbish’ right-wing people in authority positions. I think they will try to exploit any opportunity to get more mainstream support, from disillusioned UKIP supporters.

  15. Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Fear of immigrants was one of the issues that pro-Brexit campaigners used during the referendum campaign in 2016. It was claimed (falsely) that Turkey was poised to join the European Union and that millions of Turks would flood into Britain as a result. There was also a notorious poster, published by UKIP, showing a long line of dark-skinned people, supposedly queuing to enter the EU. It turned out, if I recall correctly, to show refugees in Slovenia.

  16. David Coxill
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile in dear old GB ,on Saturday a left wing Bookshop in London was attacked by masked rightit wingnuts .

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Regarding the bookshop invasion – for those interested it is Bookmarks Bookshop, on Bloomsbury Street in central London. Here is a detailed NEWS ARTICLE & below is a video made by the arses in question & ripped by Far-Right Watch before the arses deleted it.

      • David Coxill
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Bastards .

  17. darrelle
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Reading through the comments I am reminded how successful the propaganda efforts of the Republican Party and its backers / supporters has been. So successful that a significant number of liberals, progressives, Democrats & Independents believe many of the lies to one degree or another. This is most true at present with respect to Hillary Clinton and Immigration. It’s really depressing.

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Which lies, specifically?

      • darrelle
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Why, all of them Matt.

        • David Coxill
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          I wanted to say that .matt could read “Lies and the lying liars who tell them “.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        How ’bout we start with the Left “swelling their voter base with immigrants,” or the one about Republicans not engaging in voter-suppression measures, or the one where those two intersect about all the illegal immigrants committing voter fraud by casting ballots in US elections?

        That specific enough for ya?

        • Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          You’re not darrelle.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            Knew eventually you’d get around to making an accurate assertion in this thread. And there you have it. 🙂

  18. josh
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    While I agree with Nawaz that the left is politically unwise to dismiss all concerns on the right as pure racism and bigotry, I don’t see that immigration is some sort of crisis in the US. The percentage of foreign born people in the US is not historically high and most people seem to assimilate quite well. Second generation kids speak English and pick up American culture. The economy is good and I don’t see any evidence of major downward pressure on wages due to cheap immigrant labor, nor do we have exceptional crime rates among immigrants.

    I’m sure there are localized communities where problems manifest, just as there were a few towns where NAFTA had a serious negative impact. Democrats should be prepared to address these, but it doesn’t follow that immigration is something we need to crack down on. It is, in fact, a huge pain to immigrate legally into the US. The Dems need to find the line between acknowledging moderate-right concerns and letting the right-wing dictate the conversation.

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I think the typical Trump voter’s response to this would be something like, “Even if what you are saying is true, and we suspect it’s fake news, why should we tolerate immigrants when we don’t have to?”

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t see any evidence of major downward pressure on wages due to cheap immigrant labor….”

      I’ve seen it up front & close.

      “… it doesn’t follow that immigration is something we need to crack down on.”

      Nor is it a given that it’s something we should promote.

      If the regressive left is so certain of the validity of their position on immigration, why are they so fearful of a reasoned debate over the pros & cons, and so ready to malign the motives of those opposed?

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        The reason the Left is so ready to malign the motives of those opposed is that the latter are lying about immigration being this huge scary problem (crime, welfare, etc.). I doubt whether many are fearful of reasoned debate. Have you heard any from the Right lately? There’s nothing to be afraid of.

        • Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          I’m not lying about any of that, yet I still get maligned and insulted and accused of racism.

          There are sound, reasoned arguments against immigration, and most certainly against illegal immigration. But if the Control-Left continues to hound & berate into silence any liberals or moderates who raise them, then of course the only voices remaining will be from the Right.

          The Control-Left thinks the silence = approval, then they get stunned by trumps and brexits.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        “I’ve seen it up front & close.”

        Would you please give some examples?

        • Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          I saw widespread abuse of H1-Bs in the software industry, spoke to software engineer colleagues who were getting squeezed on hours and salary; a vietnam vet I hired to do some construction work for me told me he couldn’t get any drywalling work anymore because only immigrants were being hired by contractors; I have neighbors who switched from a local woodcutter for firewood to an immigrant who underbid him; when boarding horses, my own bottom line was squeezed by competition with barns that hired illegal grooms & hands.

          • Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

            Mediocre native software engineers are always going to complain about their jobs being taken by H1B engineers. It is certainly true that immigrants of all stripes are going to compete with non-immigrants for jobs on the basis of pay, ability, etc. On the other hand, the country is better for having them which benefits everyone but a few. As usual, all don’t benefit from a policy which doesn’t make it a bad policy.

            As a former software company CEO, now retired, I sponsored a few H1B immigrants over the years. It wasn’t because they were cheaper. It is hard to hire top-notch software engineers in this country unless you are Google, Apple, or one of the other companies people line up to work for.

            While the US has a major lead in most software areas, it is mostly limited by the availability of good software engineers. It would be a huge boost to the US economy if it was easier for foreign s/w engineers to come here to work.

            • Posted August 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

              It’s hard to claim quality US employees can’t be found, when companies like Pfizer and Disney fire their entire IT staffs, then replace them with lower-paid H1-Bs from India.

              An employer only needs to pay the H1-B the low end of the salary range set by the Feds, and doesn’t even need to first attempt to find US job candidates.

              Abuse of the program for the purpose of lowering salaries is rampant and well-documented. I saw it used for that very purpose, to squeeze experienced & highly competent SW engineers, or to simply replace them with grunts who gladly worked 80 hours/week & banged out bloated, buggy code.

  19. Alex
    Posted August 9, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    >One might, from seeing the Left’s silence, feel that they’re in favor of completely open borders.
    Feel? There are people who say it out in the open. “No Trump, no KKK, NO BORDERS, NO USA” is the chant so many left wing protestors use all over the country, and so far I haven’t heard even moderate left wing personalities adress the “no borders, no USA” part.

    • Posted August 10, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      They can’t acknowledge every silly idea that the fringe comes up with. Nor should the Left (or the Right) be defined by them. Just because you heard someone say “No borders” doesn’t let Trump and supporters off the hook for the lie of accusing Dems of wanting no borders. It is still just a lie all the same.


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