Immigrants Compared to West Nile Virus in a Politically Incorrect Article Lede That Sheriff Arpaio Would Appreciate

Categories: Media, Schmedia

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Immigrants are just like viruses -- they get here, adapt, and infect the rest of us.

At least, that's according to a politically incorrect lede in a San Jose Mercury News article from last Wednesday about the West Nile Virus. The lede, written by reporter Lisa Krieger, is making the rounds on the Internet after the Columbia Journalism Review published a blurb about the faux-pas. (We heard about it from a Facebook friend.)

Here's what it says:


Like any new immigrant, the deadly West Nile virus became American almost immediately after landing on our shores -- altering itself to fit in and then infecting a popular backyard bird to secure a firm foothold in its new home.

That is the startling conclusion of a decade-long analysis by UC Santa Cruz biologist Marm Kilpatrick, who explored the ecology of an infectious disease that has killed five Californians this summer and sickened another 197, up from 82 last year.

"Just like other invasive species, the virus starts adapting to its new environment," Kilpatrick said.


We know someone who wouldn't bat an eye over this one, of course -- our very own Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, he told GQ magazine that immigrants are disease-ridden and "dirty:"


All these people that come over, they could come with disease. There's no control, no health checks or anything. They check fruits and vegetables, how come they don't check people? No one talks about that! They're all dirty.

Last year, Arpaio reminded the public of his efforts to link immigrants with disease after reporting that 160 jail inmates had been placed in "medical quarantine" after four suspected Mexican nationals were suspected of having chicken pox. His news release stated in part, that:


Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that he has long argued the point that illegal immigration is not just a law enforcement problem but is a potential health hazard as well.


Arpaio's report wasn't quite true, but he made his scare-mongering point.

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7 comments
CJAZ
CJAZ

Rhetoric aside - if the author of the SJMN article was accurately quoting the viewpoint of the subject (which it appears that she was, at least based on the excerpt of the article we are given), then why is she in hot water over "political correctness?"

If she had written a lede based on the batshit (my word) religious beliefs as espoused by the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, would anyone would have batted an eye?

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Hold up there!  PORTIONS are possibly politically incorrect - not the entire message.  

My ancestors were quarantined each step of the way in their long journey across many nations to the US.  I don't know who paid for the quarantine locations and the feeding and medicating of immigrants but it was done and if taxpayers were complaining about it those records have not been passed down to us.   Unlike today, every government that was capable did shield their population from disease risk by quarantining travelers if warranted.  That is a prudent action to take, especially considering that many diseases are now antibiotic resistant and others simply unknown to local doctors will not be treated effectively.

"They're all dirty."  well duh, yes if you are traveling by any means possible and you have no money and dare not go to a hotel and rent a room and shower even if you do have some money - yes you will be dirty.   Yes I would consider this a misapplication of fact to impugn the character and/or the viability of the "immigrant."  However, he is correct that a responsible government would quarantine these people to ensure they will not spread disease in the population and this is one of the reasons that we are joined together as a nation - for our mutual protection and the job is not being done in this case.

It is well known that different nations have different manifestations of diseases that are considered the same and called by the same names.  Different protocols for disease treatment emerges in different nations, not just due to different healthcare models but also due to the variants in the population and the variants in the presentation of the disease - so yes, diseases do adapt to their environment.  And yes, so do illegal immigrants do everything they can to look like they belong - adapting for survival.  

I find nothing wrong with this analogy except for the questionable part of comparison of illegal immigrant to disease which depends on a.) your sense of fiscal responsibility and b.) your idea of proper allocation of scarce funds, and c.) if you support breaking the laws of a nation.   (The old saying goes "Two wrongs don't make a right." Although I agree that there are many more than 2 wrongs in this equation.)  Wether these variants in perception are due to underlying flawed character. I am not in a position to say and neither are you, therefore you have overstepped your boundaries as a journalist and as a publication, making a mountain out of a molehill akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater when we already have enough hate and fear flying around.   Perhaps the analogy was ill-advised but now you have publicized it to  that many more people who will now see racism everywhere as a result.  Have you performed a valuable service informing people of something they really needed to know or an inflammatory one?  Or should I just ask when it was that reporter Lisa Krieger refused your advances?

I just know that when my light skin and light eyes tries to flee to Mexico when things get too crazy here - the Mexican government will not be offering me any aid and neither will the Mexican people - that much is clear and has been clear forever.  Neither will the Guatemalan government nor any of the others.  Regardless of my politics or my sentiment or my personal history, the people will only see my skin color and they will do the primitive animal thing.  It is just the way that it is.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

So, the gist of your argument is;

They'd do it to me so it's ok if I do it to them? It's just the way it is.

Really! Is it ok if we all just sink to the lowest common denominator?Instead of hating what you fear, try figuring out why you're afraid in the first place. The real reason, not the drivel fed to you by the likes of Brewer, Pearce, and Arpaio.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

What?  Who ever said I do it to them?  That is ASSumption on your part.  Can you even read critically with reasonable mind?  What is it that you think I fear other than irresponsible journalism?  And hello?  I stated that calling them all "dirty" is a misapplication of a fact (if in fact they are all dirty - which well could happen after a messy chase and capture too) and hello?  Where can I even get "drivel" from the names that you listed?  Is there a place that they regularly pour out their drivel?  Or is the fact that I called myself "light" enough for you to start with the euro-hatred and all the ASSumptions that goes with it?

Rick
Rick

If an American citizen comes to Joe Arpaio's jail with HIV, Hepatitis, or Lice, he is not going to call them dirty or disease ridden. But if a Mexican is incarcerated with any health problem, Arpaio applies his double standard on them.  Statistically, American citizens are more likely to commit a crime in our state than an illegal immigrant.  They usually don't want to attract attention to themselves.  I know that if I had hard physical labor to do around my home, I will usually get  more work in a shorter amount of time from Mexican than I will from an white American.  

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

"If an American citizen comes to Joe Arpaio's jail with HIV, Hepatitis, or Lice, he is not going to call them dirty or disease ridden"  Is this documentable fact after years of close contact with this individual or are you ascribing characteristics to him that are only known  through the efforts of questionable journalistic efforts?  Personally I think Arpaio's treatment of inmates regardless of their ethnic or national origin shows us what he thinks of them although I don't advocate treating them like royalty either.  

If Arpaio has a double standard of treatment that is prosecutable offense - bring it.  

Statistics?  I don't know from statistics and they can be manipulated to create any truth so I find them relatively useless.  However, if you want to make it all legal schmegal sounding why don't you show us your actual statistics not just the word.  There has been much crime committed by illegals that never makes the news because it is not PC or because it would inflame an already tense situation or because some race based organization might file suit - certainly not because it is not newsworthy.  Most of the murders of citizens by illegals has been Mexican descent citizens befriending and helping illegals who then turned on them for their car, for their ID, for their business, their house, their money - and yes people I personally know the families.  Likewise there is a horrendous amount of crime committed by legal citizens that is not prosecutable unless you have big bucks - same with the tremendous amount of corporate crime going on here.  It is not reported for various reasons and it is not prosecuted either.  Whatever community you are in you will hear about these predatory businesses, not just the big equal opportunity predators like Bank of America but local business people on the res - NDN's think their corruption and crime is the worst but so do whites, so do Vietnamese and so on.

Not drawing attention?  All the illegal kids that have been in juvi have not cared about not drawing attention to themselves or their families just for one example and despite their history of crime and the state learning that they are illegal I have never seen one family deported as a result. And I know plenty of illegal kids in mixed race situations openly perpetrate crimes on citizen kids expressly because they are citizens or because they are white legitimizes it in their mind.   My kids cry from the stress of their world being that much smaller and having to lose so many friends because of their friends wrong choices in this regard.  Mixed race kids and Mexican descent kids are really suffering right now from the politicization of the MechaRaza Mexican kids.   I know Mexican descent kids who deny their Mexican heritage now because of this.  Kids who formerly identified only as Mexican now only want to be anonymous USA American because they reject the reconquista type crime behavior.  

So now I hear, no Mama, you don't want to invite them, no you don't want to be friends with them Mama, they are TOO MEXICAN!  Too Mexican means they hate everybody who is not also a political La Raza Reconquista type Mexican and so they are not safe to have around or be around because for them this is war and they only smile long enough to harm or take from you.  This is the reality that you are encouraging.

You are entitled to your prejudice against "white" Americans and you will not be punished since you are here anonymously.  You must remember that many Americans of all ethnic persuasion have many influences telling them not to do menial labor, not to work hard since they won't get paid extra for it, not to take a job beneath them because then they will never be able to get the job they have the student loan out for and of course on the job one must tailor one's efforts to those of one's coworkers or risk losing the job quickly for making them look bad.

Raoul Duke
Raoul Duke

I suddenly feel like goose stepping to the doctor...

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