Mr. King, Please Take the High Road
I have worked in public relations for most of my 35-year career. That's another way of saying I work with words. In my business, the right words can influence, motivate and even inspire. The wrong words can alienate, anger and hurt. When I work with clients, I always advise them to take the high road. Tell your audience what is right with your brand, not what's wrong with your competition's.
There is no question D.A. King, a fellow blogger here whom I've never met, is passionately committed to enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. I even agree with him. People who have entered the U.S. illegally are breaking our laws and should be dealt with accordingly. How these people are dealt with is a matter of heated national and local debate. My own sentiments are in line with former President George W. Bush's, who offered a reasonable immigration reform bill in 2007 that would have put those here illegally on a path to citizenship. That bill was defeated by a handful of conservative senators.
Here's where words come in. Mr. King repeatedly uses the phrase "illegal alien." He is no doubt aware that the Latino and Hispanic communities consider these words an slur because it serves to dehumanize in the same way the "n" word dehumanizes African-Americans or the words "mick" or "bohunk" once dehumanized my own ancestors when they arrived in America. By calling undocumented workers from Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean "illegal aliens" Mr. King makes them something less than human beings, something unworthy and contemptible.
So here's a bit of PR advice for Mr. King: Make your argument, sir, but please take the high road. Remember that these are people you are talking about with lives, loved ones, and the same aspirations most other people have. Yes, they broke the law but that doesn't make them any less human. You would also do well telling us why your point of view is the correct one, not by attacking those individuals and advocacy groups with which you disagree. When you do that, you lose many moderate people like me who are otherwise very willing to listen and consider your views.