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February 7, 2014 3

Challenging Anti-Immigrant Bias with Education

Crit­i­cism of immi­grant pol­icy is not an excuse to under­mine the human­ity of oth­ers with the kind of vit­riol that dom­i­nated the inter­net, espe­cially Twit­ter, after the Atlanta-based Coca Cola Com­pany aired a com­mer­cial with “Amer­ica the Beau­ti­ful,” sung in dif­fer­ent lan­guages and fea­tur­ing a diver­sity of peo­ple dur­ing the Super Bowl.

The term immi­grant is a descrip­tor, not a slur. How­ever, it is often used in a pejo­ra­tive way. For those who are will­ing to den­i­grate oth­ers because of immi­gra­tion sta­tus, per­ceived immi­gra­tion sta­tus, or the mis­guided per­cep­tion that spo­ken lan­guage relates to immi­gra­tion sta­tus, we need to make one thing clear. Bias and hate have no place in civil society.

Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy reminded us in his 1963 accep­tance speech for ADL’s America’s Demo­c­ra­tic Legacy Award, “The con­tri­bu­tion of immi­grants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in reli­gion, in pol­i­tics, in busi­ness, in the arts, in edu­ca­tion, and even in ath­let­ics, and enter­tain­ment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immi­grant background.”

Prej­u­dice is learned and counter speech is an impor­tant part of chal­leng­ing prej­u­dice and bias wher­ever we see it, includ­ing online and in our every­day lives.

Every­one can engage in counter speech by respond­ing when they see bias and chal­leng­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, instances of racism and xeno­pho­bia related to the topic of immi­gra­tion are com­mon. In addi­tion, edu­ca­tors can play a unique role in address­ing bias in soci­ety by using the class­room to chal­lenge biased ideals, and in this case, chal­leng­ing anti-immigrant bias among youth. The les­son plan  “Hud­dled Mass or Sec­ond Class: Chal­leng­ing Anti-Immigrant Bias” for grades 3 to 12 can help edu­ca­tors move our nation closer to a more per­fect, less biased nation. Don’t have the time to do a full anti-bias les­son? Famil­iar­ize your­self with some myths and facts on immi­grants and immi­gra­tion.

  • D.G. Williams

    It is not immi­gra­tion peo­ple don’t like, it’s those peo­ple who sneak across our bor­ders ille­gally. We need pro­tected bor­ders because in this day and age we have ter­ror­ists who come here to kill. I know per­son­ally many, many peo­ple who have immi­grated to the USA. They did it legally by fol­low­ing the law and going through the proper pro­ce­dures. They are wel­come and bring their gifts to our coun­try. I’m proud of them.

    As far as lan­guage is con­cerned. I sup­port the use of one lan­guage. I have lived in coun­tries that each eth­nic or tribal group speaks a dif­fer­ent lan­guage or dialect. It is very divi­sive. Remem­ber the story in the Bible about the Tower of Babel. When my hus­band and I lived in for­eign coun­tries for busi­ness rea­sons, we were always told to learn as much of the native lan­guage because oth­er­wise we would be putting our­selves in a bub­ble. Even the spouses were asked to take a quick course in the native lan­guage and use it as much as pos­si­ble. How can we get along with some­one and become their friend, if we can­not under­stand each other. When my husband’s fam­ily came to the coun­try, they didn’t speak Eng­lish. They mas­tered the Eng­lish lan­guage fairly quickly. By the way, they came here legally.

  • Robert S.

    I’m not anti imi­gra­tion. I’m anti ille­gal imi­gra­tion. The snow flakes are ille­gal aliens. If you check, I would bet, not one of them has a pass­port or green­card. Lets deport them and send them back where they came from.

  • jerry

    Why do Jew­ish peo­ple push immi­gra­tion so much? Why aren’t you push­ing mul­ti­c­ul­tial­ism in Japan, or Korea, or China. Why in just areas of white peo­ple like you have in Swe­den. Swe­den was forced into bring­ing in peo­ple with total dif­fer­ent val­ues and reli­gion by a Jew­ish lady from Israel who moved to Swe­den. Why do Jews push immi­gra­tion? Can we as a coun­try decide our own immi­gra­tion pol­icy? Why are you push­ing for the US to let in mil­lions of peo­ple ille­gally? The rea­son is to get more democ­rats to push your com­mu­nist agenda. The goal of the Jew is to have all land and all peo­ple be for the Jew. I know your hatred for Chris­t­ian peo­ple, I have read some of your Tal­mud. and I tell you this I am not your cat­tle, goyim, or your infe­rior, or one of your 2500 slaves. I will not live in your UN one world order of com­mu­nism, with a Jew in every cor­ner in my busi­ness. You may be the cho­sen of Lucifer the God of this world, but you need to gain humil­ity and repent and fol­low Jesus Christ, then and only then will you be Israel. Sorry to tell you this, all who fol­low the Sav­ior Jesus Christ are Israel.