The Odd Language of Progressive Activism


A line in Kathy Gregg’s Providence Journal article about protests at the State House today — one against the truck toll proposal and one in favor of giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants — seemed to stumble on language in a telling way:

“No more second class status. All Rhode Islanders should come in from the shadows. It is time for all of RI’s workers to have equal access to our roads,” said Mike Araujo, executive director of the coalition known as “RI Jobs With Justice,” in a media advisory for this 3-to-4:30 p.m. march and rally.

“Second class” is an adjective, and “status” isn’t a very descriptive word.  Second-class what?  Most commonly, in American politics, one would expect the noun to be “citizens,” but that’s clearly not the case, here.  Second-class residents?  That still seems odd.

The phrase “second class status” deliberately attempts to skirt this question in a way that insinuates rights without thought, skipping a legitimate question:  Are there rights and privileges that somebody who came to this country and this state illegally should be denied?  Clearly, the answer is “yes,” unless one intends to claim that anybody who manages to cross a border should be entitled to vote and hold public office.

Such rhetoric, frankly, reveals the lie behind claims like Raimondo’s assurances that granting licenses to illegal immigrants is simply a safety issue.  It’s all about safety in much the same way that same-sex marriage was all about allowing gay partners to visit each other in the hospital… until to turned out to be about forcing Christian bakers to help celebrate same-sex marriages or Catholic adoption agencies to place children in same-sex households.

Americans should stop falling for the bait and switch.  If advocates and progressive Democrat politicians want to push our society in a particular direction, they should make the case.  They shouldn’t try to sneak it in as simply a practical tweak.  Supply the noun.  Giving illegal immigrants licenses would make them “full” whats?

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Here is an analogy I sometimes use, although I cannot claim it is always telling.
    Let us imagine that there is a knock on your door. When you answer it you find it is a family of Guatemalans who demand entry. When you refuse them, they break into your garage and set up a household. Should you then be required to feed them, supply health insurance, and otherwise tend to their needs? If you would not feel obligated under those conditions, why is it that people can break into your country, set up household in your state and then demand that you support them?

    Granted some are working and attempting to support themselves. But,even aside from stealing a job, it is entirely illegal. How can they demand rights?

  • ShannonEntropy

    Have a Heart ,, Rhett !!

    These poor illegal immigrants are forced
    — forced! I say! — to live in the shadows

    Here are a few of them living in the shadows of the streets of Washington D.C. =►×674.jpg

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Protests.protests, there seems to be no end.


  • Guest

    An interesting take on the newspaper spin and protest in support of giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants however what has been written up in my state newspaper is what’s really happening is all 50 states had to comply with Homeland Security mandate for “Secure ID” meaning you had to have normal documents (birth certificates, marriage license, Social Security Cards, IRS returns, utility billings to prove your ID and address etc. (depending on guidelines from each 50 states documentation requirements) to back up receiving State secure ID cards or secure Driver License to prove who you are and to prove your residency.

    Undocumented illegal aliens, documented illegal aliens, aliens, homeless people some of which had their documentation but lost it or have partial
    documentation from natural disaster who were also working above or below the table also needed a way to document themselves by obtaining a valid driver’s license in order to drive to work and maybe obtain insurance. Some were already driving to work without driver’s license or insurance sometimes causing accidents.

    So what is this special driver’s license good for; only acting as legal driver’s “limited” license to operate a vehicle on the roads. They still have to study and pass all tests and pay a fee in order to obtain the special driver’s license.

    It cannot be used as an ID card.
    It cannot be used at a TSA ID check point or other transportation security check point.
    It cannot be used to get a job.
    It cannot be used to get a social security number.
    It cannot be used to open a bank account.
    It cannot be used for medical treatment.
    It cannot be used for housing.
    It cannot be used for gaining welfare assistance.
    It cannot be used to get a U.S. postal box.
    It cannot be used for a weapons check or purchase.
    It cannot be used as an ID to collect lottery winnings.

    • ShannonEntropy

      And yet I will bet my house that within a few months they will start being used for all those things … prolly after an Executive Order from Prez Obozo

    • Max

      It’s called FITD also known as Foot In The Door technique. If you didn’t understand the intention of those proposing it, you’d probably look at your list and say, “So what’s the big deal?” Unfortunately for government, more people are paying attention and government has lied their way into complete distrust.

  • Tommy Cranston

    Don’t you racist pigs realize that without drivers licenses it is harder for the illegal aliens to drive to the jobs they don’t take away from Americans?

    • ShannonEntropy

      And don’t YOU realize Tommy that they are just doing the jobs that Americans won’t do ??

      Like virtually every construction job in LaProv. No Americans will do those lousy-low-paying jobs. Of course they are much lousier and lower-paying now that they are filled by illegal immigrants working under the table

      • Rhett Hardwick

        They also seem to be doing the killings that “Americans don’t want to do”.

      • Mike678

        The question to as is why. If “the job I don’t want to do” was the only job available, to feed myself and my family I’d do it. But with disability/welfare and other programs, the lazy and irresponsible have other, often higher paying options.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          The unemployment rate for “inner city” youths exceeds 80%. Why are we importing labor?