This is not a new story, but I’m betting you haven’t heard much about it. Statistics show that immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crimes than their fully assimilated grandchildren. Even when they live in poverty, with minimal education, normally risk factors for crime, first generation immigrants, even illegal ones, are less likely to offend than those born and raised as naturalized citizens under the same conditions. Generally speaking, newcomers are grateful for the opportunities offered by their new home, whereas natives are bored and restless, taking such opportunities for granted.
Despite the numerous studies and statistics, it would be blasphemous to promote this idea in the US, because the vast numbers of immigrants from Mexico, illegal or not, are drastically and rapidly changing the landscape of the southwest. Fortunately, Canadians are a little more accepting of immigrants, but perhaps only because we have so much open space and free resources that we aren’t as afraid of running out.
There are two things shocking about this data. First, it points the finger squarely at us, the citizens, for the problems we face. We love it when that finger is pointed elsewhere, and hate it when it’s pointed at us. Second, it forces us to question one of the sacred cows of modern prejudice.
These days, with the mass media talking heads screaming the same nonsense in a loop on a hundred channels, it’s hard to be sure you’re getting the facts. And there are facts that they don’t want to have to convey, including any that reflect badly on the parent corporation and its subsidiaries. Rather than investigate the causes of our problems, lest they uncover some inconvenient truths, journalism is now about confirming the worst fears of the viewers, and assuring them that if they stay tuned, their salvation will arrive after the next commercial break.
The best way to do this is to know what the audience is afraid of and remind them of it constantly. And never, ever reveal how toothless these threats really are. Illegal immigrants, liberals, climatologists, muslims, and foreign governments. These are the sacred cows of mass media, beloved for how easy they are to hate and how difficult they are to dispute. These are the pinatas of modern society.
Go ahead. Have your knee-jerk reactions. Keep your easy answers. But recognize them as such.