I have been following a story in the Charlotte, NC news for several days now which still grips my attention for a variety of reasons. I find myself wrestling with my reactions to each development, and trying to sort out the implications of the profound change Charlotte, and much of America, has gone through in recent years.
I write this post not to make any particular point, but rather to illustrate how our emotions are manipulated by the politically-correct news media.
The tragedy began when a mother was crossing a street in East Charlotte with her young son and daughter in hand. The girl let go and darted across the street, and her six-year old brother followed. He was hit by a beat-up white work van. The driver, identified by witnesses as “a Hispanic man in his mid-thirties with curly black hair,” stopped briefly, saw the child lying gravely injured on the street, and then sped away.
Like any parent, my first reaction was horror at the sudden death of a child, and sympathy. Immediately following that was my suspicion and anger that the driver is probably an illegal immigrant.
A year ago Charlotte’s political leaders chose to declare it a “sanctuary city”, one of hundreds of cities across the country that refuses to turn illegal immigrants, including criminals, over to federal authorities for processing and deportation. Since then Charlotte has attracted growing numbers of Hispanic illegals, and the crime statistics have tilted heavily in their direction.
In support of the sanctuary city stance, Charlotte news outlets do not identify illegal immigrant criminals as such. A respected African-American business owner was recently murdered in my Charlotte suburb by a Honduran laborer, and the fact that the killer was here illegally was never reported by the Charlotte press. But since the murder occurred on the South Carolina side of the lake, the Rock Hill (SC) Herald reported that federal immigration and customs officials were involved.
Here’s where the bouncing emotions and questions come in. My “I’ll bet the driver is an illegal” reaction to the hit-and-run incident probably matches the vast majority of my neighbors. If he is here illegally, the driver likely has no insurance, perhaps no driver’s license. Even though it was clearly an accident, and the driver is doubtless torn with guilt, his entire life in the USA is clandestine, so he had to run. I feel sorry for him. Wait, no I don’t, he fled the scene of a fatal accident. I noticed that the child’s family is also Hispanic, and I can’t help but wonder if they are also here illegally. But so what? The child’s death is no less tragic. The boy’s family told reporters they want the driver found and prosecuted. Would the Charlotte police have turned him over to ICE if they had caught him?
The driver has now been identified as Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, and the press will only report that Charlotte police believe he is “out of state.” The words “out of the country” would be too revealing. Quintanilla-Garza probably left corrupt, backwards Mexico to try to help his own family. He became a criminal in the process.
The accident was not caused by illegal immigration. It could have happened to anyone, by anyone, anywhere. But it became more than an accident when the driver took off. And the flood of illegal immigrants to our country, plus the disproportionate incidence of crimes by illegals, plus the inexplicable “sanctuary city” policies that enable and protect illegal immigrant criminals all combine to scramble our emotions into an omelette of anger, fear and frustration.
It’s not about racism. It’s about borders, and security, and economics and enforcing the laws. And in the middle of it all is a dead kid.
What a mess.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions
You’re not the only ship
Adrift on this ocean