Well, They’re Just Nazis and Chinamen

America’s Dumbest State, Alabama, continues to be unfairly pilloried by the liberal media for its demented and draconian immigration laws.  Last month,  Alabama police arrested a Mercedes Benz executive for the newly-minted crime of driving without his papers; later, an Honda execuive was similarly jailed. Of course, to find any such liberal media, you do have to go to England and read the Guardian:

To arrest one foreign car-making executive under Alabama‘s new tough immigration laws may be regarded as a misfortune; to arrest a second looks like carelessness.

A judge has acted to put a Japanese employee of Honda Motor Company out of his misery by dismissing immigration charges against him, three days after he was booked under Alabama’s new immigration laws that have been billed as the most swingeing (sic) in America. Ichiro Yada is one of about 100 Japanese managers of the company on assignment in (the) southern state.

Aside from the mystifying Anglicisms and sloppy editing, the Guardian’s rather easy reporting shows that the American media is, as usual, making utter asses of themselves by ignoring such a significant story.  Oh, we’ve heard here and there about crops rotting in the fields, children fleeing schools, and families escaping this racist hellhole under a cover 0f darkness, but any indication that the whole law, and the politicians profiting from it, are another depressing example of how contemptible bigots are cynically used for political advantage by those with nothing better to sell, is striking in its absence.

In a more enlightened era, it was said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels, but after the excesses of the Bush era, patriotism as an excuse for every domineering outrage is pretty much played out.  So racism has inevitably become the new patriotism, since its practitioners are even more dumb and desperate than the flag-wavers, and are thus that much more unquestioningly  loyal to their overlords.  In the grinding, dire, and endless recession they’ve deliberately created, and aren’t through exploiting, the 1% and their concubines must plunge ever deeper into untapped sociopathology to find, well, Dittoheads.  Why not blame the Darkies and Mexicans for all of your growing problems, when you’re the sort of dumb redneck predisposed to watch (and worse, believe) Fox News?  It isn’t a strategy so far tainted by failure, after all.

It’s a neat trick, really, with the caveat of its lack of relationship to reality.  Like other southern states, famous for their appalling schools and lack of rudimentary government services, Alabama unwittingly embraced the Global Economy by luring international manufacturers with the promise of docile, dumb, workers who would work for shit and thank you for it.  Naturally, Galtian CEO’s from socialist dystopias like Japan and Germany knew a good thing when they saw it; their countries had wantonly abandoned slavery a century or so before Alabama went to war to preserve it; indeed, they want to bring it back.  There’s money to be made from people that stupid.

Of course, both Germany and Japan are rightly infamous for their past (and current) xenophobia, and like all perpetrators of racist authoritarianism, they’re not so keen on being subject to it.  Given that, it’s too bad they picked Alabama.  What they didn’t realize was that in a place rife with cousin breeding, you only need an accent and a slight shift in pigment to be seen an a “furriner.”  The Germans found, much to their chagrin, that being white wasn’t enough; the Japanese found that being relentlessly industrious wasn’t enough, either.  Alabamans, or at least their police, evidently only recognize the legitimate citizenship of those to whom they’re directly related.

Doesn’t matter if you’re an executive; doesn’t matter if you’ve fired a lot of uppity people.  If you’re not a drawling, tooth-shy piece of white trash, then it’s off to the hoosegow with you, fancy-schmancy boss or not. This isn’t exactly going over.   When Jessica Mitford wrote about how Deep South places like Alabama in the 1060′s, by closing public amenities to avoid integrating them, were cutting off noses to spite faces, she didn’t know the half of it.  The Germans and Japanese are now finding out about the other half.


  1. daphne says:

    I was in Alabama, briefly, for a Sacred Harp event held in a needless-to-say Baptist church. I’m not and never was a Christian, but I love to sing and a music teacher friend invited me, so I went.

    After the singing, we had a pot luck. 25-year-old mothers of 10 year olds pulled dishes of steaming carb-laden concoctions out of their car trunks. My friend and I took turns vomiting all the way home.

    Alabama is a swamp. It makes sense that the ultra-religious types inhabiting it would so fervently look forward to heaven, their lives in that miserable locale being anything but.

  2. The Heel says:

    - Montgomery Alabama, at last people stopped saying “This isn’t the real south”..
    I will never forget Jessica Midford’s trip notes. I guess things change very, very slow in Alabama. Not sure what the homeboys were thinking when they built manufacturing sites there.

  3. cocktailhag says:

    By their food you shall know them. “Food comes in the shapes of things,” as the incomparable Ms. Mitford put it, describing the South.
    I’d have quoted her at greater length, but the Heel keeps stealing that book.
    My experience in the South is limited to brief visits to Nashville and New Orleans, both of which are like Paris compared to anywhere in Alabama.
    More Mitford: “They call Nashville the Athens of the South, which caused me to wonder, do Athenians call their town the Nashville of Greece?”

  4. mikeinportc says:

    Four words : Jeff Sessions Richard Shelby

    Maybe they’re afraid of automotive sharia, ….or something.

    “By their food you shall know them”
    :) )))) That’s the reason for my one excursion into Alabama. My father & I went to visit my grandparents in Chattanooga, and bring back their old car for my sister. On the way back from ?..( somewhere), they took us on a side trip south, to a little ice cream parlor, that made it’s own , very good, ice cream. Long time ago, but seems as though it was the next town past Zip City? – An ambitious name, as it was only slightly more than a crossroads. Memorable name, though.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’d have zipped through there, let me tell you. I have a deep fear and loathing of small towns, even in Oregon. I always imagine a redneck sheriff saying, “We don’ lak yer kahnd here,” and tossing me into some medieval dungeon, my grisly death and shallow grave only to be discovered in some years-later documentary. The reason this hasn’t happened because I’ve stayed away, I think.

  5. avelna says:

    According to this AEI genius, immigrants are also the drivers of income inequality:

    Consider immigration. There is little doubt that adding lots of unskilled immigrants to the labor pool depresses the wages of the native born at the low end of the income distribution.

    Reasonable people can disagree about how many immigrants the country should welcome (I’m in the pro-immigration camp). But liberal supporters of Occupy Wall Street, many of whom have expressed solidarity with undocumented workers, must reconcile the fact that their embrace of large-scale immigration of unskilled workers is a driver of the inequality they denounce.


  6. michlib says:

    In our dystopian, bifurcated nation, it is the belt of dumbness, running through South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana , and Texas where one sees the promised land envisioned by our 1% overlords. These states have the highest inequality in the country, and the social ills to prove it. ” Right to work ” ( for less ) worked fine until ” gubmint ” and ” bidness ” got together and crafted NAFTA – after telling union workers in the north to pipe down and moving production south, the ” job creators ” got busy creating jobs even ” souther ” – like Mexico. Gutting education, using the prison system to enforce a ” kinder, gentler ” version of Jim Crow, and voila – ignorance not only tolerated but enshrined as virtue. When will we stop treating them as if they won the Civil War ?

    • cocktailhag says:

      That does piss me off. This won’t be the first time, and hardly the last, when I say, “we should have let them go when we had the chance.” Think of it; THEY’D be the “illegals” trying to escape their third world hell hole. I’d want a moat with alligators.

  7. Ché Pasa says:

    The only Alabamians (is that how they call themselves?) I’ve ever known were a black family from Mobile who moved to California, of course. Wonderful people; kind and talented and generous to a fault.

    I don’t know whether they ever did it or not, but they longed to go back to Mobile. Family was there, childhood friends, homeplace… and community, something they said they were missing in California.

    It wasn’t just hard to make friends, it was hard to even know anyone out here.

    Then you hear stories about the complete fuckwittery of the Alabama Immigrant Pass Laws… I guess the Mexicans really did pull a Day of Absence permanently and left Alabama altogether. So it’s only natural the Law had to go after the Krauts and the Japs next, eh?

    And when they’re gone…? (Though I wouldn’t recommend they decamp for Missouri. They don’t pronounce it “Misery” for nothin’.)

    Katie and her family grew up in Mobile under Jim Crow segregation. They had no illusions about how much things had changed, but they didn’t think the situation for black folks in Alabama would ever go back to the way it used to be.

    Given recent events, you’ve got to wonder.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The “Southern Strategy” is sill working; being called a racist is now much worse than, well, being one. Just desserts, I say. Wait’ll Mercedes and Toyota bail out.
      They may not have tumbleweeds in Alabama now, but they’ll have them soon.