The humanitarian crisis that has brought 60,000 illegal immigrant children into our country in the last six months has provided the left with a whole new category of condemnation via the tiresome tests of political correctness.Voices that call for enforcement of our immigration laws have been characterized as racists, haters and now with our country being overwhelmed with unaccompanied kids, as uncaring about their plight.Never mind that critics of the Obama administration’s failure to deal with the crisis have made protection of the children their first concern. No, just about anyone who demands a solution to the unmanageable flow becomes the face of bigotry.Unfounded analysis, you say? Well, take a look at the viral discussion that developed from Bob Ray Sanders’ commentary last Sunday.Bob Ray at least speculated that the “the most vile individuals” in his definition of “vicious haters” represented a minority. But read the 300-plus comments on his column on star-telegram.com and see if my description of the debate is on target.Much of that conversation evolved into broader argument over the president’s leadership, or lack thereof, and the familiar divide that has come to define him and his partisan supporters. Common to so many of the remarks is the myth of racially driven motives of anyone criticizing Obama. Compelling comparisons that reveal the prevalence of the double standard of political correctness come quickly when you hear many say this crisis has become Obama’s “Katrina moment.” In 2005, President George W. Bush was branded as not caring about New Orleans’ minority population because of the photo showing him first viewing Hurricane Katrina’s destruction from the window of Air Force One as it flew over the devastated city.However, when Obama was pictured with a pool stick in his hand instead of extending that hand to those in crisis along the Texas border, you dare not say that was insensitive or uncaring or detached or anything else critical of his refusal to visit the border, for fear of again being judged guilty of racial prejudice.Two governors of states hit by Katrina asked Bush not to come there in the first couple of days following the storm, concerned that his presence would disrupt rescue efforts.Governors of border states dealing with the crush of children arriving via “death trains” from Central America pleaded with Obama to come and use the power of his office to ensure the laws will be enforced and that the humanitarian crisis will be dealt with in a manner consistent with the true nature of American values.He declined the visit, saying he already knows everything about what is happening.But don’t say he is wrong in denying their plea or you will again find yourself on the receiving end of his supporters in Congress and the liberal media saying you are complaining about the president because he is not white.In just 10 days, Bush produced almost $52 billion from an almost unanimous, bipartisan Congress to fund Katrina response efforts. He also took full responsibility for the failures of others, including a dysfunctional governor and unprepared mayor.Months after the border crisis began, Obama seeks aid of $3.7 billion and blames Republicans in Congress for holding up his request.Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with a record of declaring Republican opposition to liberal initiatives to be race-based, refuses to support the bipartisan initiative of Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Henry Cuellar to address the emergency.Is it possible to discuss national issues these days without defaulting to cheap, unjustified personal attacks? Abraham Lincoln once urged his countrymen to call on their higher nature. Now would seem a good time to try that again.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. firstname.lastname@example.org