The Hyperbole Surrounding AZ’s New Law; Talk About Epistemic Closure!
I figured that I may as well jump on the new buzz word band wagon and use the term epistemic closure. Even though I’m totally not into the term. It sounds icky and like something contagious. Nevertheless, epistemic closure is pretty much what all of the hysterical, over the top shrieking about Arizona’s law is; the result of living in a vacuum and being so ideologically close-minded that you have no problem accepting, and repeating, misinformation. The need to be righteously indignant takes over any logic or reason.
Even sports writers are getting into the mix, asking the heads of sports leagues to boycott Arizona. It’s infuriating and not just because it is forcing me to write about sporty things. Says Kevin Blackistone, a national sports columnist:
The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., should lose the BCS National Championship Game scheduled to be played there next January unless Arizona legislators rescind soon and for good an anti-immigration law they just passed that gives police the right to stop and search for documents anyone police suspect of being in the country illegally.
After all, that law means racially profiling people who appear to be Hispanic, no matter what Arizona lawmakers claim. That means making an entire group of people, as the NCAA spokesman said, uncomfortable in Arizona because of their heritage. That’s unquestionably wrong.
We all should be uncomfortable with that, however. As Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles wrote earlier this month, comparing the law to Nazi Germany: “The Arizona legislature just passed the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law.
He then goes on to try to tie in apartheid and the tired, old bashing of South Carolina and the Confederate flag. Yawn.
First, Mr. Blackistone (who calls himself Professor on twitter) should read the actual law before spouting off about it. Or, in the alternative, he should stick to writing about sports and the successes of others. That’s far preferable than resorting to the sad Godwining of oneself by pulling the Nazi card.
He’s not alone there; Joy Behar, in one of her standard fits of hysterical and inane shrieking, also broke out the Hitler card. (there is a video clip at the link, if you choose to expose yourself to it. I can’t in good conscience force one to be subjected to her. She’s enough to make me a misogynist):
On her April 26 broadcast, HLN’s Joy Behar suggested the new Arizona immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. is comparable to “World War II Germany.”
“Do you think it’s kind of – doesn’t it feel like sort of Nazism a little bit?” Behar asked. “I don’t want to overstate it, but ‘may I see your papers,’ you know?”
It’s not surprising that Behar is clueless, as always. This is the same woman who said that a black President is “traumatic” for white men. No, Joy. While many know that Obama’s policies and the Left’s agenda are traumatic for the country, most people don’t focus on the density of a person’s melanin count. It’s a thing called equality. We treat everyone the same way. Post-racial; y’all should try it sometime.
Which brings us to Obama and his irresponsible and erroneous comments regarding the Arizona law.
The president said, “you can try to make it really tough on people who look like they, quote, unquote look like illegal immigrants. One of the things that the law says is that local officials are allow to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers — but you can imagine if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona, your great, great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed, that’s something that could potentially happen.”
What? I’m no constitutional lawyer, but even I know that is baloney. So, not only is the President of the United States purposely trying to sway public opinion against a state, but he is doing so with false information.
As Allahpundit notes, people who have read, and understand, the bill have weighed in and put that issue to bed. Byron York explains in his article refuting Obama’s statement that the statute “threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Note that Obama is concerned only with “fairness”.
What fewer people have noticed is the phrase “lawful contact,” which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. “That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he’s violated some other law,” says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. “The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop.”
Gee, no mention of randomly harassing people slurping on ice cream cones there. He goes onto say:
Has anyone actually read the law? Contrary to the talk, it is a reasonable, limited, carefully-crafted measure designed to help law enforcement deal with a serious problem in Arizona. Its authors anticipated criticism and went to great lengths to make sure it is constitutional and will hold up in court. It is the criticism of the law that is over the top, not the law itself.
Bingo. And there is your epistemic closure. It’s a carefully measured law, wherein a state is desperately trying to fix a problem that is devastating to their state. Instead of reading the law and actually trying to grasp an understanding of it, the immediate reaction is to fly off the handle, full of righteous indignation, and screech Nazi and Racists ™ ! Meanwhile, the only laws on the books that I am aware of in regards to skin pigmentation or ethnicity are laws that grant the same extra protection.
This is exactly why there is no having a dialogue with the left. Intellectual honesty isn’t their strong suit. Of course, this wouldn’t even be an issue if the federal government was doing its job — its primary job, in my opinion — and protecting our borders, not leaving states to resort to trying to do it themselves with far more limited resources.
That’s not really “fair”, is it, Obama? I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to address that honestly, however. I know how you can’t spare your laser-like focus — on yourself.
(cross-posted at NewsReal)