Not much in the news today, but we will highlight two things. Both are issues we’ve mostly tried to stay out of thus far, but hey, it’s a slow news day, and we’ve got to fill our (news) hole with something.
Day Laborers in the OC
First off, you’ve got the ABH editorial board sounding off on the OC’s mass arrest of some 30-odd Hispanic day laborers in the Home Depot parking lot last week. The ABH supports the Sheriff’s Department’s actions, but that’s not too surprising. After all, as Jason Winders said a few weeks ago, “undocumented Hispanics are the new black.”
What might surprise you is that your editors here agree as well.
Now, those who read AthPo regularly might think that the crack editorial staff, raging liberals that we are, stand ready to spring to the defense of any group that gets picked on, regardless of how silly the claim. Not so.
You see, we’re ok with day laborers hanging out waiting for work. We’re even ok with them doing so at Home Depot or Lowe’s. We’re happy that they’re being proactive and looking for work. But there’s a certain give and take involved in situations like this. Oconee County and the businesses nearby did the right thing; they built a shelter and put out tables and facilities. The day laborers didn’t hold up their end of the de facto bargain. They harassed Home Depot’s customers, and interfered with Home Depot’s business, despite having perfectly acceptable (better than most counties or businesses would willingly provide) accommodations nearby.
To be honest with you, we’d probably be singing a different tune if the county and the nearby businesses hadn’t actually tried to make the wait for work easier. But it is what it is, and while we believe in giving everyone who deserves one a leg up, we also believe that if you’re getting a hand, you should show your gratitude by following the rules too.
One other point about the ABH editorial. We couldn’t agree more strongly with this statement: “it might be time for local Hispanic advocacy organizations to step in and offer their help.”
Intelligent Design, Not so Intelligent Letter
Another issue we’ve tried to steer away from lately is the whole intelligent design/creationism/evolutionism debate. It’s pretty tied up with your personal religious beliefs, and to be honest, no one knows the answers. Not James Dobson, not the Preznit, and not the guy in the lab coat with the test tubes and the Darwin-esque fish with legs tattoo. Heck, there’s disagreement amongst your crack editorial staff about the whole thing.
(For what it’s worth, we would refer you to an interesting sermon given at Athens’ own First United Methodist Church recently, wherein it was postulated that creationism and evolution can live in harmony, because science seeks to answer the question of how we got here, while religion seeks to answer why we’re here. But we digress.)
We will say this. If you’re going to stump for one position or the other, at least get your facts straight. Case in point, today’s letter from a proponent of the intelligent design theory, who unfortunately seems to feel he has to stoop to distortion and hyperbole to bolster his side.
Sez our writer: “…a book about how Galapagos finch beaks become enlarged or shrink when the seasons are dry or wet proves that rocks turned into people.” [emphasis added] Hmmm. As far as we know, there’s no credible evolutionary theory that says that rocks had anything to do with humankind other than (a) providing a useful means for bashing critters over the head in the Stone Age, and (b) being a useful answer to the fill-in-the-blank question: “Jessica Simpson is as dumb as a _______.”
However, we will give the letter writer some cred for the statement, “I certainly don't want creationism taught in our schools, when churches can't even agree on what happened or when.”
Anyway, not to start a whole spiritual debate here. But we would suggest that before writing in on an issue that is this important, kill the exaggeration and be an honest and effective advocate for your side. Leave the rhetoric for the pols.