Three stories stand out in this weekend’s reading: one dream and two nightmares.
The dream deferred
Children go with their parents, and more than a million children entered the U.S. with their parents and without permission to stay. But stay they did, some finding out only after they graduated from high school that this country they believed to be their own was ready to deport them back to lands and languages they did not know.
The DREAM Act is a dream for those children, some now adults and some still underage, a proposal for federal legislation to allow them to stay here … if they finish high school or if they join the army or if they go to college or hold a job. The DREAM Act would give them a “road to citizenship,” a set of steps they could take to become legal residents and, eventually, citizens. Over and over, the anti-immigrant forces in Congress have defeated the DREAM.
This year President Obama issued an executive order to allow these young people to get work permission and a legal stay of deportation for two years. That’s two years more than they had before, but no path to permanent residence or citizenship. It’s called deferred action — deportation deferred, and a DREAM deferred.
This week, the application forms were issued and the DREAMers began lining up. Here’s the Daily Planet account of the young Minnesota DREAMers, which begins with this story:
The pieces of Morelos, Mexico that remain in 18-year-old Oscar Martinez’s memories include himself on horseback at two years old, the death of a nameless dog, and the creek he crossed on his way to a crowded schoolhouse.
His border crossing, too, exists now only in glimpses. He remembers a truck driving into the desert. He recalls a coyote’s gun pointed at his head when he complained of the heat. For a while he walked. Before he knew it, there was snow everywhere and smiling faces.
The nightmare ignored: Oak Creek
The media has treated the shootings in Oak Creek very differently from those that happened just two weeks earlier in Aurora. Only one network sent an anchor to report live from Oak Creek, and none of the networks gave the murders in Wisconsin the kind of extensive coverage that the Colorado shootings received. The print media also quickly lost interest, with the story slipping from the front page of the New York Times after Tuesday. If you get all your news from “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” you would have had no idea that anything had even happened on August 5th at all.
Maybe it’s living next door to Wisconsin, but I had no idea that this massacre was treated so differently than the movie shootings in Colorado. If anything, I thought it would be taken more seriously, because there’s an explanation for Oak Creek — the hate-filled, white racist rationale for the attack on a Sikh temple that killed six worshippers and, finally, the gunman. And yet, suggests Singh, that may be precisely why Oak Creek has received less media and political attention.
The nightmare denied: “Legitimate” rape
The Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri offered another rationale for denying abortion to rape victims. Todd Akin said pregnancy after rape “is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
[Do I even need to say that this is completely untrue? Or that it is a canard that has been repeated by other right-wing politicos and discredited over and over again?]
Strangely enough, this story has an up side: Akin offered a half-way apology, and, according to TPM, many Republicans want to replace him with a different candidate.