Two part post today, with a shameless self-promotion post on its way.
1. Remember not long ago when immigration reform was this huge issue that would play a major role in shaping the face of the election? Someone (I believe it was my buddy Pampers) pointed out his shock that the GOP hasn’t revisited immigration in the face of the economic crisis. I think it would be a cheap shot, but it seems like it would play. I’m thinking of it again today after reading this CNN article about the effects of immigration raids in places you’d least expect them…like Iowa.
Here’s my quick thought on it all: there’s a tendency to cast Latinos as the great immigration defenders in this debate, but I’m Puerto Rican — immigration wasn’t an issue for my family. I’ve got questions about border security and the like, although I’ve also got a bunch of folks I respect and trust who come from border towns (or are illegal themselves), and the issue simply isn’t simple. The CNN article, and the story of Postville in general, really explain the complexity. When I think Iowa, I think 5’10” blond rugby playing schoolteachers (but that’s just me) — I certainly don’t think Guatemalans, Hasidim, and Somalis. Maybe I should.
2. Sarah Silverman can be super funny. She can also be less than funny; she’s really of that hit-or-miss, jokes in volume kinda humor that works with her gross-out/offensive style. For the most part, I like her (and if I was able to, I’d link you to her Matt Damon stuff from Jimmy Kimmel Live just in case you haven’t seen it), and I think she’s an effective advocate/spokesperson for certain stuff. A few weeks ago, I saw her video for “The Great Schlep,” a program in which young Jewish folks go visit older Jewish folks (often their grandparents) in Florida to convince them to vote for Obama. I thought it was a joke at first, then I realized it’s kind of brilliant. And now it’s happening.
And that, on some level, is a big part of what I’m excited about in this election, regardless of how it unfolds: young people are (a) taking responsibility for the things they believe in and (b) finding creative ways to bring about change. It’s hard to say what tangible impact initiatives like this will have on the world. Maybe none. Maybe it doesn’t change the election at all. Who knows? At the very least, it’s making people care. And try. And it’s leading to sentences like this (from the CNN article):
Sporting an Obama T-shirt with Hebrew writing on it, retiree Morty Brill said, “The economy, the war, you think you can trust Republicans to fix them?”
The world is changing, folks.