Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's No Fun Being an Illegal Alien

If I wasn't already aware of the fact that it is extremely difficult to stage an effective boycott (not to mention that boycotts are rarely successful) I would suggest a boycott of specific retailers. However, since I am aware of how difficult it is to stage an effective boycott, I'm just going to point out how asinine corporate America has become that they will bow to the slightest hint that something might be offensive, especially when it is clearly not offensive.

This is dumber than the outlets that were pulling the Obama Chia Pet because whatever hybrid sprouts grew from the mud that you slathered on the terra cotta dome with a tongue depressor made it appear as if the Obama Chia Pet had an afro and that, for some reason, is racist. Wait a minute. No, it isn't! (I know. You know. We all know it isn't racist. I think even those who said it was racist knew it wasn't racist. But it might be. Maybe. To someone. Somewhere. We haven't found them yet, but we're prepared to have NO Chia Obama's on the shelf if they ever are to materialize. And go shopping. There.)

The non-issue at hand this time which is being overblown to the point that Target stores have removed the item from their shelves is quite ingenious and quite funny. Picture this: You have an orange jumpsuit with "Department of Corrections" inked in a stencil format on the back. Long sleeves, long legs, your typical jumpsuit, all orange. The mask is one of those that pulls all the way over your head and is make of some sort of rubber and it looks like your typical man from outer space. You know the look. It's the one that all of the denizens of the trailer parks describe after they've been abducted for medical experiments aboard a hovering craft and then returned to earth deep within a nearby forest. Yes. THAT look! Put that together with the daily garb from the inner workings of a prison and you've got yourself what? That's right. An illegal alien. Behold!

See, now my reaction to this costume is "HIL-arious!" But, according to The Chicago Tribune the reaction of some folks, say, like the group March 10th Committee (whatever the heck that is), say that the costume "makes a mockery of the status of millions of immigrants in need of immigration reform." That coming from a one Jorge Mujica who is an activist of that March group thing. There are other reactions too, like that from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, whose executive director, a one Joshua Hoyt, says that "When a corporation dehumanizes immigrants, the best thing is to stop buying from it." ::: sigh ::: Must we continue to go through this? I guess we must.

I suppose I'll start with the comments of Mr. Hoyt. I fully agree with everything that he says in that statement. However, we are not talking about dehumanizing anyone. AND if there WERE to be any dehumanizing going on, it would not be against immigrants, it would be against illegal aliens. (And that, by the way, is the correct term. The politically correct term is "illegal immigrant". The correct term is "illegal alien". Please make a note. And prepare to be looked upon as a racist if you ever utter that term.) I would absolutely not lend my patronage to any store which dehumanized legal residents of this country who have legally immigrated here from elsewhere on the planet. NEVER. I agree with Mr. Hoyt 100%. However, this instance has nothing to do with that, so what he said, while agreeable and correct, is irrelevant in this case. Next!

As far as Mr. Mujica's statement about millions of immigrants in need of immigration reform, I don't know that is a true statement. I'm sure that there are millions of illegal immigrants (aka, criminal trespassers in this country) who would love some reform in the area of illegal immigration. I believe they want the kind of reform that makes them not illegal immigrants any more. That's like my saying I think that there needs to be height reform because I'm only 5'7" and I want to be 5'10" and I want someone to make it OK for me to say that I'm 5'10" even though I'm only 5'7". Not only do I want it to be OK for me to say I'm 5'10", I want others to have to ACT like I'm 5'10". That includes craning their necks upward when talking to me, even if that means they can no longer see my face. As far as we're all concerned, I'm 5'10" now, dammit, so act like it!

Target has pulled the costumes and issued a pansy-ass statement which reads in part "It was never our intent to offend the consumers with the products we offer." Really?! You mean that you don't try to intentionally piss people off with your products? Huh. Interesting. What the hell, Target?! That sort of an apology means to me that you think it's as ridiculous of an assumption that the costumes are offensive as I do!

You know what's going to keep me from hanging myself? It's the No little disillusioned geckos were harmed in the photographing of this amusing image to illustrate my frustration with corporate America.hope and the small sliver of belief that one day, one fine and glorious day, a corporation will come out and say, "We're sorry if some people felt offended at the costume. You can't please everyone. We try to, but no one can. It's just a fact of life. We don't believe the item to be racist, nor was it intended to be racist. Have a nice day, the product stays." Because do you know what will happen if a corporation does that? Seriously. Do you know what will happen? I do. And it might not be what one would initially think.

That corporation, that business, that store, that enterprise, whatever that is, it will become the most popular store in America if they took that stand. I guarantee it. I know that I am not alone in thinking that this whole "everything is racist" crap has gone too far. Everyone it talks to thinks it's crap. The company who is the first to stand up to these fear mongerers (which is what they are) in the corporate world will be hailed as a God-like hero in the consumer world. It is the stuff that legends are spun from. I guarantee it.

While I'm not "boycotting" Target, their backing down to some half-ass activist group (what is it that happened on March 10th? I'm not going to take the time to look it up, because I'm sure that it will only irritate me to find out that it was some massacre of sorts that took place and that the evil white man was responsible.) has caused me to rethink how I spend my money. For instance, I had every intention of swinging by my local Target today as their Sunday circular showed they had some 1/4-zip fleece tops I was interested in. Look, they were only $12.99 each (and I do enjoy a 1/4-zip), I get that it isn't much of a dent in the bottom line of Target (if they can have a bottom "line", as that logo of theirs is all round), but my point is that I decided not to even go there and look at them (as I would have bought at least one) because of their decision to pull the costume. Again, it's not a "boycott", it's just my making a conscious decision to buy my fleece tops that only zip 1/4 of the way down somewhere else is all.

Let's review: Everything out there that someone doesn't like isn't necessarily racist or motivated by racism. An "immigrant" is someone who is in this country legally. An "illegal immigrant" is someone who is in this country, what? Illegally, that is correct. The illegal immigrant Halloween costume is extremely funny and no one should be offended by it (unless you are actually an alien from another planet). Corporations will cower like scared little children if they think someone is going to brand their organization a racist. I am not the only one who is waiting for the day when some company says (and I'm paraphrasing here, but any corporation is free to use this exact wording if they please), "Be angry. That's your problem. Go spend your pesos somewhere else if you want, we're not racist, so deal with it." And finally, fleece is warm and fuzzy and with a 1/4-zip top, you can let in just enough air so that you don't sweat to death. Thank you and goodnight.

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