Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Does Lou Dobbs Hate Diabetics As Much As He Hates Immigrants?

When I was a teenager, like so many of my dateless geek male friends, I was fascinated with paranormal phenomena such as UFOs, the Devil's Triangle, and Andy Gibbs' popularity. I decided I would write THE definitive book on spontaneous combustion, the process by which humans supposedly burst into flames for no known scientific reason.

I think that is why I occasionally watch Lou Dobbs on CNN. If I am ever to actually witness spontaneous human combustion, I am convinced it will be during an episode of the Lou Dobbs show when he begins to hyperventilate on the topic of immigrants. He seems to seethe with pent-up white-bread-and-Miracle Whip rage when he contemplates the brown hordes flooding over our Southwestern border.

To Dobbs, everything about immigrants is bad - they lower wages for American workers, they increase our tax burden, they park in handicapped spaces, and they even secretly plan to re-annex the American Southwest for Mexico. And worst of all - according to Dr. Dobbs (who isn't really a physician but sometimes plays one on TV) - they carry diseases.

Check out this transcript from a recent broadcast of Lou Dobbs in Cancun, Mexico:

"DOBBS: One of the all but unexamined consequences of illegal immigration is the free flow of diseases across borders as well. People seeking legal residency undergo routine physicals to screen out dangerous diseases. But with 3,000 to 8,000 people each day streaming across our borders illegally, many of those diseases are making an unfortunate comeback in the United States.

Christine Romans has the report -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, with illegal immigration, once vanquished killers are being carried deep into this country. Diseases like tuberculosis.

Even as overall cases of TB declined the Centers for Disease Control says a deadly drug resistant strain is spreading, easily crossing borders. At the U.S. border with Mexico, TB rates are twice as high as the rest of the country/

Indeed, if the 24 counties that share a border with Mexico were the 51st state, they would rank seconds in TB cases, third in deaths due to hepatitis, and fifth in diabetes-related deaths.

And now a drug resistant TB strain is spreading, notably to states that are magnets for illegal immigration. The CDC says seven states account for 60 percent of the cases: California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Most cases come from Mexico. A smaller percentage from Asia.

Now, long a staple of border counties, public health authorities fear the diseases like TB are spreading silently and tracking and treating these diseases is becoming more difficult. In Los Angeles County, for example, each TB patient can infect up to 12 others who all must be tested. That's a big challenge when the emergency room is the first point of contact for many people illegally in the country. And follow-up treatment is critical and can take as long as six months.

TB is just one of nine communicable diseases that our government screens for among legal immigrants -- syphilis, HIV-AIDS, leprosy, among others. But there are no screening at our porous borders -- Lou."

What caught my ear particularly in this exchange (other than the overt racism of this discussion) was Dobb's and Christine Roamans' sloppy lumping of diabetes with communicable diseases such as TB. I'm sure that Dobbs' professionally angry audience fears that they will become insulin-dependent if they wander too close to the gardener.

Well, I have been diabetic for 34 years, and have lived with my wife 18 years and she has yet to "catch" diabetes. By the way, Lou, diabetes is not making a "comeback" but has been increasing in the U.S. due to the expansion of fast food in the American diet, the infusion in our foods of high-fructose and government-subsidized corn syrup, lifestyles that include too many hours of work and not enough time for exercise, family-bonding and other healthy pursuits, and the expansion of poverty and with it the number of Americans who seek quickly prepared, pre-made meals as they rush from one poor-paying job to another.

TB has also made a comeback, but that first happened with our domestic homeless population, cut lose by the Social Darwinism practiced since the 1980s by the Republican Party (of which you are a long-time member and contributor.) Of course, Republicans in their war on science have also handicapped stem cell research, which holds the greatest promise for a diabetes cure. I'm sure Mexicans are somehow behind that, perhaps through their sinister alliance with the Catholic Church.

Here's a suggestion, Lou. Have Dr. Sanjay Gupta on if you want to talk about disease. You can't blame immigrants for diabetes.


Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

*** Lou Dobbs for President ***