Sometimes it’s a drag to be from Georgia. You know, last in SAT’s, last to still be fighting Harry Potter in the schools, pretty much last state in the union to evolve a thumb, yep! That’s my Georgia!
And just in case anybody had any doubts about Georgia’s ranking among the Least Enlightened Commonwealths of our fair Republic, our fat fuck good ol’ boy governor Sonny Perdue, Jr. has gone and done the math for you.
Here’s what he said the other day:
During a news conference last week, Perdue said, "It is simply unacceptable for people to sneak into this country illegally on Thursday, obtain a government-issued ID on Friday, head for the welfare office on Monday and cast a vote on Tuesday," according to a transcript provided by Perdue’s press office.
That’s the highest elected official in Georgia talking, not even our mouth-breather rich-boy draft-dodger Senator Saxby Chambliss has said anything quite that stupid. (And yes, to attain a high position in the Georgia Republican party, you must have a name that would embarrass a golden retriever. If you’re a wealthy white man with a double-digit IQ named Saxby, Sonny, Buzzy, Bobby, Bo, or Boo, and if you’re momma’s also your third cousin, why you’re eligible for office in the Georgia GOP! No other qualifications are necessary, folks!)
But even in this regard, Georgia is the last to the party. Sonny, didn’t you get the memo? The big racist GOP pile-on was back at the end of August. George Felix Allen and Conrad Burns and all those other guys are out of the gate way ahead of you. If you’re going to really chum the wathers with half-baked xenophobic hate-speak that would embarrass a Klansman in time for your re-election bid, you’re going to have some catching up to do.
ATLANTA Hispanic and black leaders on Monday called for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to retract statements he made last week about illegal immigrants during the announcement of a statewide crackdown on false documentation.
"We are distraught that … statements made last week will only increase the climate of suspicion around Latino immigrants and increase racial profiling," says the letter, signed by council members Teodoro Maus and Adelina Nicholls.
Perdue said he has no plan to apologize for criticizing illegal immigration.
"I won’t apologize for criminal activity," Perdue said Monday after a news conference at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation headquarters.
He also denied that the effort to get tough on illegal immigration is an election-year stunt.
Of course he denies that. That’s what all the Kloset Klansmen of the GOP are doing. They’re throwing big steaming chunks of red meat to their loyal base of low-information voters and then playing coy with the media. "That’s not what I meant!" they insist, all the while nodding and winking behind their hand at the party faithful.
It makes me sick. It honestly churns my gut into knots that men like this are allowed to hold office and proudly parade their ignorance before the electorate like it’s some kind of badge of honor. Not only is Perdue’s remark just chock full of dog-whistle race-hatred, it demonstrates his deep and profound ignorance of what life under a racist and inhumane immigration policy really entails.
In Georgia, if you’re off the legal radar, you can’t get a driver’s license, you can’t get social services of any kind, and you certainly can’t register to vote. If you get hurt or sick, you can’t go to the hospital for fear that they will turn you over to the Immigration authorities. Hell, Sonny, you guys are even trying to keep minority US citizens from being able to vote! You think you need to keep out the illegal immigrants, too?
All of this, of course, is more GOP pig kabuki, seeing as how Georgia’s dirty little secret is that without the work of illegals, our entire state economy would collapse. Look at what happened in Stillmore:
STILLMORE, Georgia (AP) — Trailer parks lie abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to replace more than half its workforce. Business has dried up at stores where Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer and cigarettes just weeks ago.
This Georgia community of about 1,000 people has become little more than a ghost town since September 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants.
The sweep has had the unintended effect of underscoring just how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.
More than 120 illegal immigrants have been loaded onto buses bound for immigration courts in Atlanta, 189 miles away. Hundreds more fled Emanuel County. Residents say many scattered into the woods, camping out for days. They worry some are still hiding without food.
That’s right. Compassionate Conservatism at work has completely gutted that town’s work force and created a refugee class within our own borders. Niiiiiiiiiiiice! Heckuva job, Sonny!
The B&S convenience store, owned by Keith and Regan Slater, the mayor’s son and grandson, has lost about 80 percent of its business.
"These people come over here to make a better way of life, not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I’m a die-hard Republican, but I think we missed the boat with this one."
The arrests started at the plant September 1. During the Labor Day weekend, agents with guns and bulletproof vests converged on workers’ homes after getting the addresses from Crider’s files.
No people, no work
Antonio Lopez, who came here two years ago from Chiapas, Mexico, and worked at the Crider plant, said agents kicked in his front door. Lopez, 32, and his 15-year-old son were handcuffed and taken by bus to Atlanta with 30 others. Because of the boy, Lopez said, both were allowed to return. In his back pocket, he carries an order to return to Atlanta for a court hearing February 2.
But now, "there’s no people here and I don’t have any work," he said.
It is to the South’s eternal shame that we apparently don’t know how to have business and industry here without an exploited underclass of black and brown people. We made slavery illegal, so the Good Old Boy network just forestalled integration for as long as they could and continued to exploit black labor. Then came the 60’s and the Civil Rights movement. Some things changed, but not enough. Now, in 2006, white business has found a new group of brown people to subjugate, Latino immigrants. They’ll work for $2 an hour! Why pay more?
Meanwhile, the Rush Limbaugh listeners (and there’s plenty around here) plaster their SUV’s with anti-immigration stickers and bitch and moan about illegal aliens coming here to take away good white Americans’ jobs. Does it just never occur to anyone that if businesses were forbidden to pay anyone such disgracefully low wages, we wouldn’t have this "problem"? The problem lies with the very men who are in charge. It’s Sonny and his henchmen who hold the reins of the state economy. They know who’s to blame for the "immigrant problem", but they don’t want to talk about that. They just want to stage these symbolic raids and gain points with the Redneck Coalition so that they can coast into another long election cycle of corporate cronyism, shady land deals, shitty schools, decreased environmental protection, no-bid contracts, and gerrymandering of key congressional districts.
In other words, my state is facing the same dire conditions as the rest of the nation, except the country fucks who are ripping us off here are even dumber and more cartoonish than the ones in Washington. Oh, Georgia. It ain’t easy living in a place that isn’t so much a state as a punch-line. Thanks for doing everything you can, Mr. Governor, to make sure that never changes. Yee-haw!