Lauren Mayer: Weren’t We All Immigrants, Once?

One of the best scenes in Blazing Saddles is when the railroad workers negotiate with Rock Ridge to help build the ‘false front’ town that will fool Hedley Lamarr’s evil army.  The racially mixed workers want to be repaid with land in town, and at first the townspeople object to including various ethnic groups.  Eventually they agree to accept the Chinese and African Americans but “we don’t want the Irish.”  However, when Sheriff Bart insists, the group’s leader finally says, “Oh, prairie sh*t, everyone!” and a happy ending ensues.

Apparently, not much has changed in 40 years (I know, those of us who remember when that movie first came out are OLD), as far as some people’s reactions to President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration reform.  Right-wing stalwarts like Michele Bachmann and Steve King project a ruined country overtaken by illiterate criminals, and even saner politicians are accusing Obama of acting like a tyrant, emperor, king, or dictator, when multiple Republican presidents (including ‘Saint Reagan’) did basically the same thing without any protest.

Meanwhile, there are very few of us in the country today whose anceestors weren’t immigrants at one time, so to help everyone chill out a bit, here’s a relaxing musical tribute to immigration . . .

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