About a thousand people marched yesterday from the federal building to the county courthouse here, as part of the national demonstrations about immigration and immigration reform. The Louisville Courier-Journal asked our Congressional delegation its reactions to the protests. Here is Anne Northup’s incisive answer:
“Freedom of speech and the right to assemble are at the bedrock of our system of government. However, a better example of what it means to be an American may have been set today by those immigrants who got up early, took their children to school, and put in a hard day’s worth of work.”
Now there’s a sensitive reply from a member of the “caring conservative” faction of the Republican party. It’s apparently un-American to take time off work to demonstrate about legislation that might affect the future of kith and kin. It’s more American to shut up, drop the kids off and go to work, and let the government make your life’s decisions for you.
Maybe that’s why people like Anne are still in office.
As it turns out, the number of the workers who ditched work for the day was pretty modest here, so the wheels of commerce in Louisville were hardly threatened by such un-American activities as marching and carrying protest signs. Several Mexican restaurateurs closed their establishments for the day, losing several thousand dollars’ worth of income in the process. Perhaps Anne would think that to be un-American as well.
In contrast, on Friday, the entire public school system and many other local schools and businesses will close up shop for a more important observance of what it means to be an American, the running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. In the grand scheme of things, a two-minute horse race is beyond a doubt more significant, more earth-shattering than legislation affecting millions of undocumented aliens. Be a patriot, bet on a horse. Better yet, bet your future on the abilities of Anne and friends to make wise, informed decisions on your behalf.
Given their performance so far, it should be an easy bet. Go, baby, go,