The Corner

Cognitive Dissonance in The Times

A nice example of cognitive dissonance in this morning’s NY Times (America’s Newspaper of Discord).

Page A1:

“Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn.” This is one of those hardy-perennial pieces about how badly black men are doing in the USA, with all the usual sad statistics: “Especially in the country’s inner cities… finishing high school is the exception, legal work is scarcer than ever, and prison is almost routine, with incarceration rates climbing for blacks even as urban crime rates have declined.”

(Savor that “even” for a moment…)

Then you get to page A9, the whole of which is given over to an advertisement “on behalf of the Government of Mexico.” The ad is titled “A Message from Mexico About Migration.” (Again, savor that directionless word “migration.” People are just moving around, see? Mexicans move to the USA, Americans move to Mexico…) The message is pretty much what you would expect it to be, given that illegal immigrants from Mexico (a) supply Mexico, via remittances, with one of its largest sources of cash revenue, and (b) act as a safety valve to relieve Mexico of its unemployment problem, and therefore of any need to reform its corrupt and dysfunctional economy. Key phrase: “shared responsibility,” printed three times in the piece, in italics each time. The idea is that Mexico should have just as much of a say in US labor, welfare, and immigration policy as the US itself.

Now, the plight of black men in the USA is a complex problem with a lot of factors contributing. Surely, though, it is indisputable that one reason “legal work [i.e. for high school dropouts] is scarcer than ever” is because several million of these jobs are being done at sub-minimum wages by illegal immigrants, for scofflaw employers.

Why aren’t those people who claim to speak for black America mad as hell about illegal immigration?

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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