Fox News’ Laura Ingraham spent a considerable amount of her time on air Tuesday telling viewers how immigrants were coming to ruin their America. Between former Department of Homeland Security officials saying they would prefer to put immigrants guilty of misdemeanors into prison over white collar criminals, and raving about how the Democratic Party was actually the true anti-Semitic party, Ingraham touched all of the normal right-wing bases. In the final stretch of her circle of fire broadcast, Ingraham decided to go in on immigrant children and their effects on our educational system. She begins by saying that “the left has told us that we aren’t allowed to talk about the need for immigrants to assimilate into the American culture. That too is racist!”
Unpacking Racism 101 is tedious ,and Laura Ingraham is nothing if not basic. This political cartoon might help you understand some of the problems with vapid blowhards like Laura Ingraham talking about terms like “assimilation.” However, the one thing that Fox News learned from popular conservatives like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck is that if you don’t have much of a leg to stand on, it’s best if you create a million imaginary legs of conspiracy to confuse your viewers. Also, say these factually incorrect and easily disputed things with the same confidence you use to order your two fingers of scotch at the end of the night when you are trying to get the devil’s voice out of your head so you can go to bed.
Ingraham: That’s especially true as it relates to the public school system. The question is why is assimilation, even in the school system, now controversial? Well, the reason is simple but grossly punitive. They wish to inoculate the entire public school system in the United States—and thus the powerful teachers unions—from criticism. Even if it means a diminished product for the kids.
Did you get that?
You see, the powerful teachers union, the one that makes millions of dollars while the rest of us have to pull on our bootstraps in nonexistent coal mines, needs to trick everybody into thinking that teaching is hard. And they’re doing this by taking away your right to freedom of speech! You aren’t allowed to be racist, which is clearly what is needed to solve both our white children’s education and those bothersome labor unions! Ingraham goes on to promote the Southern Poverty Law Center-labeled hate group Center For Immigrant Studies’ new “study.” It found there are immigrants everywhere!
Ingraham: The Center for Immigration Studies recently found 700 immigrant saturated school districts where half of the new students are from immigrant households. “The number of children from immigrant households and schools is now so high in some areas that it raises profound questions about assimilation.”
To understand the framing here, conservatives like to pretend the lack of resources in our public school system is a myth—it’s all immigrants and people of color buying flatscreen televisions with welfare checks! Not the money-grab tax breaks to the wealthy and their corporations, and the lack of labor protections that lead to a shrinking middle class. No, the problem’s root can be found in elementary school-age children of color that may not speak English as their first language. Of course, even if you only speak American English as your first, second, and third language—and you speak it poorly—you can still become president of the United States of America, as Donald Trump and George W. Bush can attest.
Ingraham: I think in St. Paul there is obviously a very large Somali population—the largest outside of Somalia, in the whole world is in St. Paul Minnesota—and I think about 80,000 people we’re talking about—Ilhan Omar, I think she she represents that community but the question is–
Ingraham:- … when you have both a welfare state and you have public schools that have pulled back somewhat, for a variety of reasons, for inculcating sort of traditional American historical values. The great books, all the things that kind of bring us all together in this common community of understanding that is a tricky mix is it not I mean open borders welfare state public schools that teach kids in some cases to really hate the American founding.