ProAmerica Rally Morristown, NJ - Videos

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Robb Pearson's Opening Speech

I originally opened this blog entry by incorrectly stating that Robb Pearson used the word "evil" to describe "illegal" immigrants. He corrected me on this and was good enough to provide me with his actual written speech which I've posted below.

There are quite a few statements in his speech that become oxymoronic when coupled with the visual of what he is asking for - the deportation of all "illegal" immigrants. Let’s just take the first paragraph of the speech.

Generous? (Yes we’re generous, but not enough to help these people. We'll just “deport now!” after we made them feel it was ok to be here by giving them jobs.)
Tolerant? (Not of people fleeing poverty for the opportunity to actually support their families apparently, unless they’re from European countries and don’t stand on the street looking for work.)
Prosperous? (Of course because we enslave the rest of the world by supporting low paying slave labor in other countries instead of promoting US businesses that pay our fellow Americans a fare wage. Aren’t factories moving out of the United States by the droves? Didn’t this country fight immense labor battles throughout its infancy and into the last century because workers were being taken advantage of – workers which included children? Tell the poor workers of those ‘good ol’ American days that they were created equal and free and tell the slaves too? Please don’t reminisce about principals which have rarely, in our history, been adhered to.)
Welcoming? (If this were true people wouldn’t be here illegally. They wouldn’t need to be.)
Committed to Liberty? (Let’s go tell the Iraqis this. That’s a good name for our next war – “Operation Committed To Liberty.”)
Most noble of human principles? (Which are…?)

What is noble about telling anyone who thinks different from you to “go to hell”? (Voice Of The People USA) What is noble about flat out stating that all “illegal” immigrants are evil murders. (You Don’t Speak For Me.) And, since I’ve read some of Robb Pearson’s posts, what is noble about stating that Chris Christie, who is obese, spends too much time eating at the Morristown diner? Isn’t that kind of like being told you’re a racist all the time (a statement these groups battle everyday whether it’s true or not)? You know - personal attacks.

Finally, Robb states that the day of the rally was a day to “find real solutions to this problem.” Well nobody offered solutions except David Marlett. Everyone else just went on fear mongering tirades about how we’re all going to die tomorrow if there’s one “illegal” immigrant left. Oh, and there was the wall across the southern border, and 287(g). However, little time was given to actually explaining these things.

It really blows my mind that these groups continue to state “against the law, it’s against the law.” You know what, a lot of things are against the law and laws are broken everyday and have been broken multiple times by every person who spoke that day. Laws are also changed. It was once against the law to speak out against your country, as Robb does on his blog and I do as well. If this were eighty years ago Robb, and myself, would be in jail.

I literally can find no other explanation for the complete grouping of all “illegal” immigrants into this brazen mass of misfits other than to think these groups are worried about preserving the white majority in this country. No other explanation holds up when carefully studied and scrutinized. It’s all based on the promotion of fear and it’s all based in hate. Yes, there are others on the opposing side that also work in these terms, but I believe we have to find a better way then simply promoting action by scaring the hell out of one another.


Robb’s Speech:

My friends:

Nowhere on this earth will you find a more generous people.

Nowhere on this earth will you find a more compassionate people.

Nowhere in this world will you find a people more hospitable, more welcoming, more tolerant, more blessed by diversity; nor a nation more prosperous, more committed to liberty, nor more firmly founded upon the most noble of human principles than THIS people, THIS country, THIS land, THIS GREAT NATION the United States of America.

Today is about We The People.

Today is a day to celebrate our common American heritage, founded upon the recognition that all people are created equal, and free. Today is also a day to recall what our Founders understood: that those who gather in community and form a society retain the right to establish and enforce laws which they feel will best secure their common good, and ensure their collective security.

We The People. To borrow from an old Bible story of young Joseph, we are a coat of many colors, woven together by a cherished legacy of immigration and diversity, and a grand tradition of the rule of law, which is the thread that binds us together.

But, my friends, that thread which maintains the cohesiveness of our society is being undone by the scourge of illegal immigration. It is a serious injury to our nation as a whole as well as to our local communities, an injury which is not only perpetrated upon us by those who enter and remain in our country in violation of our laws, but is also enabled and allowed and continued by our own government.

This is unacceptable!

We The People. We The People. Let today mark a new direction. Let today be a day to take new steps. Let all of us today recommit ourselves to our foundational American principles, and rededicate ourselves to one another as fellow Americans.

Because we can no longer be content to gather merely to express our extreme frustration or engage in mere academic conversation about the issue of illegal immigration.

Today is a day to push forward with renewed determination to find real solutions to this problem.

Today is a day for all of us to ask ourselves what we each can do, what we each should do, and what we each MUST do, as responsible citizens.

This, my friends, is why we -- We The People -- are here today.

7 comments:

Robb Pearson said...

symsess:

Here is the accurate text of my opening speech (please note that I NEVER used the word "evil"; see the video of my opening speech here). The word I actually used was "injury". Somehow (amazingly) the word "evil" was put in its place in the text version you placed on this blog.

After this I will post some comments in response to your remarks about my speech.

OPENING SPEECH - - - - -

My friends:

Nowhere on this earth will you find a more generous people.

Nowhere on this earth will you find a more compassionate people.

Nowhere in this world will you find a people more hospitable, more welcoming, more tolerant, more blessed by diversity; nor a nation more prosperous, more committed to liberty, nor more firmly founded upon the most noble of human principles than THIS people, THIS country, THIS land, THIS GREAT NATION the United States of America.

Today is about We The People.

Today is a day to celebrate our common American heritage, founded upon the recognition that all people are created equal, and free. Today is also a day to recall what our Founders understood: that those who gather in community and form a society retain the right to establish and enforce laws which they feel will best secure their common good, and ensure their collective security.

We The People. To borrow from an old Bible story of young Joseph, we are a coat of many colors, woven together by a cherished legacy of immigration and diversity, and a grand tradition of the rule of law, which is the thread that binds us together.

But, my friends, that thread which maintains the cohesiveness of our society is being undone by the scourge of illegal immigration. It is a serious injury to our nation as a whole as well as to our local communities, an injury which is not only perpetrated upon us by those who enter and remain in our country in violation of our laws, but is also enabled and allowed and continued by our own government.

This is unacceptable!

We The People. We The People. Let today mark a new direction. Let today be a day to take new steps. Let all of us today recommit ourselves to our foundational American principles, and rededicate ourselves to one another as fellow Americans.

Because we can no longer be content to gather merely to express our extreme frustration or engage in mere academic conversation about the issue of illegal immigration.

Today is a day to push forward with renewed determination to find real solutions to this problem.

Today is a day for all of us to ask ourselves what we each can do, what we each should do, and what we each MUST do, as responsible citizens.

This, my friends, is why we -- We The People -- are here today.

Robb Pearson said...

symsess:

Here are my responses to some of your comments:

YOU STATED: I don't know who Robb Pearson is, but it's a shame that he feels that all "illegal" immigrants are evil.

MY RESPONSE: To learn a little about who I am you can visit this link.

In regards to "evil" . . . I do not IN ANY WAY feel that all illegal immigrants are evil. I do not use that word casually, and in the extremely infrequent circumstances I actually employ the word I most likely use it to describe actions, not people.

But, as it turns out, you erred by including the word "evil" in the text of the speech that you have placed here. I did not use the word "evil" in my opening speech. The word I actually used was "injury", and it was not used to describe any people (illegal aliens or otherwise), but was to describe a serious circumstance, i.e., illegal immigration.

YOU STATED: what he is asking for - the deportation of all "illegal" immigrants

MY RESPONSE: I seek nothing more than the enforcement of our immigration laws. Such enforcement does include deportation. However, mass deportation is never going to happen, nor is it reasonable to seek it.

YOU STATED: Please don’t reminisce about principals [sic] which have rarely, in our history, been adhered to.

MY RESPONSE: The very fact that too many people fail to adhere to our most fundamental principles is exactly why we must speak of them, promote them, and encourage others to live them. It isn't reminiscence. It's reacquaintance.


YOU ASKED: What is noble about telling anyone who thinks different from you to "go to hell"? (Voice Of The People USA)

MY RESPONSE: There is absolutely nothing noble about telling anyone to "go to hell". I was extremely displeased (and shocked) when Daniel Smeriglio uttered those words, which I felt were inflammatory and completely unnecessary. I do not in any way support the sentiment.

YOU ASKED: I've read some of Robb Pearson’s posts, what is noble about stating that Chris Christie, who is obese, spends too much time eating at the Morristown diner?

MY RESPONSE: My remark was about the issue of time and attention, not Christie's weight. I'm not the one who tagged him as "obese".

YOU STATED: Robb states that the day of the rally was a day to "find real solutions to this problem."

MY RESPONSE: You took my words completely out of context. What I actually said was, "Today is a day to push forward with renewed determination to find real solutions to this problem." The rally was not designed to be a workshop, i.e., a solution-finding event. The rally's purpose was to "push forward", in other words to instill motivation in people so that they would engage this issue not only by protesting, but also by proactively contributing their ideas and energies to creating practical solutions.

YOU STATED: I literally can find no other explanation for the complete grouping of all "illegal" immigrants into this brazen mass of misfits other than to think these groups are worried about preserving the white majority in this country.

MY RESPONSE: You are trying to make this an issue of race when it has nothing to do with race at all. Illegal aliens are "grouped" into the category of "illegal" because, quite frankly, that is exactly how our law categorizes them. (see 8 USC 1325)

YOU STATED: It's all based on the promotion of fear and it's all based in hate.

MY RESPONSE: You are wrong. Certainly there are a minor and insignificant few whose stance against illegal immigration is unfortunately based in fear and hatred. However, they in no way are representative of the majority of decent Americans. Nor can you substantively prove otherwise.

Symsess said...

I have replaced the speech with the one you provided and apologize for getting the "evil" reference wrong. It was absolutely not done on purpose for any reason. That is what I thought I heard on the video.

Robb Pearson said...

You might also want to think about revising your opening remarks where you state that "it's a shame that he feels that all "illegal" immigrants are evil."

As I already stated, I absolutely do not think illegal immigrants are evil.

Symsess said...

The quagmire here is that in order to promote this effort you inevitably end up on stage with people that tell others to "go to hell" or simply fear monger. It is very difficult to find a group that is not using fear tactics and trying to scare the hell out of people. This doesn’t mean that’s what you are doing, but you just happened to invite these type of people to speak at the rally.

On the other side, where I stand (and stood literally), you end up with kids wearing bandanas over their faces and going around attacking people. So, what do you do?

We are both to blame for not distancing ourselves from these people where it counts – in public. Just as you state you’re not as over-the-top as some of the groups that spoke that day I was also very surprised when Cresitello spoke. You could tell from the audience’s response that they were a little confused at the leniency he was proposing. These are the same people waiving their “deport now” signs. Nobody speaker stood on that podium and spoke out against Storm Front members, who were proudly showing their web address (at the bottom of their “3rd World Aliens…” sign) to the speakers and the protestors.

In your comments to my feelings this is based in fear and hatred you stated You are wrong. Certainly there are a minor and insignificant few whose stance against illegal immigration is unfortunately based in fear and hatred.

All you have to do is spend a little time researching these groups and you’ll find just the opposite. Most organized groups are definitely spreading propaganda and hate speech. I heard it at that rally from both Voice Of The People USA and You Don’t Speak For Me. This is the problem. A person like me, who wants the best solution for everyone, is not going to sign up with the Minutemen or go rally in Hazleton with that unruly mob. And when you put together rallies inviting these types of groups I cannot find a sensible reason to support your group either. I’d prefer to find a group I can stick with and that never waivers from their core philosophy just to get a little extra support.

At the rally you made a remark about Carmen’s enthusiasm in an encouraging tone. Well I must take exception to that because I felt her screaming tirade was just as bad as Daniel stating “go to hell.” She clearly said that all “illegal” immigrants are violent criminals. In addition, she clearly indicated who her audience was by ending her speech with “Si se puede.”

I’m not sure if you visited the Voice Of The People USA’s website before you invited them to your rally, but the site alone shows they clearly have issues. (They can definitely use your help.) To go on stage and reference phantom websites along with having no prepared speech (at least it seemed that way) makes little sense to me and does even less to move the public to your side. Also, I have to believe you heard what happened at their hometown rally. There are videos of that incident online.

In regard to 911 Familes…, though I am sincerely sorry for Ed’s loss I found it rather odd that he failed to mention that this man was his niece’s ex-boyfriend. I believe that was conveniently left out to make it appear as if it were a random act. In regard to Peter’s story, I was in the World Trade Center that morning and am lucky to be alive. Therefore I have am extremely sorrowful for those that didn’t make it. I was in the south tower and in the 30th floor stairwell when the second plane hit. However, I do not believe that immigration laws would have done any more to stop 9/11 than drug laws have done to stop the use of drugs in this country. (Let’s just say I’m not a Bush supporter)

I feel that all criminals should be dealt with accordingly. No reasonable person wants to walk around evading would be predators all day. That’s what laws are for and I do understand you advocate the rule of law.

From John Stewart’s America The Book – A Citizen’s Guide To Democracy Inaction
“Society needs laws. While anarchy can often turn a humdrum weekend into something unforgettable, eventually the mob must be kept from stealing the conch and killing Piggy. And while it would be nice of that “something” was simple human decency, anybody who has witnessed the “50% Off Wedding Dress Sale” at Filene’s Basement knows we need a backup plan – preferably in writing. On the other hand, too many laws can result in outright tyranny, particularly if on of those laws is “Kneel before Zod.” Somewhere between these two extremes lies the legislative sweet-spot that produces just the right amount of laws for a well-adjusted society – more than zero, less than fascism.”

I believe that some of the laws we’re seeing come out of this movement, whether advocated by you or not, are quite frightening. This includes my favorite which forbids flying another country’s flag. Don’t the freedoms of the United States provide the room to be proud of the country you hail from? Leaving another country to come to the United States does not mean you have to disown the country you left.

As far as Chris Christie being obese, isn’t that a clinical term? Anyone that sees his picture next to a statement claiming he spends to much time in any restaurant is going to make there own assumptions about what you’ve written. I feel you’re much too intelligent to not understand how that statement would be perceived.

Robb Pearson said...

I agree with probably 90% of what you have stated here.

My hope and intention for the rally was to present a balanced message, and while I believe it accomplished that to a large degree, I do confess to experiencing some extreme disappointment at some of the excesses that occurred on the part of some of the speakers.

And I will confess to yet another experience: my desire to now distance myself from the alarmingly pervasive circle of excessive (and sometimes extremist) rhetoric that tends to dominate the "stage" in terms of the anti-illegal immigration debate. Mind you, I don't believe people who engage in such rhetoric represent a majority of Americans by any means. I only think it's an over-vocal minority who unfortunately have garnered the vast majority of attention.

Yet another addition to my disappointment is how many people within that circle of the anti-illegal immigration activist movement are speaking out only for the sake of grabbing the spotlight so as to further their personal agendas for self-aggrandizement. And to my own shock I discovered this firsthand with two of my guests (who I will not name) who spoke at the rally.

I agree with you that not all illegal immigrants are violent criminals. Some are, that is undeniable. But the vast majority are not. And it saddens me -- and even angers me -- that some are trying to slyly portray an image that all illegal aliens are vicious animals. It is not right, and such a perspective is absolutely not what I stand for.

The reason I cheered Carmen's enthusiasm was to do nothing more than applaud my team's endurance in the face of such rude opposition and heckling from across the street. Our expression of free speech -- even if you thought Carmen's speech was over the top -- was done with far greater civility than what the people across the street were doing, and I wanted to point that fact out. As for Daniel's "go to hell" remark, I can only disavow it and admit my embarassment.

All of what I have mentioned above are among several reasons why I have laid very low over the past month since the rally. I needed to "step outside the box" as it were. To say the least the rally was a sobering and eye-opening experience for me, and woke me up to some things that were not very clear to me until after the rally was over. Coming to terms with the experience, and attempting to define and assess its numerous implications as well as my next steps, has occupied a great portion of my thoughts.

I'll share more as our dialogues continue. For now, it's bed time.

Be well.

ROBB

Symsess said...

In finding my direction in this whole thing I run into extreme road blocks when I hear the types of groups you describe.

When you send me a message like this one it gives me great hope that you are closer to the way I feel on this issue than I had imagined. However, when I look at your blog I begin to lose some of that hope.

I agree with you that most Americans do not share the vision of these extreme groups. Yet, I just worry at how loud these groups can actually be. Seeing the turnout at the Morristown rally really goes to show that many people (especially Morristown residents) either don't care, don't understand, or don't agree.

I believe the rally was well publicized, yet only a minute percentage of Morristown residents turned out. I've seen the Hazelton rally video and I noticed many of the same people at the Morristown rally.

Without making this a novel I'll just say that I hope I'll be able to support you at some point, but for now I cannot. That reality is hard for me to deal with because you are the closest thing between an extremist (anti-immigrant) and a bandana wearing thug (anarchist) that I've seen as of yet. Given this you're still too far on the extremist side for me. Supporting the Citizenship Amendment is something I cannot agree with. The United States is supposed to welcome others, and although we cannot just open the borders I don't think many people realize how challenging it is to "legally" become a citizen.