The Smokey Wire : National Forest News and Views
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King was not only a great civil rights leader but also was ahead of his times on issues of overpopulation. Here is a quote from 1966:
“Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution, but the universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., Speech on acceptance of the Planned Parenthood Federation Of America Margaret Sanger Award, 1966
He doubtless was thinking of world overpopulation at the time as back then the U.S. had half its present population, and the 1965 legislation and only just been passed. That legislation is responsible for current immigration annual immigration into the U.S. being roughly 500% greater than during the average for 1930-1970.
Just as Cesar Chavez spoke out strongly about the use of illegal aliens in agriculture because of its wage-lowering effects for legal Latino residents, so King would now be speaking out about how black communities have been negatively impacted in many additional sectors of the economy that, corrupted by the Executive Branch (White House) failing over decades to enforce immigration laws firmly and consistently, now
also employ illegal aliens on a massive scale.
Ironically, blacks normally vote heavily for the Democratic party, despite it being the biggest champion of continued mass immigration, welfare expenditures for illegal aliens, and ever more severe degrees of U.S. overpopulation.
On this theme, here are a few paragraphs from a blog on the website of Progressives for Immigration Reform titled, “50 Years Later – Failing the Dream:”
“Seemingly oblivious to the plight of black Americans, our political leaders are devoting a lot of time and energy to immigration reform, which promises to make the situation of black Americans even worse, particularly for those unskilled. Granting amnesty and a path to citizenship for 11 million+ undocumented immigrants would have the effect of keeping wages down for all unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
“Those who rely on faulty research to “disprove” the linkage between cheap immigrant labor and high unemployment among black Americans willfully ignore a fundamental market dynamic: when there is an abundance of labor to fill a limited number of jobs, wages will remain the same or go lower. If our economy had more jobs than available applicants, wages would increase. Since wages have been relatively stagnant for the past 20 years, it is disingenuous to claim that adding millions more job-seekers to the mix will suddenly cause wages to go up.
“In his famous speech, Dr. King also said: “One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.” If Congress bows to the demands of pro-amnesty advocates, black Americans suffering chronic unemployment or underemployment may indeed feel even more isolated. In Dr. King’s view, that would be as “shameful” a condition now as it was 50 years ago. Even more shameful are the actions of some political leaders who push for open border policies, while ignoring the needs of many black Americans and other citizens who struggle to find work.”
Stuart- I’m not sure I agree with you about what Dr. King might have thought.
Both he and the Dalai Lama are /were concerned about world overpopulation.
Given who is in the world now, though, where should they live? People have environmental impacts. States recognize that when they plan for growth for the future. Congress makes laws about how many people from outside there should be, without doing an EIS. Of course, current inhabitants can as many children as they want and move wherever they want.
As to the topic of this blog, I think that we should be able to talk about the impacts of more people in an area directly as we talk about climate change or whatever else would affect the economy and the environment.
However, I think that what you posted above is more into the details of a topic that has more heat than light and is like our topics in that media cannot do the complexity justice. And I have noticed that there is a great deal of fuzzy thinking on the topic of immigration. So my suggestion would be that you start a blog (or I can help, for some remuneration) that opens the immigration dialogue in an atmosphere with lots of listening and free of name-calling. I would be willing to post some of my thoughts and thereby trigger some discussion, as I don’t have a dog in this fight except to think about it clearly and not call each other names. You don’t have to start an organization that can then be called one thing or another…you could just start a blog like this one, where different voices can be heard and not attacked. Where people’s experiences and think tank studies are both accepted for discussion. Where you remember what Dr. King said about peace:
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Sharon, thanks for your suggestions. I agree that this is not a good place to get into immigration and population issues in any depth. I have no wish to start a blog. People with an interest in the issue would be much better off reading excellent opinion and information pieces already available on websites of my own organization, Scientists and Environmentalists for Population Stabilization (http://www.populationstabilization.org) or those of other reputable organizations focused on US population stabilization (Center for Immigration Studies, Negative Population Growth, Federation for Immigration Reform, Californians for Population Stabilization, NumbersUSA, Progressive for Immigration Reform, etc.).
Most people, even those with strong opinions on immigration, are not willing to educate themselves on these issues, however, or simply do not have the time to do so. For that reason, online discussions tend to quickly degenerate into emotional name calling, ad hominem attacks, and other information-free nonsense. Witness Guy Knudsen’s recent attempt (on the blog about Lackey’s paper on salmon, human population growth, etc.) to associate population stabilization and anti-illegal immigration organizations to the fellows responsible for Kristallnacht. Some of the worst stuff imaginable comes out of universities these days; almost as bad and biased as the mainline media.
People who assume they are well-informed on population immigration and population issues because they read cover to cover every issue of Science or the LA Times or the NY Times and listen to KPBS news need to understand that all of these outlets (and most others) have unwritten policies favoring mass amnesties for illegal aliens, increased legal immigration, and increased US population growth. Those unwritten policies bias almost every story they publish on those topics and, more insidiously, what stories they decide to sweep under the rug.
You seem to imply the fact that “current inhabitants can as many children as they want and move wherever they want” is some sort of problem. However, I know of no one who thinks the government should consider limiting the number of children a couple can have. Many of us do think that there should be tax incentives favoring small families, however, so that the mega-breeders pay a larger share of the societal costs of their large families. That said, the average no. of children per woman (total fertility rate, TFR) in the U.S. has been below replacement level (TFR=2.1) ever since the early 70s. All the women who have one child or none more than cancel out the reproductive efforts of the Mormons, Hasidic Jews, obedient Catholics, etc. In family size as is all else these days we surely want to “Celebrate Diversity.”
As for lack of restrictions as to where citizens can move in the U.S., that is something we do not want to give up either. But if we go to a US population of 500,000 in the next half century, a real possibility being (unknowingly) contemplated by Congress in recent years in its push for increased immigration, we can be sure there will be more and more regulations about where you can live, where you can build a house, how much water you will be allowed for a garden, etc., even if it is too late then to save much of our wildlands and wildlife.
I think there’s no question but that were he alive King would be as concerned about US overpopulation now as he was about world overpopulation in 1966.
Well stated Sharon,
like many people I have mixed feelings on immigration, I would much prefer to keep population level down in the US but I do think that sliding back into that discussion of immigrants on a thread about MLK is perhaps not a good use of this blog.
As for population, my mama had 7 and I have more catholic cousins than I can possibly count, so my family has been a large part of the “problem”. But yes, I know, our current increase in the US is due to immigration, but lets talk about it someplace else.
Lackey had many other important points to make about salmon policy besides the one on population, as a scientist I prefer to talk about those other things he brought up,
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