March 02, 2005

Immigrant Hunt: Followup

The facts are blurred and the tracks seem to have been covered up, but here is my provisional interpretation. Others may disagree, and more information may still surface.

It is established fact that an “illegal immigrant hunt” was staged by the Denton branch of the YCT at the North Texas U. campus in January. To my knowledge, other branches of the YCT did not express disapproval of the North Texas hunt.

The Austin branch has denied scheduling a hunt on the UT campus, but their statements to the press and on the Internet have been notably lacking in forthright information and in repudiations of the idea of such a hunt. They have not shown any understanding of the unspeakable grotesquerie of the Denton event.

At least one commenter on a YCT forum has said that the Austin hunt had been listed on a YCT schedule of events and had then been deleted. See this link. (Thanks to my commenter Susan E. for the link.)

The YCT may have preserved deniability in the viewpoint of its supporters, but not in that of reasonable onlookers. The Denton branch let its guard slip, and although the Austin branch lifted its guard at the last minute, the real question is what is behind that guard.

These young people have not learned that those who are different from them, those who are of other colors or from other countries, those who are poor and desperate, those who are on the other side of a conflict, are as fully human as they are and are not to be “hunted” as if they were less so. This cognitive error is responsible for much of the evil that human beings have inflicted on each other throughout history.

It seems to me that some opponents of the hunt prematurely accepted the claim that the rumor was a hoax. If indeed it was a hoax, who would have initiated it? It is illogical to suppose that the opponents of the hunt were the ones perpetrating the hoax. If they perpetrated the hoax, that would imply that they knew the hunt was not going to take place. Why would a group of organizations join together to stage a protest against an event they knew was not going to take place? They would have nothing to gain, and they would inevitably be unmasked. So if there was a hoax, the opponents of the hunt were its victims as well as, presumably, the YCT.

Lest anyone think that this is too much attention paid to some adolescent foolishness in an out-of-the-way place, remember that Karl Rove started that way.