Commentators Elijah Schaffer and Michael A. of the YouTube channel Slightly Offens*ve were at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, recently to get students’ opinions on President Donald Trump’s proposed wall at the United States’ southern border with Mexico.
Let’s just say that the responses were creative, if a tad convoluted. Most of the opinions were a tangle of confusion, contradictions, and misinformation.
While Schaffer tried to steer the discussion points towards illegal immigration, students were quick to conflate the topic with racism and xenophobia.
Check it out here. Warning: Some rough language ahead that isn’t entirely bleeped out.
One man, who was apparently under the impression that such a wall actually exists at the moment, suggested that getting rid of the border was a good idea because it would make it more convenient for illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. illegally and then bring their income back home to Mexico.
“People die on the wall all the time,” he said, with evident cluelessness.
“People try to jump over from their side to our side, they get shot down,” he said. (Clearly not a guy who keeps up with the news.)
Another woman, who identified herself as a previous student, was critical of Trump because he “doesn’t comment on white nationalists.”
This sounds like the misinformation encouraged by some liberal groups, which try their hardest to align the president with white nationalists. It doesn’t sound like Trump himself, who has aggressively disavowed and condemned white nationalists every time the issue was raised.
When Schaffer asked the woman about what he could do to defend himself against false allegations of racism, her advice for him and white people in general was to just “shut up and listen” rather than engage in discussion.
She added that racism towards white people isn’t a “a real thing.”
(Things got interesting when Schaffer’s partner, Michael A., got into the mix, to inform the woman he did not appreciate being called a “token black.”)
Another interviewee, apparently a Hispanic who employed an especially colorful vocabulary, was of the opinion that white people only want white immigrants, and that the border wall exists because of whites’ racist attempts to stop all Mexican immigration.
The man told Schaffer that the idea of a wall leads to “divisiveness, creating borders between people.”
“There’s already a f***ing border, you don’t need a giant f***ing wall. That’s my tax dollars being wasted because of a bunch of white people who are afraid of losing money,” he said.
He went on to say that illegal imigrants can use ladders and tunnels to defeat border walls anyway.
When Schaffer argued that illegal immigration costs tax payers far more than building a wall would, the man challenged him to “show me the data.”
However, he was ultimately resistant to pulling up sources on the comparative fiscal tolls, saying he doesn’t trust data from “xenophobic” U.S. government websites.
He seemed to have more faith in his college professors’ opinions, telling Schaffer that, “You can talk to the history department, the political science department … a lot of these professors here aren’t only conservative or only liberal, but there’s a few things that they all agree on.”
If you had trouble following the logic of some of these arguments, know that I’ve tried to sum them up as concisely as possible. Those of you venturing to listen to the interviews, beware: That way madness lies.
While some leeway may be allowed for a lack of perfectly organized thought when people are interviewed on the spot, what is more troubling is the students’ rejection of newly introduced facts and different viewpoints.
And that wouldn’t be so troubling if students offered any facts of their own. Instead, they parroted liberal talking points and blatant misinformation. Maybe if they relied more on facts and less on generalizations and character attacks, they would be more coherent.
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