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Too many chiefs

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Immigration – June 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Too many chiefs

Dear Editors:

I’d like to thank the Book Haven and all who made the Earth Day Sustainability Fair a success. Notable, however, was the lack of participants from the ag sector. As everywhere, we seem to have too many chiefs, not enough Indians. Vendors and management and preaching can get us started, but we all need to follow through. New approaches to education are essential, so thanks to the folks who represented Waldorf schooling.

Cartoon from Slim Wolfe.
Cartoon from Slim Wolfe.

Poor Hal Walter got slammed twice in May’s issue for his stance on immigration. I hope he doesn’t get the willies because I enjoy his passion for politics. And let it be said, there is no such thing as an illegal alien, there are only arbitrary boundaries, regulations, and attitudes created to serve power brokers and merchant princes.

Is it okay for Bush, Cheney, and Gonzalez to rewrite all the laws they see fit but not okay for immigrants to do an end run around the INS? Paul Martz (as stated in his letter) may not be bigoted against Mexicans per se, but how many of us are bigoted against the menial castes? Cell phones, charge cards, gas pumps, and the internet have given us instant gratification and the illusion of invincibility; thus we’d rather not remember the grim realities of factory and farm and restaurant; in that denial is our bigotry.

If this nation is indeed overrun by undocumented humans who speak in foreign tongues, we have only ourselves and our perceptions to thank. Perhaps slipping into some sort of anarchy is the best way to stalemate the totalitarian direction of the new American Century. Or maybe we’ll wake up to find some latter day Fidel Castro has snuck up in the night and overthrown all our accustomed convenience. It would serve us right. Pardon my saying so but it’s hardly worth any sort of heroic effort to fence our borders against an infusion of new and vital blood. We’ve sunk lower even than those high-caste Cubans displaced back in 1959. They at least gave their kids tennis and fine horses. We give our kids Pokemon, Nintendo, Game Boys, and sneakers that glow in the dark.

Maybe it’s too much to hope that we’ll learn a bit of humility rubbing elbows with these NAFTA-displaced people. Maybe we’ll never learn that there’s more to personal fulfillment than a field full of pet horses who idle 363 days a year while we waste away in our other house on our terminal addiction of making money to pay the help. But I hope some of us, at least, come around to living this western life instead of just playing at it, before some future billionaires and their lapdog president and poodle prime ministers sign on to some new trade alliance which turns us all into illegal migrants.

Slim Wolfe

Villa Grove

Dear Slim and others interested in this topic:

Hal has more to say on immigration this month. And after the May issue, someone told me that I should read YES! magazine, which featured an article in its Summer 2006 issue called “Alternatives to a Wall,” which is subtitled “How NAFTA, CAFTA, and other corporate-friendly trade policies displace farmers and create mass migration, and how we can do better.”

The article offers some ideas on what people can do to improve U.S. immigration policy, so that Mexican farmers won’t have to emigrate to thrive.

But make no mistake, although YES! supports some changes in U.S. trade policy, it detests the same mean-spirited, racist sentiments Hal worries about. Anyway, YES! bills itself as the magazine “Supporting you in creating a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world,” which does seem to relate to Slim’s concerns. It’s online at