It is no secret that I'm a fan of 70s music. Heck, I was playing records on radio in the early 70s, so forgive my quote from a cheesy yet powerful song by The Carpenters: "Bless the beasts and the children for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice."
It should come as no shock that KBTX was riddled with comments from viewers about this, once again saying we are taking sides, and we aren't. That's ridiculous. Some were irritated by our terminology.
ES sends this note:
"Please address the phrasing used in the latest posts. No human is 'illegal' however they can be referred to as being here illegally. The phrase used in an unbiased manner is 'undocumented.' 'Black' is not an appropriate descriptor especially after it is followed with an appropriate ethnic category. This comes across as extremely racist."
ES, thanks for your note. I'm sorry, I get what you are saying, I will share it with the newsroom, but this is splitting hairs in the interest of political correctness. We will consult with those who are better at making these decisions than I am.
RR Writes in:
"Mr. Wright, Your KBTX reporters have been reporting on the possibility of an abandoned federal building in Bryan housing illegal immigrants awaiting their hearings. We have seen Rick Perry say this is bad, and we have heard Jason Bienski say this is bad. Now can we please hear the other side? We will have an abandoned building revitalized - and jobs in the process. We will have children that need care - more jobs. People will need to be fed and clothed - business for our local stores. If the process takes long, we need educators - more jobs. My guess is that the federal government will be paying for this, so what's the downside to having these people housed here? They've gotta be somewhere, why not here? Can we please hear a report from this side of the story??"
Here's my "down-the middle-take" on this. First, we strive to present both sides. Our elected congressman at the moment is Bill Flores, accessible, and not afraid to be interviewed. He is Republican. We also had Chet Edwards on when he was our elected official, and the conservatives didn't like it. I have radically conservative and extremely liberal friends. I'm not sure HOW I feel and I'm not arrogant enough to claim I know the answers. This situation is NOT one of those black/white deals. Sometimes, it is "okay" when people can't choose how they stand on this. I always thought it was humorous when Chet Edwards won Brazos County by a landslide yet you couldn't find one conservative who voted for him in a 75 percent conservative area.
Are we so afraid in this polarizing society in which we find ourselves that you have to be completely on one side or the other? I don't know, but here's what I do know. These children, regardless of what you think, really didn't have a choice. Wherever you are on this issue, here's my struggle. If everyone was as dedicated to looking around us at the homeless children, those in abusive households, or those who suffer every day by not eating right, or eating at all, as we are making sure these "undocumented" children are cared for an nurtured, wouldn't America actually be the place those in other countries believe us to be? Like the country from which these children came?
Back to the Carpenters: "Bless the beasts and the children give them shelter form the storm, keep them safe, keep them warm." May we all work together in finding common ground and a solution to this situation that, no doubt, had deeper implications than most of us comprehend.
Be in touch any time. Your opinion always matters to the family of KBTX News 3.