"Nativism,"Arnold, And Capital Punishment
January 09, 2006, 10:28 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Eugene Volokh points to this moronic op-ed on the subject of the execution of Tookie Williams, in which Renford Reese, [send him mail]a liberal professor from CSU-Pomona says this:

The fact that I was in China learning of the execution of a man in the United States was the first irony that caught my attention. I asked a Chinese university student whether he supported the death penalty. He said, ‘‘Yes, but I am from China.”

The second of many ironies was that an elitist, foreign-born governor who made his fortune by promoting violence in his films denied Williams clemency.

Professor Volokh, a loyal American who was born in Russia, asks

What on earth does it matter that Schwarzenegger is "foreign-born"? How is this "ironic," or for that matter remotely relevant? Seems to me like a pretty troubling form of nativism — tarring the actions of an immigrant made good by referring to his status as an immigrant — but I can only say "seems to me" because the statement is so perplexing that it's hard to do more than just guess that it's an insult.

Normally I'm sympathetic to nativism, and unlike National Review, I sympathize with the Founders who wrote the constitutional provision that prevents Arnold, Arianna, Jennifer Granholm, and Peter Brimelow from being elected President of the United States. (I'm willing to keep an open mind about Supreme Court appointments.)

I'm not sure why Renford Reese, who's more a blissed-out California internationalist than a "nativist," chose this slur, but it's unfair.

When Arnold let justice take its course, he wasn't acting like an Austrian, but like an American.

When Austrian politicians complained about the execution, Arnold told them where to stick their complaints. (I'm paraphrasing.) But if Arnold had decided to stay the execution because his native Austria no longer has the death penalty, then that would have been grounds for complaint.