After taking a brief break from race baiting due to being slapped down by Shirley Sherrod, Fox News has moved on to an easier target, babies; specifically the so called anchor babies. Fox News ratcheted up the rhetoric today by referring to the 14th Amendment as the, “anchor baby amendment.” Lucky for us, Jon Stewart has taken on the lunacy of the right wing anchor baby campaign.
Here is the video of Fox and Friends and the “anchor baby amendment” from Media Matters:
Fox and Friends co-host Clayton Morris managed to show his conservative respect for the United States Constitution by referring to the 14th Amendment as the anchor baby amendment. Morris said, “Meanwhile Republicans want Congress to work on some other form of constitutional control that being the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, basically the anchor baby amendment. That’s where a lot of Republicans congressmen now coming forward saying we should rethink the 14th Amendment, which as Steve pointed out earlier was put in place right after the Civil War to ensure that the Southern States would count out due process, stuff like that, so if they were born here, if the slaves had babies and they were born in the United States, they wouldn’t be considered not citizens of the United States.”
Last night Jon Stewart was all over the anchor baby threat:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
As Stewart more accurately pointed out, this so called anchor baby scare has been around since the Amendment was first debated in 1868. Stewart quoted Senator Edgar Cowan’s belief that the 14th Amendment would lead to California being over run by a mongel race, and that it “is utterly and totally impossible to mingle all the various families of men, from the lowest form of the Hottentot up to the highest Caucasian, in the same society.” Stewart pointed out that the fears of 145 years ago never came to pass, but today, the right is now worried about anchor babies overrunning us all.
Stewart described the right wing position this way, “Wait a minute, you all are repealing the 14th Amendment to send a message to babies?…The free ride is over you drooling, diaper soiling, poor motor control, little shits.” He also discussed the insane right conspiracy theory that al-Qaeda is going to send pregnant women over here to have babies, then train those babies to be terrorists. Most importantly he played the clip of Lou Dobbs as the voice of reason on anchor babies and said, “Lou Dobbs thinks your immigration measure is too draconian. Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs, who spent the last 15 years of his life trying to get Dora the Explorer deported thinks you’ve gone too far.”
It is pathetic that Fox News would try to trivialize the Constitution by distorting the 14th Amendment as the anchor baby amendment. There are five sections to the 14th Amendment, and only deals with the citizenship of those who are born in the United States. Jon Stewart gave a more accurate constitutional description than Fox News did, which could account for why more young people trust a comedian to deliver their news than FNC.
Media Matters listed many of the important Supreme Court cases decided based on the 14th Amendment:
• Segregated schools are unconstitutional (Brown v. Board of Education)
• Bans on interracial marriage are unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia)
• Discrimination on the basis of sex is generally unconstitutional (Craig v. Boren)
• Legislative districts must be equally apportioned, i.e., one person, one vote (Reynolds v. Sims)
• The Constitution has a right to privacy, and that right means states may not outlaw access to birth control (Griswold v. Connecticut)
• States, like the federal government, generally must seek a warrant before searching your house (Mapp v. Ohio)
• States, like the federal government, must provide lawyers to criminal defendants (Gideon v. Wainright)
• States, like the federal government, must abide by the Second Amendment individual right to bear arms (McDonald v. City of Chicago)
• States may not pass a law criminalizing homosexual sex between consenting adults (Lawrence v. Texas)
Jon Stewart saw right through this new attempt at division and race baiting by the right. This isn’t about all anchor babies. When pushed, the right wing is most upset about the brown ones, specifically, the ones from Mexico. After Shirley Sherrod fought back against the race baiting of Fox News, the network, and the right, decided to move on to an easier and more defenseless target. Does it matter to the Right that these so called, “anchor babies” grow up, get jobs, become productive members of society, contribute to their communities and pay taxes? If the 14th Amendment is changed, whose citizenship do we strip? Do all current children of illegal immigrants lose their citizenship, all future children, or maybe we strip citizenship from everyone child or adult, whose parents aren’t or weren’t legal citizens? Do we strip citizenship from all races, or just certain ones?
The whole anchor babies hysteria is nothing more than a cheap political stunt designed to scare old white Republican voters ahead of November. The Right is still trying to divide America by race, but campaigning against babies who had no say where they were going to be born is not a good idea. Only the coldest of the cold, and the most extreme of the extreme can see a threat posed by babies. Honestly, it is starting to look like the right is trying to give the November election to the Democrats, because just when you think they can’t get any more out of touch, they declare jihad against babies.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association