Who's the Racist?

I was flipping through the channels the other night and came across an episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” on NBC.  I stopped watching this show regularly years ago because of its overly biased political nature and backhanded commentary on the Bush administration.  It looks like they have not given up on their old tricks, but without evil conservatives in power their new target are people fighting for secure borders and better immigration enforcement.

In the small scene I watched, detective Fin is following up a lead on a missing persons case by talking to an ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) officer.  Because the missing person was pregnant, he was checking to make sure she wasn’t trying to take advantage of the government’s “anchor baby” loophole where someone born on US soil from a non-citizen parent is a US citizen.  The ICE agent explains how people come into the country illegally to have their baby who then can receive all the social and political benefits provided by the tax payers (he says something about “sucking off the government teat”).

What does detective Fin say next?  He says, “Spoken like a true racist.” What was the agent’s response?  Nothing!  He just shrugged his shoulders and moved on with his next line.

How does speaking about the anchor baby loophole make one a racist?  The agent didn’t mention anyone’s race.  In fact, the plot revolved around a white, European immigrant.  So where exactly is the racism?  The writers for “Law and Order: SVU” need to get themselves a dictionary and look up the word “racist.”  I think they will see that discussing shortcomings in our immigration policy does not fit the definition.

Why is this so worrisome considering this is just a fictional drama?  In part because this was on a popular show that many people watch.  And while it if fiction, it plants this idea that someone is a racist when they talk frankly about the loopholes in our immigration policy.  How are we going to have any true reform if we cannot bring up sensitive topics without some people immediately playing the “R” card?