What I Learned From Appearing on CSPAN–(hint) you’re scared, really scared

Over the holidays, CSPAN ran presentations from the Center for Presidential Studies at Southen Methodist University of which I was honored to be one of the speakers. The conference topic was “Religion in the Age of Obama.” My topic was Latino/a Religious Communities and the Immigration Issue. Here is the link if you’re interested: http://www.c-span.org/video/?322598-2/discussion-religion-social-issues

That is about all you need to know about the kinds of comments I received, either on my Twitter feed, my campus email, and one person actually called my cell phone (not to worry, that was a rare, positive one). I have done television before, and mostly it’s been a positive experience, but usually, those appearances were “academic” and did not stray from the political hotbed of immigration. This time though, what I suspected, that the aging white majority is scared to death of the loss of their imagined America, I now have some evidence for my assertions. Considering I did not receive the nasty racist invective often hurled at my colleagues when they step out and discuss politics, I escaped unscathed aside from an assertion that I was secretly trying to help gang members cross the border because I was “one of their kind.” That was pretty good.

So, periodically, this space should be a place where the truly paranoid and scared should be able to see some evidence that their black helicopter, Illuminati (this mention will undoubtedly get hits all on its own), inspirations have some basis in reality. Not really, but it is true that demography is changing, and with those changes comes different foods, languages, customs, cultures, and all kinds of other wonderful things that have always existed here but are now too ubiquitous to ignore. This week’s change in demographic destiny from one of the whitest and oldest states in the Union, Maine. If you can stomach it, check out the comments, just in case you think I am inflating the paranoia and nastiness of the fear factor.

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