Anyone who thinks that small town USA is somehow kinder and “more American” than large cities should read this story about Taneytown, Maryland. It’s a town of 6,700 and, despite the fact that it’s foreign-born population is likely about 24 individuals, two members of the city council decided it was a good idea to pass a resolution which basic point was “Brown people are not welcome.”
I will point out that the town’s mayor did not want the resolution passed, and so it failed, three to two.
The focus of the fast-sharpening dispute has been a City Council resolution, which was narrowly defeated Monday night, that declared: "The City of Taneytown is not a sanctuary city for illegal aliens." It warned that the town "does not welcome individuals who are in the United States illegally," suggesting they would harm the quality of life. It would have directed local officials to assist residents in supporting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Paul Chamberlain, the council member sponsoring the resolution, acknowledges that Taneytown has no problem with illegal immigrants. But he sees an apocalypse coming: the gangs, the trash, the crowding that communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have attributed to an influx of impoverished, often undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans. And he hopes that putting up a virtual keep-out sign will steer them away from the corner of Carroll County.
"This is a preventive measure. Other places are passing laws against illegals, so where will they go? To the places that welcome them," said Chamberlain, a dapper man who sells recreational vehicles. "I am not trying to spew hatred against anyone, but I will not cower just because someone calls me a bigot. We have got to send a clear message that people who break the law are not welcome here."
But the real meat of the story (and why I’m so glad the Washington Post sent a reporter to the town) is in the quote reporter Pamela Constable got.
Away from the heat and glare, residents expressed more complicated, often contradictory opinions. Many said they were worried about reports of foreigners flooding larger towns in the region: the Hispanic laborers who came to pick apples in Pennsylvania and stayed, the Muslim group that is trying to buy a farm in nearby Walkersville and turn it into a retreat. Yet no one reported having any negative encounters with immigrants, and a handful of employers praised them as hardworking.The Walkersville Muslim group, by the way, which is a Silver Spring Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, are not in any way illegal immigrants. So this isn’t about whether anyone is “breaking the law” but about keeping the Mongol hordes away from their white sanctuaries.
Kevin Few, 42, a construction worker, said Hispanic migrants are driving down wages in Maryland and making it hard for people like him to find work. "Personally, 99 percent of them seem nice, clean and hardworking," he said. "But they come here, do our work for nothing, cram into apartments and buy new cars, while the rest of us are struggling to make ends meet. It's not fair."They are coming here, working hard and BUYING NEW CARS! Oh my god, the horror! The horror! You might even call them an uppity people.
This one, however, takes the cake.
At the local McDonald's, retirees meeting for coffee said they were not aware of Chamberlain's resolution but were nervous that illegal immigrants would come to the area. One woman, who said she was afraid to be identified, explained, lowering her voice: "If I tell you my name, the illegals might look up my address and come after me. They've already broken the laws, so what do they care?"Yes, the Mongol hordes are after you ma’am. Who knows what they will do to you if they only know where you live.
The real story is that Taneytown is dying. And if anyone is going to rescue it, it will be the new blood of immigrants coming in. Who do pay taxes and start new businesses. Maybe the white people would rather the population dwindle to nothing but remain pure?