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A 30-something mother of 4 that I know gets her health insurance from MinnCare.

Seems she's gotten a few too many of those right-wing chain emails lately, and she finally blew her stack.

After venting to the guilty, and getting a reply from her mom, and responding to that--she sent all three emails out to some other friends for feedback--one of whom was me.

Kossacks like well-told reality stories, and T__ has written a doozy. She gave me permission to edit out names and share it...

Below the fold....

-----Original Message-----
From: T__
...ultra-conservative family members... continue to send me emails which are quite derrogatory about President Obama, immigrants, people on welfare, etc, etc. Finally, I had enough! (...I do not think that anyone who enters the US illegally should be entitled to benefits.)

Subject: Not every imigrant is worthless, and I need healthcare

My good friend R__ came to the U.S. from India. He is dark-skinned and speaks with a bit of an accent. He is a wiz at computers and has always had a job. After living in the U.S. for a few years he decided he wanted to make it his home. He began taking steps toward becoming a citizen. He now proudly hangs his citizenship certificate in his home. He is an American.

My friend D__ is of Mexican descent. His parents were illegal immigrants who were migrant farm workers. They learned English and eventually his father landed a job with Bell Telephone, I believe. They raised 2 children. D__ grew up and chose the wrong path for a while, but then straightened up his act, got a degree, and joined the Minneapolis Police Dept, which he served for 15 years. He was then recruited by Homeland Security. His father worked for Bell for over 25 years. His mother volunteered her time with Catholic Charities. At the age of 78 she still runs the soup kitchen at their center in St. Paul 7 days a week. The O__ Family is American.

My next door neighbor, V__, is from Laos. Her parents came to the U.S. to give their children a better life. V__ and her husband J__ (yes, he is white) are the best neighbors I've ever had.  V__ has modeled, been a stay at home mom, is a member of the PTA, and is now a successful realtor. She is a wonderful, bubbly person who would do anything to help someone or just give a friendly wave. She is American.

I feel it is safe to say that I make it through the day sometimes because of my friend N__. He is a very good friend who is always willing to lend his ear and has helped me talk through many situations in my life. N__ is Mexican but doesn't even speak Spanish. Pretty sad, I think. But his parents who came here from Mexico wanted to be sure their children learned English. N__ served in the Army for 4 years and is now a Crime Prevention Specialist for Minneapolis. He is single-handedly raising his 2 daughters because their white mother abandoned all of them. His family has kept the tradition of making tamales from scratch every December. I have some in my freezer... Yum! N__ is American.
The church where [my youngest son] goes to preschool hosts English as a second language classes. If immigrants aren't employed and making the effort to learn English, why is it that every morning I see Asian, Somali, and Mexican people drive in or walk in to the parking lot, or get off the bus to attend?

As for healthcare, if I didn't have MinnCare (state-funded health insurance), I could be dead now. If I had to pay full price for all the medications I take, I estimate it would run me $1000 per month. Get a job, one might say. OK, so then I pay for daycare for 1 child plus before and after school child care for 2 others. Oh but wait... Child #1 has a form of autism, Child #2 has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and child #3 has juvenile diabetes [and requires insulin]. Thankfully, Child #4 is still "normal." [But then] there's me... Stroke survivor, worsening osteoarthritis in almost all of my joints, and impaired retention and panic attacks as a result of the stroke. [My ex-husband provides some child support, but he has his own set of mental and physical problems and cannot cover us with his healthcare.] The fact is, I DO work, every day, 24/7, to maintain my sanity, better myself, and do everything I can to ensure my children are well taken care of and raised to be responsible, productive adults.   Working outside the home and attempting [to study] have become things that I can no longer do without great effort, at the expense of my children and my health.  

Haven't you ever considered there are others in my shoes??!! I was on welfare and food stamps, but as soon as my child support started, that ended. The only "free ride" I'm getting now is health insurance, thank God.

I have encountered more white American-born trash than I've ever witnessed in the immigrants some people so despise. Let's get rid of the WT! Nobody suggests that because they are Americans, damn it! Well, I'll bet money that my friend R__ is more familiar with American history and the constitution, etc, than many of us American-born folks.

Yes, there are "bad" and unappreciative immigrants or others on welfare, etc. But I believe it is most people's desire to be independent, productive, contributing members of society.

I respect your conservative opinions and views, but I ask you to please respect my views and take some time to reflect on what I've written.   I've been liberal to middle-of-the-road since 1993 and am proud of it. And remember, the only people who were born in the U.S. are the Native American Indians.


-----Reply to Rant-----
From: [T__'s mom]
Subject: Re: Not every immigrant is worthless, and I need health care


Ok.  So I will stop sending you e-mails that I feel may upset you.....I didn't realize you were that sensitive about the subject matter.  I'm really glad that you have good friends like R__, I'm sure if I knew him I would like him as well.  The same goes for your friend, D__, your neighbor, V__ and your friend, N__.  Perhaps you don't know or remember that I have dated Hispanic and Black men in my life and have had Hispanic, Asian and Black friends and business associates?

What I am very upset about is the fact that we have border guards trying to stop the flow of illegal aliens coming into the country, but Obama wants to offer them free medical coverage once they have entered the country illegally.  He has cut all Social Security yearly increases for 2010 and 2011 for the first time in history!!  That has cost R__ and me a total of $4800.00 for those two years.  Everything is going up but our income!  And I have worked for that Social Security guaranteed payment and cost-of-living increases for forty-five years of my life!  I'm damn angry about that situation.

And, since we read the newspaper everyday, I can tell you that the majority of crimes here in Phoenix are committed by Hispanics.... homes broken into, robberies, murders, rapes, etc.  I've become obsessed about keeping the doors of the house locked at all times, even when I'm home.  And then I can add having my wallet stolen out of my handbag in the grocery store I frequent (by a black woman), the window broken on Ron's car, money stolen and then a nail deliberately put into his tire while we were hiking.  I'm very sorry that you are angry and upset at me.....but, frankly, I am livid about what is going on here now and the fact that the majority of crimes we read about in the paper have been committed by minorities.

I know that there are good people of all don't have to tell me that.  But you and your children are going to have to live with whatever happens in this country for a lot longer than I have left.  I only hope for your sakes that these times improve.  I love you and the kids and want only the best for you.


-----Reply to Reply-----
From: T__

Dear Mom,

I'm not angry with you and I did not send that email to you alone. So don't worry about that.

Yes, I understand where you are coming from. I don't agree with everything that Obama (or any other President) does or wants to do. And I certainly do not agree with giving the world to people who come into the U.S. Illegally.

I don't choose to live my life worked up all the time about things I cannot change. I feel that I get these types of emails quite frequently that are serving no purpose but to cultivate hatred, alarm, and panic. There's enough of that already and I don't need to read about more.

I couldn't possibly have voted for a president (McCain) who would have continued Bush's 8 year halt on all stem cell research because the morality police believe it is wrong. For me and my life, that is where I stand. I have a child with a potentially curable disease. I have a friend with paralysis who could potentially walk again. With no research, there is no potential. I also couldn't vote for someone who believes it's ok for the government to say who can love whom and how they should live their lives, or who would change Roe v Wade and let the government be in charge of a woman's body. Again, the morality police. The woman I remember you to be would care about these issues too.

I can't worry about a future I have no control over, but I do voice my opinion when I vote. My children's health and longevity is far more important to me than any debt or deficit.

We could go on debating this forever, but I have no interest in doing so. Just consider my side of things. And yes I'm a bit offended by statements that  generalize. And if I stay quiet it is as though I am saying I agree.


Originally posted to chriscol on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:29 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thank you for a great letter. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's not easy writing a sane response to the nonsense emails, especially when they come from people you care about.

    Listen up, guys! It turns out that if we don't hurry up and change the world, later it's the world that changes us. --Mafalda

    by forester on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:39:32 PM PST

  •  Drives me nuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    balancedscales, nokkonwud

    when people point the finger at all Mexican illegals, claiming that they're all criminals.  If they were, then why is it that the main thing most of them come here for -- crossing a desert, dying of exposure or dehydration sometimes -- is to work honestly?  If they were criminals, they could easily stay at home and do crime there.  But since they can't go through legal channels to find work, they are forced by poverty into this dangerous crossing.  

    And does it not occur to anyone that if everyone who worked could work legally, we'd have that much more tax money to spend on the health care people complain that illegals are getting?

    "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

    by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 01:41:44 PM PST

    •  The amount of tax money received would in... (0+ / 0-)

      And does it not occur to anyone that if everyone who worked could work legally, we'd have that much more tax money to spend on the health care people complain that illegals are getting?

      no way cover the amount of government services provided. Most people coming here from Lain America (legally and illegally) are unskilled, and pretty poor. They are usually the most disadvantaged in their countries of origin which are poor countries to begin with.

      The fact is that unskilled, mass immigration is costing us lots of taxpayer money which is why so many people are pissed off.

      The Medicaid budget in California has ballooned in the last 10-20 years because so many people immigrating to California are poor.

      •  Read my post again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I said "we'll have that much more."  It is a simple fact, too, that we have perhaps 15 million illegal immigrants here.  That population is not going away.  So it's simple enough: would you rather have them work here WITHOUT paying any taxes, or PAYING some money in taxes?

        Be pissed off all you want, but all our current system is accomplishing is to make people like you MORE angry, by solving nothing, while ensuring more deaths of illegal immigrants, because the need for secrecy forces them to attempt more dangerous crossings than need be.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 02:29:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i.e., I didn't say anything about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "it'll be enough to cover their services."  I said "we'll have that much more," i.e., we'll have something where now we get nothing.  And nobody has a plan that could possibly expel 15 million illegal immigrants from the country.  If it were possible, they'd have done it already, believe me.

          "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

          by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 02:31:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  American citizens are entitled to... (0+ / 0-)

          the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other refundable credits. Not to mention that most low income workers pay zero in federal income tax.

          If the illegal immigrates are legalized they will be eligible for those programs and as a result more tax dollars will not be collected.

      •  How do you know it wouldn't provide enough? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Do you have any numbers, any proof of what you're saying?  

        "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums

        by balancedscales on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 02:48:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Federal income tax is zero for... (0+ / 0-)

          most low income people and that doesn't even including the refundable credits like EITC.

          Most immigrants from Mexico (legal and illegal) are low income.

          Put those two statements together.

    •  What bothers people is that we have (0+ / 0-)

      laws and regulations that govern immigration to/from the United States and that these people don't follow the rules. It's also an insult to those who have been waiting for years to come here legally.

      •  Do you think for one minute they wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

        follow the rules, if they could?  You're telling me, with a straight face, that ANYONE would rather risk death from exposure or dehydration crossing a burning desert, if they could just fill out some forms and could possibly afford to pay the fees necessary to do so?  If someone is a career criminal, why wouldn't they just stay home in comfort, and do their crimes there?

        Of course they'd rather be legal.  If not, then ALL of those 15 million illegal immigrants would be career criminals once they get here, instead of what they are, which is basically honest people who work very hard for an honest day's pay, and who were forced by poverty and by restrictions on immigration into committing ONE illegal act.

        Casting them as immoral or bad people who want to "insult" those who are able to get here legally ignores the very real suffering that these people go through to get here, and the even greater suffering through poverty that drove them to try.  Please rethink this.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:37:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand that there is poverty in their home (0+ / 0-)

          countries but immigration to the US isn't an entitlement either. The problem is that your position is a nonstarter with people who have been waiting for years to come here legally.

          •  Wouldn't you say that with 15 million illegal (0+ / 0-)

            immigrants here right now, which no possible plan could expel, it's your position that's a non-starter?

            My solution would be to allow those to come who want to come, since they WILL come whether we allow it or not.  That way, we can at least get the money from taxes on their income, rather than losing it, and all the other problems that come with it.  That way, too, there would BE no resentment between illegals and those who can afford paperwork and immigration lawyers, after a few years.

            What is your solution for all those millions?

            "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

            by Villagejonesy on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 07:33:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has nothing to do with (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security increases (COLA). It is based on a formula prescribed by federal law.  Your Mom shouldn't blame him for that!  Here's a link: Daily Finance

  •  One key point (0+ / 0-)

    None of the healthcare reform plans going through Congress covers illegal immigrants!

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