We know what plays to approval on Fox News in the evening hours when profoundly ridiculous notions and racist attitudes are presented. We also know those same views will meet strong disagreement and rejection from large swaths of the nation that is not wedded to the absurd network. What makes the FOX crowds giddy does not translate well to the nation as a whole. A case in point would be the plain mean-spirited abuse of migrants at the hands of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
This was underscored when a new poll from Reuters-Ipsos was published Friday which showed that only a third of Americans think it’s appropriate for Republican governors to fly or bus migrants to other states. Half of the Republicans polled and only 1 in 6 Democrats said it was something in which they could agree. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats say they opposed the practice. Forty-five percent–including 63 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans–said state leaders transporting migrants were committing illegal migrant trafficking.
The poll is reflective of the mood in the nation following the awful news of flying migrants thousands of miles across the country to Martha’s Vineyard. The island off Massachusetts only has 17,000 year-round residents, and as we know from news reports this spring has housing problems for their workers who arrive during the warm months as tourists roam about. Making a purely partisan point with the lives of migrants was unseeingly, and immoral.
It is truly troubling that some Republican pols are comfortable with the use and manipulation of people–vulnerable migrants—for the single purpose of scoring points with white voters who willingly watch FOX News. That network does not present migrants as human beings fleeing dreadful conditions in their homelands or that they seek to work hard or will find many businesses in every sector in each state wishing to hire them. (Jobs, it needs noting, those same white FOX News viewers will not fill.)
I noted on my Twitter feed a slice from history that made a strong point about this situation. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library posted a tweet comparing the DeSantis racism with the “reverse Freedom Rides” that occurred in the 1960s in our nation.
“To embarrass Northern liberals and humiliate Black people, southern White Citizens Councils started their so-called ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,’ giving Black people one-way tickets to northern cities with false promises of jobs, housing, and better lives”.
Americans know racism when they see it, and the strong rebuke of DeSantis that was registered across the nation has made one point most clear. Stop using migrants as political pawns.