Protecting the bordersWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite some differences on some very specific issues, we respect and generally support Toledo City Councilmen Joe McNamara and Adam Martinez. Both men are consistent in their views and carry themselves with confidence and thoughtfulness well beyond their years.
So when we disagree with them, we like to step back and try to understand what defines our differences.
In the case of the June 1 proposal that Martinez and McNamara planned to use to thrust Toledo into the debate swirling around Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which addresses immigration policy, it is easy to see why we do not see eye to eye.
The nonbinding resolution, which was not presented but reportedly will be at a future meeting, is a clear matter of opening a very big mouth that contains absolutely no teeth.
You may be extremely passionate about this issue on one side or the other, but no matter where you land on the ideology, it is difficult to understand why this Arizona matter would take up the time, energy and attention of anyone running a city 1,700 miles away. Add in the fact that the city 1,700 miles away is in financial, developmental and cultural crisis and it becomes even more curious.
I am not naive to the so-called Butterfly Effect, in which something happening on the other side of the planet can directly impact life in my breathing space. But this issue seems so specific to the southern border, it is tough to justify our elected leaders stretching to make it a local topic. Undoubtedly, Martinez and McNamara have been asked by some constituents to take a stand on this hot-button news story, and if they feel strongly about it, they should.
But to ask all of council to make a statement for all of Toledo? That doesn’t pass the basic relevancy test.
The two councilmen are apparently going back to the drawing board before presenting the information, and that shows a degree of prudence we respect.
For example, the resolution does not “Boycott, Ban, Refuse, or discourage doing business with Arizona based businesses; Boycott, Ban, Refuse, or discourage travel to Arizona for either business or pleasure; Discuss, infer, or otherwise suggest how govern or enforce laws in a different state; Engage, discuss, or express an opinion on the complex issues of immigration.”
If you’re going to commit, commit. Being too timid to call for an all-out boycott is one thing, but refusing to “Engage, discuss, or express an opinion on the complex issues of immigration” is not only weak, it is disingenuous; of course you are expressing an opinion on immigration, by asking your city’s council to take an admonishing stand.
Two of the reasons listed to “be concerned” are “Similar legislation is being considered in both the Ohio State Senate and Ohio State House of Representatives” and it “Legalizes racial profiling.”
While Ohio State Rep. Courtney E. Combs has publicly advocated for such legislation, to say it is actively being considered in Ohio is a long stretch. When it is considered here, it will be up for fair comment.
To claim the legislation legalizes racial profiling is the nastiest degree of unsupportable hyperbole and is an argument beneath the intellects of the two men in question.
There are borders to protect and strengthen, but they are not 1,600 miles away, and they are not threatened by ideology. They are under our feet, and we need to focus on them with all our resources.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.