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Facebook group detracts from debate

Desiree Zamora | Wednesday, October 10, 2007

As a proud daughter of hard-working immigrants, I was very happy with the civility of the Notre Dame forum on immigration. However, hours after the main event’s completion while perusing Facebook, my mini-feed informed me of something that bluntly pissed me off.

Someone had created a group called, “we are gonna shot you between the eyes.” For those who were at the forum or were watching it remotely, you may remember that the panel’s “antagonist” was Louis J. Barletta, mayor of Hazleton, Penn. In his challenging views on the subject of immigration, he kept alluding to picturesque events that happened in his small town in an effort to show how criminal undocumented immigrants really are.

This Facebook group was created as a tribute to him, “for those of us who are afraid to get shot between the eyes by minorityes cuz we doesnt knows inglechh,” and because, “Louis J. Barletta is a douche.” Decorating the group’s page is a flattering portrait of Barletta, with a makeshift speech bubble next to his face saying, “I am a Douche” and a red dot between his eyes that I don’t think is meant to denote his married status.

How is this immature behavior, albeit on Facebook, representative of the civility we want in the effort to create efficient dialogue on this issue? Regardless of Louis J. Barletta’s skewed attacks against immigrants, what do things like these say about Notre Dame students (I won’t even bring up the spelling issue) – especially those who come from immigrant families themselves?

There are people who are always going to be against undocumented immigrants, and there are people who are always going to be in solidarity with them. But there are plenty of people who are unsure of where they stand. How is seeing something like this (which can be interpreted so much as even a sign of hate and violence), going to help us earn the respect we have been trying to earn for so many years in this country?

Desiree Zamora


Walsh Hall

Oct. 9