Friday, December 01, 2006

Racist conservative says Americans are wimps, delicate beautiful wimps

A conservative judge writes a children's book comparing Mexicans to weeds and Americans to fragile, delicate flowers. Right wingers rejoice.

The book is a self-published number, written by Brooklyn Judge John H. Wilson, called The Hot House Flowers. The Boston Herald describes it thus:
Unhappy with the children’s books on the market, a Brooklyn criminal court judge has written a picture book that uses a horticultural metaphor to deplore the perils of unchecked immigration.

In “The Hot House Flowers,” ... an envious dandelion releases her seeds into a hothouse, where they grow and eventually use up so much water and food that there’s none left for the plants that were already there.

In the end, the master of the hothouse - clearly standing for God - removes the dandelions, and when the original dandelion tries to send more seeds in, the hothouse flowers trample the seeds so they can’t grow.
I'll leave the obvious racism and the problem of it rearing its ugly head in a criminal court judge to the good people at the Legal Aid Society. Of course it's racist to compare immigrants to weeds.

But what's even more telling is the accidentally accurate depiction of conservative, "real" Americans as hothouse flowers. As anyone with half a brain knows, a hothouse flower is one that can't survive on its own and has to live a pampered, greenhouse life. Dickens used the term to describe Mrs. Witterly in Nicholas Nickleby, according to the OED, writing that she was "of a very excitable nature, very delicate, very fragile, a hothouse plant."

Doesn't that sound like a lot of the phony-tough conservative Nancy-boys who growl "stay the course" then whimper "just leave me out of the fight"?


Anonymous Rosie the Riveter said...

Also, despite our best efforts to eradicate them, dandelions continue to poke their yellow heads out of the grass every spring. Our country could use a dose of the dandelion's perseverance and strength!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

I'm with you, Rosie. Dandelions are tough little bastards. They can be somewhat pretty when they bloom and are useful enough to make both salad and wine from.

Unself-conscious about their looks? Industrious? Tough? Useful?

Those words describe the Americans I know.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous resist said...

Hothouse Flowers or Fragile Patriots.

The modern conservative reflex tends towards a position of retreat from the world.
Lashing out abroad seeking to tame a complex changing world.
In vain.

11:21 PM  
Blogger A. Truman North said...

Great foil to my article on the same topic. I'm sorry I couldn't be as smart as nuanced as you, but maybe you could do me the favor of reading my take?

11:25 PM  
Blogger mapaghimagsik said...

And I write my own version:

2:54 PM  

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