We have noted in previous posts the common ancestry of native plant and animal advocacy and anti-immigration sentiment. The relationship between these sentiments goes all the way back to 1930s Germany when there was a concerted effort to rid Germany of non-native plants, as well as people perceived as alien. We have also reported that some native plant advocates—though not all–in the San Francisco Bay Area are also strongly opposed to immigration.
Today we will provide another example of the connection between these two apparently related opinions. Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk show host, has a track record of calling immigrants an “invasive species.” The following Limbaugh quotes are provided by Media Matters for America, a web-based non-profit dedicated to “comprehensive monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
On April 1, 2005, Limbaugh described undocumented immigrants as an “invasive species,” saying:
LIMBAUGH: So invasive species like mollusks and spermatozoa are not good, and we’ve got a federal judge say, “You can’t bring it in here,” but invasive species in the form of illegal immigration is fine and dandy — bring ’em on, as many as possible, legalize them wherever we can, wherever they go, no matter what they clog up. So we’re going to break the bank; we’re going to bend over backwards. The federal judiciary is going to do everything it can to stop spermatozoa and mollusks from coming in, but other invasive species? We’re supposed to bend over and grab the ankles and say, “Deal with it.”
On August 15, 2011, Limbaugh said:
“[S]ome people would say we’re already under attack by aliens — not space aliens, but illegal aliens.”
Rush Limbaugh has been much in the news recently for his verbal attacks on a 30-year old female law student at Georgetown University who would like to have access to birth control. In Limbaugh’s opinion she is a “slut,” and a “prostitute” who has “so much sex that she can barely walk.” Women are not Limbaugh’s only target for abuse. He routinely says equally nasty things about gay people, poor people, ethnic and racial minorities, and labor unions.
Native plant advocates who are also opposed to immigration might give some thought to the implications of their ideology. Do they want to be associated with the likes of Rush Limbaugh? If not, how do they explain the difference between the crusade against non-native plants and animals and the crusade against immigrants?