College Republicans are HILARIOUS, aren't they?
But lately, College Republicans around the country have just gone off the deep end with their "humor" and playtime. In fact, they are offending members of both the Republican and the Democratic party with their antics. They certainly aren't making any friends; no, instead it looks like they have a whole new group of enemies. Additionally, there "games" have forced a few of their members to resign their leadership positions or be kicked out of the group altogether. Unfortunately, that's what you get for being a hateful bigot with a small brain.
It's almost enough to make us nostalgic for streaking and sitting on flagpoles. College students from Michigan to Florida have found a new way to get attention, offend others and make a right-wing statement all at once. It's a game with a name that says it all: “Catch the Illegal Immigrant.”So, there you have it. They want their "freedom of speech", well fine; they can have it. They won't have many friends though, I can guarantee you that.
The game is a variation on hide and seek: one player poses as the immigrant, and everyone else tries to find that person. There's a prize, usually $200 or less, which is not much, but enough to celebrate the cheap exploitation of a fellow human.
“Catch the Immigrant” is the brainchild of an intern with the College Republican National Committee, who lost her post after coming up with this and other campus recruitment gimmicks. Another game, called “Fun With Guns,” invited young Republicans to fire BB guns or paint balls at cardboard cutouts of Democratic leaders. Republican Party leaders have tried to distance themselves from the games, but seem to have done little to stop them.
The right-wing organizers of the immigrant games — particularly Young Americans for Freedom and Young Republicans — have declared piously that they're just trying to spark debate. At that, they have succeeded. Protesters defending immigration and human dignity have outnumbered the game's players at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Pennsylvania State and other campuses, including, most recently, at New York University.
The reaction from schools has been mostly tepid. Administrators are in a tough spot, trying to balance free speech with offensive behavior. More speech is the answer, including voices of authority pointing out the nastiness of this game as well as the inherent cruelty of hunting people for sport.
“Catch the Immigrant” also reflects a larger misunderstanding of the immigration issue. The more than 11 million illegal immigrants cannot be caught. Even if they could be, rounding them up and deporting them would be disastrous, economically and socially. Educators should teach the game players about the real world.