Sociologist Embedded with Minutemen

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

It sounds like a great idea for a screenplay: sociology student tags along with Secure Borders group to get inside their heads.

“The first time Harel Shapira set foot inside a Minuteman camp, a member of the often-disparaged group threw him out,” Peter Monaghan wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education on April 26, 2013. “Then a doctoral student at Columbia University, Shapira persisted.”

“The result is Waiting for Jose: The Minutemen’s Pursuit of America (Princeton University Press) a study of the self-appointed policers of American borders.” Nevertheless, the results of his inquiry were somewhat surprising.

“Their activities made them oddly kindred with volunteers from aid organizations like the Samaritans and No More Deaths, who provided water and aid to migrants stranded in the desert,” Monaghan wrote. “The Minutemen even seemed, to Shapira, bizarelly linked to the drug runners they rarely saw, but who shared the activists penchant for military-like organization.”

“All this suggested to the sociologist that very few of the Minutemen were right-wing extremists, and they were often not particularly racist. He found them primarily to be disaffected refugees from a modern America that they believed had collapsed under immigrant invasion, bogus government, slacker youths, and loose morality—the usual litany.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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