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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why Is Gail Collins Afraid of "Illegals"?

The Gail Collins, in an otherwise humorous column Alabama Goes Viral, plays a sleight of hand when quoting the now famous television advertisement by Dale Peterson, running for Alabama Agricultural Commissioner.

Here is Collins' description (emphasis mine):
This is the start of Peterson’s campaign ad. He rides into the screen on a horse that looks increasingly worried as things progress. Brandishing a rifle, the 64-year-old farmer barks at the camera about his opponent (“a dummy”), somebody stealing his yard signs and immigrants being “bused in by the thousands.” The overall effect is like being cornered at a party by an eccentric neighbor who thinks the garbage man is spying on him for the federal government. It’s extremely popular.
But Collins didn't quote the video correctly. Peterson actually said "illegals bused in by the thousands." [Added: Actually, I'm not sure he says "bused in" but rather "bust in." Anyone out there who speaks Southern and can clarify that for me?]

Collins' rendition makes it appear that Peterson was against all immigrants, when in fact his words spoke only of illegal immigrants.

What is The Gail Collins afraid of? Words, just words?

I hope she's not out stealing Peterson's yard signs.

Update: Hey, this is turning into something sociological. Kudos to many of the commenters for pointing out The Gail Collins assumed the term was "bused in" because of Collins' subliminal assumption that white people in the South must complain about "busing" because busing was the point of grievance for some whites in the Northeast in the 1970s. The busing riots in Southie (Boston) when I was growing up (not in Southie) are vivid in my mind from the television coverage.

Thanks also to reader Ray from San Diego for this translation:

I don't have an account that allows me to post comments so here is the answer to your question.

Your question: Actually, I'm not sure he says "bused in" but rather "bust in." Anyone out there who speaks Southern and can clarify that for me?

Here is what he said: "...illegals bust in by the thousands..."

Here is the translation to Yankee-speak: "...illegals are breaking into the country by the thousands..."

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  1. I speak southern. I think he says "Illegals bust in by the thousands" meaning they break the door down and come in uninvited.

  2. He said "bust in" meaning to break into the country illegally.

  3. I think it's definitely bust in or bust'n in, although I'm from TN, not AL, which makes a bigger difference than you think. Every Southern state has it's own dialect.

    Any how bustin' in gives one the picture of a horde of invaders coming to get Alabaman jobs.

  4. Peterson clearly said, "illegals bust in by the thousands".

    Collins no doubt assumed he said "bused in" because she still views the south through images of the 60's and George Wallace.

  5. "Bust in"

    But I want hear more about the horse that looks worried.

  6. Why are today's journalists so afraid of ever dealing with the truth? I've long felt that we're repeating the mistakes we should have learned from history, and those who like to consider themselves "the great and the good" seem to have been out to lunch when they should have been paying attention in history class. In all of the despotic regimes throughout the ages, useful idiots like themselves served their purpose and were cast aside, and on many of those occasions, served up the same sort of misery and pain they hadn't minded being imposed on the the innocents that were the initial victims of such regimes.

    I wonder how many MSM journalists ever bother to consider that they too will be served up in a similar fashion to the persecution and oppression that will come about if Obama gets his way?

    I was talking with my daughter about the media's complicity in the corruption of our government and she mentioned something to me that I hadn't learned about in school. I knew that the German press had for the most part, during the lead up to the nazi take over had been willing propagandists, but not learned about how science and medical writers had been eagar participants in not only propagandizing, but in furthering the nazi agenda. Also that while many physicists in in pre-war Germany had rejected and fought against such overtures, physicians, scientists and engineers fell over themselves to participate, as they were more interested in advancing their careers, and possibly their own theories if they served the nazi's interests.

    She mentioned something about being told in a history class as an undergrad, by a professor that engineers are the best allies of despots, and I can't help but wonder about that, especially given the fact that our nation has displaced citizen engineers for the most part, with cheap foreign engineers, who don't love our country or our people.. and what that could possibly mean to us.

  7. Larry Sheldon....you took the words right out of my mouth!! ;) Love these "educated" writers today; I am sure Gail missed that GLARING mistake by a mile.

    And, about the "bused in" vs. "bust in" - it's all about the educated elite vs. average, everyday (read: REAL) people. Gail hears "bused in" because no EDUCATED person would use the slang word "bust" - it wouldn't even enter her thinking that people drop their g's (think Sarah Palin) or use slang. Oh, my!

    It's the unwashed masses - peasants! "The little people".....you betcha! :)

  8. Just writing in from beautiful north Alabama, it is "illegals bust in by the thousands". Y'all keep up the good work.

  9. Bill:

    Gail Collins - like most liberals today - doesn't care what is said by conservatives because she actually knows what they mean and reports it that way. Just like Maureen Dowd knew and reportesd that Joe Wilson meant "You lie, boy!" even though that's not what he said.

    Sacrificing veracity and honesty for the greater good - your liberal elite at its best!

  10. I'm late to this party but I agree it is "bust in" not "bused in".

    This is a magical candidate. Here's why. He's riding a horse that is not fitted with a saddle scabbard or holster for a rifle. At the 0.40 mark of the video, he's standing in front of the fence with both hands on top of the fence (with the reins held loosely in his right hand). A few seconds later, appearing not to have moved from that spot, he suddenly flings a rifle on top of the fence with his right hand.

    The rifle appears outta nowhere. He's magical I tell ya. His opponent is toast.

  11. heh, I speak Southern, and yes, he says and means "bust in" as in "barge in" uninvited. He's got everything right in this ad, too, I'll be surprised if he doesn't win.

  12. @ mairzydoats
    Look who told your daughter that engineers are the best allies of despots -- a (marxist) history professor. I would not bet the farm on this bit of information!

    Engineers tend to be very pragmatic people, and that could be the basis for his comment. They want the opportunity to work on project that will allow them to accomplish things. On the other hand, every engineer that I have ever known, which is many hundreds, have had a pretty high view of freedom, personal independence, national sovereignty, and traditional American values. Engineers tend to be very conservative folks by their nature. The whole engineering enterprise it to build things that work and do not fail; this means doing things in a conservative manner, and that carries over into politics as well.

    I don't think you could say anything similar about history profs.

  13. First, their out to be a write in campaign to have this guy as president.

    Second, speaking from Shreveport, he is definitely saying "bust in", as in breaking through. And he is directly talking about illegals, not immigrants.

  14. Did Gail Collins say "brandishing a rifle"?
    That must be prog-speak for "has a rifle".

    Gail is "brandishing her ignorance".

  15. It was probably an editorial change to conform to the publication's style guide. The PR marketing campaign of a few years ago "no human is illegal" was very effective at accomplishing its aim of "reframing the debate".

  16. "Bust in" would be used to describe a violent or brazen entrance, and a term which I would not use to describe the stealth tactics employed by most illegal aliens.

    "Bussed in", as in "transported by bus", describes the busloads of migrant farm workers (apparently assumed to be illegal aliens) to take farm labor jobs from "..honest, hard workin', gun totin' citizens of Alabama!"

    (is that....banjo music?