From The Nation:
The conservative conservation movement’s dark history of racism and eugenics.
By Gaby Del Valle NOVEMBER 8, 2018
On his prime-time show in August, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared that his opposition to immigration partly stems from his deep love for the environment. Instead of banning helium balloons, plastic straws, and other “things that bring ordinary people joy,” Carlson suggested, liberals would be better advised to get tough on immigration. “I actually hate litter, which is one of the reasons I’m so against illegal immigration: It produces a huge amount of litter—a huge amount of litter,” Carlson said. “And I mean that with total sincerity.”
Carlson’s comment was mostly lost amid the uproar over the separation and indefinite detention of migrant children and their families at the US-Mexican border. But those who did catch it found themselves a bit confused about his point. “It’s unclear whether Carlson was equating migrants themselves with trash or making an assumption about the litter they produce when they enter the country,” wrote Salon’s Rachel Leah. “The latter seems odd, and the former undoubtedly bigoted and hateful.”
Odd as it may seem, though, Carlson was indeed implying that undocumented immigrants pose a serious threat to the country’s ecosystems. In doing so, he was continuing—perhaps inadvertently—a century-old tradition of American politicians, philanthropists, and public figures blaming immigrants for the country’s environmental woes.
In the latter decades of the 19th century, outspoken nativist environmentalists lobbied for restrictions on hunting and for the creation of national parks, all while warning of the dangers posed by “inferior” people from Southern and Eastern Europe and advocating policies that would prevent them from coming to the United States.
If it weren’t for all those racist xenophobes, there wouldn’t be a buffalo left alive in Yellowstone National Park, which wouldn’t exist either, which just proves how racist America is. Or something.
It’s really hard these days for followers of the conventional wisdom to think in terms other than of Good People and Bad People. Good People to do Good Things, so if undocumented workers (definitely some of the Good People) are littering and Tucker Carlson (a very Bad Person) is criticizing them for it, then littering must be good. Or if littering is bad, Carlson must be hallucinating in accusing the Good People of doing a Bad Thing. Or let’s not think about it and get Carlson banned from television so we don’t have to ever think about it.
In reality, of course Latino immigrants litter a lot, both at home and here. From Expat Chronicles:
Litter in Latin America vs. the U.S.
Posted on 07. Dec, 2013 by Colin in latin america, peru
In most Latin American neighborhoods I’ve lived in, it’s custom to throw trash in the street, which is known in English as littering. …
But due to my first-world upbringing, I wasn’t comfortable with any and all littering. For example, I wouldn’t throw a water bottle from a taxi window, especially in traffic. I realized how uppity this behavior was when I returned to Peru and shacked up with my wife, Milagros. She would notice me holding on to a bottle in a taxi. She’d take it from me and, without hesitation, roll down her window and drop the bottle onto the street, regardless of whether we were moving. She always did this with a look of satisfaction, as if she’d just finished washing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom. I never stopped getting a kick out of handing her my trash and seeing her prompt disposal and look of satisfaction.
Obviously that had to stop in America. This famous anti-litter commercial starring Indian impersonator, Iron Eyes Cody, helped form the base of gringo uneasiness with litter.
That ad was part of an entire anti-pollution campaign (see another) called Keep America Beautiful, which still exists today. Every state in the union passed laws mandating fines for “litterbugs.”
So wifey’s little disposals had to stop. It never occurred to me until she did it in America. She threw a small wrapper out the window while I was driving. I stopped the car as if I were going to put it in reverse, back up, and pick up the trash. I stopped long enough to make sure there were no police in my rearview mirror before putting it back in drive and continuing on my merry way.
But I immediately instructed Milagros never to do that again. Police will stop you in this country for that. Her eyes grew wide in disbelief, and she asked, “¿En serio?” in that singing, exaggerated Arequipa accent, (serioooooooo). Yes, I replied, seriously. The police will stop me and give me a big fine. …
Milagros now understands the American distaste for litter. It’s one of those cultural nuances you have to learn on the ground.
The long running Don’t Mess with Texas anti-littering campaign did some research into this topic:
2002 HISPANIC LITTER SURVEY—FACT SHEET
CURRENT LITTERING BEHAVIOR
Admit to littering in the last three months:
More than 30 percent of Hispanic Texans
19.3 percent of Texans in the General Market
Texas was about 1/3rd Latino in 2002, so about twice as many Hispanics as non-Hispanics admitted to littering.
(those who have discarded major items such as cans, bottles, and fast food trash)
9 percent of Hispanic Texans
Just over 5 percent of Texans in the General Market …
PROFILE OF A LITTERER
The profile of a Hispanic litterer in Texas is similar, but not identical, to the profile of a litterer in the General Market. In both cases, age is the single most significant predictor of littering behavior.
The typical Hispanic litterer in Texas is:
16-29 years old (25- to 29-year-olds are twice as likely to be Micro Litterers)
a partier (goes to parties/bars more than twice a week)
Would like to see the Don’t Mess with Texas litter prevention campaign continue:
95 percent of Hispanic Texans
90 percent of Texans in the General Market
Littering is one of the few social problems that actually is highly amenable to social engineering. If we directed messages to immigrants telling them that in this country it’s bad to litter, they might eventually get the message. But progressives don’t want to do progressive stuff like that anymore, because all they care about is hating the Bad People.