Who wants to play pin the pink star on the foreigners? It’s an exciting new fun game brought to you by the all Republican all the time current government of North Carolina. President Obi created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that prevents the deportation of illegal immigrants under 30 who were brought to the U.S. as children and are now high school graduates, enrolled in college or who have served in the military. As part of this program, these people are eligible for driver’s licenses.
The N.C. General Assembly is not happy about issuing driver’s licenses to these folks. It came up with a colorful way to comply with licensing. Licenses issued to the undocumented will bear a pink stripe and the words “No Lawful Status.” How long do you think the General Assembly will be content with just putting the Pink Badge of Otherness on North Carolina driver’s licenses for this group? Pink Striping is not going to be enough for the Republicans. Some Republican representative is likely to introduce a bill requiring people licensed under this law to wear pink stars on their clothes to broadcast their status. Forcing people to wear the mark of Cain is what the strong do to the weak. Come on General Assembly, just do it. Make ‘em wear pink stars. You know you want to.
Remember Chuck Conner’s old western TV show Branded? Of course not. But I do, so you don’t have to. The General Assembly could recreate Branded’s opening sequence in its grudging issuance of driver’s licenses to those dastardly foreigners. Consider Conner’s plight. He is in the U.S. Cavalry. Through an unfortunate turn of events he is wrongly convicted of cowardice during a ﬁght with the Indians. His commanding ofﬁ cer marches Conner, in full Army uniform, out into the middle of the fort and ceremoniously rips off all his uniform insignia, takes his hat and breaks his sword. The CO tosses Chuck and his broken sword out the front gate. Chuck is now on his own. As the theme song goes: “All but one man died/There at Bitter Creek/And they say he ran away/Branded, scorned as the one who ran/ What do you do when you’re branded, and you know you’re a man?”
The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles could use that branding experience to create the ceremonial issuance of driver’s licenses to the undocumented. March the prospective driver’s out into the middle of the parking lot at the DMV. Put their new driver’s licenses in a vat of chicken fat ﬁlled with water moccasins. Make ‘em bob for their licenses. When they get their license, pin the Pink Badge of Otherness on them. Paint a pink stripe down their cars for easy identiﬁ cation by law enforcement. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?
The Republicans won the election and now we have them and they have us. We are in a world where Republicans frolic and run free to spread blessings upon the Haves at the expense of the Have Nots. A world of trickle-up economics with reduced unemployment beneﬁ ts, increased sales taxes and rejected Medicaid beneﬁ ts for people silly enough to be poor and sick.
Recall the great political philosopher Meat Loaf who wrote the classic song of young love, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Mr. Loaf sang of young love that parallels N.C.’s current young love affair with the Republicans. The boy is attempting to convince his girl friend to make whoopee: “We were doubly blessed/’Cause we were barely 17/And we were barely dressed/... Though its cold and lonely in the deep dark night/I can see paradise by the dashboard light.” The girl replies, “Stop right there!/Will you love me forever?/Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?” The boy tries to dodge the question by telling her “I’ll give you the answer in the morning.” She isn’t buying it. He is overcome by the moment and “I started swearing on my mother’s grave/That I would love you till the end of time”
After the moment passes, as all such moments do. Mr. Loaf says “So now I’m praying for the end of time/To hurry up and arrive/ ‘Cause if I’ve got to spend another minute with you/I don’t think that I can really survive/I’m praying for the end of time/So I can end my time with you.” Some of us non-Republicans are now praying for the end of time so we can end our time with the Republican paradise by the dashboard light. Happy motoring!