Thursday, October 1, 2020

Guest Blogger Series: Kansas Rep. Ponka-We Victors “Response to Rep. Peck’s Comments”

My name is Ponka-We Victors. I was recently elected to the Kansas Legislature where I work to represent a diverse and bustling community in north central Wichita. I serve on the Agriculture, Judiciary, and Federal and State Affairs committees and over see a variety of issues. Personally, I have heard firsthand some of the disturbing comments that come from individuals regarding the various issues including the Arizona-style racial profiling bill and in-state tuition for undocumented students.

The most recent comments made by my colleague Rep. Peck were extremely disappointing. His comparison of the shooting of feral hogs and of undocumented immigrants as a solution was shocking and sad.

As a freshman, I hold the Legislative body in high esteem. I believe that this body of individuals presents a place where individuals come together to resolve the pressing problems our state is facing. Our constituents elect the best to represent their voice in the legislature and I am disappointed with this lack of leadership. Unfortunately, the rest of the U.S. has heard about Rep. Peck’s comments and have received an unflattering notion of what Kansans are like. I would like to personally state that Kansas is better than this and I’m appalled by these racist behaviors this Legislative Session.

I believe this issue should be handled at the federal level and I share the frustration with the public for the lack of action and the failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

While the frustration with the issue of unauthorized immigration is understandable, and recognizing that there are several opinions on how best to address the issue, it is never appropriate nor acceptable to engage in a dialogue with such derogatory language as expressed recently. Certainly, comparing shooting of pigs and immigrants is not in sync with the teachings of Jesus Christ and I refuse to stoop to that level.

I will continue to pray for Mr. Peck. We have real issues to address here in our state such as a strained budget, jobs for our Kansans and how we deal with our many unemployed residents and their families. This is what is most important to me and what I will continue to work on.

Ponka-We Victors is from Wichita, Kansas and is the newly elected State Representative of District 103.  Ponka-We was born and raised in the 103rd district.   She obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration from Wichita State University.  When not in session she teaches at youth risk independent and social skills.

Comments

  1. words matter.
    The American public has sadly grown accustomed to their sneering references to “illegal immigrants,” “illegals,” “illegal aliens” or even “crimaliens.”
    And therein lies the problem – not the pandering of talk-show hosts to an angry, right-wing, fringe audience, but rather that their language has begun to seep into the mainstream, sometimes tainting even the speech of others who do not share their views. It is hurtful to individuals, and it is corrosive to the national discussion of enlightened immigration policy reform.Even President Barack Obama whose own citizenship continues to be ridiculously challenged by the so-called “birther” movement – appeared to have fallen victim to creeping acceptance of objectionable terms in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress, seeking support for health-care reform: “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants,” he declared. “This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”Except for Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who objected for his own reasons with the indecorous, “You lie!” outburst, a reasonable person might ask: What’s wrong with what the president said?
    What’s wrong is that he used the same term, “illegal immigrants,” that Limbaugh, Dobbs and Beck hurl as an invective when seeking to fire up their followers. By using the term, or its more hateful variants, the president and other progressive figures in public life provide reactionaries with a kind of permission slip to use the words to serve their own purposes.”Undocumented immigrants” or “undocumented workers” would be preferable, and not merely to be politically correct. These more descriptive terms focus on the status of the individuals instead of demonizing the people themselves as alien, different or “other.”
    Indeed, how can a person be illegal? Or, a person’s family? Personhood is not surrendered by crossing a border, with or without proper documents.
    But for those who are blind to the moral imperative, there is also this: By some estimates, undocumented workers pay up to $9 billion in federal taxes annually – payments from which they often cannot benefit because of their status – a situation that accrues to the benefit of the government and the American people. And, of course, the military has been eager to induct immigrants, documented and undocumented, for service in the Middle East, where their service has been greatly needed.
    Nativist movements in the United States have long sought to severely restrict, or cut off altogether, immigration. They and their allies should not be helped by giving them a pass to use language that is harmful to the debate on how to design and implement progressive immigration policies.

    Shakespeare was inspired when he had his tragic young heroine deconstruct the value of words by asking, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” But in today’s hot, political environment, there’s no tolerance for words that allow others to define what you intended to say. Let’s be precise when we speak of immigrants without proper documents
    the correct term is Undocumented.

  2. Stormkite says

    “As a freshman, I hold the Legislative body in high esteem.”

    You’ll learn better.

  3. Has Peck resigned yet? HE SHOULD.

  4. You just don’t joke about shooting people…esp when there has already been bloodshed.