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Arizona Illegal Immigration Article Triggers Cyberbullying Incident

Well – that didn't take long.

On Friday, I sent an article regarding the Arizona Illegal Immigration law and how it is a perfect example of how to take back your power and stand up to a bully in your life, especially when you have done everything you were asked or taught to do and nothing changes.

Someone who read my article disagrees.

Normally, I get Nastygrams and I do what I was taught to do; I read them, laugh, celebrate that I am getting criticism and then hit the "delete" key, not bothering to waste my breath on someone who is sending negative energy my way. 

However, after getting this email below, I decided to make an exception for two reasons:  the first reason is that this situation is a perfect example of how to deal with cyberbullying, and I wanted to "lead by example" and demonstrate how I handle things like this.

The second reason is that the below type of e-mail is a perfect example of how someone can get upset over when you stand up for yourself and take a position and, rather than use an intelligent argument, resort to emotional positions and name calling, essentially hijacking the argument.

So here is the nastygram, along with my response.  I have not included this person's name for privacy reasons.

"Dear Sir,

Please do not send any e-mail. I could block you from my receiving list and be done with such. However, I choose to give you the respect that you are not willing to give Latino Immigrants of this great nation. As a Naturalize United States Citizen and citizen of the State of Arizona who was born in Mexico, who also served in this country's military fighting for the principals that this great nation stands for. I am bewidered and upset that you would have such views. SB 1070 is a racial profailing proposition (It's not a law yet and hopfully never will be.)

Sir, you are incorrect in many of your views and comments.  Its too bad you are very uneducated regarding the great things immigrants bring to this country. That would be the case however, since your ancestors were the first ones in this great land and thus not considered immigrants (you are of course a Native American right???????). and that gives you the right to removed anyone else from this country, right? 

Please take to study and get factual information before writing and sending your racial and non-factual opinions Sir.

Good Day Sir"

And my response:

Dear Mr. Obviously Did Not Read All of My Article,

Thank you for contacting me.  I also thank you for being a fellow military man, as I served in the Marines during the First Gulf War.

I don't know where you read in my article any disrespect for Latino immigrants.  Nowhere in the article did I attack them or say anything negative.

I am more aware than most of what immigrants bring to this country.  As I said in my article, my wife is first generation Chinese American; my great-grandparents came here from Germany through Ellis Island.  My wife's father, a Phd in electrical engineering, holds fourteen patents from his days working with IBM, many of which are a part of America's economy today.  If it wasn't for immigration and immigrants, my wife wouldn't even be my wife and I wouldn't have a beautiful daughter.

As far as being uneducated on the issue, I actually read the law, word-for-word, prior to writing the article.  I always try to get my information unfiltered, not through a conservative or liberal source or, God Forbid, some support group with a political agenda.  The law – as best as I can tell, since I am not an attorney – mirrors what the Federal law already does.  So Arizona is simply going to enforce what the Federal government said was the law already.

Bringing up Native Americans has no relevance to the discussion, although what was done to them by our government was an injustice.

I don't see the connection with removing anyone from the country, unless you are referring to someone who is here illegally, regardless of their nationality, which is federal law.

It sounds to me that you may have read my article and let the emotion and passion you have for the issue cloud your point of view.  I hope that you are not like the thousands across the country that are rallying, calling people names like racist, Nazi and worse, just because someone told you that this law was racist, encouraged racial profiling and likened it to Nazi Germany before Hitler started killing jews.

If you did that, it means that you were taken advantage of by someone with a political agenda who fed you B.S. and you believed it.  And, you didn't take the time to read the law yourself and form your own opinion.

I urge you to not listen to anyone on the matter, including me.  Read the bill for yourself and if you have questions, ask an attorney for clarification.  Then you can take and educated, intelligent position on the matter.

And by the way, when you call someone a racist, you give the appearance of putting the other party on the moral low ground, and put yourself on the moral high ground.  Unfortunately, it is a tactic that far too many people use today when their position is weak (Al Sharpton, anyone?) So in the future, at least when communicating with me, please keep the discussion on point and leave out the name-calling.

Thank you again for your response to my article.  If you ever want to stop hearing from me, feel free to hit the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of any e-mail from me.


Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – Just for fun, go and research Mexico's Illegal Immigration laws.  They are much more severe than ours and will provide some very interesting perspective.

When you are faced with an instance like this, the best way to handle it is quickly, and head-on.

You can see that I kept my response as factual, on-point and non-emotional as possible.  You want to stick to the facts, be polite and firm. You also want to lay out guidelines and/or expectations on what you expect in the future, so that everyone is on the same page.

Usually, if all parties can keep their emotions and passions in check, you can resolve the situation amicably and move forward.  If not, then you have to take whatever steps make sense at that time to address any further developments.

This situation, like the situation in Arizona, is a great example of how to take back your power and stand up to a bully.  Make sure you stand up for yourself and your child, whether it is popular or not, and whether or not you are going to be criticized, vilified or called names.

To your best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

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