I bookmarked this two years ago, and I can’t believe it seems more relevant now than it did then.
- How to tell someone they’re Racist (pinkbananaworld.com)
Are you a US citizen? Fair question… what I worry won’t be fair is who gets asked, and who gets believed. When it comes to immigration, “innocent until proven guilty” no longer seems to apply. Not only does this criminalize undocumented workers, most of whom are guilty only of the CIVIL (not criminal) crime of crossing the border, but also criminalizes US citizens & legal resident aliens.
How long does it take to prove your immigration status if you don’t have your birth certificate and/or passport with you? How long does it take when you do? There are news stories that document citizens and legal resident aliens being detained for up to three days, stories of citizens and legal resident aliens being deported.
How would you explain to your employer why you didn’t make it to work for three days? Who would care for your children?
Todos somos Arizona.
Are you a U.S. citizen?” he asks my husband.
“Yes.” What would have happened ten years ago, before my husband was naturalized?
“Are you a U.S. citizen, ma’am?” he asks, his gaze shifting to me.
“Yes.” I begin to panic. I never thought to bring our family’s passports along. For heaven’s sake, we’re trying to pass from Arizona to California.
“Are the children both U.S. citizens?”
“You know what this proves to you? That in Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they’re legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they’re an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government, not state authorities, but the federal government, with all their technology and all their information capacity that they have, could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It’s very, very, very dangerous ground to tread,” the Chicago Democrat said.
A decision recently in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) underscores the tragic impact that current U.S. immigration policy has on families of legal U.S. residents and citizens.
In its decision (Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz et al, v. United States), the IACHR found that U.S. deportation policy violates fundamental human rights because it fails to consider evidence concerning destruction of families and the best interest of the children of deportees.
Maintaining that the U.S. government was behind a U.S. citizen’s imprisonment for more than a year in the United Arab Emirates, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking federal surveillance records.
If you’re wondering if the title of this entry is a joke or a vie for your attention, it’s not. Well, definitely not the former, maybe a little bit the latter. This isn’t what I had planned for today, and even though this entry might make more sense if I publish the other one first, seeing as it is a detailed explanation of my personal views on SB1070, the article I have in draft will wait for another day, because right now I feel a need to “Witness.”
So, it happened like this… it was almost time to leave work, and I was well past done with stupid (I’ve been known to announce to the department, “Ok, that’s it… I’m done with stupid!”), and when I got up to put some docs I’d just reviewed in the next person’s inbox, and decided to visit a friend’s desk to insist that the happy hour we’ve been talking about for approximately two months needed to happen soon. He tortured me by listing all the weekends he’ll be out of town (damn single people), mentioned something about a rally he was planning on attending in DC, and then commented that he’d been planning on making me go to happy hour with him anyway.
Is it a tea party rally?
Well, no, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And a brief conversation about media coverage of tea party rally’s ensued… then,
How are you planning to “make” me go do something we’ve been talking about for two months?
Well, I know you and I agree on a LOT of stuff but we don’t believe the same things. And I know you’re not a wagon jumper… I know that you don’t just jump on the bandwagon, you have solid reasons behind it.
That boy couldn’t have melted my heart faster if it had been butter & he’d been holding a blowtorch. But I figured this had probably come up as a result of me wearing my Standing on the Side of Love shirt to work on July 30th, the day after the protests, which I realized in retrospect probably fueled a lot of speculation as to whether I’d spent the night in jail (alas, but no…).
So we got into a conversation about SB1070, and I explained my views on border security, the immigration system, and SB1070… what I think the problems are, what I think would fix them, etc. He listened, nodded frequently, and at the end of my monologue, said basically that my arguments are really solid, and when he’s tried to have conversations with people, all they can say is that it’s racist. To which I replied, “I agree that it’s racist, and this is why…” and as I spoke, he nodded, cracked a few grins cuz you all know I have no filters, and then said, “That totally makes sense, but nobody else that I have talked to has explained it that way.” And I talked a little bit about race relations, that in my experience, on one side you have a group of people who are very uncomfortable talking about race in mixed company because on the other hand, you have white people who are very uncomfortable hearing about race in mixed company. We as a whole are not very good at differentiating between personal racism and institutional racism, and white people are especially bad at it, and tend to assume that anytime someone says this law is racist, that they personally are being called racist and they immediately get defensive. The wall goes up and the communication goes down the toilet. More agreement from him, and he lamented that because he has favored the law, he’s been immediately being labeled a racist. I lamented that because I oppose it, because I actually believe in what we printed on the fucking Statue of Liberty, I get to be called anti American.
So as I’m preparing to go, he says, So do you want to go to a tea party rally with me? I thought about being in close quarters with that many white people (and yes, I have looked in a mirror lately)… “No, not really.” “C’mon, why? I’m serious, I’ve been to several and I’ve never seen anything like what hits the news. They’ve always been the nicest people, they just believe in small government like I do.”
And so I had to ask myself, OK Cyndi… WHY? You talked yourself hoarse two weeks ago about media bias and how deeply imbedded in our subconscious these racialized images are. Do you really believe that, and if you do, then you know that your reluctance to go anywhere with this friend who you admire and respect is based solely on a media stereotype. You’ve been all about the first principle… do you really affirm and promote the inherent dignity of all people? How many times have you commented wryly that you’re always preaching to the damn choir? You’re always talking about being the change you want to see in the world. Are you really open minded, or is that just CYNDI”S spin? Is this an opportunity for you to learn something and hopefully teach something?
So as I walked out I said over my shoulder, “I’ll go to a tea party rally with you if you go to an event with me.”
He said, Done deal.
I hope he likes yellow.
This isn’t so much a blog as a list of articles about how US Policy has impacted Mexican agriculture and economy.
Today, August 10, 2010, 13 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreDown on the Farm: NAFTA’s Seven-Years War on Farmers and Ranchers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico
Today, August 10, 2010, 13 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreDisadvantages of NAFTA – Problems with NAFTA – Negative Effects of NAFTA
Today, August 10, 2010, 14 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreUS Subsidies Cost Mexican Farmers Billions | Portal for North America
Today, August 10, 2010, 14 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreTripAtlas.com – About North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement
Today, August 10, 2010, 15 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreGreenpeace protests genetically modified corn in Mexico – CNN.com
Today, August 10, 2010, 15 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreWitness for Peace:HAMPTONS ONLINE: What Drives Migration? Surprise, It’s Corn
Today, August 10, 2010, 30 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreNAFTA AND U.S. CORN SUBSIDIES: EXPLAINING THE DISPLACEMENT OF MEXICO’S CORN FARMERS | PROSPECT
Another informative article from Kat, which links to some of the best/worst video I took during the protests & vigils.
Why am I writing about this? There are people who complain that immigrants come here and do not attempt to assimilate into U.S. culture. That actually isn’t true, but it’s clear from our history that U.S.Americans have done just that, and not only refused to assimilate but then took the land from their host nation…twice. There are people who have said that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are ignoring the law by crossing the border between our two nations without papers. It’s clear from our history that Mexicans have lived on this land long before it was called the U.S. When the U.S. annexed the land (by force) it split extended families apart so that some were now U.S. citizens and some remained Mexican citizens. There are people who draw a firm distinction between Mexicans and Indians (Native Americans), tolerating the presence of Native Americans but insisting that Mexicans should stay “out” unless they have a piece of paper allowing them “in.” It’s clear from our history that even Euro-Americans once recognized the commonality between Mexicans and Indians and there are Native people who still recognize that commonality today. Some of the most vocal protestors of SB1070 are Native Americans, who object to the exclusion of their sisters and brothers down south, and who themselves are the targets of racial profiling. A recent activist arrested for protesting SB1070 asked a question that has stuck with me, and I hope it will stick with others: “Why are people who are indigenous to this land being checked for status by people who are settlers of this land?”