Against Bigotry

I spoke to a crowed at the end of our protest march in front of the Boston State House. I am feeling a desire by many to bring true change. But that will not be easy. This march/protest was aimed against policies on deportations and refugees and Muslims.

I am with Jackie here, she is my friend; I am her friend. She is my ally and I am her ally. We stand with others as friends. Let me be clear here: I love people. And because I love working-class people, I have decided I can no longer be a friend with those who support the legislation of hate. What does this mean? I will not travel with you nor visit your home. If you are against LGBTQ folks, female rights, undocumented friends, black, brown, and others, and if you support hate and American exceptionalism, I am not your friend and you are not my friend. This is not just a virtual notion; it is true for me day-to-day. If you believe you are “just” due to your faith — we are not friends. To be my friend means you are my ally, and thus are seeking to evolve by walking with me to denounce bigotry. I will work with you on the job. I am working class and have to pay the bills. I have no interest in your religion or church if your members are not allies. I will be nice and say hello – Mom and Dad raised me well. I will work beside you at work — but just know I cannot be your friend; if you are not my ally, we are not friends. If you are arguing about my realities and the realities of my friends and allies – we cannot be friends. We cannot break bread in my home or have a glass of wine.

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Sports & Politics

Suns guard Steve Nash on the _Los Suns_ uniforms: _I think it's fantastic._

I think this is pretty cool; I want to go on record by saying I have read the enactment, however, I am unclear as to some of the recent explanations regarding its vagueness. Thus, maybe I have misinterpreted it? I hope so.

The Suns respect Latinos via Los Suns. Read all of the article here.

The Phoenix Suns will wear “Los Suns” on their jerseys in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, owner Robert Sarver said, “to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation.”

The decision to wear the jerseys on the Cinco de Mayo holiday stems from a law passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that has drawn widespread criticism from Latino organizations and civil rights groups that say it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. President Barack Obama has called the law “misguided.”

May Day

As I have stated with this post before, I am going to celebrate this day with yet a 6th reading of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. This might be the day American businesses stop exploiting the labor of Mexican Americans — legal or not. I guess I can use this day to protest the state of Arizona. Oh, I am already doing that. Hey, labor is labor, as long as you are not asking this student [here]. I am really spending today in Atlanta, Georgia working with the European History committee. So, I might read the short excerpt on the manifesto I ask my AP European History students to read.

According to Democratic Socialist of America (DSA):

May, 1886: several hundred thousand American workers of the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, and socialist and anarchist groups all demonstrated for the Eight Hour Day. It was the center of a world-wide movement for shorter working hours. Even the song lyrics of the American movement, “Eight hours for work/eight hours for sleep/eight hours for what we will,” argued for a “natural” pace of life in tune with the seasons, rather than the long hours and miserable conditions imposed by the capitalists.

The catastrophe of the day, a police riot in Chicago against anarchists and a subsequent murderous frame-up of their leaders for bomb-throwing, could not entirely overshadow the excitement of the moment. Working people had spoken. For many anarchists but not only for them, the day also retained the special significance of martyrdom, the occasion to mourn the great heroes of Haymarket who had died from the hangman, unrepentant in their revolutionary fervor. This is a major topic I teach in my U.S. History course.

Targeting People

From what I am reading across the country from other bloggers, people are wearing star of David badges and showcasing fascist’s symbols to protest the state of Arizona.

I have spoken to a number of Hispanics, and all of them will tell you that they do not favor illegal immigration; in essence, it works against the plight of legals. But, to enact legislation empowering the state to ask people for their papers due to race, is borderline Fascism.

I hear all too often that people do not want too much federal government intervention, but the governor of Arizona stated herself that states such as hers have no choice due to the inactivity of the federal government. I think Ms. Brewer is about to get her wish; I suspect the Obama administration will act quickly to usurp that of states by enacting comprehensive immigration reform. As a black American, I tend not to trust the notion of states’ rights. Historically, states have discriminated  against minority populations. Thanks to Interstate Commerce, the federal government used various tactics to remove Jim Crow. This does not mean the federal government does not discriminate. The United States has a history of implementing immigration acts and quotas against various groups: Southern and Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Jews.

As noted in The Huffington Post:

Arizona lawmakers approved a sweeping immigration bill Monday intended to ramp up law enforcement efforts even as critics complained it could lead to racial profiling and other abuse.The state Senate voted 17-11 nearly along party lines to send the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not taken a position on the measure championed by fellow Republicans. The House approved the bill April 13.

The Talk Of The Town Is Healthcare. What Happened To Immigration, Mr. President? By Senior Patrick Ryan

I brought my computer in to be re-imaged at Houston Christian School’s tech office last Tuesday when I saw Carson diligently working on an outside presentation while the rest of the school was effectively closed. I had hoped to catch up with him because I had recently been formulating the perimeters of a new public policy and wanted to bounce our ideas off of a strongly, left-leaning person. In essence, the plan sounds very leftist (and you can only imagine the look on Carson’s face at the thought of one of the last vocal neo-conservatives shifting into a conforming member of society). I hate bursting his bubble, but I (and likely many others of the same value system) don’t see immigration policy reformation as a partisan subject because we can all agree that our current system is superfluous. If you don’t then just look at the 20,000,000 plus illegal immigrants that have entered our country thus far. Enough with the back story though. Simply put, Carson asked me to write up the bill proposal that we already have in mind and put it up for discussion here on the professor. I hope you enjoy. And please, be critical to your heart’s desire. Every bit helps.

 Proposition: The basis of my proposition is the institution of a working visa. It is to address many of the problems that currently plague our immigration system; viz. the length of time required to obtain a green card, the high cost of English courses for lower class citizens from other countries, and the prerequisites involved in obtaining a green card. Said visa is to have a cost of no more than 0.05% of a potential immigrant’s annual wages and will allow that migrant to work within the borders of the United States for five years. During that period, said immigrant is to be paid in the same fashion as a regular citizen and they will pay all of the same taxes that other members of our society currently pay. They will be allowed to take citizenship courses during their time within our borders and hopefully can obtain full citizenship before the maturation of the visa comes to pass. 

Voting rights are null and void during the time that they work under the visa and will only take effect two years after full citizenship rights are granted, thus allowing for an initiation period to the American system of politics. The children of immigrants who possess said visa will be allowed to attend both public and private American schools as long as their parents do pay their appropriate taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Immigrants are to be allowed to visit free clinics and, if possible, buy health insurance that will transfer with them if they achieve the status of a citizen. Felonies committed during the maturity of the visa will result in prompt deportation to the country of origin and misdemeanors will be accompanied by appropriate jail time. Immigrants are not to be allowed to claim social security for nine years after the appropriation of the visa in order that they can pay in some money to the system before they withdraw from it.

Current illegal immigrants within our borders are to be allowed to visit their city courthouse to obtain the visa. Finally, the first revenue generated through taxation and other associated costs to immigrants hoping to obtain the visa will go towards the creation of the South Texas wall in order to discourage further illegal immigration to the United States of America.

 Pros:

  1. From the reports that I have read, the cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States runs anywhere from $30 billion to well into the 300 billions of dollars. In order to stem the tide of losses to the average American taxpayer, it is necessary that something be done that both allows immigrants to escape the poverty that they currently experience, while allowing our government to appropriate the funds necessary to house them here.
  2. Current immigrants who took the time to obtain the United States green card will have less complaint because the people who obtain the visa are still going to be required to obtain a green card to take up permanent residence in the United States.
  3. We will be able to take a small chunk out of the 20% extra that will be deficit spending by the end of FY 2009 (90% of the GDP in deficits is just really scary and needs at least a little boost).  
  4. Migrants will be able to receive their full citizenship while being allowed to work for proper wages here in the United States
  5. Social Security will be protected because the immigrants cannot take out of the system before it is first paid into.

 Cons:

  1. There is the possibility that this could instigate a large northern migration from Mexico into the United States where it could outstrip the number of jobs available (we can barely support our own people), but under those circumstances, the immigrants can always return to their country of origin to find work.

Malcolm X on being American

Jaylon Williams found this piece and thought it would make an interesting discussion about notions of race, politics, nationalism, and war. As many of us already know, Muhammad Ali lost his title belts and went to jail because he refused to fight in the Vietnam War. I have spoken to a number of black folks who too stated that they would have done the same thing Ali did. The general response I have heard is why fight for America during a time when black folks were so highly discriminated against. With Obama leading a number of polls in his race to win the Democratic primary, Jaylon asked me if I thought American blacks were now being permitted to assimilate into mainstream American culture? Malcolm X spent a lot of time with Ali as both wrestled with this. With Obama appealing to so many people of different races, I ask the question: Have we as Americans moved beyond the problem or race?

As people march today for immigrants rights, it’s worth remembering Malcolm X’s ideas about black citizenship. Here’s an excerpt from Malcolm’s famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech, delivered in 1964.

I’m not a Democrat, I’m not a Republican, and I don’t even consider myself an American. If you and I were Americans, there’d be no problem…Everything that came out of Europe, every blue-eved thing, is already an American. And as long as you and I have been over here, we aren’t Americans yet.

Well, I am one who doesn’t believe in deluding myself. I’m not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.

It is May Day

On this day last year, I was speaking with a student who was considering boycotting both school and the American economy as a gesture to the rights of illegal immigrants. Here is what he told me: “If we do not allow illegal immigrants into the country, my dad will have to pay more money to his employees at his business (no joke).” Although I was shocked to hear this comment, I was not surprised. Many suspect that the immigration issue is a middle and lower class issue, seeing that the very rich will prosper from exploiting such workers. The millions that will be protesting today will find their rallies being monitored by the government as an attempt to discourage protesting, as well as to catch illegal immigrants. Surprisingly, “W” has been more liberal on this matter than many conservatives would prefer. So, if you favor the rights of undocumented workers in this country and would like to show your support, stay at home and avoid contributing to the U.S. economy. I have failed the May Day cause already; I bought a cup of Starbucks coffee on my way to work this morning. Considering what I paid, I feel exploited. If you are against such rights, I am sure the government could use your help in catching a few illegals. Here is a previous post on this topic: Click Here.

Here is a look at May Day actions:

* In New York, groups are planning an “American Family Tree” rally, where immigrants will pin paper leaves on a large painting of a tree to symbolize the separation of families because of strict immigration laws.

*In Chicago, demonstrators will march more than three miles through downtown, ending at a lakefront park.

*In Fresno, California, organizers planned a rally focusing on children whose parents had been deported. The San Joaquin Valley is home to thousands of seasonal workers who cross the Mexican border illegally each year to work in the fields and construction industry.

*In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ricardo Chavez, the brother of famed agricultural labor leader Cesar Chavez, was expected to speak, as protesters demanded a stop to immigration raids. A raid last year in Whitewater, Wisconsin, saw the arrests of 25 workers and the owner of a packaging plant. Mothers were separated from their children.

*In Florida, voter registration drives and vigils were planned in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach, along with after-hours rallies in agricultural towns in the Everglades.

*In Los Angeles, marches will include demands for a legalization program, a stop to the raids and an anti-Iraq war message. City and transportation officials were planning for as many as 500,000 people in downtown, believing it could be the largest in the city so far this year.