tagged w/ anti-immigration
Our national melting pot on steroids
A beekeeper and amateur naturalist of prodigious energy, John Tanton had spent two decades planting trees, cleaning creeks and suing developers, but population growth put ever more pressure on the land. Though fertility rates had fallen, he saw a new threat emerging: soaring rates of immigration.
Time and again, Dr. Tanton urged liberal colleagues in groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club to seek immigration restraints, only to meet blank looks and awkward silences.
“I finally concluded that if anything was going to happen, I would have to do it myself,” he said.
Improbably, he did. From the resort town of Petoskey, Mich., Dr. Tanton helped start all three major national groups fighting to reduce immigration, legal and illegal, and molded one of the most powerful grass-roots forces in politics. The immigration-control movement surged to new influence in last fall’s elections and now holds near veto power over efforts to legalize any of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
Rarely has one person done so much to structure a major cause, or done it so far from the public eye. Dr. Tanton has raised millions of dollars, groomed protégés and bequeathed institutions, all while running an ophthalmology practice nearly 800 miles from Capitol Hill.
“He is the most influential unknown man in America,” said Linda Chavez, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us/17immig.html?_r=1A beekeeper and amateur naturalist of prodigious energy, John Tanton had spent two... more
There's another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.
The little girl's name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May 30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols for patriotic "fun". Forde's gang had decided to go "operational," which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and "start a revolution against the government". They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife, Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot Brisenia in cold blood in the head. (Her sister, fortunately, was sleeping over at a friend's.)
You can listen to the wounded mother's 911 call here:
As Terry Greene Sterling at the Daily Beast reports, Shawna Forde's trial finally opens this week, having been briefly delayed by the Giffords shooting.
Already, we're getting some fascinating details about that riveting 911 call:
> Gonzalez testified Tuesday she recognized Forde for several reasons. It was the first
> time she'd seen her in person since the incident, she wasn't wearing makeup (the
> women in the photo lineup were wearing makeup), she had the same smile and her
> hair was styled the same way.
> As for the smile, Gonzalez said that after the shootings, the home invaders
> ransacked her house and then left. However, when she was on the phone with 911,
> she looked up and saw the woman standing on the threshold, smiling.
> "She saw me standing there and her face dropped and she said 'Oh, (expletive),"
> Gonzalez said.
> The woman went back outside and a few seconds later Gonzalez said she and the
> tall man exchanged shots. (Prosecutors think the tall guy was Jason Bush.)
We've been following the Forde case closely from the day it was first reported, in large part because it tells us so much about the mindset and behind-the-scenes operations of would-be border vigilantes.
Indeed, one of the things we look forward most to learning from this trial is the extent to which Minutemen cofounder Jim Gilchrist was involved: there is a considerable likelihood it will turn out he tipped off Forde that federal authorities were looking for her in connection with the murders.
We're also looking forward to perhaps finally seeing some coverage of the case in the mainstream media -- perhaps even Fox News, which has been assiduous in refusing to do so. I have to admit I'm baffled that, in a cable-TV business that prizes riveting audio snippets, it's gotten so little attention elsewhere.
But then, this case always cut against everyone's favorite "neighborhood watch" narrative. It's about time we laid that one to rest for good.There's another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making... more
For the next few months, the world will be focusing on Arizona's SB 1070 - the state's new racial profiling law - as it works its way through the appeals process. However, in this insane asylum known as Arizona, where conservatives have concocted one reactionary scheme after another, another law in particular stands out for its embrace of Dark Ages-era censorship - the 2010 anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 - a law that seeks to codify the "triumph" of Western Civilization with its emphasis on Greco-Roman culture.
Unless it is blocked, HB 2281 - which creates an inquisitorial mechanism that will determine which books and curricula are acceptable in the state - will go into effect on January 1, 2011. Books such as "Occupied America" by Rodolfo Acuña and "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire, have already been singled out as being un-American and preaching the violent overthrow of the US government.
Both laws are genocidal: one law attacks the physical presence of red-brown peoples; the other one, our minds and spirits.
Lost in the tumultuous debate regarding what can be taught in the state's schools is the topic of what actually constitutes ethnic/Raza studies.
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In general, the philosophical foundation for Raza studies are several indigenous concepts, including: In Lak Ech, Panche Be and Hunab Ku. Over the past generation, the first two concepts have become fairly well known in the Mexican/Chicana/Chicano communities of the United States. The third concept, Hunab Ku, is relatively less well known, though it actually forms the foundation for In Lak Ech - "Tu eres mi otro yo - You are my other self" and Panche Be - "to seek the root of the truth" or "to find the truth in the roots." As explained by Maya scholar, Domingo Martínez Paredez, Hunab Ku is the name the Maya gave in their language to the equivalence of the Supreme Being or the Grand Architect of the Universe (Hunab Ku, 1970). Such concept is an understanding of how the universe functions.
These three concepts are rooted in a philosophy based on maiz. Maiz, incidentally, is the only crop in the history of humanity that was created by humans. Also, the indigenous peoples of this continent are the only peoples in the history of humanity to have created their/our own food - maiz - a food so special that it is what virtually unites not simply this continent, but this era. These three maiz-based concepts, in effect, constitute the essence of who we are or who we can be: human beings connected to each other, to all of life and creation, part of creation, not outside of it. This is the definition of what it means to be human. While these concepts are indigenous to this continent, they also exist generally in all cultures.
Despite the destruction of the many thousands of the ancient books of the Maya (along with those of the Aztecs-Mexica) by Spanish priests during the colonial era, these Maya-Nahua concepts were not destroyed, nor are they consigned to the past. Today, they continue to be preserved and conveyed via ceremony, oral traditions, poetry and song (In Xochitl - In Cuicatl) and danza. And they continue to be developed by life's experiences.
In Raza studies, these ideas are designed to reach those that are unfamiliar with these concepts, including and in particular, Mexicans/Chicanos and Central Americans and other peoples from the Americas who live in the United States and who are maiz-based peoples or gente de maiz, albeit, sometimes far-removed from the cornfield or milpa. Despite their disconnection from the fields and despite the disconnection from the planting cycles and accompanying ceremonies - and in many cases the ancestral stories - their/our daily diet consciously and unconsciously keeps us connected to this continent and to the other original peoples and cultures of this continent.
In part, this effort to understand these concepts is an attempt to reclaim a creation/resistance culture, as opposed to viewing themselves/ourselves as foreigners or merely as US minorities. It is also an affirmation that de-indigenized Mexicans/Chicana/Chicano and Central and South American peoples are not trying to revive or learn from dead cultures. Instead, as elders from throughout this continent generally affirm, these cultures have never died and neither have these concepts; people have simply been disconnected from them. That is one definition of colonization and/or de-indigenization. The effort to understand these and similar concepts and to embrace and live by them, is also one definition of de-colonization. And to be sure, it is elders from throughout the Americas that have for more than a generation reached out to these communities, imploring them/us to "return to our roots."
Asserting the right to this knowledge that is indigenous to this very continent is an effort to proclaim both the humanity and indigeneity of peoples who are matter-of-factly treated as unwelcome and considered alien in this society. HB 2281 bizarrely treats this knowledge as "un-American."
Additionally, asserting the right to write modern amoxtlis or codices - is also part of an effort to proclaim that all peoples - including de-indigenized peoples - also have the right not simply to repeat (or recreate) things ancient, but to produce their/our own living knowledge. And in the case of Arizona - with red-brown peoples continuously under siege - these concepts can help us bring about peace, dignity and justice, with the potential to create better human beings of all of us.For the next few months, the world will be focusing on Arizona's SB 1070 - the... more
It was 6:30 a.m. on a Friday in downtown Linden, N.J., when two Hispanic day laborers were struggling with their English as they tried to order a coffee and a sandwich at a deli.
But rather than getting served, they got a string of insults hurled at them from the clerk behind the counter. Their broken-English request for food was met with a barrage of racist remarks, including, "Get back in your pickup truck with the rest of your family."
This scene wasn't real. It was all part of a "What Would You Do?" experiment designed to find out what action, if any, bystanders would take after watching the men's exchange with the clerk.
Seth Perlman, the manager of All Aboard Bagel and Deli, agreed to ABC News' using his business to test people's reactions to bigotry. The racist cashier standing next to him was an actor hired by ABC News, as were his victims.
Here in this working-class neighborhood 15 miles west of New York City, people have a reputation for tolerance. But, sometimes, the reactions were far less open-minded than one would expect.
In the face of blatant discrimination, many people seemed immobilized, some too stunned to react. After being turned away by the cashier, one of the day laborers asked a nearby customer for help. She suggested that he try another store down the street. Many other customers had a similar reaction, quietly walking away after being solicited to help.
Although some customers seemed indifferent, others were quite willing to let everyone know exactly how they felt.
Upon hearing the cashier's racist attacks on the day laborers, customer Darick Maxis, a black man, seemed to take the side of the clerk.
"If you want me to make you leave, I'll make you leave," he told the Hispanics. "So leave. That's all I gotta say. Leave!"
When ABC News' John Quinones approached the scene and let him know the exchange was a television experiment, Maxis continued his rant.
"You know what I think?" he asked. "I think they're taking our jobs because we ain't got no jobs."
But, later, Maxis said that he regretted what he'd said and was simply caught up in the heat of the moment.
It was 6:30 a.m. on a Friday in downtown Linden, N.J., when... more
Four protesters brought downtown Phoenix to a standstill on July 29th after scaling a construction crane to unfurl a large banning showing their displeasure with Arizona's tough immigration law.Four protesters brought downtown Phoenix to a standstill on July 29th after scaling a... more
There are real, scary analogies between what is happening in this nation in terms of “immigration” between mostly those of Mexican descent and European-Anglo (Israeli-Jew?) and the events and the Israeli-Palestinian enmity.There are real, scary analogies between what is happening in this nation in terms of... more
by Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed suit against the state of Arizona in an effort to overturn a stringent anti-immigration law passed in April. The move is a breath of fresh air for immigrant rights supporters. Democracy Now! and the Washington Independent have the story.
The suit will take on Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, a law that requires local law enforcement to check an individual’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that said individual is undocumented. The law has sparked national outrage and serious concerns that Latinos will be racially profiled by the police. Another provision of SB 1070 requires immigrants to carry papers denoting citizenship at all times while in the state.
Is SB 1070 unconstitutional?
At ColorLines, Daisy Hernandez reports that “the lawsuit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Phoenix, argues that it’s against the Constitution for a state to make its own immigration policy” because of “the legal doctrine of ‘preemption,’ which says that federal law trumps state statues.”
The key argument being that “the federal government already works with states to enforce federal immigration law,” so there’s no need for a law like SB 1070 to intervene, according to Hernandez.
A civil rights fiasco
Since April, the Arizona law has served as a rallying point for immigrant rights supporters, who refer to the bill as the “Juan Crow” law. The nickname references the Jim Crow laws that existed prior to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
Jessica Pieklo at Care2 notes that the DOJ suit “also contains a civil rights component and argues that the law would lead to law enforcement harassing U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants in efforts to hunt down undocumented workers.”
At New America Media, Valeria Fernández gauges immigrants’ and Arizona residents’ reactions to the suit.
“I really feel that the Justice Department will be on the winning side of history,” said Mary Rose Wilcox, a supervisor for District 5 in Maricopa County, AZ. “I think when justice needs to be served, you should never look at political costs.”
An undocumented immigrant named Griselda told Fernández that she “jumped for joy when she heard the news,” and “Thank God there’s another one in the fight.”
The immigration reform battle moves forward
Last week, President Barack Obama called for Congress to put politics aside and focus on immigration reform as quickly as possible. The speech and suit are fueling demand for comprehensive reform and it’s clear that the issue won’t be going away.
Yet despite the need for reform, there are roadblocks. As Paul Waldman writes for the American Prospect, “It’s true that there is little incentive for politicians to produce comprehensive reform. It’s guaranteed to displease much of the public, while there is a powerful incentive to play on people’s fears and resentments.”
However, there is hope in the organizing that’s being done by immigrant youth. Undocumented immigrant and student organizer Tania Unzueta said in an interview with In These Times that immigrants from across the country are risking deportation and incarceration to come “out of the shadows and into the spotlight.”
As Unzueta explains in the interview, “When you stop being afraid, there’s a whole world of possibilities in terms of how much risk you’re willing to take to fight for what you believe is just.”
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Pulse . This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed... more
Turns out old dogs don't learn new tricks, they just replay the old ones, in new(ish) ways.
As is the case with Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), an "organization" posing as an environmental group trying to convince young hipsters that to reduce America's carbon footprint, America needs to restrict its immigration.
It is connected to John Tanton, widely recognized as the godfather of anti-immigration movement.Turns out old dogs don't learn new tricks, they just replay the old ones, in... more
Lead by the lead vocalist for Rage Against the Machine, Zack de la Rocha, a group of musicians have decided to boycott Arizona in protest to the anti-immigrant law SB1070.
“Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to,” declared de la Rocha in a Billboard Article about the boycott.
The Sound Strike, is the name of the campaign, which rolled out a Twitter account, and a website that shows that the group just started this week, and that so far they have a group of over 20 artists and growing. In the website they also invite other artists to join, and be part of this boycott against Arizona.
The boycotts against Arizona keep popping out. Artists like Pitbull, Wisin y Yandel, Jenny Rivera and Cypress Hill have announced cancelations of their shows, and with this unified effort, there could be more acts to fall as well.
For a full list click here --> http://bit.ly/coSgi6Lead by the lead vocalist for Rage Against the Machine, Zack de la Rocha, a group of... more
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a controversial law targeting ethnic studies classes in public schools. The law could shut down a popular Mexican American studies program in the Tucson school district. It will also affect specialized courses in African American and Native American studies.Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a controversial law targeting ethnic studies... more
The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English.The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that... more
Thousands of protesters angered by Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants met in front of the White House this past weekend to call on Washington to act urgently on immigration reform.Thousands of protesters angered by Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants met... more
Arizona border vigilante group Cochise County Militia has announced plans to form a private military company there.Arizona border vigilante group Cochise County Militia has announced plans to form a... more
With a divisive new law in Arizona providing the kindling, the national debate over immigration has reignited. It's unclear whether Congress and the Obama administration are prepared to act on the issue or just talk. On Capitol Hill, however, the legislative agenda already is packed through the summer, and fitting in something as controversial as immigration appears unlikely.With a divisive new law in Arizona providing the kindling, the national debate over... more
Brisenia Flores and her father were murdered inside their Arizona home, allegedly by persons connected to the Minutemen and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. There is virtually NO mainstream press on this--please spread the word!
For more info on little Brisenia check out http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/invite/BriseniaBrisenia Flores and her father were murdered inside their Arizona home, allegedly by... more
Do we really need to spend millions more on a fence right now? Thanks to the US economy, immigrants are leaving the US via the southern border, not trying to get in illegally.
"The government has completed 500 miles of fencing along the Southwest border, 170 miles short of its goal."
"Congress has set aside $2.7 billion for the fence since 2006. But there's no estimate how much the entire system — the physical fence and the technology — will cost to build, let alone maintain."
"The fence along the U.S.-Mexico border is not intended to stop illegal immigration altogether, but make it more difficult for people to enter the U.S. illegally, Bush administration officials say."Do we really need to spend millions more on a fence right now? Thanks to the US... more
While the U.S. builds walls and implements new ID requirements on its borders, Europe and Canada are moving in the opposite direction. Vanguard reports on different approaches to immigration around the globe.While the U.S. builds walls and implements new ID requirements on its borders, Europe... more