Tag: Minutemen

Sexual Tension

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of PostSecret. However, my interest isn’t based on the admirable quality of PostSecret’s mission, which is that by revealing hidden fears and dark thoughts, we bond and embrace our common humanity.

No, I just like scrolling though the site to see how many freaks are out there (and there tons of them).

In any case, last week’s PostSecret included the following:

them

This explains a lot.

First, we’ll ignore the fact that the card includes the slur “illegals.” Although I must point out that when revealing your sexual fantasies in a public forum, you should employ proper terms (e.g., “the undocumented”).

We’ll also overlook that the card writer specifies “illegal Latinos,” which implies that he or she doesn’t hate “illegal” Brits or Nigerians or Koreans. Nope, it’s just the Latinos, thank you very much.

The essence of the card is that the writer is simultaneously attracted to, and repulsed by, undocumented Latinos. Yes, it all makes sense now.

All those right-wing blowhards who scream about “illegals” taking over America? All those Minutemen at the border with rifles aimed at Mexico? All those suburban dads who spew racist epitaphs at Hispanics?

Yeah, they really just want to fuck us.

It’s sort of a more vulgar, sociopolitical version of a Hollywood romantic comedy in which the heroine and hero despise one another for 80 minutes before falling into each other’s arms at the end. Yes, someday the whole immigration debate will look as quaint as a repeated viewing of When Harry Met Sally.

So the next time some Fox News commentator rails against “illegals” or uses the term “brown invasion,” just nod and smile, knowing full well that this is his or her awkward attempt at flirting.

They just can’t help it.

 

 


A Sadly Predictable Crime

A nine-year-old girl in Arizona is brutally shot down by a psychopath who may also be a right-wing nut.

No, this is not the story of Christina Green, the little girl born on 9/11 who was killed in the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson. As heartbreaking and appalling as her death was, it has not lacked for media attention.

This is the story of Brisenia Flores, whose murder has simply not touched America in the same way that Green’s death has. In fact, her killing has received surprisingly little attention.

To continue reading this post, please click here.


I Hate You, You Hate Me…

With all the recent love that has been extended to immigrants (really, it’s been nonstop kisses and flowers), one could be forgiven for believing that hate groups in America are on the decline.

However, a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says that the number of hate groups increased just a little — 244 percent — over the previous year. Now, this intimidating statistic provokes a natural question: What is the definition of a hate group?

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Trick or Threat

First thing this morning, I noticed this intimidating fellow staring at me from my computer screen:

alien

Of course, it’s the infamous “illegal alien” costume that got many immigrant-rights groups up in arms. For those who didn’t get enough of the strained attempt at humor, there’s also this version:

ia1

Yes, they’re undeniably offensive, and Hispanic groups are correct to call out the merchants on selling them. I doubt anything similarly offensive to Africa Americans would pass the gatekeepers at Target, Walgreens, or Amazon, all of whom briefly sold the items.

Still, let’s leave the backlash over the costumes at a firm but diplomatic rebuke. The costume makers were clearly attempting a play on words rather than making an outright derogatory political statement. And those words, “illegal alien,” actually went out around the time that Genesis recorded that cheesy song (what was that all about, by the way?). These days, “illegal immigrant” is used more often, or “undocumented worker” if you prefer to be sensitive, or any number of racial slurs if you prefer not to be.

In fact, getting apocalyptic about such things only gives ammunition to minutemen wannabes. Those are the guys who scream about everybody being hypersensitive and that freedom of speech is being suppressed and that, while we’re at it, nobody speaks English anymore. Let them look foolish, rather than indulging in an argument over something so trivial.

In fact, we can consider this a brief skirmish that’s already been won. Merchants have realized that it’s unwise to needlessly piss off potential customers just to appeal to a bunch of xenophobic frat boys. Perhaps this is another example of the growing power of Latinos to exercise some economic and political muscle. And maybe it shows that the establishment is ready to acknowledge that Hispanics are, you know, human beings, more or less.

With that settled, let’s put the controversy behind us and try to recapture the spirit of Halloween. Let’s stick with outfits that are completely appropriate for the holiday and that we can all agree form the basis of good wholesome fun.

That’s right – slutty nurse costumes for everybody!


Immigrant Song

Here’s an update on my last post. This Marine finally got his citizenship, and just days after I wrote about it. I assume that the timing is not a coincidence. Well, CNN’s coverage may have helped too…

Anyway, since I started writing about immigration, I might as well go all out today. I figure, hey, why not talk it? After all, this barely examined topic has never been the subject of much discussion. So I guess it’s up to me. Here goes:

When it comes to immigration, I’m for it.

That simple sentence is adequate to provoke death threats in certain parts of the country, and I could just leave my thoughts at that. However, I have a reason for taunting a squadron of Minutemen vigilantes to show up at my front door.

No, it’s not that we’re going to solve the immigration problem within the confines of this blog (although that would be most cool). Rather, I’m hoping for basic acknowledgement of the complexity of this issue, which I admit might be a bit much to ask in a political atmosphere where everybody is either a gun-toting racist or a freeloading parasite, according to whom you listen to.

As I understand it, people who take a hard line claim that illegal immigration is unfair to those who applied legally. Now, I’m sure that it’s frustrating on the principle of the thing, but has anyone ever been denied citizenship because a Mexican got here first?

I’ve also heard that that undocumented workers cost taxpayers too much and drive up crime.  But in actuality, many studies say these workers have a net positive impact on the economy, and I’ve never seen a convincing statistic on skyrocketing crime rates among illegals that wasn’t eventually refuted on Snopes.com.

Finally, we’ve heard that a path to citizenship for undocumented workers only encourages others to come here illegally, or that such an approach is amnesty. But my understanding is that amnesty means a clean slate; every proposal I’ve seen involves paying a hefty fine. And do these individuals really need any more encouragement? They’re already leaving their families, ditching their homeland, and risking death for a shot at a job at Wal-Mart.

Again, people who are concerned about illegal immigration are not all redneck jingoists. No doubt, most are sincere and principled individuals.

But a Hispanic has to ask, would some of these people feel as passionately about this issue if the undocumented were illegal whites? And then there is the hypocrisy of those well-off Americans who advocate for the removal of every illegal. They must recognize that these same workers “make their masters-of-the-universe lifestyles possible” (in the words of Mike Davis in his book City of Quartz).

To be fair, people who push for a more open immigration policy have their own issues to confront. While it’s true that we can’t deport every undocumented worker, does this logically follow that we just stop trying to police the border? And while it’s also true that undocumented workers tend to do jobs other Americans won’t take, are they driving down wages and therefore, undercutting a decent wage for citizens?

We’ve heard that it would be an economic disaster to kick out every illegal, and that the cultural impact of recent immigrants is vital. Yes, but does that mean we just let in anyone at any time?

You see the contradictions and issues between these polarizing stances. But few people can even acknowledge that this bedevils simplistic answers. Perhaps it’s because, as so many have noted, illegal immigrants are a very effective boogyman, especially in an election year. Maybe accepting the fact that no solution is perfect, and none is likely to be implemented any time soon, is the first step toward resolving this mess.

I’ll be upfront about my bias. I was fortunate enough to be born in America. This is not an accomplishment, which is what too many people think. Rather, it is just good luck.

Like many Americans, I have relatives who emigrated here within the past generation. Most of them came here legally. Some of them did not. In subsequent posts, I’ll talk more about them and how they have contributed to this country.


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