Friday, October 14, 2005

The New (well maybe not so new) Racism

The KKK was well known for putting on bed sheets and white hoods as they walked around and subversively practiced the evils of violent racism. Today, people put on different covers to guise their racism, but if you closely thier sheets of patriotism are pretty thin.

Who are these racists you ask? They are the minutemen and other people our nation that are trying to end any immigration from the border to our south.

Think about this for a second. At least half of California, most of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona were taken by millitary force from the people of Mexico. We talk about "sending people back" to Mexico that were Mexican immigrants, and it was their country to begin with. After all, do you know what language the names El Paso, San Antonio, Santa Fe, San Diego, El Centro, and Los Angeles all have in common. Thats right, they are all Spanish names for cities.

Many of these people are saying that our border to the South needs to be protected, in order to keep terrorists from infiltrating our country. Yet, which nation has a higher proportion of fundamentalist Islamic folks in their population, Canada or Mexico? Canada by far. Why are we not proposing to build a fence across Canada? Because the majority of their population is white, and most of them speak English.

When talking about racism with a redneck kid that lived in a trailer like modular home with a lean to attached at my church in Montana, this gun-totin' son of a trucker had a very interesting response.

"Most racism is penis envy," he said.

And of course I had to pull over the car for a second because I was laughing so hard at this 8th grade boy in the middle of small town Montana coming up with this.

I am not sure that he is literally correct, but I think he is in a broader sense. The anti-immigration, make a law that requires everyone to learn English crowd is a group that feels threatened. Their small towns are becoming multicultural. Their political power is being eroded.

Now do I think that we should have no border control--of course not. Do I think that illegal aliens that commit crimes should be sent out of the country. Yes. Do I think that we should fund emergency medical care and offer educational opportunities to the "strangers in our midst". Yes I do.

But lets stop pretending all this anti-Hispanic immigration is about national security. It is about racial and social prejudice. Plain and simple.

16 comments:

rubyslipperlady said...

Interesting that you should mention this, what brought it on?

Friar Tuck said...

Watching Fox News

Michele said...

As someone who agrees with you in general - I must beg to disagree here in alot of ways. Sure, it seems easy to summarize it into this broad statement, but do you really know all the specifics? I think you should do more research, especially on the southern Texas towns such as San Antonio. Santa Anna had taken what was ours...is it wrong for us to take it back? I also think you need to do a little field research - such as living in a Texas border town for a few years before making such generalized assumptions.

Brotha Buck said...

Clint, I am afriad you are right. And I am guilty, too. Well, I don't know that you are completely right. Who knows about these things. I certainly don't know the history. All I know is that suddenly I am surrounded by non english-speaking people who are looking at me like I am doing something wrong, and I'm here legally, speaking the official language.Not all of them are illegal, but many of them are, and many of the legals are hoarding illegals. Sorry for my bad spelling on a Friday night after one too many margaritas.

Anonymous said...

Clint, I laughed when I read your column....you were kidding, right? You couldn't actually conclude that those of us angry about people crossing the border illegally are racist?!? Because I don't care if it's my uncle Harry from Ireland...apply for a visa and wait like I did! If you want something badly enough, go at it the right way and be patient. Racist? You were kidding weren't you?
Rick

Friar Tuck said...

@ Rick--no not kidding at all. Do you know how much harder it is immigrate if you have darker skin in America?

Why aren't people making more of an effort in Canada to keep people from moving across the border if national security is the primary motivating force for tighter borders?

Its not like very many illegal aliens are taking white folks jobs. They are taking jobs in America that nobody else, except maybe teenagers, want to do.

Look at immigration quotas as well. They are extremely slanted toward Western Europe for legal immigration.

Friar Tuck said...

@ Michele--

date of Texas statehood--12-19-1845

date that Texas voted to remain a Mexican state--1835

date of the Alamo--1836

Santa Ana repressed American insurgents in the Alamo in San Antonio. At that time San Antonio was a part of Mexico. Men like Austin and Houston began the Texas Revolution against the Mexican government.

When Austin began settlements in Texas, he promised the Mexican government that Americans coming to settle there would learn Spanish, become Catholics etc. The American settlers, in true 19th century American fashion, did none of what they promised to do. (see also Native American treaties).

Stephen Austin was also a race-baiter, making comments such as the Texas revolution "a mongrel Spanish-Indian and Negro race, against civilization and the Anglo-American race."

When the Mexicans finally lost the Mexican American war, the government was compensated for land that the US took from Mexico. But only on the condition that they honor the rights of people that have lived there for generations. Much like they did with voting rights with African Americans, the American government then made the hoops for registering property of Spanish speaking americans at that time extremely difficult, and stole their lands.

The American Revolution was began because people did not want to pay taxes and follow the rules of British government. The economy of the south was founded on the immorality of slave labor. Most of the land in the American West was stolen from Native Americans and Mexicans.

Lorna said...

really interesting this.

in church yesterday we had a teaching on multiculturalism and how God's plan is us to be in family and communicate with each other.

pastor made the interesting point that the reason for the many languages now was ofcourse the tower of Babel and Nimrod's wanting to be God - just like Satan before him

We in the US and UK find it hard to learn languages - we want the world to be white, english speaking and safe. And that's built on racism and God hates it.

We wants us to be unified, to sing one song - in harmony - with different colours and pitches and words - but to bow down and worship him.

oh He thinks and loves on a much biggger scale than we do -and I want to be more like him. don't you?


(as an aside it isn't THAT easy to emmigrate to the US even from europe nowadays)

Michele said...

Boy - living in Texas all my life or 33 years anyway - and a boy from Alaska knows more about Texas history than I do! That was sarcastic, just in case you didn't catch it. I think you are probably watching too much slanted media coverage - something we should all be careful of. I guess if you want to get really techical - all the towns you named are spanish names because they originally all belonged to Spain - Spanish people - not people of mexico. If you want to really be truthful - we took all of this away from the Native Americans. I do NOT agree with you about the whole racist thing. Have you crossed the Canadian border lately? Even as a white person, it is very similar to crossing the mexican border - very serious business. I was detained once returning into the US from Mexico with a bus of people because one guy said "Si" to the question of if he was a US citizen. That was YEARS ago...now security is even tighter - on ALL borders.

Anonymous said...

You distort history a bit in your posting. California was originally taken from the indians (mostly Ohlone IIRC) by Spain. There was then a revolution in Mexico, which led to Mexico's independance. Mexico wasn't really interested in Alta California (what is now California), and few mexicans lived there (about 4000). In 1864, people in Alta California, who were by this time mostly English speaking revolted forming the California Republic, which was absorbed by the United states after gold was discovered.

In what way does Mexico have claim over this land?

Note that this says nothing about what what the best imigration policy for the U.S. should be. Allowing more imigration has marginal ecconomic benefits for the U.S. as a whole (it produces higher revenues to the federal government and harms states which recieve imigrants), but has great benefits to imigrants. Should the U.S. allow high rates of imigration in the interest of justice or in persuit of minor ecconomic benefit? Should the U.S. try to recover some of the huge benefits that accrues to imigrants themselves by taxing imigrants at a higher rate or selling the right to migrate to the U.S.? These are tough questions.

Anonymous said...

The history of the Texas revolution: The mexican government granted land to Stephen Austin, to help in settling the Mexican state of Tejas. I believe this was under the Mexican constitution of 1827.The goverment at the time saw a revenue source. Then Santa Ana came to power by military force and threw out the Mexican Constitution and revoked the land grants given to the people who had settled in the Mexican state of Tejas. Interesting note the state of Tejas extended north into present state of Colorado and parts of Wyoming. So I am sure most of us would be upset if we were thrown out of our houses, which we built and off of the lands that were legally granted to us, which we had planted and grown crops to live on. So on to the evil south and slavery. Do I think slavery is, was and will always be wrong? Yes I do. Do you know who some of the biggest slave importers were, thats right all those fine upstanding northern states. Have you read the early writing of President Lincoln? Stating that slavery was not the reason for the civil war, but used the slavery issue to drum up support from the fine righteous states of the north. It is and was a well known fact that free-slaves were safer in the south than in the north, gleened that gem from the actual writings of slaves. As to who actually settled here first Indians,Mexicans or white man. Currently known, but very well hidden, is the skull of a european found in South America which predates any Indian, Mexican or land bridge walker from Asia. If you have been to Texas I don,t think it would take long to see that the minority is not the Mexican, so why do they recieve minority rights? Jimmy Carter and most presidents since have granted amnesty to IA's every 5-10yrs anyway. Pres. Carter also granted Social Security benefits to immigrants 65 years old and older, people who had never paid any money into the system. As to my family history, I have many family members born in Milton,IT aka Indian Territory.(now Oklahoma) So should I be able to reclaim their lost land in North Carolina,because they were forced off their land in NC and marched to Oklahoma? Thanks for the discussion.

Friar Tuck said...

@ anonymous readers (at least sign your name on the bottom)--

You are correct in stating that history of California is different from that of Southern Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Parts of California were also a part of the Oregon Territory I believe.

Part of the premise of my argument in this discussion is that the borders that we have instituted in the last 100-150 years were artificial.

Still, I think the word distort is an unfair accusation.

And it is ok if you sign your name at the bottom of your anonymous post.

You will note again though, that is California there was a revolt. And I believe the revolt was too different levels supported by European powers and American interests as well.

On the other post, the truth remains that the Texans were not true to their commitments in moving onto the land in the first place.

Friar Tuck said...

@ others--

Canadian border posts may be as thorough, but that does not mean that our border there is as well guarded. Give me a four wheeler out in the Western Plains of Canada, and my guess is I could get across to North Dakota or Montana much easier than I could get across the border in the SW.

insomniacman said...

Hot topic, buddy. I don't quite know where I stand, but I do know the Bible has specific instructions about how to treat aliens in one's land; namely, with kindness and mercy. And I think many immigrants, illegal or otherwise, would fall under Jesus' "least of these". How that should apply to U.S. immigration policy, I don't know. But too many people don't even bother to think about this issue in a way that acknowledges it's complexity or the fact that the Bible actually might have some answers

Friar Tuck said...

Thanks insomniacman, for getting where I was going with this whole thing...well that and that racism and our issues with Latin American immigration are tied closely to one another.

rubyslipperlady said...

I suggest T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain. It's a good book that makes you thikn about what you really believe and agree/don't agree with on every level. I was very disturbed by some of my own reactions to the book as I was reading it this past year. Enjoy!