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The Joys of Art

Monday, June 05, 2006

Speaking the truth

Hispanics, primarily Mexicans do not like to share culture.....They take over culture.....Blacks have always been forced to share everything whether we would have like to or not, we didn't have a choice.....When blacks and whites are "polarized" Black ALWAYS become marginalized....ALWAYS!!!! Do you hear that Mayor Nagin?!!!! And when other minorities are brought in as a divisive wedge between "polarized" blacks and whites they we become further marginalized, dispossessed and displaced!!!!! This shidt ain't that hard to figure out!!!!
Someone on the internet told me that I didn't have a right to call myself a Cajun....I ain't lettting you OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER take shidt away from me sweetie.....If I thought roaches were a significant part of my life I'd fight tooth and nail to keep them around my house so I'm damn sure going to do the same when it comes to CULTURE and HERITAGE!!!!! No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation--I'm talking about nothing--will ever separate me from my culture, my God and heritage....This love is unbreakable....

Unbreakable--Alicia Keys

Some detect bigotry in immigration debate

By Ron Harris
WASHINGTON — The statement smacked of the rhetoric that circulated 40 years ago when some whites tried to explain their opposition to African-Americans' efforts for equality during the Civil Rights movement."I don't have anything against Latinos," said Bishop Frank L. Stewart as he gathered with nine other black speakers at an anti-immigration press conference here last week at the National Press Club. "I have Latinos in my organization. But Latinos have an agenda, and we are not included in it."As it has for more than 160 years, bigotry and racism have surfaced as the country takes up the issue of immigration reform, political scientists and sociologists say.Politicians of both parties say they have begun to sense an undercurrent of bigotry hovering around the debate over what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants already here and the hundreds of thousands who annually want to enter legally.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2008, told a group of reporters here recently "that some anti-immigration Republicans are guilty of demagoguery and racism."I'm not saying everybody who is very, very angry (about immigration) is a racist. I want to be very clear about that," he said. "But I've had conversations with people, and it became evident what they really didn't like is that people didn't look like them, didn't talk like them and didn't celebrate the holidays they do, and they just had a problem with it."Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., raised the issue when legislators took up an amendment to the Senate immigration bill it approved last week to mandate that English be the nation's official language."While the intent may not be there, I really believe this amendment is racist," Reid said on the Senate floor. "I think it is directed basically to people who speak Spanish."The bill now goes to a conference committee of selected members of both houses who will try to hammer out a compromise. President George W. Bush and others, such as House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo. have brushed aside concerns that there is an undercurrent of racism in the immigration discussion."It's a big country with lots of people, and I don't know what all of them are thinking," Blunt said. "But I don't get a sense of that when I'm out in the country, and I've been all over the country in a couple of years. I don't see it as a racial thing. I can't speak for everybody, but I don't sense that with the people that I talk to."But many say it is there."I think very few people are comfortable talking about race and racism," said Mickey Ibarra, a former official in the Clinton administration who now runs a Washington-based public affairs company."My own brother was walking in a demonstration in Salt Lake City, and he had folks screaming at him to 'Go home!' And he and I were both born here."'They look funny'Sunita Parikh, associate professor of political science at Washington University, said bigotry is part of the immigration debate today just as it was during the arrivals of Germans and the Irish during the 1840s and the arrival of Italians, Poles and Russian Jews in the early 1900s."There are a lot of similarities in the rhetoric now compared to how the Italians and eastern Europeans were talked about 100 years ago, especially Russian and Polish Jews," said Parikh, who specializes in immigration."There were concerns about the Italians, that they wouldn't learn English, weren't educated enough to contribute to the country. With Jews, there was a lot of anti-Semitic language - they look funny, they dress funny."That's why you got a lot of temperance laws passed during those periods. The people who were here were convinced that the Catholics who were coming in were heavy drinkers. It happened to the Germans, too."Some of the animosity is based in the fear that the new arrivals will compete with those closest to the economic bottom, African-Americans for example, for jobs, Parikh said. But she said a lot of it is also tied up in societal attitudes that people brought from their native lands."For example, Indians can be incredibly racist," she said. "My father was medium dark, but he never saw himself as a high caste. But I have relatives who are incredibly bigoted towards African-Americans. They swallowed all of the stereotypes."'Me and mine'Aristide Zolberg, professor of political science at the New School for Social Research in New York City, said attitudes toward immigrants are rooted in the way countries view themselves."It's a mixture of things," he said. "Some countries see themselves as white. Some countries see themselves as Christians. When the Roman Catholics came to the U.S., they were viewed very much the way Muslims are being viewed in Europe now."George Newman is a St. Louis immigration attorney who works with area universities and corporations to bring in immigrants under the nation's temporary visa programs. As the debate over immigration has become superheated, he said, immigrants here legally and those who employ them are reticent to be identified with immigration."No one wants to stand up and say, 'I'm a person who hires immigrants, who brings in immigrants,'" Newman said. "It's being cast almost as un-American, unpatriotic."Dean Chininis, general manager of Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake of the Ozarks, said he hires immigrants to work at his hotel legally under a temporary visa program - but he adamantly refused to discuss it further.John Galliher, professor of sociology at University of Missouri at Columbia, said that for some, the opposition to immigrants might be more about selfishness than about difference."It's like the drawbridges around the castles," he said. "The last person over the drawbridge wants to pull it up, because there's just enough room for me and mine."But on the other hand, there really isn't room for everybody. I don't think its racist to say that there should be a legal and orderly way for people to come here and work. I don't think there's anything wrong with legal immigration. I think there's everything wrong with illegal immigration."rharris@post-dispatch.com 202-298-6880
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