Welcome to the USA, Mexicans: Just in Case You Didn't Know, Yep We're Still Racist
One really just has to laugh at the United States. What a ridiculous spectacle we are making of ourselves in our recent discussion of border security and the some 11 to 20 million illegal Mexicans living in our borders.
The United States has been allowing illegals to enter the United States for quite some time now. The illegals are employed by all kinds of American businesses. This keeps the wages of the workers down which further helps the American businessmen. As more and more Mexicans poured into the United States it became common knowledge that virtually nothing was being done to stop or even discourage mass migration to the US. This, in turn, just encouraged more migration. The US was open for business and Mexicans were welcome.
An often ignored fact is that the United States needs an influx of millions of people in order to pay some of the bills that will come due when the baby boom generation starts to retire, to get sick and to die. And we still need millions of more immigrants.
Now, this would all seem to make for a win-win situation for both the United States and Mexico. And, obviously, it was seen that way. That is, until recently.
The United States went hysterical on 9/11/2001. First, we not only decided to bomb Afghanistan in retaliation for the actions of the terrorists, but to go much farther and occupy the country for a long time. President Bush took advantage of the situation and trumped up the idea that the US just had to go to war against Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction. And, again, the United States was not content to win a war with Iraq, they had, once again, to occupy the country. There is now or soon will be more Americans killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the World Trade Center bombing that began the whole series of mad events.
Given the devastating effect on our nation of the president's war policies, one might argue for caution. But, no, the madness has not stopped. Building on continued hysteria over terrorism, the United States is considering spending a small fortune on building, maintaining and defending a wall, the American Berlin Wall perhaps we should call it, along the entire border between the US and Mexico. Soon it will be five years since 9/11/2001 and there has been no major terrorist attack on the US.
It appears obvious to me (but not to the rednecks and cowboys out there) that we do not need such a wall. The experience with terrorism since 9/11 illustrates that a wall is not needed. And it flies in the face of our continued need for more, not fewer, Mexicans. Let's face it: no one was really concerned about the 11 to 20 million illegals in the United States until this whole question of border security was brought up.
For the right wing, there is one big benefit of pushing the idea of a wall: it gives them a chance to express their racist and xenophobic views of the world and of the illegals. It gives new spirit to the right wingers and now they feel they have the freedom to express every negative thought and reaction on which they have held back for years for fear of "appearing" racist even though they are racist. (Is it any wonder that over the last five years, hate groups have increased 33% to 380 such groups. Did they include the Minute Men in that count? "The Year in Hate Intelligence Report" Southern Poverty Law Center, Spring 2006.)
The US is a deeply racist country with a long history of racism and continuing racism. The US has never really been threatened by a political leftist movement, but it always is facing the problem of shifting into fascism.
And so now we have to listen to all these insults from the right wingers who rule this nation. For instance, the right wing loves to call these 11 to 20 million people "felons". Of course, they would never call the wealthy businessmen who do the hiring "felons". No, they chose to save that word for the poorest and weakest in our midst. You can't call a person a felon unless he is convicted, and there is no way in hell the US is going to charge 11 to 20 million illegals with committing felonies. Empty, but vicious words, from the right wing.
In my writings, I have repeatedly warned Hispanics about believing the Republican spin that they are the true friend of the Hispanics (and the true enemy of the blacks). The Republican Party is now showing its racist, ethnicist roots. Shame on the 40 percent of Hispanics who voted for Geroge Bush in the last presidential election. And shame on those more well-situated Hispanics for showing no loyalty or sympathy to their fellows. Blacks, regardless of social class standing, are always judged on how their least privileged members perform and behave. The same is and will be also true of the Hispanics. Yes, the Republican party will treat Hispanics better than blacks, as long as the Hispanics help preserve the system that keeps blacks on the bottom. But to gain that advantage, Hispanics have to keep the racist system alive and strong. (It sounds like a bargain with the devil to me!!)
Unlike liberal commentator Andy Rooney who does not know any Mexicans and who wonders if the Mexican culture is compatible with American culture, I do know some Mexicans and I do not doubt that they will continue to become speakers of English and proud Americans. These hysterical attitudes towards the Mexicans (hostess Christina had a Spanish TV program on Latin Phobia in the United States) are just not supported by the history of immigrant groups in the US. No ethnic group can ultimately maintain their native language in the face of the tremendous forces of assimilation in our nation. So, even if the Spanish wanted to maintain their language distinct and separate from English, which I don't think they do, they won't be able to do it anyway.
I have tried to help some of the Mexicans I know financially and emotionally. Unlike our right wingers, I try to help, not make things worse with ethnic insults and fear-mongering. (When this current controversy is over, won't there be a great deal of bitterness among the Mexicans here against the reception we gave them after encouraging them to come to this nation? Maybe the right wing doesn't care, but all true liberals should.)
Despite this nation's great success story with the assimilation of ethnic groups (ignoring our dismal failure with the racial black group), this nation is drenched with fear-mongering.
America's hysteria over 9/11 and over the immigration question is obviously to the political advantage of the American right wing. And all we true liberals can do to cheer ourselves up in this bleak situation is to keep laughing at the shenanigans of the rabid right wingers and their supporters.
Screw all those who fought for and are sympathetic to the fight to maintain slavery, who then established separate but equal segregation, and today continue the Great Resistance to any further progress in American civil rights. And be damned all the white commentators who declare that we cannot use the word "racist" to describe the current despicable conduct of our American right wing.
Patrick Louis Cooney, 5/24/2006
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