Monday, July 26, 2010

Should Black People Even Care About the Arizona Immigration Law?

Right now there is a battle brewing in Arizona about how to contain the amount of illegal immigrants coming into America.  This new law, titled S.B. 1070, will make it necessary for law enforcement to investigate anyone one who they feel to be legal immigrants, and if found guilty, they will be transported to a correctional facility.  This bill has caused outrage all across America, even in the White House where the government has decided to challenge Arizona's authority to implement such a law.  Even the Phoenix Sun's publicly protested this law!    Still there are those people that think that this was probably the best way to stop the traffic of illegal immigrants.  A man that lives close to the border, I saw him on CNN, he sits behind his house with a gun ready to take justice into his own hands, and cringes at being called a racist.


Doing a little research on demographics dealing with education, crime, etc. etc., you see that the White people are number one in passing standardized tests, attending college, and high literacy levels.  Then we all know that Blacks are close to the bottom of the list, and guess what race seems to always be coming in last. . . the Hispanics/Latinos.  This may be surprising to many, but it's true.  As African Americans, we've had our struggles, struggles that are different from other races, but the one thing we have in common with our fellow Minorities are that WE ARE ALL DISCRIMINATED AGAINST!  Whether it be in the media, or just because of our history, we all have to fight the battle of racism, one battle that can not be fought alone.
When I first heard about this law, I instantly thought about how it was similar to past laws passed to keep Black folks from making something of themselves.  The most notable would be "The Fugitive Slave Act" where anyone helping in the escape, or harboring a fugitive slave would be prosecuted.  And those who found the slave would have to turn them back to their owners.  Many times this law sent free Blacks into slavery even if they did have papers because as long as you were Black you were not important, and a slave catcher would get more money just sending a Black person to auction rather than to make sure he was free.  Those years have long gone, but the fight for freedom for ALL Americans still goes on.  
Then there were those laws in the 1940s where President Franklin D. Roosevelt put Japanese people within close proximity to a military base into an internment camp.  Some people may argue that this was for the safety of the Americans, but the Japanese are people too!  It really pulled at my heartstrings when I saw those people leaving their cars to go into these huge guarded barbwire gates; those Americans.  So that's why this issue should be close to our hearts.
All of us are labeled here in America, and there is nothing we can do because I have to admit that it's in human nature to label someone.  The Hispanics are mostly seen as illegal aliens that crossed the border stuffed into small vans and blah blah blah.  Forget that!  Do you like it when someone assumes that you as a Black person are nothing but a poor uneducated trouble maker?  I know I don't like it!  See, why can't we give these illegal aliens a chance to make it in America, to become citizens, to get a piece of the American dream?  Wasn't this nation founded by people who wanted just that [the American Dream]?  There was a man, a man that I look up to so dearly that had once said this: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!" -Martin Luther King Jr.  So if we as Blacks sit down and do nothing because the law is primarily aimed toward Hispanics,  we are only letting this threat to the justice of ALL people grow and grow and grow.  
Also, you can't always trust law enforcement to avoid the discrimination of people of color.  There have been too many instances where a Black man was falsely accused of a crime, and the main reason why he was found guilty is because there are not too many people that will go against the word of a cop.   So how will we know that this won't happen to the Hispanic community of Arizona?  I mean, there is reason to have caution toward illegal immigrants, but would anyone ever notice an illegal immigrant without having to investigate them?  Furthermore, this means that we as Blacks should step up to help our fellow men that are being oppressed not matter what race they may be. You know, we as an AMERICAN PEOPLE need to work together to make this world a better place for ALL using the very principles that this nation was founded upon: Life, Liberty, and The pursuit of HAPPINESS.
Read the Immigration Law 
Please comment :-)

Mr. Greene Goes To Washington

One day, I was reading through my Mom's Essence Magazine and I always enjoy reading about happenings in the Black community, you know, the things that mainstream media hardly covers. Then I was somehow instantly drawn to the story about a Black candidate that clinched the South Carolina Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. I mean, as I read the article I found myself saying, "right on my brotha!" Because a Black Democrat of anything is always good. Still I knew nothing about this man, but it took less than 2 weeks for me to realize he was making national headlines because no one had heard of him! If you really think about it, this whole situation is like the movie "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington". For those who have never seen this classical 1930s movie, it's about a boy scout hero,  played by James Steward, who was voted into the senate with a surprise victory. When he got there he didn't know what he was doing, but his intentions were in the right place. Steward's time in the Senate went from confusing to all out crazy when he was accused of scandal.  (And I won't spoil the end for those who have never seen it)
Though I do live in Cleveland, Ohio this South Carolina election has kept me interested because ever since the 2008 presidential election, I found that I have this small interest in politics. Plus I want to pursue a career in journalism which would require me to know about what's going on in the world around me. So, you bet that I've been watching him closely as if I was a South Carolina resident trying to figure out whether or not I should vote for this guy.  Still, he is the first African American to be nominated for the U.S. senate by a major party in South Caroline since Reconstruction.
 Watching CNN, I got to learn a little bit more about him including the fact that he is an Army Veteran that is now unemployed after receiving an honorable but involuntary discharge in 2009. Knowing that did create some doubt within me, but I wasn't going to judge the guy because he can't help the situation that he's in. So finally, I got to hear his point of view on the issues when he spoke to one of the local NAACP chapters down there. Being an NAACPer myself at my Cleveland chapter, this drew my attention. As I listened further into his speech it seemed as if he doesn't exactly have a plan on how to execute the solutions he has put forth to bring jobs back to South Carolina, or as he said, "moving South Carolina forward".  Actually as I watched his speech, I saw his nervousness right away, but I won't hold that against him because I would of probably fainted if I was to have to speak in front of a big crowd of people.  He did have good ideas on how to bring jobs back to the state. For instance, I know that he said something about bringing fairness into the justice system, and re-implementing plans that were stopped after September 11th like improving transportation, but he neglected to mention HOW he was going to do these things. Yeah, it just seems as if he kind doesn't have a clear plan right now, but I won't deny the fact that he has good intentions at heart despite what the media is playing at. Plus, he did impress those people at the NAACP conference because a lot of skeptics decided to vote in his favor after the 7 mintue long speech. Who knows, maybe he is just what South Carolina needs, but I need a little more convincing to completely come out and say that I support him.
Please comment :-)