Sunday, July 4, 2010
On April 23, 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, whose great grandmother came to the United States as an immigrant in 1886, signed SB1070, a bill aimed at identifying, prosecuting, and exporting illegal immigrants.
The law would give police the power to question anyone suspected of being an illegal alien, and it would require that all aliens carry documents to prove their legality. Opponents of the bill, and even some Arizona police chiefs have questioned its morality, calling it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics.
President Barack Obama stated before the bill's signing that it is not only unconstitutional, but threatens “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”
Now, it is commonplace during a time of economic recession that state and/or federal governments demonize an enemy within. The following paragraphs provide unmistakable examples and consequent comparisons of just that.
A Tale of Two States:
In 1939, there were 70 million people in Germany. 500,000 were Jews. For decades there had been Jews in Germany--living, working, and contributing to the economy. No one made a big deal. But an economic crisis came. Germany had hyperinflation and double-digit unemployment. None of these woes were attributable to Jews. Politicians in Germany seized the occasion to demonize an "enemy within." Jews were identified in Germany as the source of various ills--to distract from the real issues Germany was facing.
Arizona In 2010 has 6.5 million people. 500,000 are illegal aliens. For decades there have been illegals in Arizona--living, working, and contributing to the economy. No one made a big deal. Then an economic crisis came. Arizona had a wave of foreclosures and double-digit unemployment. None of these woes were attributable to illegals. Politicians in Arizona seized the occasion to demonize an "enemy within." Illegals were identified as the source of various ills--to distract from the real problems Arizona was facing.
There's another instance of economic downturn fueling hatred towards a minority.
The Great Depression of the 1930's did demonize an enemy within. Although it's not widely discussed due to a then-present status of second class citizenship-only available to minority groups , hostility towards African-Americans hit an all time high as they were perceived as taking many of the few available jobs, due to a willingness to work for smaller wages. This was of course propaganda aimed at diverting the negative emotion of the American people, but many of the politically correct history books won't tell you that.
The moral sin of Arizona's illegal immigration bill is that the counteractive measures being put in place not only single out one particular class of illegal immigrants (anyone of Hispanic resemblance), but also encourages racial profiling by law enforcement toward legals and illegals. It's no coincidence that legals and illegals are both fleeing Arizona for other states. Citizenship or not, they see the bigger picture of what Arizona is becoming. And in all the scenarios throughout history that parallel this particular situation, there isn't one that the U.S. didn't end up condemning or apologizing for. Enforcement is indeed a very necessary portion of the law cycle, but Arizona goes about it all wrong by forcing Hispanics to carry around proof of citizenship and enabling officers to question them on the grounds of reasonable suspicion. It's simply naive to think that this doesn't result in racial profiling or racism. This is the Jews of Nazi Germany being forced to wear the Star of David all over again.
In terms of finances and economy, it's not a coincidence that the most recession-proof cities are those with the largest Hispanic populations. Examples are Oklahoma City, OK, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, and San Jose, CA, just to name a few . These cities are considered 5 of the 10 most recession-proof cities according to Forbes. What the Arizona lawmakers fail to mention is that these immigrants are contributing to the economy (cheap labor, taxes on general purchases) whether they are legal or illegal. If they are working but not receiving any benefits (social security, unemployment), does this not mean that they actually contribute more to the economy than they get back? This is not to say that the presence of illegal immigrants is justified, but if there is some correlation between immigrants and thriving economies, then it's certainly time for Arizona to stop using the 'finance' argument as a crutch.
Arizona's bill ignites old concepts of legality VS morality, as well as constitutionality of race-related bills. With any bill being passed, both legal and moral consequences must be taken into account. Almost no one disagrees with the bill's legal intentions, but lawmakers do little to consider the alienation of legal immigrants, and the anti-Hispanic sentiment that the bill creates. This law doesn't become enforced without racism taking place, and what's more, cops know it. They can provide officers with countless hours of racial sensitivity training, but it will not change the inevitability of Hispanic appearance making someone a suspect. And it certainly won't prevent those 2 or 3 bigot officers per county from using the bill as a tool for legal harassment.
Several police precincts in Arizona have refused to enforce the law even if it does go into effect, because they believe it's morally wrong to encourage what will ultimately be a pass for profiling. When's the last time you heard local law enforcement say that they refuse to enforce a law? That in itself is an indicator that the law is morally inconsiderate.
Do not simply accept the propaganda being fed to you by the media and politicians. There are almost always holes and twisted truths in any justification that they provide for an action that supports their agenda. And don't take my word for it either. Do your own research.
Wish to sign a petition to support the boycott of Arizona? Click here.
Posted by phoenixsoul at 11:01 AM