April 29, 2010

Racism behind Arizona's immigration law

Arizona Immigration Law Violates Constitution, Guarantees Racial Profiling

By Mary BauerQuite simply, this law is a civil rights disaster and an insult to American values. No one in our country should be required to produce their “papers” on demand to prove their innocence. What kind of country are we becoming?

When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was asked what an undocumented immigrant looks like, she responded: “I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like. I can tell you that I think there are people in Arizona who assume that they know what an illegal immigrant looks like."

We all know what the outcome of all this double-talk will be. People with brown skin--regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens or legal residents--will be forced to prove their legal status to law enforcement officers time and again. One-third of Arizona’s population--those who are Latino--will be designated as second-class citizens, making anyone with brown skin a suspect even if their families have called Arizona home for generations.

Given the authors of this law, no one should be surprised about its intended targets. The law was drafted by a lawyer for the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose founder has warned of a “Latin onslaught” and complained about Latinos’ alleged low “educability.” FAIR has accepted $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a racist foundation that was set up by Nazi sympathizers to fund studies of eugenics, the science of selective breeding to produce a “better” race. The legislation was sponsored by state Senator Russell Pearce, who once e-mailed an anti-Semitic article from the neo-Nazi National Alliance website to supporters.
Comment:  People of Hispanic or Latino origin make up about 30% of Arizona's population, while American Indians make up about 5%. For every six times the police stop a Latino unconstitutionally, they'll probably stop an Indian once.

The numbers will be greater for tribes living near the Mexican border. It's a hot issue for Native activists, which is why they're up in arms about it.

Note that Arizona's racists won't be targeting light-skinned Latinos whose background is predominantly European. People like Martin Sheen (Ramón Antonio Gerard Estévez) and Cameron Diaz probably don't have to worry.

No, Arizona's racists are primarily targeting Latinos with Indian blood. The presumption is the same as it was a century ago: that these people are lazy, good-for-nothing bums. That they're too low-class be anything but welfare cheats and criminals. In short, that they're dirty savages because of their brown skin and "blood."

It's all about the loss of white power and privilege. Not coincidentally, that's what Klansmen, militias, and teabaggers--not to mention today's Republican Party of No--fear. All these people like their 500-plus years of world domination and don't like the thought of losing it.

For more on the subject, see Arizona Legalizes Racial Profiling and
They Keep Coming, and Coming, and Coming....