Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Margarita cautions

It seems appropriate to write about immigration laws and racism today. The day when people, even those who support the immigration law will run to Mexican bars after work to drink margaritas and eat tacos to prove they love the Latinos.

That's what we do. As written in the KC Star, "Somehow, a segment of society has been convinced that avoiding the public use of certain racial epithets and negative generalities about ethnic groups is all that is necessary to prove an absence of racial bias. It’s ridiculous."

 But yet we can't seem to find the connection between laws like the one in Arizona and the ones that kept Black and White folk from drinking out of the same fountain. I know there are differences. I know we can't just let people willy nilly come into this country with no restrictions. I don't have any answers to how this "problem" should be fixed.

But I do think a lot of illegal immigrants make this country run because many of us can not lower ourselves to do their work. And I think 99 percent of immigrants of no intentions other than making a better life for themselves and their family while contributing positively to our culture and economy.

Most of all, I think we need to be careful. Because not so many years ago, African-Americans weren't considered citizens. And look how we treated them. And are still treating them. How many times have we heard commentary questioning our own president's citizenship? But why? Because his skin is not White? We hear all this rhetoric like "Take Back America." Who stole it? The non-white people? Was it "ours" in the first place?

If the "show me your papers" approach really worked then only those with a reasonable suspicion would be stopped in a constitutional fashion. But we all know how that will play out. We'll go from Driving While Black to Shopping While Brown. Many Hispanics are in the country legally and are rewarded with the same civil rights I am.

For security and economic purposes, I concede that we do need border control. It makes sense. But this is the irresponsible approach. The federal government is the one who should make the law with the knowledge of the past, the fear of the future and a deep compassion for the human race.

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