Hey, just throwing this up as I rush out of the house. This is a long article I’m discussing, and I don’t get into much of it here, but I wanted to get a start on it. Sorry if this post is a bit sloppy, I was writing it and doing my nails at the same time :p
Hey, thanks to kv, (krado, no?) for sending in a link to this article, because I think it raises an interesting dynamic in the discussion of immigration and it’s intersection with race and racism.
The article presents a problem, not new by a long shot. In this incarnation it is presented as the resentment of urban blacks to the encroachment on “their space” by mainly Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. From the article:
Terry Anderson is angry. From his KRLA-AM radio perch in Los Angeles, the black talk-show host thunders, “I have gone on the streets and talked to people at random here in the black community, and they all ask me the same question: ‘Why are our politicians and leaders letting this happen?’ ” What’s got Anderson—motto: “If You Ain’t Mad, You Ain’t Payin’ Attention”—so worked up isn’t the Jena Six or nooses on Columbia University doorknobs; it’s the illegal immigrants who allegedly murdered three Newark college students last August. And when he excoriates politicians for “letting this happen,” he’s directing his fire at Congressional Black Caucus members who support open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. “Massive illegal immigration has been devastating to my community,” Anderson, a former auto mechanic and longtime South Central Los Angeles resident, tells listeners. “Black Americans are hit the hardest.”
Deep breath, and let’s start to look at what’s wrong here. Bottom line – it’s pitting two of the communities with the most problems against each other. Reminds me of reading about how the Irish (and remember these folks were shit on when they came to the US) organized against the Chinese, fanned the flames of fear about the Yellow invasion and other such racist rhetoric.
There’s a logical disconnect here. If you’re upset about crime and murder, talk about crime and murder, it’s causes (like poverty-which you’re most likely in if you’re an illegal immigrant) and it’s solutions (like education and economic opportunity). And by the way, how do you think he’d like it if someone starting ranting about the disproportionate percentages of blacks as convicted criminals and started wailing at their elected representatives to “do something” about them?
“Massive illegal immigration has been devastating to my community.” I would like to see the proof of this. If he’s talking about the black community in general, are we really to believe that illegal immigration, (not the legacy of slavery, of segregation, of institutionalized racism, of continuing scandals of voter disenfranchisement, and the list goes on) is the cause of the black communities problems today?
“Black Americans are hit the hardest” he claims. Of course they are, because they’re the ones who’ve been shit on the most up until now, because they’ve been at the bottom of the ladder. The establishment, the “politicians and leaders” this man is calling on to save him from this scourge, have made sure that has been the case since this country began. And he’s falling into a fantastically useful ploy of that establishment – to use the second rung of the ladder to beat on the bottom rung of the ladder. In fact the author, describing it as a history of “unease” with immigration, recites the history of blacks opposing immigrant groups, all the way back to Frederick Douglas using that old gem about “they’re taking our jobs.”
The author cites some figures about immigrants undercutting wages in, for example janitorial jobs. Ok, but instead of ganging up on them (pretty useless really, they’re not leaving) why not organize along labor lines to make sure everyone’s getting a decent wage, which would mean they’d no longer be competitors? Or, right, because that would take idealism and effort, whereas fear-mongering racism is easy.
It is a very old story in US immigration politics, and I must say a shameful one. That the Irish would organize against the Chinese with historical perspective looks preposterous and shameful. And so it should look to see blacks organizing against Latinos.
A comment on this article’s author, Steven Malanga. I fould a couple book by him advertised on the website, called The Immigration Solution and The New New Left. He’s an obvious anti-immigrant agitator, and the blurbs for his book were written by the like of Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin. That should send up red flags right away.
Despite the author’s politics, this is an instructive article because, without meaning to, it illustrates, at least to me, a typical phenomenon whereby one screwed over population unites to screw over another screwed over population. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside eh?