Thursday, April 29, 2010

When will they come for you?

Mericans into Nazis I join many of my friends in roundly condemning Arizona's recently passed law that will allow the police to stop anyone they think might be an illegal alien.

I don't think I can begin to adequately express my disgust about this, but I'm going to try.

Do we have an immigration problem? Absolutely. Do we need to address it? Of course. But this draconian law is not the way to go about it. I am appalled that any of my fellow citizens would think that this is in any way acceptable in a civilized society. Giving the right to the police to stop anyone for anything, merely because they think they fit the profile of an illegal alien, is completely unconstitutional and is shortsighted, ignorant, and intolerant. This is yet another instance of white, religious conservatives feeling threatened by someone "other" than them. Feeling that "their" country is being taken away from them. Beginning to feel that their dominance is coming to an end, as more and more people around them don't speak English as a first language, as they see more brown faces than white in their stores and neighborhoods.

They're probably feeling a little like the Native Americans felt when their country was taken away from them by the whites who came here, claimed it as their own, and systematically eliminated all Native American claims to the land. Good. Just simmer in that for a while, why don't you?

I don't have an easy answer. I don't necessarily believe that complete amnesty is the way to go. Our President (and like it or not, he is YOUR President, too) has proposed that we secure our borders, that any illegals will be held accountable for back taxes, need to learn English, and will be penalized by having to wait in line for citizenship behind those who are here legally. That makes sense to me; I want these folks to become law-abiding citizens who pay taxes, but if they have come here illegally, there need to be some consequences to that.

Stopping anyone who looks a little more brown than others is not the way to go about this. I cannot even believe that this is happening, and as someone who has studied quite a bit about Nazi Germany, I can tell you that this smacks of the Geheime Staatspolizei a lot more than I'm comfortable with. I hate to Godwin myself, but since the teabaggers have been bleating for a while now about how Obama is a Nazi, I feel perfectly justified in comparing them to the Nazis. As others have stated, it's way too reminiscent of those black and white post-WWII movies in which a coal-helmeted soldier angrily and coldly demands to "see your papers."

What is next? Are you going to applaud if a Hispanic person is stopped, runs from the police, and is gunned down like a dog in the street? Would that make you happy? Would you applaud our fine police officers for upholding the law?

Some of those who disagree with what I'm saying may think that I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't have to deal with immigrants. Not to the extent that border states do, no. But for at least a couple of decades now, there has been a large influx in my area because of good manufacturing jobs, and in Michigan because of jobs associated with fruit crops. There are the usual problems when those from another country try to assimilate, but it hasn't been anything horrible. The vast majority are hardworking people who just want to have a better life than they did in their home country. The extreme violence in border states needs to be dealt with, and I hope that our federal government starts working on this problem soon, so that other states don't fuck it up royally like Arizona did.

Honestly, people...this is America. We are a nation of immigrants. Each and every one of us, unless you're full-blooded Native American. Have we all forgotten that? Anyone who thinks this is a capital idea needs to think about how their ancestors felt when they came over from Ireland or Germany or Italy or Eastern Europe and were looked down upon as poor white trash by the ruling class at the time...who in turn had immigrated here several decades before.

Well, I can take some consolation in that the Department of Justice is going to look into the constitutionality of Arizona's law. From everything I've read, the law will not stand. Something about that search and seizure thing...something about the Fourth Amendment...something about that pesky Constitution. Again, for all the teabaggers' clamoring about how the Constitution is being perverted, I'd say that this law pretty much bends the Constitution over and fucks it right up the ass. If I sound pissed off, believe me...I AM.

What is wrong with people? I am astounded that anyone would think this is a good idea. Astounded and appalled. If you're in apoplectic joy about this, if you're grinning like a happy asshole, I think you'd best stop and think about what it is about YOU that might be the next target. Your ethnicity? Your heritage? Your religion? Your political affiliation? Your hair or eye color? Speaking of happy assholes, Glenn Beck seems to get off on talking about the concentration camps that President Obama is secretly building. You have the nerve to believe that and bitch about that and then support this bill that allows the police to stop anyone who looks a certain way, without provocation, and demand their papers?! Do you not see the lunacy of that, the complete disconnect from reality?

Gaaaahhhhh! This is insanity! Canada is looking better all the time, but I can assure you that I will keep my American citizenship so that I can continue to VOTE.

This would be an appropriate time for Martin Niemöller's quote, as translated from the original German. Hard to believe that it is pertinent to the United States of America in 2010, but it sure as hell is.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


  1. I'm amazed they thought they thought this was a good idea, good enough to become law...and the quote seems to be very accurate even now in these times!

  2. They have to know this will be struck down as unconstitional...which means they just wanted to intimidate brown people for as long as they could.

  3. Knowing a great many Hispanic people, aftre growing up in California, and then meeting many more once I moved to Miami, including the Hispanic with whom I share my life, I am disgusted and sickened that this sort of fascism exists in this country and that so many illiterate minds are goosestepping along with it.
    Use your goddamned brains people. We've seen this shit before and it didn't end well.

  4. I don't often write a comment Beth as I mostly ..although not always !!...agree with what you say. However I am so disturbed to read about what has happened in Arizona I am horrified at what is happening in your great country...I never thought I would ever read such words.
    all I can say is God bless you all....(knowing you you may not believe that is appropriate !! but I do..)
    Love Sybil xx

  5. I mentioned this topic a bit in my post and I do think I need to catch up a bit. I know on the face it is a horrible law but not having read or studied anything about it, makes me not want to speak more on it.

    Your blog is as well informed as any of the major news outlets. I will let this be my foundation as I read this. The point about this being a nation of immigrants is a correct one but one that people are removed from. Sad how little attention we pay to history and its significance.

    I do think a lot of this has to do with having a black President. It gives the code words legitimate status because we can't be that racist and intolerant having a black President, right?

    And being removed from the past means that most whites have forgotten when their ethinicity was called into question.

  6. Of course, today, there was some #$^hat that thought it would be a good idea to put microchips in illegal aliens. How can these people look themselves in the mirror. It just frosts me!

  7. The white folks live in an area where their nearest neighbors are brown folks, and they don't like it. The reason for immigration is that there are borders. The reason some of the illegals bring drugs (and also some of the legals) is that people in the US, including some Arizonians, buy them. And the reason drugs are illegal is that they haven't been legalized yet.

    Those bigots should be forced to live in New York City for a couple of years where they buy their paper from a Muslim, a Mexican fixes their TV, their dentist is Japanese and their baby is delivered by a black doctor.

    That Obama is building concentration camps is well known. He's building them on the moon and Mars and Jupiter. Better pack.


  8. Beth, that law is dreadful and ultimately unachievable--I hope. I'm so torn by this issue, I just haven't been able to write about it yet. On the one hand, I can't get past the word "illegal" but on the other hand, I can't get past "families". I'm not against immigrants coming into this country leagally, but I am against illegals taking American jobs.

    In Michigan we can't afford to be giving away jobs; nor can we survive on minimum wages--which is what happens when there are thousands of people standing in line for a chance at a few jobs.

    But the fact is, there are approx. 12 million illegals in this country and some of them have been here for a decade or more. What do we do with them? Send them home? Home is. . .where? They've made their home here, for better or for worse.

    But the law in Arizona goes far beyond any real enforcement. It singles out an ethnic group and targets them before they've even done anything. It's ridiculous, and so obviously unconstitutional. But there it is.

    I predict they'll have to back down. It does my heart good to see how angry nearly everyone is about this one issue.

  9. I think we're going to have some trouble with that English requirement. We're only a couple of generations away from the grandmothers who still spoke Yiddish (or Polish, or Greek), the grandfathers who could only write Hangul. And don't forget the "Norwegian bachelor farmers" who got by with a Ya! or two. They all came here, lived here, raised American English-speakers without ever becoming proficient at it themselves. I understand the need for an English-only requirement, but I don't think it is realistically enforceable. Is it?

  10. Frightful! Just Frightful!

  11. I live in Texas, which borders Mexico, and the immigration question is a daily topic of conversation. I too sorta' like Obama's plan. It seems to be a reasonable balance.

    I have a Hispanic friend who states unequivocally that English should be the required language of the land. He says quite simply, it is only right. If we go to Portugal to live, we learn Portuguese. The same with France, Spain and on and on. I think he has a point. While I wouldn't force this on an elderly immigrant (we elderly people are too hard to train), I certainly think that the concept makes sense.

  12. I am frightened by the Idea that some people can exclude others based on the color of their skin or the language that they speak. NO ones wants to migrate, we often see the problem of migration from those coming in but never from those coming out and taking over the industries affecting other nations capital. The reason why people move to the US illegally is because their is not wealth at home to support them most of their wealth goes to ford, kellogs and Union Carbide the same companies that dictates the politics in this nation


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