Cheryl Seal
VOLCANO! What the Immigration Protests are REALLY Saying
Mon Apr 10, 2006 13:37

THE TIDE HAS TURNED: What the Immigration Protests are Really Saying

By Cheryl Seal

Mainstream newsies and Bushie politicians have sneered at the supposed lack of protestors at recent anti-war rallies. And they have tried to imply that because the immigration protests are so much larger by comparison that Americans really aren't that whipped up about Bush and his war. But they are missing - as ever - the big picture. In an earlier, less horrific administration - even that of Bush I - the immigration issue would not have triggered such a huge response. First of all, there would never have been such a Nazi-ish piece of legislation introduced as that sponsored by Sensenbrenner. It would have been considered downright un-American.

The simple fact is, the immigration issue has detonated an eruption of public reaction because it was the final insult - the outrage that unleashed the smoldering volcano of American anger. The stands taken by rightwingers on the issue, even though they vary, symbolize everything the public has come to despise about the Bush administration and its cohorts in Congress. It symbolizes the trampling of America's sense of what is decent and good. It embodies arrogance, hypocrisy, bigotry, a double standard on a massive scale, and the stream-rolling of basic rights.

In the America most of us want to live in - the IDEAL we strive for but so often fall short of - decent folk of all races, creeds, and colors are welcome and live together in reasonable harmony. It is this diversity that adds richness of the melting pot that has always defined America. In this great America, no groups are not singled out, labeled and persecuted. Instead, individuals who have committed actual crimes can be identified and then subjected to due process in what was, before Bush, a judicial system that was a model for the world. In this America, no one need fear being "rounded up" and detained indefinitely on suspicion - for ANY reason. In this America, no one need fear that if they help someone in need that they will be considered criminals (as called for by the Sensenbrenner legislation). No one need fear that their phone is being secretly tapped or their mail intercepted and read.

In our ideal of America, a handful of conservative white males would NOT have the right to dictate which racial/ethnic/religious groups are "good" and which are "bad." In this America, a war on terror would target CRIMINALS responsible for terrorism, not entire nations or ethnic/religious groups. Terrorism would NEVER be synonymous with "Muslim" - who number internationally in the hundreds of millions - just as "gang violence" would never be synonymous with "Latino."

In our dream of America, there would be no double standard for immigration. If a man/woman is willing to work an honest day's work, then that man/woman should be able to make an honest day's pay - at the same rate as everyone else doing the same day's work, regardless of where they came from. In this America, wealthy white people who hire and underpay illegal immigrants as their gardeners, nannies, maids, crop pickers, etc., then - like Bush - promote an immigration package that allows them to keep their cheap workers while granting these workers none of the rights of "real American" workers, would not be tolerated. Such an arrogant, slaveholder mentality would be considered a destructive relic of another century.

And, finally, in the ideal America, when Americans want to speak out and say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!", they can take to the streets with signs and speeches without fear of being tear gassed or beaten, or labeled "terrorists" or "persons of interest” and placed on some watch list. This week’s immigration marches and rallies embody a culmination of American outrage against the assault on our nation's ideals. What Americans have realized in one heady, awakening rush is that WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS. We ARE the Latinos, the Muslims, the African Americans and Asians. We are not just defined by a handful of white WASP males and their wannabe-white -WASP-male female cohorts. We are Americans BY IDEAL, not by physical attributes.

What these marches and rallies are screaming, loud and clear is simply this: AMERICA HAS HAD ENOUGH!

Main Page - Monday, 04/10/06

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