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Why the Left Has Failed to Mobilize Black Americans Around the Dream Act

 

 Blacks have something to say about illegal immigration too, but does anybody care?

 

By: Keli Goff | theLoop21.com (Add to your loop 
Mon, 06/27/2011 - 2:25am

 
Jose Antonio Vargas (pictured) contributes to America, but is an illegal immigrant. Should he be allowed to stay?

There have been a number of times in which I’ve been proud of my mom, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud than the day I told her that a dear friend, was here in the U.S. illegally. 

 

When I confided that Jose Antonio Vargas, a terrific journalist and all around great human being, was the illegal immigrant in question my mom’s first response was, “how can I help? I mean could I adopt him or something?”

Her reaction nearly brought me to tears, and Jose too when I shared it with him. You see illegal immigration is a subject I’ve never written about, in part because my own feelings about the subject are complex, and I knew her feelings about the subject were complicated as well. But ultimately her compassionate response, and our conversation that followed, made it crystal clear to me that there has been a real failure in our country when it comes to the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. 


Not simply a failure in terms of policy but a failure in terms of communication. And not merely on the part of conservatives, although they certainly bare some of the blame. There has been a fundamental failure on the part of progressives to make a compelling case to people like my mother on why they should care about this issue. Even more important, there has been a failure to acknowledge and communicate a simple truth that has severely limited the progressive movement's ability to mobilize more people like my mom—die hard Democrats who care about civil rights—around this issue. That simple truth is this: all undocumented workers are not created equal. 

 

Much like the term "deserving poor" became a dirty word among progressives, (despite being a term very much rooted in the realities of poverty) the idea that some undocumented immigrants in this country are far more deserving of a second chance than others is an idea that supporters of illegal immigrants remain hesitant to fully embrace--to their detriment.

 

I began thinking about the disconnect around this seemingly obvious fact after coming across the recent New York Times article “Illegal Immigrants' Children Suffer, Study Finds.” Anyone looking to disprove the theory that theNew York Times is a bastion of liberal bias, with a secret agenda to advance progressive causes need look no further than this piece.  I can only surmise that the person writing it was purposely attempting to provide fuel for critics of illegal immigrants. The piece introduces us to a young illegal immigrant who struggles to find services to aid her following the pregnancy and birth of her first child—yet somehow she has two more children in quick succession, all of whom are currently on government assistance.

 

What I found so disturbing about her story is that it is not the story of many illegal immigrants in this country—those who actually contribute and do not take advantage of government programs that cost taxpayers enormously.

Immigrants like Jose Antonio Vargas. 

 

For some reason the conversation over illegal immigration seems to have been hijacked by two equally extreme positions: Those who believe that all illegal immigrants are bad people and should be deported. And those who believe that all illegal immigrants deserve a path to citizenship, and that anyone who disagrees is a bigot.

 

Both sides operate under the illusion that all illegal immigrants are equal. And both sides are equally wrong.

 

Someone who comes to this country—or in Jose’s case is brought to this country—and spends their entire time here contributing in every way imaginable is not comparable to someone who doesn’t contribute at all, and it’s disingenuous for supporters of illegal immigrants to pretend otherwise. However it’s equally disingenuous for immigrant opponents to pretend that our country has not benefited greatly from illegal immigrants, those who as the president often notes, learn English, pay taxes and break no law beyond the ones they break to begin their journey in the first place.

 

Vargas, for instance, has already made much more of a contribution to this country with his writing than I probably ever will with mine. In addition to a shared Pulitzer, his work covering the AIDS crisis in Washington, D.C. inspired a film on the subject that may just end up saving lives. As my mom said, “I can think of ten American citizens off the top of my head I’d love to trade for Jose.” 

 

I can think of twenty. 

 

America would simply not be America without people like Jose. (CLICK HERE to see a list of the Most Politically Influential 1st Generation Americans of the Last Decade) For this reason, I hope this issue finds a resolution, for him, and others like him. But that’s not going to happen until supporters of the Dream Act and other compromise measures stop wasting valuable political capital denouncing the President and the government’s efforts to deport people who have not worked to earn the privilege of remaining here, including legitimate criminals. Not to mention wasting valuable political capital denouncing legitimate conservative criticisms as bigoted. 

 

Asking a person who chooses to come to this country, to learn English and earn his own way and make responsible choices (as Jose did) so that taxpayers don’t end up subsidizing him or his family does not make someone a bigot. And if you have ever called a person who believes in the above that word, then you should look in the mirror and congratulate yourself for being one of the people responsible for our country’s inability to reach consensus on this issue.

 

Because there are fair-minded people who may be willing to compromise who will not do so as long as you dismiss them as bigoted, simply because it's easier to do that than to engage them on those issues in which they have valid concerns.

 

Ultimately, we’ll never find common ground as long as we alienate each other with name-calling, and as long as liberals and conservatives are unwilling to acknowledge that no one owns the moral high ground on this issue. No one. 

When Jose first shared his secret with me, he mentioned that he had spoken with some who were encouraging him to speak on behalf of all illegal immigrants. My response was, “But you’re not the voice of all illegal immigrants. You’re the voice of immigrants like you. And frankly they are underrepresented in this debate.”

 

Here’s hoping that thanks to his courage more voices like his will join the debate and progress will finally be made.

Because our country can’t afford to lose Americans like him. In fact, as my mom pointed out, we could use plenty more.

 


Keli Goff is a Contributing Editor for TheLoop21.comShe is the author of the critically acclaimed book Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence (Basic Books, March 2008) and “The GQ Candidate” which will be published by Atria in July 2011. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post, her writing has also appeared in the magazines Time and Cosmopolitan. Keli can often be seen providing political analysis on news networks including CNN, BBC, CBS and MSNBC where she appears weekly on “The Dylan Ratigan Show.” Follow her on Twitter @KeliGoffBecome a fan on her Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

This story did not move me with respect to illegal immigration, however, the disparity in the treatment of Haitians, Caribbeans and Africans vs other preferred groups is something that seems to be a problem to me.  I would probably respond to political outreach on the immigration issue couched in these experiences.   

NSpirit, when the Dream Act was discussed some time ago, I can't recall my exact wording however in a nutshell what is it going to do to benefit African descended American people? The more I evaluate some of these issues being raised by 'the left' too many of them are just irrelevent to African Americans.

And this brings another point which I initially felt uncomfortable with this thing about people popping off that the President is not just the President of Black America. Well if hispanics and other non-blacks can make a demand of the president, which this is what this Dream Act is a DEMAND, then does that make him the President of Hispanics, Asians and other naturalized Americans? If so, why not for African Americans??? I've seen many staunch defenders and critics of the POTUS say this very thing. WHY??

Another perfect example of how we allow people to psychologically cop us out.

To answer the opening question Sunnubian, no one cares about what Black people have to say or think of the immigration policy in this country. Not the Left, not the Right and sad to say many of us don't even consider the impact of illegal immigration on our community nationally and internationally. Furthermore, black immigrants to the U.S. like illegals are treated like criminals regardless of what they have to offer. To piggyback on NSprit's comments about Haitians, lets not forget that the U.S. offered Liberians refuge here for 20 years and now they want to send them back to Liberia because there is no longer a Civil War. Is this done to any other group offered asylum to the U.S.? Is temporary asylum enforced with any other entire group of people? This is another inconsistency in the immigration policies that will prevent Black people from ever getting on board with the Left and the immigration proponents on this issue.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

NSpirit, when the Dream Act was discussed some time ago, I can't recall my exact wording however in a nutshell what is it going to do to benefit African descended American people? The more I evaluate some of these issues being raised by 'the left' too many of them are just irrelevent to African Americans.

And this brings another point which I initially felt uncomfortable with this thing about people popping off that the President is not just the President of Black America. Well if hispanics and other non-blacks can make a demand of the president, which this is what this Dream Act is a DEMAND, then does that make him the President of Hispanics, Asians and other naturalized Americans? If so, why not for African Americans??? I've seen many staunch defenders and critics of the POTUS say this very thing. WHY??

Another perfect example of how we allow people to psychologically cop us out.

 

Im totally feeling this post.  You rock!

I think that all the racist propaganda being put out there to divide Blacks and Latinos is working so well that it leaves Black people in the position of not knowing whether or not to support their causes.  That and the fact that there have been just a little too many racist jabs at Black people by Latinos/Hispanics lately that are saturating the media and the internet.  Otherwise, I think that you couldn't get a negative quote from an African American on the subject, with the exception of your run of the mill houseni88er type Black person.  Now, back in my young days Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics were cool with each other and even if we did not know one another we were still close enough to our collective histories in this country to know that OUR groups should not have any hatred or malice against each other.  Now, it seems that these recent Latinos/Hispanics immigrating to this country are letting racist Whites and gangbangers decide for them how they should view Black people.  However, I will not let Black people totally off the hook, in that I am sure that there are Black people in America who have negative attitudes against Latinos/Hispanics and that Latinos/Hispanics may have had bad experiences particularly with Black people in America, dependent on were exactly that they chose to come to in America.  But, at any rate, divisions between Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics only serve to weaken and lesson our power in this country, at least for now.  However, if the rate of Latino/Hispanic population grows as expected, then in a couple of decades they will be their own power block and that will not be good for Black people if they continue to view Black peoples in a negative light and it won't be good for White people for the oppressive and racist history they have inflicted on their people.

 

So, who know what is going to happen, especially in the future?  The only thing you can count on is the fact that Black people here in America and throughout the diaspora better learn that WE are a people that have to watch our own backs and each other's backs when it comes to ANY group that is not also Black. 

Excuse me, when have blacks and 'latinos' ever been unified? We may have some issues that serve each other's common interests, but lets not interpret that to be a form of unification. They have their own groups and organizations that put their own people's agenda first and foremost, unlike us. We are always seeking to unify with some other group as if we can't get our own agendas and execute them. Like I said, we are always being psyched out if we ever want to do something to benefit black people alone.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Excuse me, when have blacks and 'latinos' ever been unified? We may have some issues that serve each other's common interests, but lets not interpret that to be a form of unification. They have their own groups and organizations that put their own people's agenda first and foremost, unlike us. We are always seeking to unify with some other group as if we can't get our own agendas and execute them. Like I said, we are always being psyched out if we ever want to do something to benefit black people alone.

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

Actually, what I said was, 

 

Now, back in my young days Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics were cool with each other and even if we did not know one another we were still close enough to our collective histories in this country to know that OUR groups should not have any hatred or malice against each other. 

 

 

However, there have been times when Blacks and Latinos in this country were unified in the struggle for civil rights and against racism in this country.  Actually, it depends on the age of the Latino or African American usually what view you are probably going to get from either one about the other.  And, it still depends on the place and location in this country often and who the Latino has been influence by what opinion you are going to get from them about Black people in America.  So, NO, we never saw each other as the same people or anything like that, but there was a time in America's history that Blacks and Latinos recognized that we both were in the same struggle in America.  Most of the hatred and superiority speech that you hear coming from Latinos about Black are done by either young Latinos or recent immigrants to this country or by Latinos highly influenced by racist White people.  

 

 

Well, it's not like Latinos/Hispanics - and in particular Mexicans - treat their OWN Black countrymen very well, either!!    Blacks in Mexico (and other South American countries) are at the bottom of the barrel.  Just like here.  And just like EVERYWHERE else. 

 

I didn't know many Hispanics growing up ... but, from the time I entered the working world (right out of high school), I have met - and know - and like - a whole bunch of Hispanic people .... from Mexico and beyond!!  One of my best, best male friends came here illegally from Guatemala, could barely (and I do mean barely!) speak English when we met him and added him to the "crew", is now a naturalized citizen that I've known for over 30 years .... but, his family doesn't like for him to bring "us" (the "crew") around.  They tolerate us because they have no choice. He's as much "family" to us as he is to them.  But they'd rather he not.  Old prejudices die hard. 

 

I believe the 'criminal-minded' ... (gangbangers, drug dealers, thieves, murderers, etc.) ... believe that if there's anybody lower and less powerful than they are ... it would be us.  Which is just historical belief by seeming ALL (other) people on this planet!! And so they try to dominate us by fear and violence.

 

And then you have your average, run-of-the-mill, live-and-let-live, people, who aren't trying to bother anybody (instill hatred) ... but, they are dedicated to their OWN people, first, foremost and always .... and they are going to take care of and watch out for themselves and their own.  They're not trying to "hook up" with us ... but they don't necessarily "shun" us, either.

 

And then you have the "cool peeps" who don't care what or who you are ... if you're cool with them, they're cool with you!!  I certainly don't think they're in the majority ... but, I think I've been fortunate to have met a lot of Hispanic people like this ... and we happen to share that same "whatever, dude!" mentality!!

 

I do not think, though, that Hispanic people, overall, will ever "seek us out" for any kind of unification ... for any political or social or ethnic reasons ... because they are already "unified" with themselves and don't need nor want us or our help for anything.

 

As I said ... in their country, people like us (except they speak Spanish rather than English) are considered to be "the bottom of their shoe" in terms of respect, acknowledgement, and basic human dignity.  The Black people in ANY country you go to are the most discriminated against, unliked, disrespected, and lacking of consideration people you will find there. 

 

This is true even in Africa, the Motherland.  Where Arabs or colonists can dominate us, they can, do and will. 

One thing I've noticed is that black people always seem to ask questions like, "What is Obama going to do for black people?"  "Why hasn't he done anything for black people?"  But other groups press for very specific things: immigration reform.  Recognition of same sex marriage.  Etc.  Somebody can help remind me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of a similar major agenda item that black interest groups press for on a national level.   Is that because we don't really feel like we have one anymore?  Or is it because we're just resigned to feel that our interests don't matter? 

"Well, it's not like Latinos/Hispanics - and in particular Mexicans - treat their OWN Black countrymen very well, either!!    Blacks in Mexico (and other South American countries) are at the bottom of the barrel.  Just like here.  And just like EVERYWHERE else.  "

___________________________________________________________________

 

I'm not claiming any solidarity between Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos, especially today, but rather that there was initially no friction between the two groups previously, especially before the republican party started in on the Latino/Hispanic vote.  Of course there was always some ethnic rivalry between young gangbangers, etc., over the years, but before the right wing and republican propaganda machine went full force with their racist propaganda all over the airways and newspapers and pundit tv shows of there being some 'divide' or 'hatred' or whatever between Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics, you rarely even heard of the idea that Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics hated each other.  If you say something enough times, people will begin to believe it, and then begin to act on it.  And the majority of Latinos/Hispanics that are here today is not the same Latino/Hispanic that was here before and following the Civil Rights Movement or even before the Reagan years.  I still say that there is a big difference in the relationship between African Americans and Latinos/Hispanics since before the Reagan years and afterwards through now.  However, I'm not claiming that both groups were in lock step with each other either way, just that there was no particular damning friction between the two groups before all the Western divide and conquer propaganda began to tell the two groups that it was.  

Last edited by sunnubian
Originally Posted by Temporary Vox:

One thing I've noticed is that black people always seem to ask questions like, "What is Obama going to do for black people?"  "Why hasn't he done anything for black people?"  But other groups press for very specific things: immigration reform.  Recognition of same sex marriage.  Etc.  Somebody can help remind me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of a similar major agenda item that black interest groups press for on a national level.   Is that because we don't really feel like we have one anymore?  Or is it because we're just resigned to feel that our interests don't matter? 

 

 

 

That's because any particular agenda that African Americans may have is as usual drowned out by the biased media in this country.  But, even those agenda are being carried by our so-called leaders, and as usual, not the people themselves, at least not beyond talk.  African American have not organized any particular group(s) to march in the streets and demand anything of this government in decades, and I do believe that you are right in your assessment that most African Americans have resigned themselves to feel that our interest don't matter because we have been fighting so many battles to have our agenda addressed in this country for so long over and over again just to have them ignored, shot down, sabotaged and stabbed in the back, that I think that we as a people are just damn burning out.  And, the nail in the coffin of the Black agenda(s) may very well be a Black president and a Black Attorney General that will not or cannot use their political positions and/or clout to address or put pressure on those that can address them.

 

The African American Agenda boils down to an end to all the blatant racism in these areas:

 

Education Spending

Employment Discrimination

Profiling

Juries

Prosecution

Judges

Legislating

Criminal Sentencing

 

 

And,  to all other areas that should be addressed and acted upon for ALL the American people:

 

Jobs Creation

Better Wages

National Healthcare

Affordable Housing

Re-Regulation of our financial industry, food industry, and all other areas where the health and safety of the general population is concerned

Pulling out of unnecessary wars and using those funds to help Americans

 

 

Originally Posted by Temporary Vox:

One thing I've noticed is that black people always seem to ask questions like, "What is Obama going to do for black people?"  "Why hasn't he done anything for black people?"  But other groups press for very specific things: immigration reform.  Recognition of same sex marriage.  Etc.  Somebody can help remind me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of a similar major agenda item that black interest groups press for on a national level.   Is that because we don't really feel like we have one anymore?  Or is it because we're just resigned to feel that our interests don't matter? 

 

A couple of weeks ago a story was posted here (I think by Sunnubian(?)) about a young rapper that called President Obama something stupid .... and then went on to say that he didn't even vote or participate in politics. The article suggested that this boy (and Black people, in general) was politically ignorant/uneducated. 

 

IMO, truer words were NEVER spoken.  And that, in a nutshell, is what is "wrong" with Black people and politics.  It is the 'bottom line' answer to your question(s).

 

People (especially the younger generation) want - insist - demand to be heard ... but, sadly (and realistically) none of them even KNOW .... let alone SPEAK the O-N-L-Y language that will make them be understood.  And that is politics.  And that is to vote.

 

Quick story:  When the Casey Anthony "not guilty" verdict came in the radio DJ let people call in with comments.  The first (young) girl to speak was LIVID!!    In some broken, country, uneducated-sounding English, she RANTED about the fact that this White girl got off while "Black mens was sitting on the death row" with less evidence against them"!! She asked "why the White girl wasn't gettin' guilty when the Black mens was not guilty and sittin' on the death row?"

 

She actually gave a VERY impassioned speech ... and ended with the revelation that we need to fix this situation and "we 'bout to take this from Texas to Florida" and end this kind of injustice.  I was actually impressed with her perceived activism ... but then it occurred to me that she wouldn't know HOW to take the first step ... let alone in WHAT DIRECTION to place it ... to accomplish such a goal!!! 

 

She had NO IDEA that what she was talking about will take a LONG, dedicated, united POLITICAL solution to fix - because there are already various groups TODAY that are - and have been for a very long time - fighting to do that very thing.  With not one second of help from people like her.   And it would have to START with voting out every Republican governor in every Southern state she was talking about "taking it to" to even get the ball rolling!!

 

And I'd be willing to bet a month's salary that she DID NOT even vote in the last 2010 election.

 

The MAIN lesson that Black people - and especially those like that rapper - should have, but didn't take from the 2008 election is that President Obama is the President TODAY for one reason, and one reason ONLY:  And that is because he received more than 2 million more votes than John McCain did.  Every vote DID count.  For those who voted, their voice WAS heard.  That day, they spoke the O-N-L-Y language that gets them heard.  And after that day ... they quit talking! 

 

Why?  Because, being politically 'ignorant' they don't know any better. Have no idea what to do next after that.  Or that there even IS a "next" after that.

 

The majority of Black people (especially those who don't vote) don't even know that the President CAN'T - legally, constitutionally or legislatively - make ANY law by himself.  They haven't the foggiest notion what Congress is, exactly ... let alone what their function and responsibilities are - and are not.  Even those that THINK they know are simply wrong and mistaken when it comes to what the reality is.

 

And I think part of the reason why they continue to be (politically) uneducated and ignorant is because they have a defeatist attitude and don't THINK they have the power to change things (which is a myth and untrue - as the election of President Obama (should have) proved!!!) ... but, I think mainly it's because they have never been taught about the importance that politics plays in everyday life.

 

If they realized that E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G they do is legislated (i.e., even the way you walk down the street is governed .... 'cause they couldn't even do that butt-naked if they wanted to without being arrested for indecency!!  ) then MAYBE they'd have a little more initiative to pay attention. 

 

It's almost comical that they're so quick to ask what President Obama is doing for them ... and have absolutely NO interest in all the things they're (negatively) doing to themselves by being politically inactive.  I'd feel sorry for them .... if their political disinterest didn't have such a negative political impact on me, personally.


Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Excuse me, when have blacks and 'latinos' ever been unified? We may have some issues that serve each other's common interests, but lets not interpret that to be a form of unification. They have their own groups and organizations that put their own people's agenda first and foremost, unlike us. We are always seeking to unify with some other group as if we can't get our own agendas and execute them. Like I said, we are always being psyched out if we ever want to do something to benefit black people alone.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

 

It annoys me when I hear black community activist and or black folk in general, speaking to our issues/interest saying "blacks and minorities" "people of color" or "blacks and latinos". I mean other groups no malice, however we need stop coupling other folks with our plight every time the mic/camera is on.  I've never heard a latino group speaking on their issues say anything like "the latinos and blacks". Same for koreans/chinese/japanese and I'm not mad at them. 

 

If 1/3 the effort was spent on unifying with ourselves, we'd be ahead of the 'game' that leaves us in varying degrees and forms of destitute.

  You know...I know a lotta Black activists...ya know, being in the profession I'm in.  And a few of them were criminals who turned themselves around and decided to do the right thing within the community....and everything. But it never fails, they always wanna seek me out for some reason!  Talkin' about this unity coalition among victims of crime and the turnaround criminals themselves....well I kinda have a problem with that.  Maybe it will take some mo' time for me....but!  I don't wanna engage with mofos that had the same mindset that killed my son.  Nope!  Get the fock away from me.  Cuz you are still an azzwipe self-destructing mofo in my book.  I don't care how much you say YOU'VE changed.  Don't.  Believe.  You.  Cuz why?  All I hear is a lotta of lip service i.e. testinmonals.  I don't wanna hear that bullshyte. I wanna SEE your work i. e. CHANGE  in the community.  Your face to face confrontations with those[you were once like]in our community that are STILL being destructive and STILL killing each other.  I wanna see you pull their azzes down and get all up in their koolaid and tell them WHAT THE FOCK TIME IT REALLY IS.  I mean.  Since you've been there and done that...and all.  But they just wanna spew this term common interest..to appear that they are doing sumthing substantial but really not.  And I say it just the same old bullshyte!  It really reminds of the black panthers back in the day...in my neighborhood.  They used to talk about the white man and what they wasn't gonna take from him anymore....but in the meantime and in between time...all they were actually doing was pulling in women [some were young impressionable girls]...screwing them and getting high.  And creating conflict with the US anti-white group.  Thus, the beginning of rival gangs which includes:  women, guns and mayhem toward each other. What happened to wanting to get the white man? 

 

The real Black Unity I know of is.......gone!  Been gone!  Cuz now everybody seem to want to be on the platform to nowhere spewing conjecture rheotric ...instead getting down in the trenches and helping these confused troubled kids.  What are these so-called activists afraid of?  Getting dirty?  Well hell.  I do it.  Every day.  And there is something called SOAP!!!  I guess when it comes down to it, I must be crazy.  Cuz I have folks tell me all the time...."girl why you do that?  You don't know them." I tell them.  "Don't have to know them."  Or I hear often..."aren't you afraid to talk to a stray child i.e. thug?"  "Nope. Could be my child."  Developmentally....children are the same all over the world.  I  know each developmental stages of a child.  So when I approach a child[currently known as a thug or gang banger]...I know where they stand cognitively.  So I know what to say to them.  And most importantly from my experience, every child wants to be LOVED.  And so that's what I am armed with...unconditional love. 

 

 But getting back to the topic at hand.  Black folks will NEVER enforce an alligance until we as a people STOP hating on each other and get with the bigger picture.  Slavery and Jim Crow seemed to erase the desperation we once had.  But!  There are STILL desperate times that are affecting not only our children but our culture as people.  And our biggest most deadliest angst is our SELF-HATE toward each other....and I think that comes from NOT really knowing who we are or loving where we come cuz massa did a good job in degrading, minimizing and lying about it....and for so many years our parents believed it....and some of us STILL believe it.  So until we can really SELF-LOVE who we are.....and not that fake shyte that encroaches colorism: light/dark skin division......other folks [ and I won't call them miniorities cuz that's massa's word...they are equal human beings] who always knew who they are as a group will continue to surpass us and become a much stronger unit. 

 

Yes it's true.  Slaves were scattered across north, central and south America.... Yes the hispanic/latinos population is in denial of their African ancestral roots....but!  If we as African Americans embrace the power of being from Africa in a positive spin and embrace and truly CELEBRATE who we are as a former under dog people.....trust me.  THEY WILL FOLLOW!  But as long as we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, deny each other with real black love and acceptance...well!  You know the story....and the deadly regressive history...but!  I'm just sayin 

 

Last edited by Kocolicious
Originally Posted by Raptor:
Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Excuse me, when have blacks and 'latinos' ever been unified? We may have some issues that serve each other's common interests, but lets not interpret that to be a form of unification. They have their own groups and organizations that put their own people's agenda first and foremost, unlike us. We are always seeking to unify with some other group as if we can't get our own agendas and execute them. Like I said, we are always being psyched out if we ever want to do something to benefit black people alone.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

 

It annoys me when I hear black community activist and or black folk in general, speaking to our issues/interest saying "blacks and minorities" "people of color" or "blacks and latinos". I mean other groups no malice, however we need stop coupling other folks with our plight every time the mic/camera is on.  I've never heard a latino group speaking on their issues say anything like "the latinos and blacks". Same for koreans/chinese/japanese and I'm not mad at them. 

 

If 1/3 the effort was spent on unifying with ourselves, we'd be ahead of the 'game' that leaves us in varying degrees and forms of destitute.

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

You actually don't hear those words spoken in the same sentence that much these days, and when you did hear it a lot, it was not only Black people that were saying it.  However, you are not seeing a clear picture of the total lanscape of history of Black people and Latino/Hispanics in this country if you are going gloss over the fact that at one time in America, Black people and Latino/Hispanic people did not really have any particular problem with each other.  I understand that everyone may see things from their own personal backgrounds, cities or states, and age groups, but lets be real, when did you first start hearing that Lations/Hispanics and Black people hated each other?  In the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s or since the year 2000+?  First of all, other than California, Texas or maybe New York, where exactly were there a lot of Hispanics/Latinos in American in the first place, especially before the '90s?  The majority of African Americans never had any or very much contact with Latinos/Hispanics before around the '90s in the majority of this country.  Before Latinos/Hispanics begain coming in droves AND spreading throughout this country in great numbers, other than those major cities mentioned, where was all this contact between Latinos/Hispanics and Black people in America?  It seems to me that a lot of this propaganda of hatred between the two groups was induced and instigated by the media and politics.  The fact that RECENT Latino/Hispanic immigrants have come to this country AFTER it had been made alright for them to even be here in the first place, because of the Civil Rights Movement where Black people fought and

died on the front lines, they have come with a false impression of the

reason that they have been even allowed in this country in great numbers in the first place and the misconception that how easy it has been and how undiscriminated against they may be NOW happened because Whites were always and are so accepting of them----so the Latinos/Hispanics from this wave of immigrants are the primary ones that are fueling the hatred, ignorance, and bigotry from the Latino/Hispanic side. 

 

So, it depends on the era or decade that you are speaking of when it comes to the relationship between Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos, it also depends on your age and what part of the country that you are from.  However, this hatred, and bigotry that is being paraded over the media that is supposed to be between Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics is something that is is found to be puzzling to a lot of people of both groups who grew up seeing no such thing while growing up and living in the same communities with Latinos/Hispanics.  So, I think that only one side of the history of the relationship between the two groups is being propagandized while the previous history of the two groups is being down played and over shadowed by what the media is claiming to be how the two groups feel about each other NOW.

 

As far as the "people of color" phrase, it was not ONLY Black people that used that phrase to describe themselves and/or their minority status in this country in relation to the majority.  It maybe that NOW other minorities are not longer using that phrase and Black people still are, but it was never a phrase (before) that ONLY Black people used.  Also, it was never ONLY Black people 'coupling' other minorities with 'our' plight, but, historically, other groups have either 'coupled' or related their plights to African Americans as well.  Now that the road to the American Dream has been paved smooth by the sacrifices African Americans made to bring about the civil rights of ALL people in this country, it is those same minorities who are no longer coupling with or relating to African Americans, and not that it never happened to be otherwise in this country, ever. 

I guess I will be told that there was never a relationship between Blacks and Jews in this country or at least an understanding of the similarities of each other's plights.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

NSpirit, when the Dream Act was discussed some time ago, I can't recall my exact wording however in a nutshell what is it going to do to benefit African descended American people? The more I evaluate some of these issues being raised by 'the left' too many of them are just irrelevent to African Americans.

And this brings another point which I initially felt uncomfortable with this thing about people popping off that the President is not just the President of Black America. Well if hispanics and other non-blacks can make a demand of the president, which this is what this Dream Act is a DEMAND, then does that make him the President of Hispanics, Asians and other naturalized Americans? If so, why not for African Americans??? I've seen many staunch defenders and critics of the POTUS say this very thing. WHY??

Another perfect example of how we allow people to psychologically cop us out.

 

I seem to be in the same position....essentially.

 

This 'immigration issue' is becoming more and more personal.

 

If it (the solution) does nothing for 'me and mine', why should I 'dig' for my humanity?

 

It's calose(sp), but that's the least that can be said for all the solutions for 'me and mind'.

 

NEVER FORGET!!

 

Jim Chester

 

 

If there was some effort perhaps by the CBC, or NAACP or Urban League to promote the idea that this immigration issue affects black communities with immigrant populations and black families too (a significant number of AA's have caribbean or African friends, lovers, relatives, coworkers, etc "living in the shadows") then passing the dream act would be something i could get behind and advocate for. 

 

Instead the language that i constantly hear WRT immigration reform is "they're just trying to have a better life" or "they do jobs even blacks won't do" or "this country couldn't make it without them" and to me these are codewords for a very specific group of people.  The unspoken part is that these "hardworking" people should be accorded sympathy and citizenship because they are trying.  The associated imagery is often very specific ie lettuce pickers or hospitality workers.

 

Who among us ISNT trying to "have a better life"?

Last edited by NSpirit

You know ... I was watching some news show the other night (can't remember which one) and they were highlighting the African (illegal) immigration situation in some European country (can't remember that, either) ... and they were interviewing one such immigrant who was "hardworking" and just "trying to make a better life for his family."

 

On the surface, his 'situation' was pretty much a mirror image of the Hispanic 'situation' in this country ... however, in the piece it was reported that in that particular country, immigrants were not offered access to 'public services' such as welfare and health care and a free education for their children. (The kicker was that that probably wasn't available to him at home, either!!  )

 

Still ... this immigrant felt that where he was he was able to provide a better life for him and his family than he would be receiving in his 'home' country.  This guy had 8 ... count 'em ... 8 children.  And he said that he had been able to take care of them pretty well for the most part, except that now, with the financial crisis, it was getting harder for him to find work.

 

My MAIN objection to the immigration problem in this country is that there seems to be no line drawn in the differences between what is "available" to citizens and non-citizens alike. All-out access to a limited number of resources has no choice but to cause problems.  And this doesn't seem to be an issue included in the debate over immigration at all.  My secondary objection is that the flood gates seem to be open to one ethnic group over all others.  And allowing that to happen has effectively tied the hands of everybody else to have to ACCEPT that and not be able to do anything about it.

 

For many Black people that I talk to, one (or both) of these are also their basic objections to the immigration problem in this country.  But neither of these are ever talked about when it comes to what should be the "solution" to any possible "fix" (which I, personally, don't believe is equitably possible, myself!!).  But .... I think that's why we're not often included in the conversation because the way most of us feel about it, and what we would figure would/could/should be addressed is not even on the table.

 

All of this began without our input ... and it's likely going to end or be decided without it, as well.  We should probably put our efforts into something that IS more relevant to us ... to issues that we CAN actually control.  And the issue of immigration isn't one of them.  It's out of our hands.  And, in fact, was never in them to begin with.

Could it be that no political effort is spent in trying to connect african-americans with the immigration reform effort because THEN there would be 40 million dark americans upset about the disparity in the immigration and enforcement policies?  

 

I mean, it's easier to just tell black people they should morally support this, than it is to explain why BLACK immigrants are persona non grata (and apparently will remain so for the foreseeable future) in a country where that "we are all immigrants BS" is extolled on the regular...  I mean, really?  U want us to support the Dream Act, but Haitians catch hell here?  Liberians are threatened with being sent back?  what?

 

on a side note: how full of ish is the mantra "we are all immigrants"?  No we arent ALL immigrants.  Some were here but extinguished and chased out.  Some were dragged in chains and did not volunteer to be here, and then there's the immigrant story.  We are not all immigrants.  

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