Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'll show you my backlash if you show me yours...

The Minutemen's fifteen minutes of fame were over oh-so 20 minutes ago. How dare those neo-slaveowners defile the sacred ground of Leimert Park to claim they have the best interests of the African-American community at heart. Lest we forget, prior to acknowledgement of the existence of a Latino community, these characters were using the same "they're taking our jobs!" rhetoric against African-Americans.

I recall a Victorian era novel, The Enchanted Castle, where the young heir decides to remove all the portions of the castle that had been created with magic.

After A Day Without Immigrants, America ought to wake up and view the landscape of what this country would look like were it not for the sweat and labor of (for the most part under-compensated) immigrants. New York's forest of skyscrapers would revert to a forest of trees, for starters.

The false perception by most people is that America's immigration policy has been the same all along --or that it was based on sound rather than emotional and self-serving propaganda. The most constant element of America's immigration policy has been it's racism.

Although most Americans wouldn't know it, there have been calls for reparations to slaves (and so many others wronged) since the Emancipation Proclamation.

Not surprisingly, conservatives argue that such a move could destroy the American economy. Reparations is not about throwing money in the trash, but shifting capital to the rightful hands to whom it belongs. As if those who would have to part with their ill-gotten gains would ever willingly part with it. The conservative argument seems to run along the lines of, if Billy steals a quarter from Bobby and buys some candy, when the theft is discovered Billy might as well be allowed to keep the candy or it would spoil Bobby's appetite.

The perceived immigration policy and its affects --and the reality-- have more often than not been world's apart. How the business community today has so conveniently forgotten the "yellow peril" that controlled American immigration --and justified the vilification of Asian-Americans from the Gold Rush until, what? this afternoon...? The Asian presence on college campuses in California is in the media as much as crop futures are a staple of the news in the Midwest

And what of California, the locus of much of the recent attention about immigration? Under Spanish and Mexican rule,
Anglo migration to California was for the most part tolerated. Learning Spanish and conversion to Catholicism for a while were the only requirements for gaining legal citizenship. For anyone who finds fault with that last requirement would do well to recall the reality behind our treasured mythology of the Pilgrims. They were, truth be told, as intolerant a lot as one could find without white sheets. After the conquest, not until the 1880s did Anglo migration begin to equal or best the non-Anglo population in California. For so long as brown faces were kept out of the white collar labor force --and most noticeably absent in respect to their numbers in the population in television and film, the perception has been that Anglos numerically composed a greater percentage of the population. Asian-American, Latino and African-American media activists are still trying to rectify that. This would be a good place to bring up the bill in Sacramento to include gay and lesbian history, but I'll save that for a future time.

In San Diego, the business community has long since awoke to the economic clout of non-Anglos began purchasing their durable goods in for the worth of their warrantees if not the workmanship.

More than 65 years after Rosie the Riveter helped win World War II, the under-compensated contribution of women to American economic growth still goes largely unacknowledged --save for Mother's Day and whatever it is that they're calling what used to be Secretary's Day now. This past week has been awash with news stories that a stay-at-home mom's unpaid salary surpasses $110,000 a year.

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