Tag Archives: immigrant rights

Shooting Cans | By Kevin Alexander Gray

The Racist Assault on the 14th Amendment

One of the many racist jokes I heard in the 70s during my time in the military starts with two white soldiers on the rifle range. One soldier asks the other how he learned to shoot so well. “I like shooting cans right off the fence,” the other soldier says, “Af-ri-cans, Por-to-ri-cans and Mex-i-cans.”

The joke came to mind when I heard Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina saying, “birthright citizenship is a mistake,” followed by his GOP cohorts’ claim that immigrants have “anchor babies” as a way to tie themselves to the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Graham says he’s considering introducing a bill to rescind Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which generally guarantees U.S. citizenship to those who are born within U.S. borders.

That is not all it does. The section reads:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Also called the “due process” clause or the “equal protection” clause, this part of the 14th Amendment is the very foundation of U.S. civil rights law. The new nullifiers who talk of getting rid of it thus signal the nature of their purpose and the intrinsic unity of those they hold in contempt, like so many cans on the fence.

“Anchor babies” makes for better headlines, and it’s diverting. “People come here to have babies,” says Graham. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called, ‘drop and leave.’ To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child’s automatically an American citizen. That shouldn’t be the case.”

“Drop a child.” It’s as if he were talking about animals.

Graham is not up for re-election, but his child-dropping potshot is designed to appease a right wing that is angry because he’s “too liberal,” he’s “no Jim DeMint,” saddled up with the Tea Party and the likes of Ollie North and Tom Tancredo. A Greenville County Republican committee even voted to bar Graham from future meetings and events, censuring him “for his cooperation and support of President Obama and the Democratic Party’s liberal agenda.”
Continue reading

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Immigrant Rights, LGBT issues, South Carolina Politics, white supremacy

The New Colossus | by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, 18491887

1 Comment

Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Immigrant Rights, Obama Administration, The Obama Administration, Uncategorized, white supremacy

Take Action to demand racist, anti-immigrant Maricopa County AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio be REMOVED IMMEDIATELY!

Fill in the Online Petitionhttp://www.may1.info/arpaiopetition.shtml to send a message to the Homeland Security Department, President Obama, Arizona Governor Brewer, Congressional leaders, the Arizona Congressional Delegation, the Arizona Legislature and members of the media telling them you want ARPAIO REMOVED IMMEDIATELY and the Homeland Security 287(g) contract with his office cancelled at once!

And on May 1 join thousands and thousands to demonstrate for worker and immigrant rights in cities throughout the country! For more information, go to www.may1.info

Text of the online petition message follows:

To: Janet Napolitano, Secretary, Homeland Security; Esther Olavarria, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy; ICE Director Torres; Arizona Governor Brewer
cc: President Obama, Attorney General Holder, U.N. Secretary-General Ban, Arizona Congressional Delegation, Congressional leaders, Arizona legislature and members of the media
Dear Janet Napolitano, Secretary, Homeland Security and Esther Olavarria, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Homeland Security, ICE Director Torres, Arizona Governor Brewer, Arizona legislators and Congressional leaders:

Remove Anti-Immigrant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office NOW!

Cancel the Homeland Security Department’s 287(g) contract with Seriff Arpaio’s office IMMEDIATELY!

The entire country is appalled and outraged at the racist, anti-immigrant actions of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix, Arizona.

Arpaio’s racist history and abuse are well documented.

  • At his “Tent City” jail, temperatures can reach a deadly 150 degrees in the summer.
  • His practice of feeding prisoners just twice a day with spoiled food, his reinstatement of the chain gang and his cruel treatment of inmates–including those awaiting trial who have not been convicted of any crime–have already cost Maricopa County more than $46 million in lawsuit settlements.
  • His latest stunt of parading the victims of his racial profiling shackled and dressed in striped prison clothes, through the streets of Phoenix from the County Courthouse to his Tent City jail — a public humiliation — is reminiscent of slaves being paraded to the auction block, and is the latest and last outrage that the people of Arizona should have to endure.

The actions of Sheriff Arpaio in Phoenix, Arizona extend the militarization of the border to the entirety of Maricopa County. The actions of Sheriff Arpaio and his posse have declared open season on all people of color, including documented and undocumented immigrants, as well as people born in the U.S. The 287(g) Agreement now in place between the Sheriff of Maricopa County and the federal government has been implemented in violation of the constitutional right of Equal Protection and with blatant discriminatory enforcement tactics by Sheriff Arpaio.

I call upon the people of Maricopa County, the local and federal government, and all politicians to stop these perpetrators of hate and fear.

I call for the removal of Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio and for the end to the systematic practice of racial profiling and other discriminatory policies that have fostered a racist and hostile environment against immigrant and indigenous people.

Sincerely,
(your signature appended here).

Fill in the Online Petition @ http://www.may1.info/arpaiopetition.shtml


May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights
55 West 17 Street, #5C, New York, NY 10011
or
c/o Teamsters Local 808, 22-43 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: (212) 561.1744
may1@leftshift.org
www.may1.info

*******************
Action Center For Justice
www.charlotteaction.blogspot.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Actions | Events, American Culture, American Politics, Criminal Justice