Immigrants Must Learn from the Black Civil Rights Movement.....And
Immigration Blues by
Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Higher Quality Audio files available email@example.com
Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio
Immigration Blues" rec.
[Col. Writ. 4/2/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Now, as polls show growing disenchantment with both political
parties, the issue of immigration is raised once again, as politicians
seek to stir the pot of social resentment.
Voices are raised, tempers are frayed, proposals are launched,
and the destinies of millions are apparently held in limbo.
But, in numbers not seen for generations, mostly Mexican-born
(or related) families pound the pavements in protest, demanding
amnesty for the millions who live and work, in the most thankless
jobs, here in the U.S.
The immigration "discussion" masks deeper currents in
American life, of those who dread the approaching dawn when those
who number the nation's majority are brown, instead of white.
As the government and the servile corporate media hawked fear
to trap the nation into the Iraq War, so now fear is once again
merchandised for political gain. The perpetual fear of the foreign
Other, the fear of Spanish-speaking people, who are called 'criminal'
for daring to cross the Rio Grande, to inhabit the lands stolen
from their ancestors!
The truth of the matter is that it is highly unlikely that over
11 million men, women, and children will be returned to Mexican
territory. That's because businesses, especially those engaged
in agriculture, would virtually go out of business, if their immigrant-based
work-force up and disappeared.
But, like most people, many Latino immigrants are involved in
other businesses and industries in U.S. life. Guess who's doing
the lion's share of the work to actually re-build New Orleans?
(In case you've not guessed, let me just say it - It ain't FEMA!).
With the exception of Native Americans (as in so-called 'Indians'),
and African-Americans, every person in the U.S. today is a descendant
of a willing immigrant (OK, strict historians will object that
many poor whites, especially in the Southern states, were sent
to George and Maryland as indentured servants, as part of a penal
But, the point is clear. Immigration was consciously used to craft
the U.S. as a white nation. For centuries, certain racial groups,
like Chinese, for example, were specifically excluded by law from
citizenship (like their Mexican counterparts, many Asians were
needed in the building of this country as cheap labor).
As law professor Ian F. Haney-Lopez has shown in his book, *White
by Law: The Legal Construction of Race* (N.Y.:NYU Press, 1996),
American courts and legislatures have consistently defined 'citizens'
as 'whites', and over the course of centuries, millions of people
were denied entry to the US, or even if allowed in denied citizenship,
because they were not 'white.' In 1882, Haney-Lopez explains,
the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred
Chinese workers for a decade. In 1884, the Act was expanded to
bar all Chinese people, and shortly thereafter an indefinite ban
was implemented. State and federal court decisions banned Syrians,
Asian-Indians, Palestinians, mixed-race people, and multitudes
of others on the basis of insufficient whiteness!
That ugly history may be reborn in this latest 'battle' over Mexican
immigration. Political storms have a way of giving way to political
hurricanes, that even those who planned them cannot control.
Several years ago, a right-wing politician in California tried
to ride the anti-immigrant train to the White House. This man
was Pete Wilson, and his playing with fire left him politically
burnt. Angry Hispanics in Cali sent him, and some of his colleagues
in the Republican Party, into retirement.
But, this era of politicians, trying to create an issue that protects
them from the falling numbers of the incumbent Bush Administration,
look at Wilson's fate as ancient history.
Perhaps the recent demonstrations, massive in their size, vociferous
in their spirit, have given them pause.
Time will tell.
The political entity that truly befriends this growing segment
of the US population will have tapped into a powerful social force.
Don't expect it to be either the Republicans or the Democrats.Copyright
2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal
1) 2:57 Radio EssayMp3
2) 3:35 Radio EssayMp3
[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black
Panther Party*, from South End Press (http://www.southendpress.org);
"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal
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"And the Atlantic waves rattle on for more, obsessed with
the taste of Africa's blood. it closes in,......the Atlantic rattles
on for more, obsessed with the taste of Mocha blood ever since
Africa's Middle Passage's mud. it closes in, blasting our ruby
flood to pieces, or to bougie blue. (Breaking
Sea Chains - http://www.margueritelaurent.com/writings/breakingchains_1.html
Migration: Growing Concern To Bahamas,
Dominican Republic By Quincy Parker
April 12, 2006, The Bahamas Journal,
The Dominican Republic joins the Bahamas in anticipating the inauguration
of Haitian president-elect Rene Preval later this year; the Dominican
Foreign Minister also wants to talk about controlling the inflow
of illegal Haitian immigrants.
Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso told a Dominican newspaper
recently that the illegal migration of Haitians across the border
is his nation’s most pressing issue, and that regularizing
the status of the illegal Haitian migrants already living in the
Dominican Republic is also a high priority.
The Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell met recently
with Mr. Preval in New York, and was, in his words, "cautiously
optimistic" about possible improvements in stability in Haiti
once Mr. Preval is inaugurated.
Financial Services and Investments Minister Vincent Peet told
the Journal during his tenure as Minister of Labour and Immigration
that Mr. Preval’s election, particularly the international
acceptance of the manner in which it was carried out, improves
chances of ratification of a bilateral agreement hammered out
between the Bahamas government and Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s
administration, before Mr. Aristide left office.
Although Minister Mitchell was unwilling to go into the details
of his meeting with Mr. Preval as they related to bi-lateral matters,
he said he thought Mr. Preval was "looking forward to working
with The Bahamas on resolving whatever issues [need to be addressed]."
According to Dominican Foreign Minister Morales, as soon after
Mr. Preval’s inauguration as possible, a Dominican-Haitian
Bilateral Commission will meet to take up the issues of immigration,
border security, trade and investments, and environmental concerns.
Human rights activists have also accused the Dominican Republic
of violating the Haitian immigrants’ human rights, much
as similar activists have accused the Bahamas in the wake of a
roundup of Haitian migrants on Friday.
Of those accusations, Minister Morales told El Caribe –
a Dominican paper – that "there are serious NGOs (non-governmental
organizations) but there are also shyster NGOs." According
to Minister Morales, it is these "shyster" NGOs that
are denouncing the Dominican Republic, in order to justify the
funds they receive.
The foreign minister admitted that sometimes incidents occur in
isolated communities, "like in all countries," but chalked
that up in part to the large amount of Haitian immigrants who
reside in that country.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently estimated
that there are more than half a million undocumented Haitians
in the Dominican Republic, not counting Dominicans of Haitian
THE CALL: Join
Help protect the Feb. 7, 2006 Haitian
join our list of sponsors this year. Please
send an e-mail to Erzilidanto@yahoo.com
To sponsor a FreeHaitiMovement
event: The Free Haiti Movement: Dessalines Is Rising Worldwide
are encouraged to endorse the Haiti Resolution, join HLLN's letter
writing campaigns, (such as, our Media campaigns to stop the lies
and fabrications and criminalizations of the poor majority in
Haiti, "stop UN massacres in Site Soley" and the "free
the political prisoners campaigns"). Endorsers are encouraged
to sponsor a "To-Tell the truth about Haiti Forum",
to sponsor teach-ins, rallies, vigils and lectures, throughout
the year, but especially on May
18, Haiti's flag day, on August 14 -the anniversary
of Bwa Kayiman, the ceremony that begun the great Haitian revolution,
and, on October 17th - the anniversary of Dessaline's death, and
Haiti's very first coup d'etat. Sponsors and endorsers of the
Haiti Resolutions are encouraged to learn and teach their communities
about Haiti's historical accomplishments. HLLN, shall provide,
upon request, access to suggested written materials, audio and
video streaming for internet and DVD distribution of testimony
from victims and resisters of the coup d'etat; letter campaigns,
media outreach campaigns; HLLN suggests the wearing and flying
of the blue and red colors of Haiti; and, that each year, at least
on May 18, August 14 and Oct. 17, sponsors and endorsers commit
to fax, call-in and deliver to the French, Canadian and US Embassies
and Consulates worldwide, the People of Haiti's demand that France,
Canada, the US and the international community respect Haitian
sovereignty, stop inflicting Haiti with their traditional "benevolence,"
racism, patriarchy and incessant corrupt intervention in Haiti's
affairs, through foreign "aid" and debt. Sponsors are
encouraged to support Haitian culture and artists. See
Campaign 4: Art with soul.
HLLN call for investigation of electoral fraud to dilute the People's
Feb. 7th vote - Some of the factors to be investigated:
There were fewer than 800 polling
stations for the 2006 election, with no stations in Site Soley
and the poorest areas, where President Aristide and President
Préval's supporters live, compared with 12,000 polling
stations in 2000 when the International Community wasn't in charge
of Haiti's government and Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
as they are with the imposed Boca Raton regime.
Even without campaigning because of the coup d'etat repression
and for fear of being thrown in jail to join the other Lavalas
political prisoners, President Preval won by a clear LANDSLIDE,
garnering four/five times more votes than the Coup D'etat candidates
supported by the International Community - the next highest per
cent reported after Préval was 12.8%. And, that’s
not taking into consideration the burnt dumpster ballots, and
blank-ballot stuffing which, if these were not a factor, could
only increase Renè Préval’s proportion and
reduce his coup d'etat opponents percentages.
HLLN insists on a full investigation into the Internationally-run
and financed 2006 Haiti election, including discovering exactly
where the ballots found in the dumpster came from? Why was the
truck carrying the ballots to the dumpster for burning HIRED by
the UN/MINUSTHA forces in charge of keeping ballots safe and secure?
If these sorts of allegations were made in any other country about
the UN representatives, if thousands of ballots found in a dumpster
while the ballot-counting process was still ongoing had happen
in the US, France or Canada, you’d expect an investigation?
Why not the double standard? Why not the same respect for an election
in Haiti, especially given the totally illegal bi-centennial Coup
d'etat that preceded the Feb. 7th elections, especially in light
of the fact the UN Security Council which refused to send help
to Haiti's elected government BEFORE to coup, sent help to uphold
the coup detat regime after President Aristide was flown out of
Haiti under military pressure from France, Canada and the US!
The world owes the innocent Haitian people more respect for their
sovereignty and the international community which trivialized
Haitian democracy and justice, at its whim, shares a grave responsibility
for the more than 20,000 dead since the coup and for the current
attempt, by Jacques Bernard, CEP executive director and, Reginald
Boulos (OAS-financed printer of Haiti's ballots and key coup d'etat
player), et al, to rig the 2006 parliamentary elections by summarily
excluding the Lavalas and L'espwa candidates from the second rounds.