Outside Arizona (A Black Perspective)

At six years old you realize the world isn’t fair, prettier, thinner, people are advantaged and some have and get more with less effort.    If your a person of color in the United States you know there will be certian disadvantages, it’s a reality you live with and in a short time you will experience a form of  racism.

The face of America is rapidly changing, in many areas what was once white is now brown. There are foriegn sounds, different dialects.  Change has never been easy.  In many areas that change has a spanish accent, bringing a different culture to the community.

A few weeks ago I met with some former co-workers for breakfast, the three of us worked at a call center in Rancho Cordova..    Shorty after we were seated, one of my friends  received a call and walked out to his truck speaking spanish., as my friend and I chatted  we overheard someone say, “yeah  that law should be everywhere-look at him (he was looking towards our friend) they are the reason my uncle company went out of business.

We gazed at each other in uncomfortable silence.   People in the resturant looked at our friend as he returned to the table.    “Que Paso” he said has he sat down, we both started to laugh, it broke the tention…   Nothing man, Nothing.

Three bud’s  black, white and mexican chatting, catching up.   There was an illegal at the table, he is from Alberta Canada and has lived and worked in the Sacramento Area for nearly seven years.

I know quite a few “Illegals” most of them live a life under the radar, they have jobs, clean homes with well kept mowed lawns , and they drive below the posted speed limit.  One stop, they could be sent home, their lives undone.     So I wonder who are those criminals in Arizona?  Are they different from the illegals from California?

A few weeks ago, I heard a caller on a talk show say he was out of work because of those illegal workers, who are these illegals?    Twenty years ago, the same caller would blame affirmative action.  Subtract another twenty years he might blame women entering the workplace.

There are some who say, because someone feels strongly about the illegals, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s racist.

This is difficult for me to accept.  I’ve heard the comment’s, I’ve seen the fear, from friend’s and acquaintances  who due to a lack of exposure truly don’t know any better.     All is needed as a gathering of  blacks, Mexicans and other persons of color to create fear in some white Americans.      I’ve seen entire families walk directly into traffic to avoid some black teenagers.   I know the assumptions.

There are many Americans who believe that the authorities in Arizona, will only stop criminals.

I live in the most integrated city in the country and I’ve have been stopped more than a half a dozen times, the excuses range from, “you car looked similar to another car seen in the neighborhood” to  and the most recent a you “looked as if you were not going to stop for the light”     I have extra copies of my  vehicle registration and insurance papers  on my visor, console and glove box.

While none of my Caucasian friends have been stopped, nearly all of my Indian, Mexican and Vietnamese friends have been pulled over or they know of a friend of family member who has been stopped.    One Indian  friend was pulled over and held in jail for four hours in Maryland.

I love my country, and I know its limitations.   The Arizona law will effect more legal citizens than the immigrants they seek.  Who will be stopped and inconvenience because of their skin color and accent.      Natural  born citizens will be taken to jail because they left their home without ID.        Families  who will be suspect because of their color.

Outside Arizona, many brown skinned Californians  are suspect.   Because of the law in Arizona, some people have grown bolder.  Many of my friends say people now stare at them in restaurants,  make passing comments (go home get out of America!) funny I thought Mexico was in America.   Anyone with an spanish accept is suspect.

Because of  my black skin, some people feel free to comment about my brown skinned brothers and sisters.   ” I am so tired of these Mexicans , all of them are on welfare.    “They should pass that law here and send them back home” My first instinct is to speak, to make a point.  Trouble is, I wouldn’t, I would simply be an liberal angry black man.

Its what the people want says Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  Our Communities are under siege, drugs, violence, crime.   There are no crime stastics by the FBI  or any agency that supports the governors statement.The FBI and the US Department of Justice data, shows Arizona’s crime rate is lower than the U.S. Average. In Fact, crime, has been declining more rapidly there than the U.S. average.

Would there have been a bill if a white person killed Robert Krentz?

So what are we left with?   Change,   New  Brown faces in the community.   This is  America, Blacks , Jews, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Japanese individuals have experienced this form of racism.  The difference here is a state law, and while it doesn’t specifically  name mexicans, it’s clear who they are talking about.

This country has boycotted other countries because of their racist policies.   American based companies were ask to leave South Africa,a country that had nearly 50 years of legal racism.  Businesses from other countries left South Africa, these actions had an effect on the country economy, today the leader  of South Africa is a native black man.

The immigration law in Arizona is racist.

It would be difficult to past a similar law in California, ask  Senatorial candidate ,Carly Fiorina who supports Arizona’s law.     Unlike Arizona Latino’s represents 0ne fifth of California’s voters.    In New Mexico the percentage is higher, and in Texas 32% of the voters is Latino.

Arizona is a beautiful state, I have friends in Tempe ,Phoenix and Tucson.  It clear from the Immigration Law, the Elimination of Ethnic studies, its revision of people of color in its text books, people of color are under attack.

Economic boycotts aren’t new, but from the Bus Boycott of Birmingham, to Denny’s, to Coors, they are effective.  Within Arizona, Latinos are registering.    While President Obama is against the law, he will act slowly because it is an election year and the polls show that many American are in favor in the law.

Outside Arizona, there are many who disagree with the local boycotts.  After all they live there, they see the problem,  we should respect their actions.       The problem is this law specifically targets a race of people, you can look right or left and center, that fact is unavoidable.    This isn’t America.   The court’s, to my knowledge has never allowed a race based law to stand.

Similar laws are being considered, in non border states.

My head isn’t in the sand, there is an immigration problem, it’s true in Northern Border states, its true in Boston with Irish immigrants as well as the Southern Border states.       The visitor worker is the cornerstone of many economies from the United States to the United Arab Emirates where nearly 70 percents of the workers are from other countries.

Many industries in the United States are dependent on the immigrant worker.   One manager, at an Sacramento hotel said they have never had a black or white person apply for an housekeeping position and currently they have opening, this in a city with nearly 13% underemployment.

There isn’t a rapid system in place in California to verify the validity of worker documentation.

Many politicians paint an poor picture of  immigrants, using accurate statistics they show the cost social costs to the states.   However, what is missing is the income via taxes generated by the immigrant workers which is significantly higher than the  social cost to the state.   Many communities are dependent on the wages of immigrant workers.

Many industries knowingly hire illegal workers.  From Del Monte in Portland Oregon who hired workers through and agency that provided false documents, to Tyson Foods, to Wal Mart who hired as many as 25,000 illegal workers in 2002.    The fines are small.   These large companies make large donations to both parties.

Blame the illegals, the immigrant workers , not the companies.      Which came first, the worker or the job?

Boycott Arizona