Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why May 1st Matters

The time has come for everyone to stand in solidarity and demand an end to the tyranny of the people by corporations and their billionnaire beneficiaries. We are all being squeezed by their greed and everyday more and more families are slipping into poverty. Aside from the economic issues, there is the unspoken truth that racism is fueling the backlash to an organized and empowered immigrant movement.

No, not all immigrants are latino or Mexican, but there is enough hostility being thrown in our direction that to stand in solidarity on Monday, May 1st, is to fight back against future acts of violence like .

Prosecutors won't immediately seek hate-crime charges against two white teens accused of brutally beating and sodomizing a 16-year-old Hispanic boy, who was clinging to life after being left for dead, authorities said.

The two attacked the boy after he tried to kiss a 12-year-old girl at an unsupervised house party Saturday night in suburban Spring, authorities said

The attackers apparently were offended at the age difference between the victim and the girl, who is also Hispanic, and shouted racial slurs at him during the 10- to 15-minute attack, investigators said.

Authorities said the two dragged the boy from the party and into the yard, where they sodomized him with a plastic pipe from a patio table umbrella and poured bleach on him.

The United States is a culturally diverse land, there is not one monolithic norm for Americans, no litmus test that says, "You act like an American." Not even the English language can be used, because there are countless U.S.-born citizens who don't speak a word of it. It's not like that tongue was native to these shores.

I'm utterly disgusted by what happened to that young boy in Texas. It is a symptom of the larger problem of demonization and xenophobia being preached by groups like the Minutemen, National Alliance, and some of the Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. I'm aware of the rising tension because it is starting to affect me personally when I'm out in public. There are more sideways looks and clutchings of the purse as I walk by. I wish I was joking... If leadership is not shown at a national level against this form of hatred and violence, then I fear a large and wide-spread problem in the future.

To participate on May 1st is to show solidarity for human rights and human dignity. It can be done in many forms, whether you participate in a full-scale boycott as is being called for by groups nationwide; or it can be done symbolically by wearing a white shirt on Monday with some type of ribbon that will draw the curiosity of your co-workers and family.

The Green Party of the United States gives a great example of what it will mean to stand with the immigrant population in the United States. Take it to heart as you decide on your form of protest.


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El pueblo unido jamás será vencido! - The people united will never be defeated

Crossposted from my humble blog

18 comments:

Naniboujou said...

Can you tell me...have you seen a rise in discrimination since the Republicans have made immigration their number one issue du jour? Or is the media beginning to focus more on the issue because the Republicans are talking about it?

(Thanks again for posting this link on www.dailyKos!)

Man Eegee said...

Hi naniboujou, welcome to the site. I think the answer is 'both'. The tensions are definitely rising as many Americans have a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that undocumented immigrants are starting to mobilize and have the support of many American citizens who see this as a human rights issue. I'm glad the media is starting to show stories about the hate crimes and deaths in the desert. We hear about it all the time in Tucson and it's good that a wider audience is able to see the hate and hostility.

DuctapeFatwa said...

I have seen a definite uptrend in general anti-Otherism lately, I think it may be more coincidentally coinciding with the movement to educate people about human rights, though. Or at best, just part of the cause, the crusades have certainly done their part, but I think it is more of a cumulative thing, a combination of fear factors, After Monday I will be posting a rant on my blog on this very subject, as it has been on my mind quite a bit lately..

DuctapeFatwa said...

But that wasn't what I came here intending to talk about.

Today I was privileged to observe a very encouraging exchange, and have appropriately eaten more humble pie for my earlier unjust accusation of non-Latin American immigrants' participation in the education campaign:

I was in a small family-owned bakery when a couple came in to pick up a cake.

The proprietor, a lady from India, attended them herself, and I was surprised to hear her doing so in Spanish!

The couple complimented her on her fluency, and she replied, oh I lived in Houston for several years, and learned there, and I tell my son (indicating a young man busily arranging pastries on a tray) we live in America now, we learn to speak Spanish.

The Mexican people very good people, they help us, so we learn Spanish and make good business in Houston.

They went on chatting for a bit, the couple, it turns out, love Indian art and food, and while they were discussing all that, it was only then that I noticed a sign on the little storefront's entrance. "We will be closed Monday, May 1st."

I could not resist. When my turn came, I asked the lady, so will you be wearing white on Monday?

Oh yes, she said, my whole family will be wearing white. But we will be wearing it at the rally, not here, we will close. Some people ask me, why? You are not Spanish people, you are not Mexican people, and I tell her, we are immigrant people, and we are human rights people!

So if you think you will want anything on Monday, go ahead and buy it now. We made extras of the things that keep best. Or you can freeze. Don't have to eat same day, France did not colonize us!

This last was directed at the proprietor of the VietNamese bakery in the same little strip mall, famous for their refusal to sell any bread over 12 hours old.

The VietNamese baker made as if to throw his cannister at her. Stop insulting me and lend me some red sugar, he held out the cannister. I pay you back and bring you VietNamese sandwich on Tuesday. Supplier closed tomorrow, he Christian. We closed Monday, for march.

Nikkeya West said...

I'm so glad that most the people in my school walked out. It was a great feeling walking down the streets listening and singing yourself "Si se puede" and it is true! Si Se Puede!"

DuctapeFatwa said...

One of the Fox commentators said that marchers were chanting

"Soosy Pedro"

I'm not sure which city she was in, but I'm confident she would have heard the same chant no matter where she went.

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