Some Unpleasnt Truths About The Arizona Law
Mexicans Protesting the Bill In Phoenix Arizona
A State Immigration Law Sparks A Local Crisis and National Debate
The recently passed Arizona Immigration law – SB 1070 – signed by governor Jan Brewer last Friday, has forced the nation to finally discuss the thorny question of illegal immigration that our politicians have for so long been dodging. The governor complains that her state was forced to take this action because the federal government has refused to fulfill its responsibilities, and she assures us that the law will not provide a license for white policemen to engage in wholesale racial profiling of Arizona’s Hispanic population.
Well, on the face of it, no matter what the Governor’s intentions the careful observer can easily detect half-truths and unknowable predictions in the Governor’s statement. For there is abundant evidence that the failure of the Feds to effectively deal with border security, a situation that is rapidly evolving into a full blown crisis along the border states, serves as a fig leaf for rabid white racist to hide behind as they go about their nefarious business of keeping America white. Anyone who doubts this should go online and watch Dr. Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC report on April 26, as she carefully exposes the neo-Nazi forces that crafted Senate Bill 1070 and shepherded it through the Arizona legislature.
These are people who harbor beliefs about racial purity that informed the Eugenics movement and led to the passage of The National Origins Act, which restricted entry into the US of people of certain racial backgrounds while encouraging immigration of others. The ideas that formed the intellectual underpinnings of the American Eugenicist movement was given its classic formulation in “The Passing OfThe Great Race, a wildly influential book published in 1917 by Madison Grant, the sitting President of the New York Zoological Society.
Madison Grant’s views on race, education and environment as determinants of human character and mental capacity are summed up in this passage from the second chapter, The Physical Basis Of Race:
“There exists to-day a widespread and fatuous belief in the power of environment, as well as of education and opportunity to alter heredity, which arises from the dogma of the brotherhood of man, derived in turn from the loose thinkers of the French Revolution and their American mimics. Such beliefs have done much damage in the past, and if allowed to go uncontradicted, may do much more serious damage in the future. Thus the view that the negro slave was an unfortunate cousin of the white man, deeply tanned by the tropic sun, and denied the blessings of Christianity and civilization, played no small part with the sentimentalists of the Civil War period, and it has taken us fifty years to learn that speaking English, wearing good clothes, and going to school and to church, does not transform a negro into a white man. Nor was a Syrian or Egyptian freedman transformed into a Roman by wearing a toga, and applauding his favorite gladiator in the amphitheatre. We shall have a similar experience with the Polish Jew, whose dwarf stature, peculiar mentality, and ruthless concentration on self-interest are being engrafted upon the stock of the nation.”
The extent of this books influence on the development of Nazi master race ideology is verified by the fact that a letter from Adolph Hitler has been found in Grant’s personal papers by a British researcher. “Your book is my Bible” gushed Der Fuehrer. And it was the first book by a non-German writer published by the Third Reich. One has only to compare Grant’s polemical text with the sections on the contributions of the blond blue eyed “Aryans” to the building of world civilization in Hitler’s Mein Kempft to see the influence of Grant in molding Hitler’s racist views.
And many of the atrocities committed by the Nazi racial hygenicists were justified by theories adopted from the American eugenicist movement – who were also advocated racial hygiene theories of the sort that led to euthanasia of the “unfit” and extermination of “inferior races,” the worst example of which was the holocaust against European Jews. Since the Pioneer Fund, who are avowed Eugenicist, has been a major financial supporter of the effort to pass this Bill, those who see signs of Nazi Germany in the Arizona law are spot on. Surprisingly, even Congressman Connie Mack, a Republican from Florida, has compared the law to Nazi tactics!
Given the persistently racist climate of Arizona it is impossible for the Governor to guarantee that white policemen will not engage in racial profiling of Hispanic Citizens. In fact, her claim contradicts human nature. The fact is that the closet Eugenicist who promoted this law are all avid fans of Madison Grant, who remains a towering intellectual hero among this crowd. Hence it is not unreasonable to suppose that they have read his views on Mexicans:
“What the Melting Pot actually does in practice, can be seen in Mexico, where the absorption of the blood of the original Spanish conquerors by the native Indian population has produced the racial mixture which we call Mexican, and which is now engaged in demonstrating its incapacity for self-government. The world has seen many such mixtures of races, and the character of a mongrel race is only just beginning to be understood at its true value.”
The resistance of racist whites to the Civil Rights Movement’s assault on segregation can be attributed to views like this regarding interracial children. That’s why it took an economic boycott to get the white princes and powers of the state to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday, and it may well take a similar boycott to get this law repealed. The depth and longevity of racist feeling in Arizona is verified by the fact that it is the home state of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, an icon of the southern racist who committed violence against Civil rights demonstrators in my home town during the 1960s. One can simply read the paper clippings from reporters like John Hebers of the New York Times to see that wherever the violent rednecks congregated there were pictures of Barry Goldwater, who once commented that extremism in defense of their idea of “freedom” – which, under the circumstances, is a synonym for the perpetuation of “white supremacy” – was a virtue.
It is apparent that Madison Grant believed this too. In his social Darwinist view of human society, which was red of tooth and claw like the jungle, Grant speaks of the dispossession and genocide that land hungry murderous white settlers employed against non-whites during the expansion of Europe into the Third world as if it was simply the natural order of things. It was the price that must be paid so that the superior white race could rule; the end justified the means.
“Australia and New Zealand, where the natives have been exterminated by the whites, are developing into communities of pure Nordic blood, and will for that reason play a large part in the future history of the Pacific. The bitter opposition of the Australians and Californians to the admission of Chinese coolies and Japanese farmers is due primarily to a blind but absolutely justified determination to keep those lands as white man’s countries.” It is no wonder Hitler loved this guy.
No doubt this vision of the world was widely shared by the English settler colonialists who crushed the native peoples and expropriated their lands, and it fuels the passion for keeping Arizona a predominately white state with all the racial privilege that implies. This sentiment is so strong that even John McCain, Arizona’s senior senator, who used to be a progressive on immigration but now finds himself leading by only three points in a hotly contested election centering around the immigration issue, has genuflected before the reactionary Republican right and their Tea Party cohorts. This is because the polls show that 70% of the citizens of Arizona, which is just about the percentage of whites in the state, favor the new immigration law.
Hence for McCain to oppose the bill would be an act of martyrdom; and clearly Big John is not prepared to commit political Hari Kari for principle. After all, this is a man who has repeatedly demonstrated that his allegiances are dictated by expedience. So now he has cast his lot with State Senator Russell Pearce, a natural ally of the right wing racist and verbal arsonist J.D. Hayworth, who was only three percentage points behind McCain in the polls in the race for McCain’s Senate seat. Pearce, who is given to wearing neckties that are designed to look like the American flag, once forwarded an article to potential supporters when he was running for the state Senate titled “Who Rules America;” it is an article Madison Grant, former ABC racial provocateur Bob Grant and Adolph Hitler himself would be proud of.
“Who Rules America? The Alien Grip on Our News and Entertainment Media Must Be Broken,’ the article criticized the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, for portraying ‘any racially conscious White Person’ as a bigot and for presenting the Jewish Holocaust as fact. The media presents a ‘single view of the world – a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders, the danger of permitting citizens to keep and bear arms, the moral equivalence of all sexual orientations, and the desirability of a ‘pluralistic,’ cosmopolitan society rather than a homogeneous, White one,’ the article says.” [AZCentral.com, 10/10/06]
When he was confronted with this article recently, Pearce couldn’t deny sending it so his excuse was that he had never read the article before forwarding it to his Mesa Arizona supporters. This, of course, is about as believable as the innocent piano player in the whorehouse parlor who didn’t know the girls were turning tricks upstairs.
Although most Americans wish it would simply disappear, the immigration problem is not going away; especially since many Mexicans on both sides of the border really feel that based upon the facts of history Arizona actually belongs to them. And the demonstrators are beginning to display signs that say so! Anybody who lives in states that were formerly a part of Mexico – Texas, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado – knows the Mexicans have a point. Even if, as is far too often the case, one happens to be abysmally ignorant of American history, it must be obvious that the English colonist named their cities New Amsterdam, Baltimore, and Washington not El Paso, San Francisco and Los Angeles! And it does not require broad erudition on politics and economics to imagine how different Mexico’s economic predicament would be in comparison with the USA had the retained this territory, much of which Mexico was forced to concede to their powerful and better armed neighbor the USA.
One need only consider the role these states have played in the economic history of the US to recognize that had these vast resource rich territories remained a part of Mexico, many Americans might well be slipping across the border heading south. Unfortunately for the “keep America white” crowd – led by white supremacist propagandists like Pat Buchanan and Lou Dobbs – facts are stubborn things! Our history, as sanitized as the popular version remains, is a bloody tale of slavery, genocide, apartheid and big power imperialism in dealing with its neighbors in Latin America. While these facts may appear shocking to the untutored mob who substitute myth for history, this is conventional wisdom among the professional historians. Hence the present flow of Spanish speaking immigrants from Mexico – and elsewhere in Latin America – is the consequence of that shameful history.
Yet the question remains: Should the burden of America’s imperial history in its relations with Latin America – which mainly enriched those who owned the wealth producing land and businesses – be borne by the working class? And are the workers of the US justifiably angry about the fact that the Federal Government allows the capitalists to hire desperate foreign workers for less money and throw them onto the streets? After all, we are in a contracting economy where millions of workers are experiencing prolonged employment. Moreover, it is becoming all too obvious that much of this employment is structural – see “Can President Obama solve the Unemployment Crisis? – which means that many jobs will not return when the economy recovers.
Since much of this has been caused by the decision of multi-national corporations to eradicate millions of manufacturing jobs through robotization, and export what remains of the manufacturing sector to third world countries where unorganized workers are so poor they fight for jobs with wages, benefits and working conditions that resemble 19th century conditions in America. Those dark days before the unionization of our work force. American workers have suffered grievous losses as a result of the relocation of manufacturing jobs, and are thus faced with trying to make a living in post-industrial America. It is hard to imagine a worse environment for the importation of impoverished and desperate foreign workers. No amount of altruistic rhetoric, regardless of how sincerely rendered, can assuage these unpleasant facts.
Hence, like the unreconstructed confederates who have captured the Party of Abraham Lincoln – the most passionately hated figure in southern history – and now try and claim the progressive legacy of Lincoln who ended slavery and Jacob Javitz, who opposed the racist Dixiecrats and help pass the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, those who support unlimited immigration by constant reference to the cliché “America is a land of immigrants” are distorting history. The fact is that the Republicans became the dominant party in what was the solidly Democratic South by catering to the resentment of southern racist who fled the Democratic Party when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the periods when the US managed to absorb large numbers of immigrants the American economy was rapidly expanding.
However even during these periods there was opposition from American workers – even some who belonged to the ethnic groups that were pouring into the US – because these foreign workers expanded the labor pool that business could choose from and thus made it more difficult to bargain for better wages and benefits. Many businesses formed ethnic work crews where everybody was from the old country including the foreman. Often the workers didn’t even speak English and were so desperate for work they were oblivious to the struggles of American workers for better conditions. These practices are still going on today in the construction. I have first hand knowledge of this because I conducted several worksites for the painters union in New York City. And those who have suffered most from the mass immigration of foreign workers – now and a century ago – have been African Americans.
It is a demonstrable fact that Black Americans have fared best in the American economy during periods when immigration was restricted. And it would be fairly easy to prove that it was the mass immigration of impoverished Europeans that cut African Americans out of participation in the new urban based industrial proletariat created by virtue of the American industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century. This historic injustice is directly responsible for the prosperity of white ethnic communities and the impoverishment of African American communities. And now we must watch their descendents – racist charlatans like Pat Buchanan, Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani – add insult to serious injury by sitting in judgment on us as they mock our poverty and catalogue our failures
From the outset organized labor, represented by the American Federation Of Labor – the AFL – was openly racist. Many of the unions had actually had clauses in their constitutions confining membership to “sober and industrious white men.” And historian Robin Kelly has documented “hate strikes” by white industrial workers protesting the hiring of black workers in “their” plants. Yet foreign born white workers were welcomed into the great American labor force, although not without conflict from time to time.
Frederick Douglass tells of being chased off the job by foreign born white workers when he was practicing the caulker’s trade in the Baltimore shipyards during slavery times, and the great post-slavery leader Booker T. Washington warned Afro-Americans about migrating to the northern states where white foreign workers could force them into starvation. This was the impetus for the recurrent theme, “Cast down your buckets where you are,” delivered in his famous 1895 speech at the World Exposition Of Cotton Growing States in Atlanta Georgia. Washington was a man of the old south who spent the first decade of his life as a slave. And like most ex-slaves he hungered for an education because he knew that was the surest path to advancement in life.
Booker T. Washington
He Saw The Dangers Of European Immigration
But Washington also knew that most Afro-American ex-slaves would haveto earn their daily bread from physical labor. And thus he founded Tuskegee Institute in order to teach black workers skills that would make them valuable contributors to the welfare and prosperity of their communities. But so many black people where abandoning their native southland in search of greener pastures and personal freedom in the north that Washington decided to travel through the northern states and assess the state of African Americans living there.
Having recently emerged from 250 years of chattel slavery, African Americans were the natural work force to man the factories along with their white countrymen at the dawning of the industrial age in America. But they were passed over, now as black workers scramble for the remaining blue collar jobs they are being passed over again in favor of the new immigrants from Latin America and Asia. However this time white workers are increasingly suffering the same fate. Herein resides the source of the growing hostility toward immigrants, especially illegal immigrants.
By some estimates there are as many as 12 million illegals that hold 8 million jobs in the US economy. It is a state of affairs that has resulted in a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment resulting in 60% of the American public saying they support the Arizona law. Hence President Obama, who has criticized the law, must tread carefully on this issue. There is a cautionary tale in the ordeal of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose reelection bid might well be lost as the result of him labeling one of his constituents a bigot because she complained about the influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and it was accidentally recorded by the news media who broadcast it across the nation. There was such uproar when the nation heard his candid views broadcast over the airwaves the Prime Minister, in a scene reminiscent of the King of England prostrating himself before his subjects to be whipped in Beckett, returned to the working class woman’s house and begged her forgiveness. Then he emerged from her humble abode and announced that he was a “repentant sinner.”
The fact is that in these instable and uncertain economic times many people are afraid and angry. It is no wonder that armed white power hate groups are mushrooming – sad deluded dangerous dupes on a fool’s errand leading to their ultimate destruction should the act on their threats. Alas white cops, who often hail from the working class, are not immune to white supremacist propaganda. Seething with rage and resentments from hearing hard luck stories from unemployed family and friends, and listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and that racist jerk and verbal arsonist J. D. Hayworth, as he challenges John “Chameleon” McCain for his Senate seat in a heated race, it is reasonable to surmise that some white policemen who are charged with enforcing the Arizona law are confused and emotionally combustible regarding the immigration question. In so charged an atmosphere it will be a miracle if some police do not abuse their new powers. Hence the Federal government must finally, and quickly, address the immigration issue or, as in Arizona, your local neo-Nazi’s will!