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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Diversity > How Deep Does Racism Run In the Country?

How Deep Does Racism Run In the Country?

LatinaLista — It’s a question that some on one side answer: “it doesn’t exist” while the other side can’t believe those who deny it can’t see it.
Maybe it’s because racism has become such an acceptable way of talking and seeing people of other ethnicities that it’s considered normal, at the least, it’s become acceptable.
But finally, there are people who are lifting their blinders off and are taking a good look at what is happening in this country and they’re speaking out.


For example, in Oklahoma where some of the most barbaric laws aimed at penalizing undocumented immigrants have been passed, someone at a recent forum had the courage to stand up and say:

“We can’t even get to the solution when we are defining people as less than human,” said forum attendee Ed Romo of Midwest City, who described the new law as close to the old Jim Crow laws. “I’m really worried because up to now, there hasn’t been an outrage. What would be the next logical step? Public floggings? … Where is the limit?”

In Kansas, a former police officer at a meeting regarding the state police tactics on stopping motorists said:

Former Wichita police officer Steven Young said someone needs to police the police because the department hasn’t substantiated any citizen complaints of racial profiling.
“My question to them is, are they promoting racism or are they racist?” he said.

Another attendee at the meeting asked the officials present:

Emira Palacios a community activist, told task force members to look at who pays the most traffic fines.
“Do you think blacks and Hispanics are bad drivers and whites are good drivers?” she said.

And in an article in the Manitou Messenger, the reporter wrote:

The Northfield bar scene’s policies on foreign IDs are about as clear as a fresh pitcher of lager. Both Froggy Bottoms Pub and the Reub ‘n Stein, as of six months ago, maintain that a passport is the only acceptable form of foreign ID.
Initially I considered this protocol rational because it serves the bars’ means. However, I am repulsed by the following accounts, specifically the bars’ sudden lack of inclusivity.
I spoke with two Reub bartenders who cited trouble verifying IDs of “Mexican truck drivers” and “Hispanics.” They explained that they were unsure of what those foreign IDs looked like and that some Latin American countries did not have stringent issuing processes, rendering the bartenders unsure of the carrier’s birthdate.
I asked the bartenders how they had learned about these illegitimate issuing processes, and they failed to provide a solid answer. When pressed, they identified their sources as the police and “friendly Hispanics”.
The prioritization of retaining a liquor license is reasonable as it is the basis for business, however the Reub’s rationale only masks complacent racial discrimination.
Is it possible they enacted the policy as an implicit means of keeping out Hispanics by assuming their illegality? I hope I’m amplifying this. Otherwise, it is backward logic reflective of a set of motives uninvolved with anything regarding the bottom line.

There are countless cases being reported of how everyday citizens, who yesterday never gave a second thought to immigration, are being forced to confront it simply because of the rampant racism that has taken hold in this country.
Because of this, the question should not be asked if illegal immigration is the problem but rather is the growing racism in this country a problem bigger and more lethal to national unity than people who just want to work.

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Comment(32)

  • Avatar
    David O.
    October 17, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    That’s only the very tippy top of the iceberg Marisa. It’s always been there, but now it is back with a vengeance. Just go to any newspaper site and read the comment section on any immigrations story.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 17, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Pulling the race card is the only defense for the arguments of the pro-illegals. When you actually think about it what does it say about someone who advocates the illegal entry into our country because those doing so are ethnically like themselves? Food for thought, isn’t it?
    I wouldn’t say that racism is on the rise but a resentment that our government has abandoned us and has allowed an illegal invasion of our country. The invaders will also feel this same resentment and rightly so. But it is about the snubbing of our laws, not skin color.
    If these same people had come here legally, there would be whole different attitude towards them.

  • Avatar
    David O.
    October 17, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    “Pulling the race card is the only defense for the arguments of the pro-illegals.”
    Making generalizations seems to be the domain of the unenlightened Frank.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 17, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    David, you mean the way you generalize about white people?

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    October 17, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    There’s no illegal invasion of this country. Only those paranoid enough to see a terrorist around every corner will resort to that tired argument.
    Let’s do better than that.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    October 17, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    There’s no illegal invasion of this country. Only those paranoid enough to see a terrorist around every corner will resort to that tired argument.
    Let’s do better than that.

  • Avatar
    Sick-freak
    October 17, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    What about LEGAL Hispanic immigrants who resent those who come here ILLEGALLY?……Are they racists too?! Sure…if you look hard enough, you can find racism, but you can find it in all races….not just us Anglos!!!!!! By the way my wife is hispanic, so back off with the racism crap!!!!!

  • Avatar
    miguel
    October 17, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Sick-freak said:
    By the way my wife is hispanic, so back off with the racism crap!!!!!
    S-freak, Has your wife ever been denied service for being Hispanic or being with an anglo (assuming you are) or have you been a victim of it by any race or gender for having an Hispanic wife?

  • Avatar
    Sick-freak
    October 17, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    No Miguel, we have not experienced any racism…at least not that we were aware of. Again…I don’t deny that it exists but it is the exception rather than the rule. Most people I know have no problem at all with immigrants coming here legally and attempting to assimilate into American society. We welcome immigrants but not lawbreakers. When you come to this great country…do it the right way. That is all we ask.

  • Avatar
    Deport Lou Dobbs
    October 18, 2007 at 12:24 am

    How can you tell a real racist? He immediately cries “Pulling the race card is the only defense for the arguments of the pro-illegals.” This way Frank difuses any real issues that are contrary to his unoriginal racist narrow-minded views that are spoon fed by his puppetmasters on Fox (O’Reilly and Hannity) and CNN (Dobbs).
    This is the only defense for the intellectually diminshed like Frankie. Oh, he also throws in a few “stop being political correct” and the favorite “But I am not a racist” when it fits his needs.
    Fuck you frankie.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Marisa, so 12 -30 million illegal aliens in our country is not an illegal invasion? What do you call it then? Whether they be terrorists or not is irrelevant.
    Dobbs, so you are denying that you and yours don’t call Americans that are opposed to illegal immigration (especially the white variety), racists, xenophobes, etc.? You never give us the benefit of the doubt that the majority of us are just for the rule of law and secure borders. You lump us all together. That is pulling the race card! By the way, I form my own opinions. I don’t form them from Lou Dobbs or anyone else.
    I will ask again as I have so many times in here and yet no answer. What do you call someone who advocates the illegal entry into our country by those who are ethnically like themselves? There is where you true racism lies.
    Marisa, are you going to tolerate the “F” word in here again?

  • Avatar
    David O.
    October 18, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Frank wrote:
    “David, you mean the way you generalize about white people?”
    Actually Frank it’s Xenophobic white racists.

  • Avatar
    David O.
    October 18, 2007 at 8:51 am

    I like when we all get along so well, just like these folks:
    http://mexfiles.wordpress.com/

  • Avatar
    miguel
    October 18, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Sick-freak said:
    No Miguel, we have not experienced any racism…at least not that we were aware of. Again…I don’t deny that it exists but it is the exception rather than the rule. Most people I know have no problem at all with immigrants coming here legally and attempting to assimilate into American society. We welcome immigrants but not lawbreakers. When you come to this great country…do it the right way. That is all we ask.
    S-freeak, I am glad to hear that you have not had any negative experiences by having an Hispanic wife. I am here to tell you that I have not been so lucky. I can only speak for my family so my view of it is limited. I have lived in several states over the last two thirds of a century and my opinion is that racism has existed in all of them. It was quite bad in northern Missouri 25 years ago and was out in the open. It was also quite open in east Texas. Up south east of Denver it showed up as a feeling of being ‘shadowed’ in stores. I can only assume that the Colorado version was from previous or suspected problems with Hispanics. I never asked and my money was never refused.
    All this time I never had any sort of identification on me except the drivers license of the state I was in. Other than being stopped or having my children pulled out of crowd of kids it never got verbally abusive or physical. The only threat was in Missouri where we were waved off by a couple of men with guns that told by there motion to turn around on a road that was out in the country. We were only sight seeing and later friends told me I had ventured into an area that was holding a KKK rally and not to force the issue. Ok.
    Again other than having a gun waved at us, no words exchanged. Prior to this in the mid 70’s back in El Paso and after a tour in the Navy during Nam the contact was more direct. My 14 year old brother in law made the mistake of going down to the railroad yards trying to hop a train to Kansas. A fairly reliable mode of transportation for the undocumented back then. Lots of dangers in this mode of travel from the railroad guards and local police along the route. He didn’t get far. The Border Patrol caught him and kicked him within an inch of his life. He had boot marks all over where they dispensed their brand of justice to a kid. I took photos of his bruised body and I thought that the doctor we took him to for treatment would help with pushing the issue. No such luck. The heel marks were not enough to convince him that anything had been done outside the law I guess. My brother in-law did not manage to get a badge number other to say the two were white. I suspect one was Hispanic or one could speak Spanish since that was the mode of operation down at the yards.
    The only other physical contact that I was a witness to was looking down from a 5th floor parking garage and seeing two border patrolmen stopping three girls that had come across from Mexico by UTEP which at the time had a drainage pipe that went down to the river and people could then go up through it right below the UTEP campus. Any El paso people will know of this. I understand that a grate has been welded across both ends. That is better than putting the people in danger from the local gangs and rogue agents that hung out around it.
    Back to the girls. They were stopped on a street corner and they just froze. The agents came out of their car and proceeded to ‘pat’ them down. The groped and fondled them for a few minutes and I guess when they couldn’t find any thing hidden in their vagina or bras, they let them go. The girls just stood there crying for a bit then started walking towards the bus stop a couple of blocks away. I can only assume they were crossing to do maid work which was common back then and many of the homes both white and Hispanic had a girl to do the heavy work of house cleaning and laundry. Taking care of the kids and such. Many of the ladies worked with families for generations.
    Call this racism? We all can decide. Some of you might think this is part of the price you pay for trying to better yourself. Giving up to those that hold us as less than equal is wrong, regardless of what color your skin is. I am sure that some of the white people posting here have faced this type of abuse from Hispanics and undocumented persons. At least when you are abused you know you have the laws on your side. You can say what you want from your experience. I now live in south Texas and I can tell you racism is alive and well here. The big difference is now the girls don’t just stand an let themselves be humiliated. Now it is seen as what it is. Hate with a badge or the legal protection for these people by local ‘laws’.
    Trust and understanding can be learned. It is a two way street. I have done work for individuals over the years on a repeat basis where they give me the keys to their half million dollar houses. They just tell me to lock up after I am done. Most have an Hispanic lady or girl working for them. Since they do not speak English I can only assume they dropped out of school at a young age.
    Racism is not buried deep. It is just below the surface. What has happened is that laws have been enacted that offers protection to those persons or groups that have been waiting on the sidelines to join the effort to ‘drive’ undocumented persons ‘home’ without regard to their needs or reasons to being here in the first place.
    /rambling post off

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 9:37 am

    David, and of course any Whites or others that are opposed to illegal immigration and want secure borders are racist and xenophobic to you, aren’t they? Wow, that makes 80% of the American people!
    miguel, so how does your experience of 25 years ago equate to racism today?

  • Avatar
    miguel
    October 18, 2007 at 10:11 am

    frank said: …miguel, so how does your experience of 25 years ago equate to racism today?
    Frank,
    It is still there but seems to be getting worse as the hate groups get more wind under their wings by people that have fallen for the ‘illegal flood’ message that distracts from the people in power inaction. By the feds not doing anything, it has let all the hate filled people out of the closet. Some of the groups along the border want to issue ‘tags’ so that illegals can be shot and bagged. You are on the ‘shooters’ side by your comments, so how can you know what it feels like? Do you even speak to Hispanics and address your feelings about these issues? Do you even want to make the effort? Do you want to throw up when you see a person that represents one of the flood?

  • Avatar
    David O.
    October 18, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Frank wrote,
    “David, and of course any Whites or others that are opposed to illegal immigration and want secure borders are racist and xenophobic to you”
    Not just any whites, just the insidious right wing types who advocate, like you, the removal of millions of people living, and working in this country without papers.
    “Wow, that makes 80% of the American people”
    Again I ask you to show me.

  • Avatar
    flower
    October 18, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    the whole immigration issue is about racism and xenophobia. Irish and English immigrants, They could have told you about discrimination and prejudice from turn of the century (1900) New York City. The stories you read from that time are no different than what you read today, just change the origin of the people you are referring to. Well they came, they stayed and we’re a better country for it.
    The history of the world is about migration. Things happen, people move to find a better life. I think that you’ll find few instances where migrations were stopped by force. The immigration issue is about people trying to keep things the same. It’s reactionary and ultimately futile.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    miguel, is there any wonder that hate is directed towards those violating our immigration laws? You don’t think it is justified? It has nothing to do with skin color or race. It just so happens that Mexicans are the biggest offenders, thats all so they are taking more of the heat. Perhaps you and yours should look up the word racism in the dictionary. It won’t say that it is racist to oppose illegal immigrants.
    I don’t advocate shooting illegal aliens at least not by citizens. If our BP were authorized to do it though that would put an end to illegal immigration real fast.
    I have talked to some Hispanic-Americans about illegal immigration, they all talk like you do. “You are a hater, a racist, a xenophobe.” That usually puts an end to the conversation for me.
    David, so it is racist to enforce our immigration laws via deportation which is what our laws demand? Guess our government is racist too then? 80% of Americans are opposed to illegal immigration and want our borders secured. Look up the Zogby polls.
    flower, where is your proof that the illegal immigration issue is about xenophobia and racism to MOST Americans? I couldn’t care less about the fringe radical groups. I don’t agree with them. Why do you demonize the rest of Americans who are not of those groups or of their mindset? Why isn’t it enough to just be for the rule of law and secure borders?
    We have a LEGAL way to come here. There is no justification for doing otherwise and no reason for Americans not to object to immigrants violating our immigration laws. Are you an American citizen? My God!

  • Avatar
    miguel
    October 18, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    frank said;
    Perhaps you and yours should look up the word racism in the dictionary. It won’t say that it is racist to oppose illegal immigrants.
    I don’t advocate shooting illegal aliens at least not by citizens. If our BP were authorized to do it though that would put an end to illegal immigration real fast.
    Frank, you and yours have stooped to new low for this forum by advocating the murder of undocumented persons. This kind of talk by you shows the world that you are racist to the extreme. Words that argue the right and wrong of immigration take on a new meaning when you and yours turns to the use of body bags to drive your point home. Hate talk by you and yours by itself will classify as a hate crime by its intended intimidation of a group of people.
    When you advocate the killing of another human to bring home the point of how you view the law is sick. You asked me earlier: miguel, so how does your experience of 25 years ago equate to racism today?
    The answer is it has taken hate to a level that needs to be redefined to account for people like you and yours that have hate eating you to the point of posting stupid shit like you do.
    You say you are not racist. What normal person advocates killing as means to reach an end? Frank you are a racist and you are giving real Americans a bad name. Scum like you deserves to live in fear.
    Boo!

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    miguel, oh please!!! I said that if the BP were authorized to do so that would put an end to illegal immigration because they wouldn’t want to get shot. I am not advocating murder. When law enforcement uses a weapon while enforcing our laws, IT ISN’T MURDER!!
    So in cases where other crimes are committed and law enforecent has to use their weapons within our laws, this is murder to you? You are really being ridiculous now.
    Isn’t that race card pretty well wore out by now?
    I only support what is within our laws, not outside our laws and for that I am called a racist?

  • Avatar
    miguel
    October 18, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Frank, by you advocating deadly force when you see a person crossing the border on the same level as a person holding up a 7-11 at gunpoint is where your view of ‘law’ is flawed. If you hold them on equal footing, then conversation with you is useless.
    As far as the race card, it has nothing to do with the events that bring up discussion. It has to do with the hate that you type into your attempts to carry a conversation with your narrow minded views. You are racist Frank. Maybe not by your definition of the word but by mine, by the total lack of respect that you have gained for your side of this issue.
    Don’t bother responding.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Since we don’t know if someone is crossing our border to look for work or is a terrorist, I would say we need to treat them just as the thief at a 7-11. Of course, they should be WARNED first and it should be made known world wide that this will be our new policy with the BP or put the military on the border.
    It will be the illegals choice then whether he/she wants to take the chance and get shot at.
    Right, I hate the illegal invasion of our country by any illegals. That doesn’t equate to racism its equates to the survivalism of my country.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    The Mexican Military wouldn’t think twice about shooting an illegal entering Mexico. Why the hypocrisy and double standard for us?

  • Avatar
    diana joe
    October 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    The government of our UNITED STATES allowed the KLULESS KLANS to run rampant upon our country-they were allowed to practice their WHITE SUPREMACIES even through the use of the television!
    They were allowed to keep their satellites afloat through funding sources-our government knew that these imbeciles bombed burned and made colored folk dissappear,and they were protected by the LAWS OF OUR COUNTRY-through deceitful, and cunning, and manipulative and arrogant means. The sheriff of Georgia was allowed to terrorize the colored folks by driving his military tank through the streets of his town! This went on for years! The bombings of several Colored folks churches went underground for decades-and it wasn’t til’ like a couple of years ago that one of the vermin “WHITE” kluless klan memebers was brought to justice-at the ripe and old age of a rediculous 7o plus years old! He was allowed to live a full racist life-probably training other little white supremacist…for close to (40) forty years our government allowed that bastard to live free! Talk about illegal here HORACE-and FRANK talk about the past being kept alive! Four little innocent girls were grossly dissmemebered, and even to the point that the medical examiner couldnt identify them..these were the early years of forensics,but the case in point here is RACISM has been allowed to thrive and has been allowed to become powerfull and has been covered up by powerful political persons, groups and legal private and PUBLIC branches of office-it’s here its AMERIKKA-when we have a country making its country folk believe that there is impending doom about them you have a very sad and severe case of potential chaos-thats what these UPHOLDERS OF THE CONSTITUTION WANT PEOPLE TO AGREE WITH! IT isn’t about the security of our country anymore-WAKE UP LOCOS-its about the boy with the most toys has the most joys.I would really like to see the government of the united states incarcerate the offspring and all the relations of the bastards that BOMBED the Church in the 60’s in ALABAMA-where those 4 little black girls died-!
    I would really find a sense of closure and security if those kind of people and all their seed were sterilized-or even better take all their lifes earnings and give em’ to a veteran of indin wars.
    uh i best hush now masters a comin now-he might call me racist.
    EDUCATE YOURSELVES WITH AMERICAS HISTORIES PEOPLE!

  • Avatar
    flower
    October 18, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Frank:
    After I gave you the facts about immigration issues. First, you said is about the law, then you changed and said is about resources and then is about quality of life and not about money.
    So, Is not about law, is not about the resources, is not about the money. finaly is about quality of life.
    What means quality of life? depends how much money you have and how much you spend. quality of life depend of yourself only. some people has quality of life with 30 thousand a year and some with 2 millions a year.
    Do not put God in this discussion, if you read the bible you will see how wrong you are.
    I am american citizen and also Catholic.

  • Avatar
    flower
    October 18, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Frank:
    After I gave you the facts about immigration issues. First, you said is about the law, then you changed and said is about resources and then is about quality of life and not about money.
    So, Is not about law, is not about the resources, is not about the money. finaly is about quality of life.
    What means quality of life? depends how much money you have and how much you spend. quality of life depend of yourself only. some people has quality of life with 30 thousand a year and some with 2 millions a year.
    Do not put God in this discussion, if you read the bible you will see how wrong you are.
    I am american citizen and also Catholic.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    October 19, 2007 at 8:35 am

    Diana, and what has this past history to do with the illegal immigration mess we have today? So evil “seeds” are passed down thru generations? LOL!
    Hmm, what about the Aztec descendants alive today? Are they practicing human sacrifices today because of the evil “seed”?
    flower, I haven’t changed anything. Illegal immigration is about both the law and uncontrolled population growth and I have always maintained my postion on both. Did you go in read susps.org as I suggested to educate yourself? Probably not as you prefer to stick your ethnocentric head in the sand.
    I will bring God into this debate as much as I want. Who are you the forum police? God said to respect the laws of a nation. Thou shalt not steal. These teachings are directly related to illegal immigration.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    October 24, 2007 at 10:57 am

    We could volley this racism issue back and forth until the end of time or until everyone admits there is a little racism in all of us. It’s not a bad thing unless you take it to extremes that hurts another person. Actually, racism is a trait that has been with humans since the beginning of our existance. All it is is another human sense directed to survival instinct. It’s a feeling of being a little uncomfortable with people who are different than yourself. Modern man has subdued this feeling in order to function in a diversified world, but thousands of years ago mankind had to fear those that were different in order to survive. If an individual was different, he most likely was an enemy. In most cases that raging flame of racism has diminished to a very small glowing ember that still exists in everyone. So, admit it, control it, and get along with everyone.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    October 29, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Why are you getting all morally superior, Marisa? Hispanics are as racist as any ethnic or racial group. Hispanics are practicing ethnic cleansing against previously black neighborhoods in Los Angeles. White Hispanics all over Central and South America look down upon the indigenous Amerindian and black Hispanics. This is particularly true in Mexico. It would be interesting to see the reactions of Mexicans to an invasion by U.S. caucasions. I suspect that the worst of their character would surface.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    October 30, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Imagine 100,000 of us caucasion Americans marching through the streets of Mexico City, waving the Stars and Stripes, and demanding that the goverment of Mexico change their laws to accomodate us. Demanding all rights of Mexican citizens and demanding that we obtain citizenship through a mass amnesty. Demanding that the Mexican government subsidize our living expenses, give us free medical care at any hospital emergency room and free education for all our children. I feel that this type of action would be considered an invasion and those of us that were not gunned down in the streets by the Mexican Army would be thrown in prison forever. Same scenario, different country.
    The laws in the U.S. protect every human being on our soil and now people are using those very same laws against us, in order to accomplish their misconceived agendas.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    October 30, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    “The laws in the U.S. protect every human being on our soil and now people are using those very same laws against us, in order to accomplish their misconceived agendas.”
    These insults are the very reason why Americans are so eager to rid themselves of illegal aliens. The more illegal aliens protest, the more obstinate U.S. citizens are at remediating the illegal immigration question. Illegal aliens will never win, as the attitudes of illegal aliens are the very impetus of our resolve to remove them.

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