LatinaLista — There’s no better example of the old saying that for change to happen it has to come from within than what happend in South Carolina’s Republican Primary last night.
Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, overwhelmingly captured the GOP gubernatorial nomination over Rep. J. Gresham Barrett — despite a whisper campaign insinuating that she is not really a Christian, as she says she is. And in the 1st Congressional District, Tim Scott, a black state lawmaker from Charleston, convincingly defeated Charleston County Council member Paul Thurmond, a son of the late senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.). Barrett and Thurmond are white.
The win of both Haley and Barrett, along with the inclusion of several other candidates of color running under the GOP banner for public office in New Mexico, Nevada and Hawaii underscore the change happening in the GOP.
It’s a change that doesn’t just need to happen to diversify an overwhelmingly white party membership but it’s a change that needs to happen to put a conscience back into the GOP.
When it comes to diversity, the popular opinion among some white people is that diversity enables undeserving people of color with opportunity. The idea that anyone would even prescribe to this way of thinking is a sad commentary on the lack of progress of race relations in this country.
Usually, the people who believe this go unchallenged since there is a high probability that they surround themselves with like-minded individuals. However, diversity brings in people with different life experiences and perspectives that would challenge such a notion. In essence, instill conscience into an argument where none existed before.
The GOP is in sore need of conscience.
The latest example of how there is a lack of conscience in the GOP is the announcement by Michigan GOP State Rep. Dave Agema of Grandville that he is going to introduce legislation to prevent undocumented immigrants from obtaining marriage licenses.
Under Agema’s proposal, marriage applicants would be required to show at least two forms of identification.
“It may seem trivial to require such documentation, but a marriage license is an important legal paper that can be leveraged into obtaining additional identification papers that could contain falsehoods that threaten our country’s security.”
The identification would be birth certificates (foreign certificates translated by a government-authorized translator), naturalization certificate; Social Security card (unless excused for legal reasons); if previously married, a certified copy of divorce judgment or death certificate. A photograph identification could include a driver’s license, passport, or state identification car.
A non-citizen must present one of the following: work visa, student visa, foreign passport or resident immigrant card.
To deny a human being the right to have their union legally sanctioned is not just an act of cruelty but one that exhibits a lack of conscience, especially since no member of Agema’s party has challenged him on the issue.
The chances are high that a GOP politician of color would have challenged Agema, regardless if they agreed with him on stricter immigration enforcement. Agema’s proposal has nothing to do with reforming immigration but everything to do with dehumanizing and depriving a targeted group of people.
Agema, and his white colleagues, don’t see it that way. But then again, they don’t have anyone reminding them that when it comes to stripping human dignity from a person there are just actions not to be tolerated.