LatinaLista — The title of the opinion column by a “Pulitzer-nominated” journalist, named Gregory Kane, had me shaking my head in disbelief — and disgust.
The headline read Do Latinos take priority over whites in Arizona?
Unfortunately, this question, in a variety of forms, has been posed ever since mostly Latino crowds have gathered in Arizona and elsewhere denouncing SB 1070.
Over the weekend, during live blogging of the Dallas march on a local newspaper site, a reader posted a comment saying he/she was tired of politicians pandering to “this bunch,” meaning Latinos. Yet, this same reader had no comment when it was pointed out (by yours truly) that 1. Politicians pander and 2. A worse example of pandering was how much GOP politicians have pandered to Tea Partiers.
If only politicians pandered to Latinos to the same extent as they have with the Tea Party movement then maybe there would be no need to ask the question that headlined that critical opinion column.
Never once have Latinos claimed that they take priority over Whites. In fact, it has been drilled into the collective psyche since Latinos have settled in this country that Latinos are not as smart, educated or deserving of job promotions, college admissions or anything that has Latinos competing with Anglos.
So to make the accusation that suddenly Latinos think they take priority over Anglos is nothing more than another ruse to insult Latinos and belittle the true argument of this case.
Critics of the critics of SB 1070 have accused Latinos and their allies of being “open border lovers.”
That’s not the case. What is true is that Latino citizens don’t like not being believed that they are citizens or even having our patriotism questioned.
It would be different if every person who crossed their path with an Arizona policeman was asked to prove his/her citizenship but that would not be the case.
Arizona’s new immigration law is making many Latinos in law enforcement fear the law inevitably will lead to police treating all Latinos — whether or not they’re in the country legally — in a discriminatory way, says Stateline.org. “The Arizona law,” Art Acevedo, president of the National Latino Peace Officers Association and police chief in Austin, Tex., says, “has, in essence, not only legalized racial profiling, it practically mandated it.”
Yet people, like the columnist, don’t see it that way — or better yet, don’t see anything wrong with all Latinos having to prove they belong in this country. For some reason, critics equate SB 1070 with airport screenings.
Because of a few men who used airplanes in the worst terrorist attack on domestic soil, everyone must now adhere to strict rules when carrying certain items on board planes and must undergo, sometimes invasive, body searches.
The key word is “everyone.”
No one would object if everyone had to prove they belonged in this country, or were stopped and questioned or were made to produce more ID than just a driver’s license — but that would never happen.
And so the real question to ask is: Do Whites take priority over Latinos?
If the answer is yes in some minds then the situation in Arizona is only bringing to the forefront what has been the proverbial elephant in the room all along — Latinos have not yet achieved social equality in the eyes of some people, and these people don’t like it when Latinos demand that equality.