Racism isn’t accidental

LatinaLista — If anybody thinks that laws like the one recently signed in Arizona targeting undocumented immigrants is something solely born out of local citizens’ frustrations with border violence — then, think again!


These laws or bills making their way around the various state legislatures usually can be traced back to one source, and it’s a source that doesn’t even live in that state.

For example, the punitive Arizona law going after undocumented immigrants claims it’s doing so as a measure of keeping the borders safe and combating border violence. Newsflash: Violence is not up on the Arizona border.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

But that doesn’t matter to people like Kris Kobach, a Kansas attorney who helped Arizona legislators draft SB 1070 and has plans on helping other state legislators do the same.


In his “misguided” attempts to right the wrongs of 9/11, when at the time he worked with former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Kobach has exhibited tunnel vision when it comes to eradicating the presence of undocumented immigrants.

The problem with Kobach’s vision is that he can’t see the bigger picture, nor does he seem to care, of how legal Latino immigrants and citizens are caught up in the dragnet of enforcement as well.

Unfortunately, he’s not alone.

There has long been another man who has been even more determined as Korbach to reduce the presence of people of color in this country.

His name is John Tanton and his background is really pretty remarkable in that a guy who literally came out of nowhere to gain influence after creating several different organizations identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as being hate groups.

The element that is not widely known is the role these groups have in influencing the kind of racially charged legislation making state rounds. Because it’s important to know this background and understand that this kind of racism doesn’t just bubble up out of frustration with nonexistent border violence, the following video gives the kind of background information most people don’t even realize.

While it’s easy to ignore or dismiss this explanation, at the least, it must be considered when seriously analyzing the plethora of anti-immigrant legislation being introduced and/or hinted at for introduction across the nation’s state capitols.

It’s a backstory that everyone needs to know and understand and then make up their own minds as to: Is it the right thing to do?

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  • Roberto Ortega
    May 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Racial bias is part of what’s going on for sure. But regardless of whether it is 10% of the reason or 90% of the reason or whether few, some, or even most of the supporters of anti-illegal measures are racist, it does not further our cause to discuss any of these issues from a racism perspective. We will never have discussion and negotiation by disregarding each other’s opinions as racist. If we don’t stick doggedly to the practical matters of the law and the ramifications then we are just blowing hot air. It may feel good to vent our frustrations in public, but it won’t further our cause in the long run. Labeling those laws as crazy means that we cannot engage in a dialog. We are in a way opting out of a debate and creating a screaming match. We need to be open minded and hear all arguments. There are some rational non-racist arguments for these laws.
    Making noise and calling people nasty names that they don’t want to be called may get us somewhere legislatively, but at a high cost. Polarizing and making this an us-against-them situation is not playing our best hand. Obama has the better strategy unite rather than divide. Media gravitates to conflict and noise but I think we should practice restraint in this respect.

  • Bryan J.
    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Another thing, I might add, about the TANTON/FAIR people, is that their energy does not derive from “illegal immigration”. In fact, from reading Tanton’s publication, the social contract, and generally looking at FAIR’s policy suggestions re immigration, they want to put a moratorium on all immigration. Problem about that is what it is anchored on–conspiracy theories, laced with an underpinning phobia for non-white, non-english speaking people, of an “overpopulation” crisis.
    But it’s so convenient for FAIR to play off and meld the energy from genuine concern of illegal immigration into a monstrous blind force of “reach our goal at any cost”.

  • svivar9087
    May 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Immigration reform has once again made a brief cameo appearance, leaving behind a trail of confusion and mistrust that has eventually brewed into hate. As a Latina and an American Citizen, my heart bled for those caught in the crossfire of this debate, thanking god, I wasn’t one of them. How naïve of me and many Hispanics, who thought “It can never happen to me”
    so we watched and kept quiet. Hoping, it would go away
    SB1070 and HB2281 is a crude reminder that no matter how much we may think we are Americans, in the eyes of public opinion we are and will always be Hispanics first and maybe Citizens, if we have proof.
    I was shocked when SB1070 became law, but what floored me, was the responses I read in various websites. The hate and opinions supporting these laws dominate the internet and debates nationwide, exposing the true feelings felt about this issue and Hispanics in general.
    The more I read the angrier I got, but at the same time, I began to see that the fear and hate felt for Hispanics wasn’t anything new. Immigration reform has become a political scapegoat, dangled in our faces like a puppet on a string, when ever the mood strikes. In this case we became collateral damage, in a battle against our first black President and a birth certificate.
    Sorry 2 ramble, but I’m one pissed off “old school” Latina

  • Hether ericson
    August 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I belive we all deserve achance at the american dream!! I agree with Obama we should unite not devide our great country we were all iagrants at one point in time. My children are half hispanic and their father came from mexico hetreats me better than anyone ever has and he is a very hard working man. if all illegal immgrants just had to pay the taxes like us that i belive would really help us et out of debt.It is really sad when two people have a really buetiful family and the immagration can just take one or both parents away from the children. my fiance and i know the hardship on that my chilodren wake up at least 3 times a night screaming and crying for their daddy and ask me when is he coming home and i cant tell them an answer, i want my kids to grow up happy and healthy but how can i when they cant eat or sleep with out their father home? h is a good man not a danger like some racism is an illness i belive

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