Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > The real fight over AZ SB 1070 is all about social equality for Latinos

The real fight over AZ SB 1070 is all about social equality for Latinos

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 “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.

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  • Chicano future tense
    May 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Latina Lista’s question..
    “And so the real question to ask is: Do Whites take priority over Latinos?”
    Cft’s commentary…
    to the economic & political power elites as well as to the majority of whites in the USA,whites have always taken priority over Latinos.It’s called “institutional racism” or “white skin privilege” and it’s been the bedrock and foundation of American society and politics since cerca 1492…
    Mr.Kane,the author of the very dumb article with an equally dumb title..”Do Latinos take priority over whites in Arizona?”..
    must either be incredibly ignorant or intentionally malicious.I tend to think one feeds off the other.An honest title of this article would be titled..”Does profit and money take priority over whites in the USA?”
    If Mr.Kane was intelligent and honest he would be asking the following questions..
    Does the corporate and political power elite of the US care about white americans by using desperate and poor undocumented workers to undercut and depress wages,deny vital benefits to white working americans?
    They won’t dare go after their own rich white brothers on this one because they are owned by them,they fear instead they will take the cowardly road of scapegoating desperate powerless,defenseless undocumented Mexicanos!
    Does the corporate and political power elite of the US care about white americans by crossing borders all over the world for profit..outsourcing millions of american jobs and exporting almost our entire industrial infrastructure to the third world?
    Does the corporate and political power elite of the US care about white americans by using racism and xenophobia to divide and conquer workers thereby destroying multiracial unity and just demands for jobs,wages,benefits and a better life..(this of course would be their worst nightmare!)?
    Does the corporate and political power elite of the US care about white americans by encouraging undocumented workers immigration on the one hand while on the other hypocritically using Mexicanos as scapegoats to deceive and distract white workers from identifying the real source of america’s problems which is corporate greed on a global scale and an almost satanic lust for power and profits,wars for profit and natural resources?
    so you’s business as usual for the corporate rulers..divide and conquer..a tried and true strategy of oppression and domination that’s been a round since ancient times..
    keep white and brown workers at each other’s throats while businessmen and corporate pirates laugh all the way to the (bailed out)banks..
    It’s truly a tragedy how so many white americans are blinded and deceived by racism and xenophobia..scapegoating the desperate and the poor for their problems..

  • Texan123
    May 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I thought the Arizona law was about enforcing the current Federal law at state level? The law targets criminal aliens, not Latinos.
    The bigger issue is about illegal aliens demanding EQUAL status with legal immigrants and citizens.

  • Grandma
    May 6, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    “I want to explain why SB 1070 is needed.” by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen
    May 1, 2010 — budsimmons
    “I want to explain why SB 1070 is needed.”
    by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen
    I’m Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. I want to explain SB 1070 which I voted for and was just signed by Governor Jan Brewer.
    Rancher Rob Krentz was murdered by the drug cartel on his ranch a month ago. I participated in a senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence, here is just some of the highlights from those who testified.
    The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the Arizona/Mexico Border have for years been terrorized and have pleaded for help to stop the daily invasion of humans who cross their property . One Rancher testified that 300 to 1200 people a DAY come across his ranch vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles and property, cutting down his fences, and leaving trash. In the last two years he has found 17 dead bodies and two Koran bibles.
    Another rancher testified that daily drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, 1/2 mile behind are the guards fully armed, 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs, behind the drugs 1/2 mile are more guards. These people are violent and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard that day that talked about the drug trains.
    One man told of two illegal’s who came upon his property one shot in the back and the other in the arm by the drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily they listen to gun fire during the night it is not safe to leave his family alone on the ranch and they can’t leave the ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.
    The border patrol is not on the border. They have set up 60 miles away with check points that do nothing to stop the invasion. They are not allowed to use force in stopping anyone who is entering. They run around chasing them, if they get their hands on them then they can take them back across the border.
    Federal prisons have over 35% illegal’s and 20% of Arizona prisons are filled with illegal’s. In the last few years 80% of our law enforcement that have been killed or wounded have been by an illegal.
    The majority of people coming now are people we need to be worried about. The ranchers told us that they have seen a change in the people coming they are not just those who are looking for work and a better life.
    The Federal Government has refused for years to do anything to help the border states. We have been over run and once they are here we have the burden of funding state services that they use. Education cost have been over a billion dollars. The healthcare cost billions of dollars. Our State is broke, $3.5 billion deficit and we have many serious decisions to make. One is that we do not have the money to care for any who are not here legally. It has to stop.
    The border can be secured. We have the technology we have the ability to stop this invasion. We must know who is coming and they must come in an organized manner legally so that we can assimilate them into our population and protect the sovereignty of our country. We are a nation of laws. We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and to protect the integrity of our country and the government which we live under.
    I would give amnesty today to many, but here is the problem, we dare not do this until the Border is secure. It will do no good to forgive them because thousands will come behind them and we will be over run to the point that there will no longer be the United States of America but a North American Union of open borders. I ask you what form of government will we live under? How long will it be before we will be just like Mexico, Canada or any of the other Central American or South American countries? We have already lost our language, everything must be printed in Spanish also. We have already lost our history it is no longer taught in our schools. And we have lost our borders.
    The leftist media has distorted what SB 1070 will do. It is not going to set up a Nazi Germany. Are you kidding. The ACLU and the leftist courts will do everything to protect those who are here illegally, but it was an effort to try and stop illegal’s from setting up businesses, and employment, and receiving state services and give the ability to local law enforcement when there is probable cause like a traffic stop to determine if they are here legally. Federal law is very clear if you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law. In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card, Native American Card, or a Military ID. This is what you need to vote, get a hunting license, etc.. So nothing new has been added to this law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street etc… The Socialist who are in power in DC are angry because we dare try and do something and that something the Socialist wants us to do is just let them come. They want the “Transformation” to continue.
    Maybe it is too late to save America. Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic. Living in America is not a right just because you can walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility and it comes by respecting and upholding the Constitution the law of our land which says what you must do to be a citizen of this country. Freedom is not free.
    Sylvia Allen
    Arizona State Senator

  • linda
    May 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I can’t believe that so many are making such a big deal about showing ID in this country. I am white, have had to show my identification hundreds of times in my lifetime. For some reason every time I fly, I am one of the chosen few who is taken aside, groped and frisked and scanned and given the once and twice over. Get over it!! Just because you are hispanic doesn’t mean that you don’t have to produce the same identification that everyone else does!!!! If you want to live in this country you had better get used to it. There are certain things that you have to have in this country if you are driving in a car and you are pulled over by law enforcement for ANY reason. License, proof of insurance, registration. Don’t have it? Doesn’t matter what color you are, you are in trouble. Walking down the street and you match the description of someone the police are looking for, they ask you for picture ID, you don’t have it, they detain you, NO MATTER WHAT COLOR YOU ARE, until you can prove who you are. Hispanics had better get some thicker skin, cuz this is all just crap by people who don’t belong here in the first place and are trying to find a way to beat the system. Know this, there are many people in the world who want to kill Americans, and the laws are in place for a reason. You want to live here, get used to the laws and stop the crap. You could always go back to Mexico, where the immigration laws are enforced 500 times better than ours and feel real safe and at home there.

  • Bryan J.
    May 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Chicano future tense,
    Good points. In thinking of the argument “but they take jobs from Americans”. Whatever jobs they take are dwarfed by the outsourcing, like you said.
    The elites of the U.S. do not really care about their lowly counterparts, be they white or not.
    The only issue I am not sure of is this:
    “They won’t dare go after their own rich white brothers on this one because they are owned by them,they fear them.”
    I do not think the average american “fears them”, though they are owned by them, possibly, in less direct manner i.e. via the degradation of U.S. culture on the whole.
    Is the wide political apathy a symptom of being owned? Maybe. Then with the wide apathy around, the off-kilter people fill teh gap, constructing the whole immigration debate as Us v. the open borders advocates, when that is clearly not the case.

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