Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Blue-Eyed With A Soul
Artwork courtesy of Cubby
I'm a white guy; a very white guy. I am part Irish, part German, and, apparently, part cake flour, because I am really really white. And I have blue eyes. So, why do I care about what's going on in Arizona? I mean, I could travel freely throughout the state and never even think about being stopped. I'm American. I look American. a blue-eyed white boy.
But see, I happen to be in love with a brown-eyed Hispanic, who could get stopped and asked for his papers, because of those brown eyes, or because of his first name. Yes, and maybe because his features don't look blue-eyed and white.
That infuriates me. To stop someone and ask them to prove that they are allowed to walk the streets, drive the streets, or even live on the street, is not very American. That's not what I was taught in school. Of course, I also wasn't taught that America rounded up another group of people who didn't look American and tossed them in interment camps in World War II. Asian people got that history lesson first hand. For me, that hideous tale was swept under the rug
So, you think we would have learned....I mean, we've spent decades apologizing to Asian-Americans for what was done to them in the name of our [read: regular American] safety, and yet we're doing it again. We are persecuting a group of people because of their skin, or eyes, or accent, or hair, or name, or, yes, even their shoes.
I understand the problem of illegal immigration. After living and working in Miami for a number of years I came to know many people who were here illegally, taking jobs away from regular, decent Americans; jobs like dishwasher, day laborer, gardener...the kinds of jobs all Americans deem less than their status. I met a girl from South America who worked as a busser in a restaurant; she was a pharmacist in her country and all she wanted was to make a better life for her family. Quite the step up; pharmacist to clearing tables.
I understand the problem of immigration, But you don't persecute and harass--and believe me, that will happen--a group of people because some of them might be here illegally. Solve the problem. Strengthen the borders. Take care of the illegals that are here now on a case by case basis. Will that take a while? Damn right it will, because we stood idly by and allowed 10-20 million people into the country illegally, and now we want to backtrack and send them all "home". But, guess what? This is home for many, who've come here, worked hard, paid taxes, and been upstanding citizens.
But that doesn't count in Arizona. in Arizona all that matters is that you look American. For me, I'm, safe, but I won't be travelling to Arizona any time soon. It's not Arizona that bothers me, it's the fascism that hurts.
And, thanks again to Cubby for his artwork. Folks in Arizona might not like it, but 70% of them foolishly voted for it.