Dreams, actions, and DREAM actions

Radley Balko: “That Big Thing Everyone Is Talking About Today

The president said that if you were brought to this country at a young age, by no choice of your own, which is to say that if the United States has been your home for as long as you can remember … we will no longer put you handcuffs, put you on a bus or plane, then dump you in a country where you might have been born, but that is otherwise completely foreign to you.

Somehow, this is controversial?

In a humane, sane world, the country’s collective reaction to today’s announcement would have been, You mean until now, we were actually doing this to people? What the hell is wrong with us?

Diane McWhorter: “The Strange Career of Juan Crow

If Alabama, the cradle of the civil rights movement, can retool Jim Crow as Juan Crow, what have we learned?

Since Alabama has no foreign border and a Latino population of less than 4 percent, the main purpose of H.B. 56 seems to be the id-gratification of tribal dominance and its easy political dividends. A bill co-sponsor, State Senator Scott Beason, was frank about his motive: “when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats.”

Mr. Beason, who was later caught referring to blacks as “aborigines,” is from a predominantly white suburb of my hometown, Birmingham, which is gearing up for the 50th anniversary of our civil rights milestones of 1963: fire hoses and police dogs turned on child marchers and a church bombing that killed four black girls.

… The yearlong anniversary is shaping up to be Groundhog Day. Among other injustices, H.B. 56 bars undocumented residents from pursuing work or entering into any state-related business transactions or private contracts, depriving them of basic dignities and due process. When the Justice Department investigated the state for demanding checks on schoolchildren, the defiant reaction of Alabama’s attorney general prompted comparisons to George C. Wallace’s 1963 “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” at the University of Alabama.

Melissa Harris-Perry: “Fear Is Driving America’s Politics, But Hope Is the Only Antidote

My enslaved grandmother who was sold on a street corner in Richmond, Virginia, believed in God. Now, I’m not asking you to believe in God; I’m asking you to think about this: This is a woman who never knew anything but slavery for herself, never knew anything but slavery for everyone she’d ever been related to, never expected anything but slavery for all of the people she would be related to in the future. There was no empirical evidence that any being cared about her circumstances. There was no empirical evidence that there was a loving God who had any power. And if there was a loving God, he was pretty pitiful, or if he was powerful, he didn’t seem to love her.

I’m not asking you to believe in God or to accept any kind of supreme being. I’m asking you to think about the faith that is associated with the hope that is not necessarily rooted in the empirical realities you see around you right at this moment, that says that we can still be part of something that is bigger than ourselves, and something that we cannot necessarily see at the moment, but simply requires us not to be afraid of each other. Because it’s our fear of each other that makes us exceptionally easy to divide.

Colin Harris: “Why Do We Fear Others Who Are Not Like Us?

The gospel message seems pretty clear on what to do with the “other” – see the face of Christ in their faces: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me …”

If people stopped responding with passive complicity to carefully crafted messages designed to “otherize” those whose needs deserve fair treatment and justice and those whose voices speak for them, certain media outlets and popular personalities might soon be out of business.

In the face of powerful forces that depend on otherization for the success of their agenda, would it be reasonable to hope that communities of faith might model and speak for a perspective that sees diversity and otherness as an opportunity for enrichment of our community rather than as a threat of contamination?

  • Haven

    “At least one institution was primed to break out of the loop of bad history. Leading with a reference to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” some 150 ministers formally condemned H.B. 56 for preventing them from fulfilling the doctrine of the good Samaritan by making it illegal to give assistance to illegal immigrants, the basis of a suit against the state by three Christian denominations.”
    Now this is what it should look like when people sue for religious freedom.

  • heckblazer

    That’s a nice reminder of why Radley Balko is my favorite libertarian.  He actually cares about justice.

  • VMink

    I’m afraid I can’t consider Alabama the heart of the Civil Rights movement.  Yes, the Birmingham Campaign was waged there.  But it is also the state which, two years after Birmingham and his forced resignation, turned around and elected Bull Connor as the Alabama Public Safety Commissioner.

  • Nirrti

    I’m know I’m about to Godwin the heck out of this thread but……

    I just got through watching “The Pianist”, the movie about the Jewish musician who survived the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.

    One of the first restrictions the Nazi government placed on Polish Jews was limiting the type of work they could do. They also made hiring, educating, and assisting Jews in any way illegal.

    It doesn’t bode well for any state when its policies begin to resemble Nuremburg Laws.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     It’s a rare day when the American Government is saner than the British one, but http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/10/tories-nasty-party-immigration-families and http://sexonomics-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/right-to-family-life-not-absoulte.html

    Part of me is “What the hell?” about those two links but then I remember that as the second link points out the government’s target was to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands not gross immigration. They don’t have to reduce the number of people coming in anywhere near as much if they can make people leave.

    It’s horrible and cynical…

    And the cynic in me can’t help but think “and then there’ll be thousands of british expats in foreign countries if they ever want an excuse to go in stomping.”

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    I don’t think this one will get past the ECHR. Which, of course, is also what they want so they can pander to their base about how TERRRRRIBLE Europe is by not letting the government act like inhuman assholes. Ugh. Why does anyone vote Tory again?

  • wendy

    If I were writing the DREAM act, I’d probably want to narrow the age range a little bit. 

    To say “they grew up here, it’s the only country they’ve ever known”… that’s not really the case for someone who was brought here at 15 or 16. Their formative years were spent elsewhere. 

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    True, but on the other hand, it’s still very unlikely to be their choice to move to the USA illegally. The sins of the father and all that.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Generally because they’re more pissed off with Labour at the time. That’s why we had 18 years of Tories and 12 years of Labour.

    At the moment people are pissed with the Tories and still pissed with Labour – if that still stands at the next election I’ve no idea what will happen except that the LibDems won’t benefit unless Nick Clegg starts doing his job because people are pissed at the LibDems as well.

    Of course if Scotland votes for independence and leaves we’ll almost certainly end up with a Tory government because England is historically Tory.

  • Skazinka

    You know, while I haven’t lived here long enough to feel entitled to a real opinion on Scottish independence, the one thing I won’t deny appreciating about the idea is never being led by Tories again. I hadn’t thought about the side effect of having permanent Tory neighbors.

  • Lori

     

    If I were writing the DREAM act, I’d probably want to narrow the age range a little bit. 

    To say “they grew up here, it’s the only country they’ve ever
    known”… that’s not really the case for someone who was brought here at
    15 or 16. Their formative years were spent elsewhere.    

    Yes, because FSM forbid that we not be as punitive as logically possible. It’s the American way. Geez.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     I think we’d get over it after a few years. People can only take so much being run into the ground in the name of ideology.

  • Tricksterson

    Central battlefield might have been a better term.

  • Tricksterson

    Are you proposing lowering the age of legal independence to 14?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I dunno, Canadians have managed to let themselves be told the welfare state is ‘too expensive’ and that there is ‘waste to be eliminated in government’ for about the last 20 years,

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    If I were writing the DREAM act I would crumple it up and throw it away. We don’t need to incentivise war and  illegal immigration.

    and why has there still been no discussion of benjamin netanyahu literally rounding up and deporting Sudanese refugees from Israel?

    Arpaio is a piker compared to him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7dkF5UVx7Y

  • Lori

    and why has there still been no discussion of benjamin netanyahu
    literally rounding up and deporting Sudanese refugees from Israel? 

     

    Do you mean this in general or here, specifically? If you’re asking why we’re not discussing what you want to discuss, I can’t speak for anyone else, but here’s a clue:

    If I were writing the DREAM act I would crumple it up and throw it
    away. We don’t need to incentivise war and  illegal immigration. 

     

    Why do people not want to talk with you about what you want to talk about? Wow, it’s a mystery.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I meant in general.  The fact that I oppose the DREAM act doesn’t make what’s happening in Tel Aviv acceptable.

  • Lori

    As usual, way to miss the point Chris. The issue is not what’s going on in Tel Aviv, it’s you. You clearly don’t actually care about immigrants’ rights and I have no desire to discuss your feelings about Israel.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    the point is what is going on with illegal immigrants in Israel is far more extreme than what’s going on here. I don’t gather you’ve seen the reports.

  • PJ Evans

     And, once more, this isn’t about Israel.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    it begs the question though.  They’re having massive rascist rallies in the streets. It’s about immigration and treating people as human beings.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMENGLP3c9E

    not noteworthy?

  • Lori

     

    the point is what is going on with illegal immigrants in Israel is far
    more extreme than what’s going on here. I don’t gather you’ve seen the
    reports.  

    I’ve seen them. That doesn’t change the fact that concern for immigrants’ rights is not why you keep bringing it up and I have no interest in discussing your actual reasons for continuing to bring it up.

  • Lori

     

    not noteworthy?  

    Not when the only time you care about it is when it happens in Israel.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I meant in general. Why aren’t people talking about it? I wonder what Obama thinks.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Dude.

    Seriously?

    You’re not pulling some brand new rhetorical trick nobody’s seen before. It’s an old standby and you should be ashamed of yourself for doing it. It’s called the “But if that’s so important WHY AREN’T YOU DOING THIS TOO YOU BAD PERSON YOU?”

    It’s a variation on the But Don’t You Have More Important Things derailing shenanigan.

    Bad Chris, no donut.

    EDIT: Look, I get what you’re saying; the US government is slated to give around $30 billion to the Israeli government (which is ~10% of their national budget, give or take), but trying to push the discussion along those lines when you’ve already proven yourself to be woefully uninformed about other things doesn’t do you credit.

  • alfgifu

    Of course if Scotland votes for independence and leaves we’ll almost certainly end up with a Tory government because England is historically Tory.

    I hadn’t thought of this.  Dear Lord, Scotland, please don’t leave us.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- I’m an activist. I’m AGITATING

  • Lori

    Your internal reality is pretty thoroughly failing to line up with your external reality.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    You care so much about illegal immigrants but look the other way when a close ally is attacking them in the streets.

  • Lori

     You are being willfully dense again. I’ll repeat myself one more time. I’ll type slowly and try to use small words. Please try to keep up this time.

    I am aware of the situation in Tel Aviv and I have opinions about it. I am not “looking the other way”. What I am doing is declining to discuss the situation with you. I’m doing that for reasons that have nothing to do with the situation in Tel Aviv and everything to do with you.

    Stop trying to make talking to you a measure of people’s morality. It makes you look like a bigger ass than usual, and that’s saying something.

  • Tricksterson

    To switch the topic back to immigration in this country, any reactions to the Supreme Court decision on Arizona?  And just when I didn’t think Scalia could be more of a pussbag he tries to defend the Arizona law by invoking the pre-Civil War South’s laws on free blacks entering slave states.  Really dude?  I mean REALLY?

  • erikagillian

     What?  I mean… what?  Wasn’t that Supreme Court case overturned like a hundred years ago?  Dred Scott?  He wasn’t.. I mean he didn’t invoke Dred Scott did he?  I suppose I better just go look :)

  • Tricksterson

    No, Dred Scott was the opposite, sort of.  That decision was that a slave fleeing to a free state did not automatically become free.  The laws Scalia is citing were state laws  that banned free blacks going into slave states, basically because the slaveowners were afraid of that their slaves would get ideas.  Scalia’s argument, if you can call it that is that if they could do that then that’s a precedent for states making and enforcing their own immigartion laws

  • erikagillian

    Oh, ok, I don’t know if I knew about those.  Thanks for clearing it up.


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