Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blacks vs. Latinos?

On a recent post on immigration, I got a response from Shay over at Booker Rising. She had this response:

Hispanics are only the country's fastest growing group **because about half of them are illegal**. I.e., it has been done through criminal means.

As anyone who has seen 'guest worker' programs operate in other countries, these so-called guests have a very strong habit of staying in the countries for decades.

You fail to consider that the Republican Party may gain a few black votes over this issue (or the Democrats lose black votes, as folks may sit on the fence) which is ticking many black folks off because illegal immigrants undermine black economic opportunity and have led to demographic changes in many black communities. If black folks must follow the law, then there should be no special rights for anyone else.

I find this statement full of bigotry. You can't dress up this pig any other way. For those of you who don't know, I'm part Latin, myself. My Mom was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has been an American citizen since she was born, as have the 3.5 million people on that Carribean island since 1917. I grew up in a home where I heard both English and Spanish and I can speak it myself. So, when Shay says that half of all Hispanics are illegal, I find that rather bigoted and small minded and it attacks part of my heritage.

Second, what Shay is suggesting is that the GOP engage in immigrant-bashing to help blacks. Shay is saying the GOP should pit one group against the other. I find this repulsive. America is a multi-ethnic nation and all parties have to learn to appeal to a diverse America and not engage in ethnic bashing.

Finally, I don't understand the animosity that comes from some African Americans on any other minority that isn't African American. It seems as if some black folk feel they have the right to be bigoted towards other ethinic groups, since we were slaves. Bull. Bigotry is bigotry. Latinos aren't a threat to blacks or to the wider American society. They are our allies, NOT our enemies.

I'm glad for those African Americans who have stood up for their Latino neighbors. I just wish more of them would.


Shay said...

You still were unable to debunk the claim that about half of the Hispanics in America are illegal. That is mere fact. And you surely know that most Hispanics in America are *not* Puerto Rican (who are U.S. citizens) either.

It is ethnic bashing to give other groups special rights to which black folks - **including black immigrants, who must come the legal route** - do not have. I will continue to oppose rewarding illegal immigration, since it disproportionately comes at black expense. At least more black folks are piping up, in order to represent our economic interests in this debate.

Joe Weedon said...

Shay -
The Washington Post had an article (Hispanic Growth Surge Fueled by Births in U.S. at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/08/AR2005060802381.html) that highlights census data that shows that Hispanic births are now the largest factor of the increase in the Hispanic US population.

Is this growth in Hispanic births in the US due, at least in part, to illegal Hispanic immigration? Of course.

What's getting lost in the immigration debate is that the majority of the people we're talking about prosecuting for being here illegally are working and contributing to the US economy AND are no threat to the safety and security of the nation.

We need to improve border security, but at what expense?