Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Latinos Will Continue to Live Under a Cloud of Suspicion in Arizona

"I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like."
President Barack Obama

As reported in the New York Times,
The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a split decision on Arizona’s tough 2010 immigration law, upholding its most controversial provision but blocking the implementation of others.  
The court unanimously sustained the law’s centerpiece, the one critics have called its “show me your papers” provision. It requires state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if there is reason to suspect that the individual might be an illegal immigrant...  
The three provisions blocked by the majority were: making it a crime under state law for immigrants to fail to register under a federal law, making it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or to try find work, and allowing the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe that they have done things that would make them deportable under federal law.
America is a beacon of hope and opportunity attracting immigrants from every corner of the earth.  This nation is a nation of immigrants.  The United States probably is the most diverse country in the world.  Every race, religion, color and ethnic group is represented in America.   Our beauty as a nation is in our diversity.  The vast majority of the people in America originate from other countries.  No one ethnic group or race has a greater right or entitlement to be in America.   

Certainly, illegal immigration is a real problem that must be addressed.  However, racism is the driving force behind most of these repressive anti-immigration laws.   The radical right fears the blacking and browning of America.   They fear the day when white Americans will be the minority. That fear is now a reality.   As noted in the Washington Post, most of the babies in the U.S. are members of minority groups.  Basically, Arizona's anti-immigration law and similar laws in other states are a desperate, last ditch effort to cling to white supremacy.

Although we should welcome the news that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three fourths of the repressive Arizona immigration law, there is no reason to celebrate.   At least for now, the Court's ruling will essentially allow Arizona law enforcement officers to continue to racially profile Latinos and other minorities "suspected to be illegal immigrants."   Unfortunately, when many people visualize an illegal immigrant, they do not see Europeans, Asians or even Africans.   They see Latinos.  For that reason, Latinos will continue to live under a cloud of suspicion in Arizona.

Sadly, all Latinos in Arizona who are stopped or arrested will have to show the police their papers.   Although legally the police cannot stop or arrest individuals solely to verify their immigration status, the police can invent all kinds of pretexts to justify stopping or arresting Latinos and other minorities. Until the entire law is overturned, the police in Arizona will be free to harass and humiliate our Latino brothers and sisters.

This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Trayvon Martin News - Do You Believe George Zimmerman's Re-enactment?

Yesterday, a videotape was released showing George Zimmerman re-enacting the events that occurred on the night of Trayvon Martin's death. If you follow this blog, you already know how I feel about Zimmerman. I am interested in hearing from you. Do you believe Zimmerman's account? Why? Why not?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Israel Should Be Ashamed of Its Racist, Anti-African Policies!

For many years, Jews were persecuted, discriminated against and oppressed in several European nations. During the Nazi era, they were confined to concentration camps, burned in ovens, starved to death, gassed with poison and subjected to other grotesque forms of genocide. Many fled Germany and other European countries in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Many came to Israel in search of peace and security.

In light of that history, Israel should strongly oppose of all forms of oppression. Unfortunately, it does not. Ironically, the Israeli government has become an agent of oppression and intolerance. Not only does Israel oppress the Palestinian people, Israel discriminates against African immigrants. Israel should be ashamed of its racist, anti-African policies and sentiments.

As reported in The Root and Ebony:
Since 2005 approximately 60,000 undocumented Africans have crossed into Israel from Egypt hoping to escape war, poverty, and political persecution.  
Blamed for the increase of crime and perceived as sexual assailants, rising tensions in major cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have led to violent anti-immigrant demonstrations, acts of vandalism towards African-run businesses, and arson attacks....

Interior Minister Eli Yishai claims the raids and forced deportations are only the beginning. As he described in Israel HaYom’s publication, the Israeli state is only permitted to expel “infiltrators” originating from South Sudan and Ivory Coast now but its next phase is to mark immigrants from Eritrea and Sudan for deportation.

Yishai, who has persistently called for the expulsion of non-Jewish migrants, stated that allowing African immigrants to remain in Israel would threaten the “the end of the Zionist dream” that created Israel — a nation of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing in accord with the anti-African sentiments of his fellow right wing constituents, publicly denounced undocumented migrants as “infiltrators ” calling for the swift deportation of 25,000.

In a move that rivals Arizona’s SB1070, last week, an Israeli court ruled to expel 1,500 South Sudanese under the premise they are no longer at risk in their homeland.
Until Israel stops discriminating against African immigrants and oppressing the Palestinians, the United States should suspend all foreign aid to Israel. According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, it has received $115 billion from the United States.  According to the same report, for 2013, the Obama Administration is requesting $3.1 billion in foreign military funding for Israel. That money should be used to improve U.S. schools, to rebuild America's infrastructure and to create jobs.

Will any U.S. politicians take action?!?  Will the Congressional Black Caucus stand up?  Probably not.  Sadly, too many politicians are bought and paid for by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Else is Zimmerman Lying About?!?

George Zimmerman deliberately lied to the court about his finances. It turns out that he actually raised $135,000 at the time. To conceal his assets, Zimmerman and his wife spoke in code.

CNN reports that:

"Despite telling the court they were indigent, George Zimmerman and his wife discussed -- in code, according to prosecutors -- money raised online to help in his defense on second-degree murder charges, jailhouse phone calls released Monday show.

Prosecutors had claimed the Zimmermans lied about their financial means before a Florida judge set his bond, which the suspect then posted to get out of jail. Zimmerman, accused in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is now back behind bars after the judge revoked his bail, citing the misrepresentations.

Six calls made public Monday, out of about 151 total that Zimmerman made while incarcerated, appear to back up the prosecutor's assertions...
Prosecutors allege the couple actually had about $135,000 of donations at their disposal when they both told the court, under oath, they were indigent.

O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer, later said his client ended up netting a total of $204,000 via PayPal accounts -- about $150,000 of which is now in an independently managed trust after $30,000 was used to pay for "life in hiding" and $20,000 has been kept liquid."

Since Zimmerman lied under oath in a court of law, we cannot trust a word that comes out of his mouth. What else is he lying about? What else is he concealing?

Sadly, some of y'all started to believe this guy. Please don't let him bamboozle you. Justice for Trayvon!

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 18, 2012

We Must End Racial Profiling Now!

The New York City Police Department has an abysmal track record when it comes to the treatment of black men. Remember Sean Bell, Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo and countless other victims of police brutality. Recently, NYPD has been in the news because of its controversial stop and humiliate policy. As reported in the New York Times,
In a slow, somber procession, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march on Sunday down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents.
An earlier New York Times article entitled Injustices of Stop and Frisk noted that:
The statistics are getting worse by the year. Last week, the New York Civil Liberties Union released a report — based on the department’s data — showing the number of street stops had grown to 685,724 in 2011 from about 97,000 in 2002, the year Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office. On Friday, the Police Department released data showing that the stops have occurred at an even higher pace for the first three months of this year.
The city has repeatedly argued that the program helps to keep guns off the street. But the N.Y.C.L.U.’s analysis found that the proportion of gun seizures to stops has fallen sharply — only 780 guns were confiscated last year, not much more than the 604 guns seized in 2003, when officers made 160,851 stops. Young black and Hispanic men continued to be stopped in disproportionate numbers. They are only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, yet these males, between the ages of 14 and 24, accounted for 41.6 percent of stops last year. More than half of all stops were conducted because the individual displayed “furtive movements” — which is so vague as to be meaningless.
The data also show that the police are significantly more likely to use force when they stop blacks and Hispanics than when they stop whites. This means minority targets are more likely to be slammed against walls or spread-eagled while officers go through their belongings. Even when victims are unhurt, they are likely to develop a deep and abiding distrust of law enforcement.
For all this, only about 6 percent of stops lead to arrests. But the stops can also end with officers writing summonses for minor infractions like disorderly conduct. The police issue more than 500,000 summonses a year, most not arising from street stops but as part of the “quality of life” campaign the department embarked on in the 1990s.
New York's stop-and-frisk policy is racist and senseless. It assumes that most young black and Latino men are killers and drug dealers. In the eyes of many police officers, black skin is a badge criminality and dishonor. Sadly, that badge has become a warrant for harassment, humiliation, degradation and even brutality.

In addition to being racist, stop-and-frisk is ineffective and a waste of resources. The vast majority (approximately 94%) of those stopped are innocent. They are not carrying firearms or drugs. Instead of collectively punishing and harassing black and Latino people, police departments should narrowly focus on the people who are actually committing crimes.

Not only is stop-and-frisk ineffective, such racial profiling makes communities less safe by unnecessarily diverting manpower and by fermenting distrust. The community will never trust or cooperate with police departments who harass and brutalize. Without such vital cooperation, the actual criminals will remain free to roam the streets.

We must end racial profiling now.

This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.