19 February 2013
HOIST ON THEIR OWN PETARD
The scene ~ a rally protesting illegal immigration. The moment of truth ~ a Native American man (with his child) vigorously and angrily confronts the entire crowd over their hypocrisy and double standard. It is a humbling and uplifting moment ~ and amusing to watch the white demonstrators disappear in the face of his wrath. View the 1 minute video here.
We are ALL immigrants, or the descendants of immigrants (see map below, click to enlarge). Get used to it. Some people try to draw a fine line between "legal" and "illegal", but the fact is that like history, immigration laws are written by the victors, whose legitimacy as residents is usually highly suspect. Witness the expansion of America from a few European settlements on the Atlantic Coast, outward to the north, south, and west, cheating or stealing territory belonging to native tribes, breaking hundreds of treaties in the process.
It is a truism that the last immigrant group to arrive suffers the intolerance and rejection of previous groups ~ and paradoxically, the last group often wants to shut the immigration door behind it. Our avaricious nature is nothing of which to be proud. We would do well to adopt an attitude of humility, especially with regard to those 10 million undocumented non-residents already within our borders. Many of them arrived across the U.S.-Mexican border, fleeing poverty and unemployment in their native lands, and willing to perform hard labor at low wages (by U.S. standards) ~ whether to send to their families at home, or to make a better life for themselves in their adopted country. By and large, such immigrants have NOT taken jobs away from American workers ~ rather, they have taken jobs which American workers refused to do.
Ironically, American workers have indeed lost jobs, but it was at the hands of corporate employers who chose to outsource those jobs overseas, to poor nations where people are willing to work for low wages. The corporations increase their profits, at the expense of the American communities which supported them for so long. The last thirty years of such behavior are a shameful passage in our history, one which has resulted in a widening chasm between the wealthy few and the struggling majority of Americans.
And the poorest, most abused group of all is rarely even thought of as a minority, because few people think of them at all ~ indigenous Native Americans. The entire continent once belonged to them, until hoards of heavily armed, illegal immigrants invaded their land and took it. The only amazing thing is that more Native Americans don't rise up in righteous indignation to point out the degrading ironies in the current immigration debate.