Monday, May 03, 2010

I've been thinking about this Arizona thing

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:57 AM Permalink

And here's the way I think things should work, and it's going to piss off more than a few people. Wouldn't be the first time.

(I actually wrote half of this and Dr. Vidiot helped with the other half. I knew what I wanted to say but damned if I can say it half as well as he can... which is why he's the Phd and I'm a really good cook.)

I think that as a state's population shifts, like in Arizona, with a huge influx of, in this case, Spanish-speaking Mexicans, all of the institutions in that state should organically adjust. More Spanish should be spoken and be on used on signage. More of the immigrants should take public control of the reigns of power. The power structure should shift over and adequately reflect the make-up of the population. And since I believe that Nation States are illegitimate and oppressive structures, that no 'government' has the right to dictate where I can live and work, where I can travel and where I can't, that boundaries are arbitrary (constructed based on the wishes of a power elite), I do not view these ‘immigrants’ as illegal.

Mexicans are not simply living where they want to live. Instead, they chase jobs. The worthless value of the Mexican peso, the free trade treaty signed with NAFTA, and the continued exploitation and oppression of millions of indigenous people have all contributed to this mass migration of immigrants. Legalizing racial profiling only exacerbates the problem. It criminalizes the poor that the system produced; blaming the victim in an economic system that systematically produces poverty, misery, and decay. America needs to exploit the indigenous, weak, and powerless for profit (to do the shit work) while at the same time fears and despises those who they mercilessly exploit. The end result is further punishment against those unfortunate enough to migrate to a country that hates them, only to secure petty wages that still offer an improvement to the grim conditions faced in Mexico.

Meanwhile, those who support this policy of criminalizing the poor support white supremacy. The Arizona law is but one more of many steps to secure white power and domination that is perceived to be in peril with the transforming population. As the dominant population becomes numerically impoverished compared to the increasing minority population, racist laws will continue to pass, compensating for the rising immigrant population. Yes, they want the indigenous working for the white man, but they must remember that the white man controls the law, culture, state, and all that is social. This is what happens when the dominant population becomes, at the same time (due to immigration) the minority population. White power must remain though white people are no longer the majority. This law is only an extension of white power already firmly embedded in all American institutions.

Further, white bourgeoisie values and morals are taught in the schools as well as what is considered proper civic values and behaviors, all working to reproduce class; art museums showcase Eurocentric art leaving some space for “folk” and “indigenous” art to demonstrate tolerance for “othernesss,” the economic system, including ideas of free trade, finance capital, and market investment is fashioned by the dominant white culture and continues to benefit the small, privileged white few over the masses of humans, the economic system is set up to keep the masses -- especially the indigenous and colored -- in toil and misery. In short, racism is embedded in all our institutions, but this is not enough.

The more the powerless population (in this case poor Mexicans) increase in numbers, the more racist laws are imposed to control them, thus rendering them in a perpetual cycle of inferiority and powerlessness. You can ask, “What part did nation states play in producing poverty and than criminalizing the impoverished they create? What right do nations states have in preventing individuals from migrating simply to alleviate the misery that free trade helped produce?

Another point, American and western corporations have the right to enter into Mexico and set up billion dollar tourist industries (while at the same time forcefully removing thousands and millions of Mexicans out of their homes). Perhaps then too, based on free trade, Mexican corporations have the right to enter into Brooklyn and other places in the United States, remove Americans from their homes and set up billion dollar industries for their own country.

Your task is as follows: admit to your racism and accept it. You want to preserve white culture and those who do not assimilate to the ideas and values of this culture are punished and purged. Admit that what you want is white preservation, white power, and maintaining the privileges of a few. Then, perhaps, a fruitful discussion can be had.

What most white folks don’t realize is that they are just as punished as the Mexicans, only their income is just a bit higher. Most white folks are just as disposable. So why do they identify with their white captors? Is it just because they share a European ancestry? Is it Stockholm syndrome? We as a whole are closer to the indigenous and marginalized in the world than we are to the privileged elite (those who finance the politicians) who pass laws like the Arizona laws. They are not looking out for our interests. We should instead join with our brothers, the marginalized, since that is whom we are closer to, and in case anyone has yet to notice, we are quickly on our way to their same fate.

Labels: , ,


At 2:32 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

While I agree with much of what you have written here I cannot find myself in accord with the statement as foregone fact: "Your task is as follows: admit to your racism and accept it. You want to preserve white culture and those who do not assimilate to the ideas and values of this culture are punished and purged. Admit that what you want is white preservation, white power, and maintaining the privileges of a few. Then, perhaps, a fruitful discussion can be had." And for the following reasons:

1. I'm too sick today to chase down the citation of the source for the current view that white women are already in the minority. White men will soon fall into the minority as well, 'round 2025-2030? Certainly before 2050.

2. Within my life experience I have entrusted my life and fortune many times to people of color (or insert current negative or prejudicial and/or racial epithet here: ___________________ ) and they have in turn trusted my judgment and placed their lives and fortunes within my hands. I admit that this was within the closed societal loop of the USAF and that military life often does not mirror civilian life. Inevitable this makes my perceptions differ from yours and I, of course, speak only of the men and women and people of any color or creed with whom I actually worked and cannot vouchsafe for the control and command persons above me, many of whom should 'fess up.

Aside: When the Air Force, back in the Seventies, first began their Equal Opportunity and Treatment mandatory training sessions I was inevitably asked to leave within the first five minutes for asking such questions such as,"Excuse me, Sir, why is it that all the women here can wear their hair down to their shoulders in uniform, yet If my hair grows a scant 1/8th inch too long I am a disciplinary problem that must cut my hair or face charges for failing to follow orders and sanctions that could include discharge under 'other or less than Honorable conditions.' Why is that if there is to be true equality?" (You are excused for the rest of the day Sergeant Arnett.) "But you haven't answered my question." (You ARE excused Sergeant Arnett, please leave - that's an order.) As silly as it sounds I would always ask the opening question and always be ordered to excuse myself. The questions varied in topic, too many to recount here, but the results always the same.

When I left the Philippines for the final time I was overjoyed when, 'military needs…' overrode my guaranteed Base of Choice promised when I reenlisted and my assignment changed from Eglin AFB, Florida to Edwards AFB, California, as I knew my Warrior Woman and I would be viewed with more than a little contempt behind the back comments that we would both be subjected to by the Southern Baptists that ruled over the Eglin region. (I think I have to post this comment and continue in a new comment.)

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

To continue:

3. The only places I have ever lived where white traditions and culture dominated were the place of my birth, Arkansas, and Germany, where I spent three years. Neither was a culture I would fight to see perpetuated.

4. Aside from the things mentioned above, my only contact with white-oriented command and control was during the two years I spent fighting tooth and nail against our gov't in order to obtain the 'Fiance's Visa" needed to bring my Warrior Woman here to marry. It took me two years to the month and the event that triggered the solution to our problem was this: I was speaking to someone in the State Department (about a year and a half into the fray) and queried him about the fact that a captain with whom I had worked at Edwards had, only ninety days past, filed for, received the same type visa for his German fiance, and that they were already wed and on honeymoon.

This jerkoff actually told me,"Well, you have to understand that Germans come from a much more affluent culture than do persons from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, and are thus less likely to become a burden upon our welfare systems." When I was able to pick my jaw up from the floor I got the man's name, title, phone number, supervisors name and read back to him the exact words he had spoken to me to insure accuracy, all of which he supplied and confirmed. I slammed down the phone then immediately contacted the liaison I had been dealing with in former Congressman John Moss' offices and related this new information. The man went ballistic, yelling at me through the phone to give all the details and then, still angry as hell he told me that even if that was official State Department policy its basis was discrimination against my Warrior Woman's place of birth simply because the Philippines was not an 'affluent' country (we both deciphered this as meaning non-white and poor) that it was wrong, violated several laws, and he took the matter to Congressman Moss directly. Less than 30 days later I was notified that the visa had been approved, but that they were having difficulty in contacting my fiance to notify her. Another two months of screwing around they notified me that she had received the visa, the only requirement of which being that we be wed within 90 days or the visa would expire. Success! Plane ticket purchased, arrival date 2-7-1977! I waited at the SF airport, watching for my honey to appear as everyone deplaned. No Mila. Half insane I went to the airlines service counter, slammed down my hands down on the counter to draw attention to myself from the people I could see clearly through a large glass window of their office. When someone came out I told him

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

"YOU are going back into that room, get on your teletype, and YOU are going to find out why my fiance was not on this plane…" and I stood, hands on counter, looking at the people back there with laser-beam eyes until after almost an hour the guy came back out and told me she had been unable to board because so five dollar permit or another had expired after two years. I turned to leave, surprised to find a ring of Security personal behind and to the sides of me; I had never been aware they were there due to the intensity of my focus. So, broken-hearted but still determined, I spent about one and one half hours on the phone to Clark AB and waited while a friend of mined was located and brought to the phone (it was about a $400.00 call). As soon as I told him the problem he took Mila the money to renew the permit, reservation made, and two weeks later we were both clutching one another, tears of joy pouring down our faces as our long, long separation ended. On March 25th, 1977, we were wed in Reno, Nevada, though we will forever celebrate September 13th, 1974 (a Friday) as our true anniversary.

My apologies for the length of my comments, but I must ask, do you perceive anything in this missive to support your assertion that would indicate I was racist, a white supremacist, a defender of racist views, a backer or supporter of you statement above?

I have always been taught that there are no absolutes, the only thing certain is change and that there will be exceptions to any 'absolute' statements purporting to speak for everyone at all times.'

But, hey, this is just my opinion; I could be wrong. And I do recognize the reasoning that stands behind your statement.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

it's a tricky thing to see how racism is embedded because we're so embedded in the institutions that promulgate it.

bottom line, if it makes you uncomfortable to think about all of our institutions being run by, say working class african americans and that as a result, wearing slacks and a nice shirt would be viewed as odd and possibly criminal and wearing sagging jeans and an oversized basketball jersey was fully accepted as proper attire, if in school, your kids were taught that Malcolm X was a hero and Thomas Jefferson was a criminal who enslaved your forefathers, if classical music was thought of as annoying and stupid and rap/hip hop was classical and brilliant, or if the guarding of territory and single parent families were the societal norms, if your preferences were frowned upon in the mainstream media, if your way of dressing and speaking was derided and your music and books were treated as, at best, contributions to folk music and lit, if any of this makes you uncomfortable to think about, then you're a racist.

I admit it, I'm a racist. We all are. We live the white anglo-saxon worldview. The difference with me is I admit it and am willing to change my point of view or at least acknowledge that my choices may be right for me, but not for everybody.

what I'm trying to start is a decent conversation that doesn't begin with false assumptions. Lay it out as it all is THEN discuss the issue.

To pretend that the laws in Arizona are NOT racist or that the people who make or enforce them aren't racist, that it isn't about maintaining white power does not lend itself to an honest conversation.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

I apologize if I have offended, but I would point out that I did not address Arizona and the obviously pernicious and racist viewpoints as codified in their laws. I also said that I agreed with most of what you wrote, I understand the reasoning behind your thoughts; I simply disagree that we can all be cast as bearing identical viewpoints, and the examples you gave show why there can be no absolutes on this issue because it simply cannot and will not happen to occur that absolutely everyone in our government, past or future, can be cast as from the same mold or 100% of them being identical in thoughts, deeds, and beliefs. There is simply too much diversity. I made my personal observations regarding a fluctuating clash of views regarding government that I believed would serve as an example that, while it supported your assertions to a large degree it was that same government that rejected the views of the State Department on a congressional level and that ultimately aided me.

I also affirmed that that was just my opinion and that I could be entirely wrong. I just can't believe in absolutes and thought my example provided a basis for my opinion. I am certainly not asking anyone to forsake viewpoints so strongly held as these of which you speak. I am sure the failing (if a failing was had) was mine.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

no worries. I wasn't offended. I was just goin' on.


Post a Comment

<< Home