U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Tuesday his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency’s history.
“If the root of the problem is the traditional undervaluation of agricultural labor—from chattel slavery to convict lease and sharecropping to the present-day migrant farm-labor system—then the solution should lie in recognizing labor’s true value and rewarding it accordingly. One truly meaningful—and long overdue—way to do this is to provide a rational path to legal residency for the countless undocumented immigrants whose discounted labor has fueled our economy for nearly two decades.”—
I’m sure most of us have been through a DUI checkpoint and assumed that the police just want to catch drunk drivers. But DUI checkpoints primarily criminalized unlicensensed (primarily undocumented) people instead of intoxicated drivers. Up until last week, police had the authority to…
“No, my problem is that the word “slut” has never felt like mine to reclaim. While women all over the world are waiting for people to stop seeing them as sex objects, women with disabilities are still waiting to be seen at all. We are less than a woman, somehow–certainly less than “slut.” Too often we are viewed as pitiable, pathetic and devoid of desire. We could never be “sluts.” If we are “lucky enough” to have partners, they get congratulations and pats on the back from strangers when they “take us out” in public. People applaud their generosity and selflessness for taking care of us, assuming they get nothing in return (certainly not sex or satisfying intimate connections). People imagine we are loved “in spite of” our disabilities rather than for all the other things we are. We struggle to find doctors who will monitor our pregnancies and help deliver our babies because it’s “dangerous” for us to be mothers.”—
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Saturday that part of his immigration policy would be to build an electrified fence on the country’s border with Mexico that could kill people trying to enter the country illegally.
Also just read your post about those two twins - the bit about Daniel getting more abuse because he was 'pretending to be white' was awful. I often feel that way when people find out I'm Jewish, I'm suddenly very 'ethnic' and an immigrant to a country, but until you find out I just look 'plain old white'.
Thanks for your note and reading the posts. It’s interesting the history of what is considered ‘white’ in the Western Hemisphere. The Italians and Arabs [even ‘black Arabs’] for instance until very recently were not considered white and now they are in the USA. It might very well in trying to keep the USA a ‘white’ nation. In fact race as we now know it, which is largely based on skin color, started in the USA. [I might be recalling that piece of information wrongly feel free to correct me] Before ethnicity, nationality and tribes were used as a means of identification. There’s a great PBS piece called: RACE - The Power of an Illusion they have some great interactive exercises and clips.
As for your sentiment, thank you for sharing it. Many of my friends who could pass as white want to continue passing as white. To be ethnic makes you politically charged, a symbol and no longer a human-being independent of a group.
This blog’s mission is to bring out the ‘ethnic’ side of even the whitest mainstream stereotypical American. To bring out the ‘other’ that resides in all of us and be able to look at it straight in the face, converse with it and, dare I say it?, identify with it with pride.
Bless you and hope you continue enjoy and learn from the blog with us in the future.
I have yet to feel connected to the Occupy Wall Street movement, or even the Occupy Boston movement happening here in my backyard. I consider myself an activist, an at-times radical, and I clearly feel passionately about advocating for voices unheard and on the margins. But, Occupy Wall Street hasn’t appealed to me. There has been a lot of coverage as to why people of color, and Natives in particular, are having mixed emotions about this whole movement—and I agree with a lot of those sentiments. But I even have issues with the language and images being used to represent the Nativepresence in the movement. I’m not easily pleased, apparently.
I hope you would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you – that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless ‘-isms’ of do-gooders claiming to be building a “more just society,” a “better world,” a “land of freedom” on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your building anything on our land – never mind an entire society.
I agree completely. But, being the person that I am, I also feel the need to deconstruct images and language—I’ve got a critical filter that can’t be turned off. So let’s look at the image above, the one that’s being widely used to “complicate” the Occupy Wall Street narrative.
This image (which I can’t find the original source for, so please send it over if anyone knows), was shared far and wide on Facebook, and even made it to the Indian Country Today article that quotes Jess’s piece. From my ventures around the internets, this seems to be “the” image used to push back on the narratives of colonialism in the OWS movement.
But, in my opinion, this image only serves to further stereotype Native people and present mis-information about the land which is currently being double-occupied. We’ve got the red and black motif, the Edward Curtis stoic Indian warrior with the eagle feather and buckskin—who’s clearly from a Plains community, with a buffalo, an arrowhead, and a red power fist. Reads like a list of “10 things to include to make it recognizably Indian.”
Yes it acknowledges Wall St. is on “occupied Algonquin land”—but one problem: Manhattan is Lenape land. So we’ve got the stereotypical Plains imagery to represent a movement that is taking place on the East Coast. Everyone already forgets that there are Nations and Indigenous Peoples in the East, and this just continues to marginalize and erase their ongoing presence in their homelands.
Luckily, I’ve come across some posters that do a better job at representing the issue:
This at least has a Lenape woman (Jennie Bob, picture from 1915), and I like that the message is clear at the bottom: “Occupied since 1625”—because, let’s be honest, I really don’t think a lot of non-Native people even know what “decolonize” means, which makes it easier for them to dismiss the underlying issues. But, it’s still a historic photo, which could be argued puts the issue in the past. I still like it way more than the original (again, if you know the source, let me know).
This poster comes from Oakland, and I like the juxtaposition of the current Oakland skyline with the Ohlone tribal member. No Plains warrior here.
If this movement is serious about confronting the foundational assumptions of the current U.S. system, then it must begin by addressing the original crimes of the U.S. colonizing system against indigenous nations. Without addressing justice for indigenous peoples, there can never be a genuine movement for justice and equality in the United States. Toward that end, we challenge Occupy Denver to take the lead, and to be the first “Occupy” city to integrate into its philosophy, a set of values that respects the rights of indigenous peoples, and that recognizes the importance of employing indigenous visions and models in restoring environmental, social, cultural, economic and political health to our homeland.
Lulululu’s to that. If every “Occupy” City began with that foundation, I sure as heck would be out there with my signs and warrior-activist attitude. But you know I’d be breaking up some faux-“Indian” drum groups along the way. Appreciation without appropriation, folks! geez.
So what do you think? Is it more important to disrupt the narrative with images that non-Native folks already recognize and resonate with? or are the images like the “Decolonize” poster doing more harm than good? And what do you think about Occupy Denver?
“When people like my mama have asked to be compensated for the building of a nation that these young, White hipsters demand justice and assistance from, they have been not only denied, but ridiculed. There is a certain amount of volcanic rage that I feel coursing through my veins when I consider what that says. I am angry that they have a voice. I am angry that they have a choice. I am angry that an entire nation of citizens, obviously unlike myself, have told me and continue to tell me that I should stop whining. I am sick to fucking death of my struggle being mocked while the struggles of others are given sympathy and accolades.”—
I admire all grass roots movements and believe them to really be the ways towards change. I can’t knock the hustle, family. A friend commented earlier that nothing ever changes until White folk struggle. My grandma used to say that when Whites have to tighten their belts we are usually already naked. Until there is some sort of universal poverty against which we all are struggling, how can we build? The emergence of a class struggle can only exist when those in the differing classes begin on some semblance of equal footing.
Gosh, please go read the whole thing (it’s not long).
“I saw a mother whose child died on the train and had to bury him on the Mexican side of the border before continuing her journey. I saw rapes, I saw murders. Knowing that I was doing this for my son gave me strength and hope to keep going. Now he’s a grown-up, God bless him, and we are together.”—Migrants ride ‘the Beast’ from Mexico to the US (via caraobrien)
The federal government wants immigrants to provide upfront evidence that they’re fluent in one of Canada’s two official languages when they submit citizenship applications.
Ottawa is requesting comments on its proposal to require prospective immigrants to prove they have a Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4, in either English or French.
A notice says the proposed change would not increase the language level required for citizenship but would provide officials and judges with “objective evidence of an applicant’s language ability.”
Current citizenship regulations require applicants to make and understand basic spoken statements and questions in past, present and future tenses.
However, the Canada Immigration Service website acknowledges language abilities have been assessed by citizenship officials “inconsistently.”
Language capabilities are currently assessed through a multiple-choice written test which also checks applicants’ knowledge of Canada and citizenship responsibilities.
“The written test is an inadequate proxy for assessing language as it does not adequately assess listening and speaking skills, which are the essential language skills for effective communication with fellow Canadians and for effective integration,” says the notice.
Applicants are referred for an interview with a citizenship judge if they fail the written test or if their speaking or listening abilities are flagged by citizenship officials.
The notice calls the process inefficient and says it contributes to processing backlogs.
The proposed regulations aim to strengthen the “integration of newcomers by improving language outcomes and encouraging their full participation in Canadian society,” says the notice.
It would also streamline the application process and reduce administrative burdens, it says.
“Furthermore, requiring evidence of language ability would provide citizenship judges, who are the decision-makers on citizenship applications, with additional objective evidence on which to base their decisions.”
People have 30 days to comment on the proposed regulatory changes.
My silence was never meant to betray you; I just never thought it defined the person that I am… It’s important for me to share this with you. I’ve had a hard time sleeping ever since I left Jacksonville…
I was eleven when I first came to America. It was 1989. It’s hard to describe how the…