5/1/2013 2:29:23 PM
By Barney Blakeney
I try to avoid writing about subjects in the national arena. There’s enough stuff going on in my local community to focus on. But I’ve found that many communities are microcosms of the national community. A lot of the stuff that is pertinent on the local level also is pertinent on the national level.
Like immigration reform. I’ve never given the discussion a lot of credibility because I think we’re all illegal immigra?nts except for the descendants of the native people indigenous to this land.
I hate to call them indians. Not only is that not what they call themselves, but the name infers such ignorance. Supposedly Christopher Columbus thought he was in India, hence the name.
When I was a freshman in college, my roommate had a couple of Dick Gregory albums on which Gregory talked about many subjects. I usually missed my 8 a.m. math class after staying up half the night listening to Gregory talk about Black folks in America.
I got most of my college education in darkened dormitory rooms learning Jazz, P-Funk, Modern Rock and the revolutionary rhythms of The Last Poets. Those nights, as much as any other class I took, prepared me for what I do now.
I remember on one of Gr‹egory’s albums, he asked how Columbus could discover a land that already was inhabited. People who already had been in this land hundreds of years watched those europeans get off their boats.
Sometimes I think they should have forced those europeans back onto their boats. It sure would have saved Africans a lot of suffering.
Most scholars say earlier europeans, Norsemen, came here before Columbus. And some even think Africans visited these shores before the Norsemen.
My point is we’re all immigrants to this land - even the indigenous people who crossed long-submerged land bridges.
Knowing this, I find the debate about immigration reform somewhat hypocritical.
Forget about “give me you tired, your downtrodden” or whatever tfhe phrase is written on the Statue Of Liberty. When it comes to sharing America’s stolen wealth, the government gets real picky about who’s allowed in this country these days.
I know there are some practical issues that must be considered about immigration reform. Last week several groups held a press conference to highlight the need to pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship while promoting civil rights and liberties.
But the folks who run this country are looking at dollars and cents. And as the old saying goes, if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.
I read something recently where the writer was saying that in the immigration reform debate, everybody except Black folks are involved in the discussion. Black folks really should be talking about immigration because they will be most adversely affected.
While the Black intelligentsia aËre talking about economics and civil liberties, under the shade trees and on porches Black folks are concerned that immigrants will take away jobs. Of course, some also are saying they don’t care about immigration because brothers and sisters aren’t willing do the jobs immigrants will perform anyway.
I’m thinking immigration reform will have consequences beyond who makes beds at the hotel downtown, cuts the grass for commercial landscapers or provides construction labor.
If you think Black folks are going to jail in disproportionate numbers now, wait until this immigration thing kicks in! Even the Keystone pipeline won’t challenge the pipeline to prison. But I ain’t mad at immigrants.
I’ve got a partner in Washington, D.C. who speaks despicably about Hispanics. This is a brother who always has been a champion for Black folks. I can’t understand why he doesn’t see that those people also are an exploited group looking for a way out.
All in all, I’m thinking liberal immigration reform would be best for America. That’s if America is to live up to its own hype. Sure there will be challenges to our way of life, but those challenges only will be pronounced if we continue to force square pegs into round holes.
The world is changing. America also will have to change. Some nations with open borders, which aren’t run by greedy, selfish thieves like those who who run America, are getting it right. we just have to push our lawmakers to do what’s right for our nation rather than their special interests.