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The Melting Pot Calling the Kettle Black

July 4th, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

We’re all of us squatting on stolen land. Recipients and beneficiaries of an economic tour de force first made possible by the forced labor of imported Africans. Today, we have sweatshops building our consumer goods, and immigrants working for next-to-nothing manning our fields.

When slavery is illegal, cheap labor becomes the name of the game.

This is gated community USA, we’ll militarize and erect fences on our borders, keep out all those nonwhite undesirables — that is, unless they’ve come to clean our floors or pick our strawberries. All this rampant xenophobia made possible through the forced forgetting of our own history.

We’re all of us illegal immigrants, violators of treaties, destroyers of culture.

We’re all of us illegal immigrants, violators of treaties, destroyers of culture.

Remember how Columbus had babies’ heads bashed on rocks, how he ordered mass hangings of indigenous peoples? Remember Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears or the massacre at Wounded Knee? How about James Polk and the annexation of the southwestern U.S. from Mexico? A collective history of displaced peoples.

So it’s ironic this land of opportunity, this melting pot, is now bubbling with fear of illegal aliens.

This tarnished beacon of tolerance and freedom is making sure its monoculture won’t be subverted. We’ve always been afraid of those who arrive late in this illegally acquired America. There was the Know Nothing Party’s fear of the Irish-Catholics, the Chinese Exclusion act and the Asiatic Barred Zone. The forced interment of the Japanese during WWII. Even some Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis were turned away, sent back to their deaths in concentration camps — anti-Semitism run rampant among captains of industry.

But if you are desperate and willing to work, the U.S. Corporatocracy will find ways to use you up then throw you away.

In 1942 it was called the Bracero Program. Temporary Mexican manual laborers were used to replace American workers fighting in WWII. And when we didn’t need them anymore, in 1954 Operation Wetback began rounding them up for deportation.

Now, we’ll call it a “guest-worker” program.

Immigration policies will continue to be ineffective so long as we refuse to target the root of the problem: the predominantly white business owners who would rather take advantage of poor Latinos than pay American citizens a decent, living wage. These modern day equivalents of plantation owners, these architects of failed trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA, are intent on maintaining inflated salaries reliant upon black-market labor.

It’s time the racist vigilantes patrolling our Southern border take note — the real criminals reside on Wall Street.

Tags: Opinion · · ·

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