Return of the Goose Step

@copyright 2010, Karla Fetrow

Editor’s note:  The David is a regular contributor whose commentaries sometimes strikes home with me in some very sensitive areas.  One of those sensitivities is racism.  With a thriving indigenous population, I often find it difficult to imagine the stagnancy of  a social complex that still indulges in racial discrimination.  While still in the throes of this indignation, I commented on The David’s submission with the above photograph, and asked the question: is the young bride to the left Mexican, Hispanic by other descent or Mid-Eastern?

She is none of the above.  Ardis Minter is half-white, half Northern American Native.  Her ancestors have been here far longer than those who proudly wave the flag of American Colonialism.  She tells me that in a visit to the Continental United States, she was asked if she was Mexican, Hispanic, Muslim, even Japanese, but never once was she asked if she was Native American.  This leaves me to wonder about the state of affairs for the Native community in the Continental US.  Are they ignored, unseen, classified and dismissed as immigrants?  Do they really need proof of their citizenship and residency in the United States?  How will this effect naturalized citizens; children born out of the US but by American citizens?  Will they be next on the list of unacceptable patriots?

I think there can be nothing more disturbing in the current social trends than the tendency to begin racial profiling.  I’d like to thank The David very much for his commentary.  What is beautiful should never be defined by color.  What is human should never be associated with race.

By The David

Another step has been taken in Arizona’s quest to become the most bigoted State in this Union of ours. The Governor, Jan Brewer, as most of us know, supported and signed into law a piece of legislation that for the first time in modern memory allows the police in a North American State to ask for and check a person’s “papers.” In other words, if you are stopped for a traffic violation, the police might not only ask for your driver’s license and registration, but without cause they would be able to ask for your proof of citizenship or legal residency. This can be done without cause and on just the officer’s suspicion.

If you are Caucasian, you need not worry because the chances are very good that you will not be “suspected” unless your surname is Hispanic in origin. But if you are brown, or are a person of color you would have every reason to be concerned.

This is a law that we have all become familiar with, and it is another beam in the political structure that so badly polarizes citizens of the United States. It is, in my opinion an odious law, and I cringe when I hear people campaigning for the nomination for Governor or the Senate in other States saying that they want to import this law into their home states, and using scare tactics to justify their stance. I cringe.

Apparently there are those in Washington who have also done some cringing, and are seeking an injunction that would prevent this law from being enforced on the grounds that Immigration Laws are the responsibility of the Federal Government…. not the State Governments. If all goes well, this may put that law away, at least until those behind it can think of a new method that will be justified by the demonization of immigrants… both those who have gone through legal channels and those that have entered without papers.

Even if the law is deemed to be null and void, it will not close the door on a very real problem that has reared its monstrous head. In vilifying the immigrant, Arizona has opened a portal for the hate groups to not only assemble, but to become a force in their State. Patrols by “citizen” groups have been on the increase. These groups are made up of people who are, for the most part, untrained. They are also heavily armed.The prevalence of these groups and, to some degree their acceptance has led to the further degradation of our society in the form of one or more Neo-Nazi groups whose presence has been made more respectable by the passage and, it seems, popularity in some quarters, of the law in question.

A particularly offensive group that is gaining strength in Arizona is known to follow the political line of the National Socialist Party. They are heavily armed and supervised by a person who boasts of his belief that only white, heterosexual Christians have the right to be citizens and share in the promise of these golden shores, and all others should leave willingly or be deported by force. One wonders if boxcars are a part of this group’s “solution” to what they perceive as the problem.

The open sore, represented by these people is being allowed to suppurate and fester on the borderland between Arizona and Mexico. Law enforcement is aware of them, but so far the word is that they have not “broken any laws.” There is no prohibition for the wearing of fatigues, gas masks and body armor. There is no law against assault weapons. Assault weapons are protected by the Constitution…. the right to bear arms. Just ask the NRA.

Can a movement of this kind be stopped, or is it too late? All people have a right to their beliefs, but is the demonization of any group, be they immigrants , Jewish, persons of color, or homosexuals any better than shouting fire in a crowded theatre? Does not such demonization lead to hate and fear, and those emotions to violence against the demonized?

Is it not the responsibility of all of those who still believe in the equality and the worth of all peoples to take a stand against what is happening in Arizona, and to protest its incursion when candidates introduce this harbingers of hate into their campaigns for our votes? Can we stop it? Or, do we wait for the next shoe to drop?

11 Comments on “Return of the Goose Step”

  1. I think that most people in the US think that we already killed off all the Native American aliens .. it is too embarrassing to think how we worked for years to eradicate them, taking away their culture; their traditions, outlawing and killing those who opposed, and finally placing them on reservations so they would/could not pollute our America … they are not part of the America of today or anytime since we landed and brought smallpox here .. during the recent Supreme Court conformation hearing on Elena Kagan, the Republicans hounded her on her work with Thurgood Marshall .. how he almost ruined the Court, and the country, with his judicial activism .. and no one seemed bothered by that. Desegregation and voting rights, it seems were never really gonna happen, and the conservative’s believe all this fuss over the slaves hurt peaceful white Americans … like the Natives, blacks still remain a thorn in the body politic of America, with all this special privileges like poverty and disproportionate heath issues like that offensive skin color .. How many times will a 6th generation Mexican Americans have to be stopped before one reacts in a way that “forces” the establishment to shoot him/her because of his/her attitude ?? How dare he/she be offended … BTW I love the opening by Grainne on this piece, I am sure David will too …

    As always David an important issue, honestly and thoughtfully presented ..

  2. [QUOTE]Can a movement of this kind be stopped, or is it too late? [/QUOTE]

    In my opinion, the latter – the horse has already left the barn, so there’s no point in closing the door now. I suggest that you quit thinking about reforming society and start thinking about surviving its imminent collapse.

  3. Honestly I thought the young bride looked Welsh. I probably wouldn’t have given her a questioning glance regarding race.

    What Arizona has put in place probably will not stand at this point. However it is dangerous because it sets a precidence and it will most likely be revisited.

    It should be mentioned that the Drug Cartels in Juarez are not doing Mexico or Mexicans any favours right now. Car bombings at the border are only contributing to the fears that white folk seem to have cultivated.

  4. Rich, i’m glad you liked my editor’s comment. It seems peculiar to me that while most people express unhappiness with our present society, moan about the way they’ve been brought up and feel there’s something missing from their lives, they won’t look at the alternatives to their life styles. Native culture has become a deeply ingrained Alaskan culture. It has nothing to do with color. Grainne saw the young lady as Welsh, which is, i think a first for Ardis and i’ll bet she gets a good belly laugh. America used to take pride in calling itself the melting pot, but it let its stew simmer too long. It’s become a paste, without the savoring bites of solid meat, potatoes, carrots, onions and peas. Ideally, a cultural stew isn’t just about understanding or accepting other cultures and blending them into a smooth, tasteless recipe. It’s about absorbing the best of its philosophy and art so that the whole is brimming with flavor. What we set out to destroy could be the very thing that would save us from so much unhappiness.

    We can and should, all learn from each other. The violence at the borders is the direct reflection of a society that has tried for years to make its voice heard but has only been met with repression. The more the US becomes involved in the illegitimate drug war in Mexico, the more fuel there is that gets added to the fire. The more Hispanics and all people of alternative color to white, are discriminated against, the more violence will spread. We can’t ask people to wait like cattle about to be slaughtered while we try to negotiate answers to a problem that should have been resolved ages ago, and which, on the morally acceptable level, should never have existed in the first place.

  5. again Karla, nice writing … I agree totally … but I think that America is in for a very hard 50 years while we re-learn compassion and understanding and compromise, things that politically seem impossible anymore …

  6. David, thanks for this one – it wraps up a lot of the issues and positions regarding immigration which haven’t been voiced as well as they could be.

    Me?

    As I keep telling people of late, most of us barely test our freedoms. You never know you’re in prison unless you try the door.

    It’s amazing to me to see the sheer number of people who are cheerfully willing to say, “We don’t need so many freedoms in a post 9/11 world”, and who believe that it’s all right to lock down the borders, deport anyone whose ‘citizenship’ is in question, and create a ‘citizen militia’ (ostensibly because the Federal government ‘isn’t doing its job’).

    My response to that is, “When they start handing out those armbands, crosses, and crisply-laundered brown shirts, be careful – they haven’t told you the price tag.”

    –W

  7. Karla, your introduction is spot on, and the illustration of the young bride brings it home. Thank you for the very important preamble to my article.

    W.D. you express my ultimate fear.

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