Lady Gaga speaks out against SB 1070 as Sheriff Arpaio sweeps up protestors

From Restore Fairness blog.  As the movement against Arizona’s anti immigration law SB1070 goes stronger, and in light of Federal Judge Susan Bolton’s decision to place a temporary hold on the law, it seems like there is much to celebrate. But the real trigger to Arizona’s law stemmed from programs that continue to exist today that encourage tie ups between federal immigration and local law enforcement, programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities that enforce immigration laws which deny fairness to many.  

There's more...

SNL takes on SB1070. Urgency for reform more than ever.

rom the Restore Fairness blog.

When Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update (at 27 minutes) made fun of Arizona’s new law, it sounds closer to the truth than ever.

This week Arizona signed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country, which would allow the police to demand identification papers from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. I know there are some people in Arizona worried that Obama is acting like Hitler, but can we all agree that there’s nothing more Nazi than saying, `Show me your papers? There’s never been a WWII movie that didn’t include the line, “Show me your papers”. It’s their catchphrase… So heads up Arizona, that’s fascism. I know, I know, it’s a dry fascism, but it’s still fascism.”

Immigration has finally made headline news. Unfortunately it took Arizona to pass a law like SB1070 that effectively mandates racial profiling for the nation to take notice of the mess that the immigration system is in. While mainstream news outlets featured the harsh anti-immigrant bill and its implications on their weekend programming, outraged immigrant rights organizations have upped the ante on mobilizing for comprehensive immigration reform.

As Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070 into law last Friday, thousands of protesters were gathered outside Arizona’s Capitol building in Phoenix, kneeling in prayer and silent protest against the bill. Even after a week of tireless vigils, rallies, petitions and letters urging Governor Brewer to veto the bill, protesters did not give up, mobilizing large-scale rallies in Arizona and around the country through the weekend. It started with Rep. Raul Grijalva calling for an economic boycott of Arizona as a consequence of SB1070, a move which led to the closure of his Tucson and Yuma offices after receiving threats of violence.

I am asking national organizations across this country, civic, religious, of color, unions, women’s organizations, not to have their conferences and conventions in this state, until we rectify this law.

In a massive rally outside the Arizona State Capitol over the weekend, leaders and civil rights activists addressed thousands of protesters about the necessary steps that must be taken to oppose SB1070 on the grounds that it is a direct affront to the civil rights of the people of Arizona. Rep. Raul Grijalva continued his calls for an economic boycott, calling on the Obama administration to oppose the new law by refusing to cooperate with local law enforcement in Arizona saying -

We’re going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we’re going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist law.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez denounced the Obama administration’s inaction on immigration reform and the federal 287(g) program which he held responsible for setting a precedent for Sen. Russell Pearce’s SB1070 law.

Let me just say, every time the federal government said that you can carry out a 287(g) extension, you gave Arizona an excuse to do 1070…Now it is time to say no more excuses, no more enforcement-only actions. It is time to bring about comprehensive immigration reform once and for all.

In New York, Reverend Al Sharpton referred back to the civil rights movement, saying he would organize “freedom walkers” to challenge the Arizona bill.

We will go to Arizona when this bill goes into effect and walk the streets with people who refuse to give identification and force arrest.

President Obama seems to be feeling the pressure, speaking on the pledging his commitment to enlist bipartisan support for reform and seeing its lack as a key reason for the Arizona bill-

Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others.  And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans… if we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano followed suit denouncing the bill on the grounds that-

The Arizona immigration law will likely hinder federal law enforcement from carrying out its priorities of detaining and removing dangerous criminal aliens. With the strong support of state and local law enforcement, I vetoed several similar pieces of legislation as Governor of Arizona because they would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve.

We can only hope that horrific as it is, the anti-immigrant bill has raised the urgency for immigration reform. This pressure will culminate on May 1st when immigrant rights organizations convene rallies in many parts of the country to drive home the urgent need for just and humane immigration reform.

If you are outraged at SB1070 and its overt violation of human rights, write to Governor Brewer and tell her what you think.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

The Ugly American

In my class and place, I did not recognize myself as a racist because I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth. - Peggy McIntosh

As the flames of revolution are being stoked by the loyal opposition, the tea-partiers, and libertines everywhere I think it is interesting to note what issue is at the heart of this fervor. It seems odd to me that when George W. was spending money like a drunken sailor, dismantling the financial regulatory system, and expanding government that these angry mobs were nowhere to be found. So if we strip away the deficit spending, the expansion of government, socialism, radicalism and all of the other red herrings we are left with only a handful of possible issues. I think the largest and most dangerous is the issue that has always been simmering just below the surface in American history. This issue has never gone away but becomes more pronounced during periods of economic uncertainty and general fear by the majority population.

In spite of the great opportunity America presents to the world that people from different countries, races, and religions can live harmoniously together that opportunity has never truly been realized because at our core we are a very tribal nation. We have accepted the false dichotomy that in order for one tribe to prosper another has to decline so during times of economic uncertainty each tribe begins to protect what it perceives as its right to the remaining assets. The problem with this scenario is that it is based on the false premise that we are operating under a truly free market system and of course we are not. The system we are employing is akin to placing magnets on the roulette wheel in Vegas. It is slighted to one group over another already. I believe that a lot of the anger that is being displayed is legitimate. Hell, I’m angry. But I think it is being misplaced.

Instead of focusing on those who are using house money to make extravagant bets and when they win they keep their winnings, but when they lose their loses are being covered by the house, we choose to focus on those who are suffering the same fate as we are. Imagine going to Vegas with 100,000 of someone else’s money and placing bets and if you win you keep all of the winnings, but if you lose the house pays your losses. We are the house and we are paying the winners and the losers. My problem with this round of protests is this. The majority of us are being screwed. The difference is that if you belong to the majority group you are getting lubricant while the rest of us are not, but make no mistake in the morning all of our butts are sore. My question is that if you wake up and your butt is sore and so is mine why would you blame me for what happened. It would seem to me that the logical thing to do would be to find those folks who do not have sore butts and ask them why not.

But the reason this is not happening is because of a little thing we have in this country called “white privilege”. To show how deep this runs in our society imagine if a group of Latinos would show up at an immigration rally armed or a group of blacks would show up at a affirmative action rally strapped what the reaction would be. You see the media and the talking heads debate the appropriateness of the venue of being armed but never that you have an angry mob of armed white folks talking revolution. White folks have an inherent right to be angry when their perceived privilege is threatened and this right goes without question, it is considered patriotic. However, when any other group replicates this behavior it is considered treason and a threat to our security.

What many of these protesters are angry about is not a real threat to America, but a perceived threat to their America”. What is “their America”? It is an America where their tribal right’s supersedes the rights of others. An example of this mentality would be when Pat Buchanan on MSNBC stated publicly that the white man single handedly built this country and that the only contribution of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians was the drag they put on the white man’s progress by living off of the system and abusing the kindness of white folks. Not to mention that the blacks were the cause of the “2nd American Revolution” when the Yankee aggressors took away the “states rights” from the peaceful southerners. To rewrite history in this way is akin to Japan stating that Pearl Harbor was a precursor to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive strikes to prevent the western aggressors from enslaving the peaceful Japanese people.

What we are seeing with these latest protests is that because they are really about maintaining white privilege there will not be a groundswell of support from those who are not white. This is just another example of “the ugly American” truth that we are not ready to put tribal differences aside for the sake of something larger like “country first”. Until we realize that we are all taking it on the chin for the sake of a few who are making out like bandits we will continue this tribal warfare against those whom we have the most in common with. All the while the real culprits will continue laughing all the way to the banks we bailed out in the cars we bought. Is this a great country or what?

Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves. - Author Unknown

The Disputed Truth

The Ugly American

In my class and place, I did not recognize myself as a racist because I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth. - Peggy McIntosh

As the flames of revolution are being stoked by the loyal opposition, the tea-partiers, and libertines everywhere I think it is interesting to note what issue is at the heart of this fervor. It seems odd to me that when George W. was spending money like a drunken sailor, dismantling the financial regulatory system, and expanding government that these angry mobs were nowhere to be found. So if we strip away the deficit spending, the expansion of government, socialism, radicalism and all of the other red herrings we are left with only a handful of possible issues. I think the largest and most dangerous is the issue that has always been simmering just below the surface in American history. This issue has never gone away but becomes more pronounced during periods of economic uncertainty and general fear by the majority population.

In spite of the great opportunity America presents to the world that people from different countries, races, and religions can live harmoniously together that opportunity has never truly been realized because at our core we are a very tribal nation. We have accepted the false dichotomy that in order for one tribe to prosper another has to decline so during times of economic uncertainty each tribe begins to protect what it perceives as its right to the remaining assets. The problem with this scenario is that it is based on the false premise that we are operating under a truly free market system and of course we are not. The system we are employing is akin to placing magnets on the roulette wheel in Vegas. It is slighted to one group over another already. I believe that a lot of the anger that is being displayed is legitimate. Hell, I’m angry. But I think it is being misplaced.

Instead of focusing on those who are using house money to make extravagant bets and when they win they keep their winnings, but when they lose their loses are being covered by the house, we choose to focus on those who are suffering the same fate as we are. Imagine going to Vegas with 100,000 of someone else’s money and placing bets and if you win you keep all of the winnings, but if you lose the house pays your losses. We are the house and we are paying the winners and the losers. My problem with this round of protests is this. The majority of us are being screwed. The difference is that if you belong to the majority group you are getting lubricant while the rest of us are not, but make no mistake in the morning all of our butts are sore. My question is that if you wake up and your butt is sore and so is mine why would you blame me for what happened. It would seem to me that the logical thing to do would be to find those folks who do not have sore butts and ask them why not.

But the reason this is not happening is because of a little thing we have in this country called “white privilege”. To show how deep this runs in our society imagine if a group of Latinos would show up at an immigration rally armed or a group of blacks would show up at a affirmative action rally strapped what the reaction would be. You see the media and the talking heads debate the appropriateness of the venue of being armed but never that you have an angry mob of armed white folks talking revolution. White folks have an inherent right to be angry when their perceived privilege is threatened and this right goes without question, it is considered patriotic. However, when any other group replicates this behavior it is considered treason and a threat to our security.

What many of these protesters are angry about is not a real threat to America, but a perceived threat to their America”. What is “their America”? It is an America where their tribal right’s supersedes the rights of others. An example of this mentality would be when Pat Buchanan on MSNBC stated publicly that the white man single handedly built this country and that the only contribution of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians was the drag they put on the white man’s progress by living off of the system and abusing the kindness of white folks. Not to mention that the blacks were the cause of the “2nd American Revolution” when the Yankee aggressors took away the “states rights” from the peaceful southerners. To rewrite history in this way is akin to Japan stating that Pearl Harbor was a precursor to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive strikes to prevent the western aggressors from enslaving the peaceful Japanese people.

What we are seeing with these latest protests is that because they are really about maintaining white privilege there will not be a groundswell of support from those who are not white. This is just another example of “the ugly American” truth that we are not ready to put tribal differences aside for the sake of something larger like “country first”. Until we realize that we are all taking it on the chin for the sake of a few who are making out like bandits we will continue this tribal warfare against those whom we have the most in common with. All the while the real culprits will continue laughing all the way to the banks we bailed out in the cars we bought. Is this a great country or what?

Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves. - Author Unknown

The Disputed Truth

The Mulch: Peaceful Protests Turn Violent in Copenhagen

By Alison Hamm, Media Consortium Blogger

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop15) turned ugly today when police officers beat back hundreds of demonstrators, including a group of 50 to 100 delegates that were trying to meet with the protesters.

More than 250 people were arrested, including spokespeople for Climate Justice Action (CJA), a global network of NGOs that organized a walkout at the Bella Center today. CJA's spokesperson Dan Glall told Mantoe Phakathi at Inter Press Service that "as a condition for going back to the negotiations, we demand industrialized nations uphold the Kyoto Protocol, commit adequate funds to adaptation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly."

OneClimate has video (below) of today's walkout.

"More than 1,000 people have been arrested, detained and released over the course of the past week,"Jennifer Prediger writes for Grist. "Some were made to sit on freezing sidewalks for six hours in a nasty version of time out. The people who threw rocks and set cars on fire were rightfully detained.  But the droves who were dragged in last night for dancing awkwardly in Christiana?  Seems like overkill to me."

The chaos outside reflects the increasing pressure inside the Bella Center, as delegates turn to the United States and China for leadership in the final days of the summit. Together these countries account for 42 percent of the world's carbon emissions.

In order to finalize a global climate agreement in Copenhagen, both countries need to take a big step forward, as David Doniger and Barbara Finamore report for Grist. For the U.S., this means aid for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people; for China, this means making steady progress to meet the country's carbon reduction goals.

The U.S. has already committed to pay its share of a $30 billion fund to last through 2012. "But to lead in Copenhagen, the U.S. needs to back even larger investments to meet these core needs for the longer-term--2015 or 2020," Doniger and Finamore write. "China has the opportunity to enhance its standing as a responsible world leader by building global confidence in the implementation of its carbon reduction goals."

But as David Corn reports for Mother Jones, China and the U.S. are apparently "stuck in a standoff." An Obama administration official insisted that it's not about the money: "'We have to get the developing nations into an international agreement,' the official said... Yet China has forcefully resisted the idea of incorporating their self-professed emissions goals (essentially, slowing the growth rate of emissions) into a binding agreement. China has also repeatedly said that it will not submit its performance to official outside vetting."

Corn writes, "But with 115 heads of states beginning to arrive, the Copenhagen talks have left some fundamental gaps for the last minute. Even if those gaps are bridged, the resulting agreement could fall far short of what experts say is necessary to redress the dire consequences of rising global temperatures. Just ask the scientists roaming the halls."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Copenhagen today in a last minute appearance. Clinton has booked a full day of meetings on Thursday and will join President Barack Obama in negotiations when he arrives Friday. Like Obama's schedule switch at the conference (he originally planned to be there last week and instead will arrive Friday), Clinton's arrival could indicate the U.S.'s intention to seal a deal by the end of the week.

For live updates of the negotiations and protests, check out The Uptake's live video stream from the Bella Center.

<This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads