Latinos Die While America Turns Her Back

Based on their numerical presence in the U.S. armed forces, Latinos are over represented on the list of those killed in action. The Pentagon figures also show that Latinos represent 17.5 percent of soldiers in ground-combat positions, even though they are just 12% of the U.S. population.

While Latino soldiers are dying thousands of miles away in order to defend our freedoms, and a higher percentage of our young men have stepped up to protect this country, we back home are doing our best to terrorize Latino immigrants.

And if that's not enough to make decent Americans burn with anger, how about this gem: One of the first deaths recorded after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was that of Marine Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, a 22-year-old native of Guatemala who was not a U.S. citizen.

While I applaud President Bush's executive order to lift the label of "illegal" off of the memory of those fallen soldiers without papers, it is equally wrong to dehumanize people back home by labelling them as "illegals" and terrorizing them simply because they're seeking to provide the labor that American nationals and American companies demand.

We will look back on this period in American history as one of national shame.

Thanks to Hispanic Tips for this bit of unfortunate news.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/15/2007

    It is unlikely that the American Collective can or will feel any national shame for the way today’s immigrants are being treated. Evidence for this statement can be found by looking at yesteryear’s era of Immigration: Where is the shame for the ways that Irish and Italian immigrants were treated? These groups also died in disproportional numbers in WWI and WWII.

    The American Collective has a very strong history of ignoring shame, or plain not feeling it. For example, where is the national shame that we should feel regarding 1) the genonocide of Native Americans; 2) the enslavement of African Americans; 3) the travesty of the Jim Crow South; 4) the continued discrimination of women, queer-peoples, the fat, the ugly and the poor?

    As for the first 3 examples, America has shown that it can quickly develop a “color blind” society in which the racial injustice that is directed at groups is coupled with an ideology of individualism – where the solutions for injustices remain wholly located at the individual level: After all, “Condy Rice made it, Clarence Thomas made it, Opera Winfery… If you just try hard (like they did), you can make it too!.”

    To the extent that an individual fails to “make it” we can be sure they didn’t try hard enough or chose to fail. Ultimately, the American Collective entertains “culture of Poverty” arguments: These immigrants have a culture of “breaking the law” (They illegally came here). These illegals have culture of “poor education” (the drop out of high school and continue to speak Spanish), these poorly educated underachievers have “High fertility” (they have way too many kids, way to early), these people have a culture of dependency once they get here (They use our welfare, education, and medical services).

    This is the mentality that permeates the models of reality that most native Blacks and Whites have in their minds for themselves and for Hispanic-Latino immigrants. This mentality makes it entirely justifiable not to feel shame; shame for the social inequities experienced in education, healthcare, the criminal “justice”-system and the IRAQ-related mortality rates.

    For those that are expecting an apology or admission of guilt, that would only ever come long after everyone currently alive is dead. Only long after the grandchildren of those treated unjustly have had the repercussions of the injustices reverberate throughout their family history. Only after its potential to heal is long expired.

    Americans don’t feel shame; instead, they feel angry at victims who cause their own suffering for having made “poor personal choices.” The sooner we can realize this is a major and dominant feature of American culture, the sooner we can all stop being shocked as to the inhumanness of the National Spirit.

    I would like to suggest a book for anyone interested seriously in understanding Today’s Mexican Immigraiton “Fiasco.” “SMOKE AND MIRRORS” By Douglass S. Massey.