It’s lonely on this Moral Mountain
For those among us who are proficient in Spanish, as well as in the Non-Minority Community, understanding each other requires that we talk to each other, not only in English but in Spanish. Otherwise, Respect, Decency, and Graciousness cannot be adequately reciprocated. Now, if you speak English and Spanish as well as either German or French, for example, consider this your “get out of jail” free card, since you already know what I am going to say..
More so, if we are to understand that America in the future will become a nation of ethnicities, such as German American, or Irish American, or French American, as well as Chileno American, Peruvian American and etcetera. And the cynic would suggest that the mother tongue for all of us would be money! And I much prefer the School of Great Sex. From either standpoint, the onset for our national effort for establishing “trilingualism” in the classroom, will teach us much about each other and as well as through our respective languages and the attendant cultures. From therein, our minor differences will be found and addressed, while adding to our ‘connectedness’ to each other. Consequently, all speaking accents will be welcomed in the classroom. As such, there is no other way to accomplish this, in lieu of failing to communicate effectively and efficiently. Technology will not help nor will a political reliance on the out-dated dogma for an ideology that has been the premise of our past actions, will not expand the decision-making table for all the participants engaged in our public discourse and who merit a chair at this table. Thus, new Ideas are required as well as the reorganization of our institutions, and done in a manner where the Right is required to re-evaluate its existing behavior, and even when some of these behaviors are beneath contempt, nonetheless.
Therefore, permit me to address one Big Idea, let alone the remaining nine that resonate all across our Spanish-speaking community. And perhaps, these remaining Nine will be addressed at some future date.
Over at the political blog on the internet and aptly named, Tapped, Gabriel Arana–an excellent writer to boot, has written an interesting essay on immigration, and titled, “The Immigration Enforcement Trap”, and of course, I recommend that you take the time to read his effort since it’s worthwhile. And having another voice offering a differing perspective, adds much to the ongoing public discourse, and hopefully, leading to even greater “intellectual vigor” that has been missing in action.
I thought I would respond to and refute some of what he has written and done in a manner that speaks to the historical perspective for our Spanish-speaking political engagement and not just on immigration reform, although immigration reform is ‘targeted’ here and done from our perspective here in the Sonoran Desert. Thus, the many voices add to the ‘conversation’, and which creates even more ‘gravitas’ and needless to say on my part, our readers have differing opinions and which creates the much-needed “intellectual vigor” that is necessary and which reaches far beyond the emotional content normally found in this public debate. To wit, we all have our daily experiences and which illuminates our opinions and ideas, and which animates our first and foremost Big Idea and that being our Human Rights Agenda and which we installed back in the days of the Carter Administration and authored by both, then Arizona’s Governor Raul Castro and the spouse of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King. Human Rights is this anchor to which we adhere to, despite the misplaced or under-appreciated value found in the Non-Minority Community and relative to a torture schematic, notwithstanding that which has visited our ancestors for having been here for well over 50,000 years. And despite this generic misperception, Democracy is not new to us.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Spanish-speaking military veterans were the backbone of politics in our respective communities, and thusly, leadership of politics was all-encompassing the Moral Mountain was required to beestablished and defended against all comers in the public arena, and relative to self-governance, from civil rights, human rights, equal opportunity in employment, and to adequate and fair housing, labor law, and consumer protections, while knowing full well that white collar crime did more damage to our respective communities of self-interest than could be conjured up by an undocumented immigrant or a group of undocumented immigrants. Yet, not much mention has ever been made that Spanish-speaking military veterans from World War One were also deported to Mexico and to all points South of the Rio Grande during World War Two. And yet, we don’t forget our history since it’s contrary to our self-interest while we are attempting to advance Progress forward. More to this salient point, we are not Lucy and the proverbial football and to be utilized as the strategic and tactical “wedgie” that the Democrats are inordinately fond of doing to us, despite today’s politically and enhanced environment for espousing this egregious toxicity. Simply put, it’s unacceptable to us since pandering or unrequited promises, is an insult delivered to us by political amateurs.
Furthermore, in the 1960s and 1970s, Spanish-speaking military veterans correctly transferred the baton of leadership onto the non-military-experienced Chicano and which was readily accepted, and these decisions were made in the halls of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. For in doing so, greater community engagement in the political, social and economic arenas, increased ten-fold and this decision taken independently of any political parties, has been proven to be both intuitive and propitious as well as prescient for the long term in achieving and protecting the gains recently made. Or until Arizona’s state legislature and the Governor’s Office demonstrated their inherent “nationalism” that has proven itself to be outside the political norm, and as seen objectively from our Spanish-speaking perspective. Consequently, one easily understands that this nationalism, is defined by hate and ignorance, and this identifies a regressive agenda while attempting to save the “white Legacy” from the hordes that are espousing integration and diversity. Equally important, the code talk for “ethnic chauvinism” is becoming mainstream again and which reminds me of the 1960’s political jargon that has been updated for today’s usage. And like sartorial changes, political jargon changes and reinvents itself as well. Nothing is discarded but lives for another day.
Moreover, nationalism seems to remain de guerre in today’s context. And yet, if one harkens back to the 1960s, being reminded that J.Edgar Hoover dumped the Plan de Aztlan and as a nationalist document, into the Spanish-speaking community and which helped craft the Right’s recurring theme of a ‘reconquita’ and defined in a manner where the states that comprise the Southwest will be returned to the Republic of Mexico and with the logical result being that the Spanish-speaking community would be advancing this secessionist behavior. Therefore, the onerous burden was placed onto our community for all time, or so this thinking goes. Not so, of course, but then, thks burden was never ours, neither to inflict nor to reject. Well, this short history of fifty years has proven the nationalists wrong when it comes to accessing and utilizing the levers of power for driving Progress forward. Inadvertently, this use of nationalism caused a blowback in our politics and to the point of introducing the La Raza Unida Party into a platform for our nationalistic pushback and which contained one sizable difference, and that being the “Grito de Crystal” and in recognition and acknowledgement that the Japanese Americans were repatriated out of the Latin America Region via the long reach of our nation’s intelligence community and ultimately accomplished by the FBI during World War Two. Therefore, our fellow citizens of Japanese ancestry became internees and were warehoused in Crystal City, Texas. To wit, the Spanish-speaking community did not lose its “decency” but amplified Decency. Thusly, today, the political Right’s use of nationalism has a new tone but not a new intent or a new lexicon. It’s Hate and Ignorance personified and amplified.
But too many voters having a Brown Skin, is the continuing basis for this traditional fear among the non-minority–a fear that this is being made public and where respect, decency, and gracious, is being rejected and exemplified, as well. Consequently, a political majority that imbues our Democracy and where Arizona will soon become a majority minority state in the approximate time frame of five years or there about, is an apparent and daunting experience to have to undergo if you’re a member of the non-minority community. Thus, a last gasp effort is being made by the political Right in order to protect itself from the hordes of the Spanish-speaking and in which our Spanish-speaking community continues to be adamant in its espousal for a more ‘righteous’ Democracy that underpins or which under girds our belief in Equality and as it pertains to the Rule of Law and for the religious icons of a Higher Order.
In today’s toxicity that denigrates our political arena, as Hispanics, we are not overtly recognized as being “politically sophisticated” but I disagree and somewhat adamantly with this notional. To wit, the Republican Party attempts on a daily basis, to dehumanize with words and laws to those whom disagree with their beliefs and views, and that’s understandable but not acceptable. And more to the point, how can one genuflect at the altar of such beliefs and views when the Republican Party is representative of a failed self-governance systemic and leading to the denigration of the Constitution, a War of Choice, an established Torture Systemic, and an economic collapse not seen the Great Depression. Of course, I did not ask for this, but I was on the receiving end, and so, when, I posit that white America turned itself into a society for the criminally stupid, I can relate.
In contrast, the Democrats have not proven themselves to be much better but the scorecard has yet to crafted or completed. Thus, being in “holding pattern” or until such time as the Republican Party regains control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, seems to be the predicament facing the Democrats in their supplication to the architects of Plutonomy and announced by CitiCorp and which is one of many adherents to this worldly view. And the question being asked in our Spanish-speaking community is, “Will the Democrats jettison this Game Plan and the attendant behaviors of a supplication to these Architects?”
Now, to my refutation of Gabriel Arana’s important and well distilled voice as evidenced in his article and titled, “The Immigration Enforcement Trap”.
Years ago, I wrote extensively on immigration reform and done from the standpoint that in order to codify into our existing law for immigration reform, an effective and efficient construct would be required, and thusly, a five-year time frame and six stand-alone pieces of legislation, and if successful, could be codified into law. Otherwise, we would be revisiting the issue of immigration periodically or at an approximate increment for each of twenty years in order to advance Progress even further given our role in the international arena. And in this overall effort, I articulated this Construct to consist of the following:
1. Prioritizing the Beneficiaries for Achieving the Naturalization Objective.
2. The Naturalization Process.
3. Adjusting the National Free Trade Systemic
4. The Evolution of Trans-National Technology Centers for Local Governments
5. The Self-Limiting Engagement of Local Law Enforcement in Immigration Reform.
6. Employer Sanctions and Penalties.
Now, permit me to address just Element 1 of this Construct. The other remaining Elements will be addressed, and perhaps, done at some point in the future.
As Spanish-speaking military veterans, and given that our community’s Moral Mountain has been bestowed onto us and of course, this responsibility is to protect and defend this Moral Mountain. And given our history, we are indeed, up to this challenge and have been doing so for all these many years.
However, there is one difference and as reflected viz a viz in our Indigenous History. As you recall from memory and if your history has been correctly delivered and acquired for understanding this history, the largest societal system in this hemisphere is and has been the Yaqui and which resides on both sides of the Arizona-Sonoran border. The Aztecs were a subset of the Yaqui or were until they were ostracized for their egregious behavior that exemplified murder, rape and slave ownership. This warrior society was encouraged to move further south and they did and into what are in today’s lexicon, the central plains of Mexico or Mexico City and the surrounding geography. Today, our Extended Family is now returning home and to our all-embracing familial arms and done in the form of these Undocumented Immigrants. As such, the historical past did not contain any societal strictures on migratory patterns and which have been incorporated into today’s ideology and there from into our contentious public debate that is immigration reform.
As military veterans, we start our Argumentation from the standpoint of our “littlest citizens”. These are kids born in the United States and to Undocumented Immigrants, or more precisely, our Extended Family. And since their parents have been rounded-up by ICE, these “littlest citizens” have been repatriated with the familial intactness to their parents’ Nation of Origin. Now to the big question! “Are our “littlest citizens” living in hovels, failing to access decent health care, a less than stellar opportunity for experiencing a qualitative and quantitative educational experience, and equally important, are these kids undergoing the lack of three square meals-a-day, and if so, what is our responsibility to these kids, our ‘littlest citizens’?” In the mean time, I would remiss in failing to mention that the taxpayers in these Nations of Origin are paying the due bill for these kids because we have been absent in addressing the ‘unmet needs’ of our Littlest Citizens. And if I were to ask our ask our Elected and Appointed Officials what they expect to do to repair this damage, their historic and cavalier dismissal, speaks eloquently for even more abject neglect being delivered. Thus, the ‘uglies’ and the ‘crazies’ take center stage on immigration reform.
And I am mindful of this abject neglect. The recent effort by organized labor to advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act or commonly known as Card Check, would go a long way in reducing the migratory pattern of the Undocumented Immigrant, especially if Congress approved Card Check and followed up with inserting Card Check into NAFTA and all associated Free Trade Agreements. In doing so, means that foreign governments would have to relinquish sole-ownership of all organized labor unions and labor efforts in order to ‘disconnect’ from this government control. Of course, the in-country oligarchies would be in high dungeon for having to see that more amenable elected officials start addressing the labor needs of the employees in the wide array of industries in these respective nations of origin. And with increasing wages and salaries, the parents of our Littlest Citizens, would be able to expect a more prosperous future. Consequently, Card Check would reinforce the overall efforts for immigration reform. But this is not going to occur since organized labor is unable “to see” the larger picture. And yet, the Spanish-speaking community has a rich history for supporting organized labor. Sadly, this behavior is just another irony in a long series of ironies fraught with human disaster.
I am for all intent and purpose, an Optimist and thusly, I continue to reject the Pessimism and Cynicism and which accurately identifies the leadership in the Democratic Party, and especially in the Senate and in the White House. And I come to my Optimism from our national historical behavior for Congress running several pieces of legislation simultaneously, and yet, this leadership team continues to refuse to do so and done with no logical explanation for their inherent and political laziness. Consequently, I refuse to be pandered to by my fellow Democrats in both chambers in Congress and at the White House. As such, I want results and not supplication to the political opposition and in which said opposition would have me working for less-than-minimum wage if given the opportunity.
In closing, I am still contending with the overt propaganda that I find “above the fold” in the local newspapers and in the mainstream news outlets. To wit, there are 640,000 undocumented immigrants are in Arizona? And yet, the political cognoscenti at the state capitol fully understand that the number is far less than pontificated by the pundits on the Right for expressing themselves to the media. Of course, this sizable number is simply a “guesstimate” given that none of these pundits speak Spanish nor have the ability to find for themselves the “unassailable facts”. But by telling this un-Truth, it sells newspapers and coalesces eyeballs to the televisions screen throughout the nation. Now, if I were called to ‘fact check’ these un-facts, I would suggest that in our Spanish-speaking community, a far less number than one-in-a-hundred persons are Undocumented Immigrants or more precisely, our Extended Family Members. And this can be easily verified by speaking to the next-door neighbor of the “gente fina” class.
So, if you are a non-military veteran and do deem yourself to be of our “gente fina” class, feel free to join me up here on this Moral Mountain. Together, we will defend the perimeter and against comers and cons, political and otherwise.
And being that today is Cinco de Mayo, pardon my impertience for reaching out for a cold one.