What Do You Call a Mexican In Arizona? A Suspect.
May 02, 2010
I am going to do some racial profiling. If you were to ask me what skin color I think the next American to win an Olympic medal for swimming will be, I would say white. If you were to ask me what skin color I think the next person to win an Olympic medal for the 110 meters hurdles will be, I would say black. If you were to ask me what nationality the person behind the counter at my local Dunkin’ Donuts is going to be, I would guess Indian. And if you were to ask me what skin color the next President of the United States will be, well up until Barack Obama, I would have bet on white, but now I have no idea. That mold, thankfully, has been broken pretty much wide open. And if you were to ask me what nationality an illegal alien living in Arizona will be, I would easily bet on Mexican, and so would most people from Arizona. Now do any of my answers make me racist or a bad person? No, they make me a perfectly normal human being because statistically I would be right on all of them. I would love to see any and all of these statistically correct profiles broken and occasionally we do. An example would be Shani Davis, an African American who in Vancouver won both the gold and the silver medals for men’s speed skating at the 2010 Olympics, a sport dominated by Caucasians. And just this year Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director.
But in Arizona a law was passed that, no matter how much certain ultra conservative individuals around this country may want to deny it, guarantees that every Arizona police officer, will have it as his or her duty to question the citizenship of what may be completely innocent legal Mexican Americans, for no other cause then there skin color, facial features and clothing. The law that was passed does not explicitly say anywhere in it that the police must question those that look Mexican, but it contains language that forces a police officer to answer the question of what they believe an illegal alien in Arizona would look like, and statistically I can assure you that their answer will not be a Caucasian, well dressed, blond male or female, driving a convertible BMW through the posh suburbs of Scottsdale. What I can ensure you is that there answer will be based on the same thing that allowed me to easily answer the questions at the beginning of this article, statistics. The problem lies in that it is one thing for me to statistically speculate what race the next person who wins an Olympic sport will be, but it is an other thing to force an individual to prove their legal status and face possible arrest and deportation based solely on their appearance.
The law uses the term “reasonable suspicion.” It states “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States”. The issue is that the law is too vague and does not define what “reasonable suspicion” is. And because of that vagueness, and the fact that statistically it is most likely that an illegal alien in Arizona will be Mexican, in order for a police officer to enforce this law, they must put under suspicion any person who fits the statistically correct definition of an illegal alien in Arizona, or racial profiling. It forces a police officer to violate the civil rights of millions of perfectly legal Mexican Americans living their lives in Arizona and unfairly singles out an entire race of people. If that isn’t the definition of racial discrimination, I don’t know what is.
There is a precedence set for this law being considered lawfully wrong and unacceptable in this country. In 1999, five white police officers, working in the upscale, mostly white suburb of Highland Park Illinois were charges with racial profiling. The charge stated that there boss directed the officers to target minorities for traffic stops. I can tell you on a personal note that at that time I worked with a number of African American individuals who confirmed to me that they had been pulled over in Highland Park and did not violate any traffic rules. They refused to enter this town at that time because they believed it was likely that they would be hassled for no other reason then they were black and they were there. In July of 2000 the case was settled with the help of the ACLU. In the settlement it decreed the following;
“Highland Park police officers will not consider the racial appearance or ethnicity of any civilian in deciding to survey, stop, detain, interrogate, request consent to search or search any civilian unless they are seeking to detain, apprehend, or otherwise be on the lookout for a specific suspect described in part by race or ethnicity when sought in connection with a crime. The Highland Park Police Department will also require officers to report any conduct by other officers who engage in racial profiling.”
The Highland Park police department and their city officials came to understand that racial profiling is wrong and is illegal. Arizona on the other hand has made it state policy. Now don’t get me wrong, we have a definite problem with illegal immigration in this country, and I can understand the state of Arizona being frustrated with the situation since they have to deal with it more than any other state does, but this misguided, illegal and racist law is not the way to deal with the problem. The border is not being patrolled correctly and that needs to change, not just in Arizona, but along the Canadian border as well. This is not only an immigration issue, but also an issue of economics, and national security. But remember, this is not a new issue. This was not dealt with for the eight years of the Bush administration, or the eight years of the Clinton administration, so today it has to be dealt with by the Obama administration. Today we have a president who has promised us change and he needs to show us that he can and will do what past administrations have not, and that is secure our borders and reform our policies on immigration. Maybe this was Arizona’s way of getting our attention and of forcing this issue to be dealt with on a national level. Just remember this, this country was settled by illegal aliens. The Indians never invited us on to their land and fought us every step of the way. They never gave us permission to take their land but we did it any way. And at that time if you were to ask them what they think the skin color will be of the next group of men to take what is there’s, they would say white. And statistically, they would have been right.
Altered States, Thank you for your comments. You made some excellent arguments and really seem to know your history. I couldn't agree with you more. Keep on reading.
Posted by: NorthShoreDad | June 06, 2010 at 09:54 PM
What you say is true but, this occurs every day all over the world. That's just the way things are on planet earth. When "the powers that be" (humans who are currently in control) see something other than what they are, they become suspicious and tend to treat "the other" with hostility.
The "Indians" - as you call them - were at first very hospitable to the white man when he first set foot on the eastern shore of what later became the United States. I've met and talked with several Native Americans and they all say the same thing about the way they accepted the white man. They never should have accepted them at all. They were too trusting and didn't know that the white man was speaking with a "forked tongue".
The American southwest was Native American land but was taken over by the Spaniards who were later displaced by the white man. The Spaniards also took the land now called Central and South America from the native tribes that were living there for centuries. Now, there is a movement developing within the Spanish community in the American southwest to retake the land that they consider "theirs" - case in point, Los Angeles demonstrations stating as much!
The real questions is; Who's land is it? The Native Americans believed that the "Land" didn't belong to them or, anyone. They were just "tenants" allowed to use the land by the grace of "The Great Spirit". The land was sacred - as was the water and air. And, since the Industrial Revolution "civilized man" has been steadily polluting it all.
What we have all lost sight of is, no one owns anything. The Creator of us all is the rightful owner. And, from what I suspect He or, It, or, whatever you prefer to call the Creator, (I prefer "Sir" out of due respect), is getting very pissed at us for the way we are treating each other and His land called planet Earth.
If anyone hasn't noticed, the Earth is rebelling against its' inhabitants. We have been mistreating each other and lately the land for too long and I think our time here is running out. That's just my opinion but, my opinion is based on sound reasoning from Scripture, Native American Prophecies, and just plane common sense.
Another problem area of great importance is the Middle East. Israel claims that, that land is theirs, given to them by "their" God. Palestine ( Roman Emperor Hadrian named it Syria-Palestine) was inhabited for more than two thousand years by people we call the Palestinians (mainly Arabs). "Ownership" of that area has changed hands many times by different peoples and different empires. So, who can say who's land is it? Jerusalem was originally settled by the Jebusites who later named it Jerusalem. The Jews or, more properly, Israel did not name it. So, when the U.N. decided to carve up the land and create the nation of Israel by taking Palestinian land, the "natural" reaction was war.
But, in all this, one thing has been overlooked. The elite or Ruling Class of this world have been doing a good job of keeping us divided and at each other throats through various political and economic means. Meanwhile, they continue to enjoy a lifestyle of immense wealth and luxury.
The Arab countries could create a Palestinian nation but they don't want to because of greed, and a lust for power and control, and of course, a general hatred of Israel which based on religious beliefs.
So, if anyone thinks that we are going to solve ANY of the problems plaguing planet earth you better think again. Things are only going to get worse for several reasons. One, is instant communication. Two, is the spread and availability of weapons of all types. Three, is greed and the ever widening disparity between the rich and poor. Four, is the lust for power and control. Five, is government's ability to wage war more "efficiently" and the devotion of more and more money and resources to that cause.
My attitude now is, I'm just visiting, and will soon leave this planet to the next generation of crazies. Good luck my friends. You are going to need it. Hah!
Posted by: Altered States | June 06, 2010 at 03:37 PM