Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mr. Trump, This is Racism

Let us be clear.  The attack on Mexican American children by Donald Trump is impossible to implement.  They are US Citizens.  Yes, US citizen children were deported in the 1930’s in the program euphemistically known as “repatriation.”
There is no such thing as an anchor baby.  They are US citizens.
There is no such thing as “birth right citizenship”, they are US citizens. 
It is offensive in the extreme that Trump and seven of the other Republican candidates for President would introduce these arguments.  They are seeking to create categories  of " Others"- Someone the US could deport.
This is Dog Whistle Politics, as described well in Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class. (2014) by Ian Henry Lopez.

It is remarkable and disturbing that the US press is treating these racist claims as legitimate political discourse. See posts below. 
These are examples  of strategic racism, that is a system of racial oppression created and enforced because it benefits the over class- in this the many billionaire funders of the Republican Party.    Strategic racism as described by Ian Haney López is the development and implementation of practices because they benefit a group or a class. 
These scapegoating campaigns are  a product  of strategic racism including  a complex structure of institutions and individuals from police and sheriffs, to immigration authorities and anti immigrant activists, and elected officials and their support networks.  These groups foster and promote inter racial conflict  and job competition as a strategy to keep wages and benefits low to promote their continuing white supremacy in the nation.
We know well the history of this kind of divisive  campaign.
In the Summer of 1993, a failing economy and governmental cut backs  combined to make Governor Pete Wilson the most unpopular governor up until that time.  By November of 1994 Wilson won re-election with over 56% of the vote.  Two factors combined to deliver victory to Wilson; a mean spirited, divisive, and racist campaign directed against Mexican and Mexican Americans, in Proposition 187 and an inept campaign by Democratic Candidate Kathleen Brown.

      We  recognize the  potential of racist scapegoating as revealed in Proposition 187 in 1994 passed by 2/3 of the California voters in 1994.  It banned over 600,000 immigrants from receiving needed food stamps, medical care.    Prop. 187 became national law in 1996 as a part of the Immigration Reform and Control act of 1996. 
            The voters of California voted 62% to 38% in favor of Proposition 187, the Save Our State initiative to restrict illegal immigration.  A number of groups including FAIR, the Republican Party, and the Perot organization worked together to qualify the initiative.
            In 1994 California has a population that is 56.3 % White, 26.3 % Latino, 9.4% Asian, 7.4 % African American, and 0.6% other.  However, according to exit polls, the voters in this election were 80% white, 9% Latino, 7 % African American, and 4 % Asian. Exit polls show that Latinos voted against Prop. 187 by 3 to 1, African Americans split their vote 50 -50, and the Anglo electorate passed the proposition by over 60%. This is the vote Trump and the other Republicans are seeking.
            As a consequence of this attack on the Mexican American community, Latinos organized to vote in large numbers in future elections.  Republicans became a small minority party in California.
Much more to come on this topic.

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