Thursday, June 18, 2009

It is becoming increasingly more dangerous to be brown in America

Though I can't say I am all that surprised. It was only a matter of time before things like this started to happen:

3 arrested in killings of dad, girl in Arivaca | ®
3 arrested in killings of dad, girl in Arivaca
Sheriff: Border watchers were after drugs, money

By Jamar Younger
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.13.2009
Three people, including the leader of a border watch group and an officer within that group, were arrested in connection with a May 30 home invasion that left a father and his daughter dead and the mother wounded, authorities said.
One of those arrested, Shawna Forde, is the leader of Minutemen American Defense, a group out of Washington state that conducts operations along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona. The group is not related to either the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founded by Chris Simcox, or the Minuteman Project founded by Jim Gilchrist.
Authorities also arrested Jason Eugene Bush, 34, who serves as operations director for the Washington group, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, in connection with the shooting deaths of Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
Now tell me again that I am being oversensitive about the vitriol coming from these anti-immigration groups regarding people who look like me and whose names sound like mine. The kind of talk these people engage in has one purpose: creating an artificial rift between "us" and "them". The result is that those "others" become dehumanized hence making it that much easier for people needing a scapegoat to take out their anger on their fellow human beings. Anyone who doesn't believe me needs to go back and study their WWII history and maybe take a trip to their local Holocaust museum to be reminded of what happens when a nation allows a group to be viciously scapegoated and dehumanized by those who seek to maintain a stranglehold on their perceived power base.

And how do we combat this? How can we stop the bullshit from escalating into actual violence? For those of us who are members of the threatened group/s, we need to have the courage to speak up on our own behalf. And no, just because you are an American citizen does not mean you are safe from this. Bigots don't stop to ask your citizenship before they kick you in the head. To them we are all the same. For those who are not a member of said groups, especially those who are white, I ask you to be a true ally to our communities and speak up when you hear people propagating bigotry and hatred against those who look different or whose last names sound different. Folks like that will probably not heed what I or anyone of my ethnicity say but if you do, perhaps, just perhaps, they will rethink their biases.

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