Hatred against Mexicans borders on the ridiculous

By Joe Olvera

© 2011

When Dolores Huerta said a few years back that “Republicans hate Latinos,” Republicans were, of course, mighty

Joe Olvera is a long-time journalist whose latest book is - Chicano Sin Fin: Memoirs of a Chicano Journalist

miffed. Every pundit on Fox News, especially Bill O’Reilly, had the nerve to say that he had never heard of Ms. Huerta – Cesar Chavez’s second-in-command, and a dynamic woman in her own right. I mean, he’s a journalist, right? He should’ve gotten on the Internet and done a little search. He would’ve found hundreds if not thousands of links to Ms. Huerta.

It doesn’t surprise me, then, that when some people are saying, “anti-immigrant” what they’re really saying is “anti-Mexican,” because the vast majority of undocumented people are from Mexico. How could it be otherwise? After all, Mexico is just a hop, step and a jump from the United States. Still, it makes me wonder – why the fear?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes this. A woman by the name of Mary Caldwell wrote for a local paper that “laws in Texas and Arizona target undocumented workers at the work place, in schools, in hospitals, in getting birth certificates and driver’s licenses in public housing, and regarding public benefits.”

This very perceptive writer goes on to say that Arizona wants to challenge even the U.S. Constitution because the 14th Amendment allows automatic citizenship to any child who is born in the United States, albeit, their parents might be undocumented. These young’uns are called “anchor babies” because they provide somewhat of an anchor for their parents to stay here.

Caldwell continues: “Many Anglos are terrified that Hispanics, who are increasing in numbers, will gain more political power. Look at Texas passing the picture-ID law for voters – which targets poor blacks and Hispanics. Threatened Anglos may see harassment of Hispanics as a way of getting Hispanics to leave the state. This situation borders on what we call ‘ethnic cleansing.’” She further hopes that Hispanics in Texas and Arizona will stand firm against these assaults. “I hope that all people of conscience will stand with them,” she concludes.

After all, immigrants may come into the U.S. illegally, but, eventually, they attain legalization and then citizenship and, thus, the ability and the right to vote. But, Anglos are fighting back. And, not only Anglos, but, Republicans in general and even some Hispanics. One such person is newly elected Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico. She is fighting tooth and nail against the law that enables undocumented immigrants to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses.

Martinez, who was born and raised in El Paso and graduated from Bel Air High School, has made tremendous strides in getting herself elected Governor, replacing Bill Richardson. She feels that allowing undocumented people to obtain driver’s licenses is “dangerous,” and that it makes a mockery of border security. She’s allowed to believe as she does, however, but, one doesn’t have to agree with her. Her opponents say, on the other hand, that allowing undocumented people to have a driver’s license allows them to purchase insurance, which makes the roads safer for everyone.

She is one angry Governor, but, again, she is merely parroting the Republican line, which is understandable for a Republican Governor. After all, the immigrant issue is a hot one, and very difficult to attack or to defend.

The thing that worries me, you see, is that such anger only motivates other people to spew their own hatred against Mexicans. Take, for example, that Republican lawmaker in Topeka, Kansas – State Rep. Virgil Peck, of Tyro – who said that undocumented people should be shot down like feral pigs. Kansas, I suppose, has a problem with wild hogs, so he suggests that these hogs, that will be shot down from a helicopter – if the tactic works – should also be used to control the population of undocumented people. In other words, shoot them down. Why, the audacity! When called upon to resign because of his stupid and dangerous remarks, he merely said No!

That’s why this anti-Mexican angst is so dangerous and so un-American. The old line that says we are a nation of immigrants applies doubly to Mexicans and, other than Mexicans. So, Republicans, please curb your anger. Watch what you say, que no? You say you want more Mexicans to join your GOP? Well, folks, let me tell you, that is not the way to go about it.

Oh, by the way, there is good news. It seems that Arizona lawmakers have defeated five bills that are related to undocumented immigrants, including changing the 14th Amendment. Republicans called the action a lack of political courage on the part of lawmakers. So, there, you Mexican haters. Take that – LOL

Sin Fin




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