We’re living in some dark times…
Things have been pretty bad these last couple of years, but it seems like shit has really been ramping up lately.
Just to put things in perspective a bit, let’s do a quick 2019 recap. In just a little over half a year, we’ve seen some pretty fucked shit.
We’ve seen (and continue to see) kids in cages…
Related Source: AP: Hundreds of Immigrant Children Wait in Cages
We’ve seen (and continue to see) women’s rights systematically targeted…
We’ve seen (and continue to see) our planet LITERALLY set itself on fire from the effects of human-influenced global warming…
Related Source: July 2019 Was Officially the Hottest Month Ever Recorded
We’ve seen (and continue to see) countless acts of mass murders directly linked to the ideology of white supremacy…
Related Source: It’s Just That Kind of Morning. It’s Morning in America.
I mean I can go on for days, but I think it’s pretty clear that shit isn’t A1 right now. Well, it’s not A1 for some of us.
There are others I can’t speak for…
But just when we thought shit can’t get worse, ya’ boy 45 hits us with another racist hit off of his latest album, Make ‘Merica White Again Boy.
What Happened This Time Bruh
So the other day ya’ boy 45 did something he, and Republicans alike, have been trying to do since this country had the nerve to elect its first biracial president, restrict LEGAL immigration.
According to the New York Times, ya’ boy 45 issued a new rule targeting legal immigrants who want to remain in the United States but lack of financial resources and is judged likely to be a burden on taxpayers.
The new regulation is aimed at hundreds of thousands of immigrants who enter the country LEGALLY every year and then apply to become permanent residents.
Starting in October, the government’s decision will be based on an aggressive wealth test to determine whether those immigrants have the means to support themselves.
In other words, immigrants will be denied permanent legal status, also known as a green card, if they’re deemed likely to use government benefit programs such as food stamps and subsidized housing. Of course on the flip side, immigrants who are designated as less likely to require public assistance will be able to obtain a green card.
The talking point from the right to support this bull shit seems to be, “We don’t want you coming here sucking up all of our resources.” You know the whole, Welfare Queen bit right? Well, it’s back except for this time, instead of black people being the welfare leches, the new targets are less fortunate legal immigrants.
Related side piece: The Truth Behind The Lies Of The Original ‘Welfare Queen’
Let’s Put a Face on these Numbers Real Swift
Immigrants who have incomes equal to or greater than 250 percent of the official poverty line — which is about $64,000 for a family of four — are not likely to be declared public charges, according to the new regulation. However, Immigrants with incomes far less than that who are seeking green cards will have to prove that they will not require public benefits in the future.
Who Makes the Final Call
Under the new rule, the financial well-being of immigrants who are in the United States legally on temporary visas will be more heavily scrutinized when they seek a green card.
Before the new rule, immigration officials already consider the following before clearing immigrants for permanent or temporary visas; age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, and education.
So if immigration officials could already use an immigrants “resources and financial status,” as legal qualifiers as to who gets their visas approved, what changed?
Under 45’s new rule, officials will be given broad leeway to determine whether an immigrant is likely to be a user of public benefits, to deny them a green card and to order them deported.
So yeah, this is clearly some racist shit.
Normally I’ve been one to refrain from detailing how shit like this is racist because I firmly believe those who claim they can’t see the obvious racial undertones here are doing so willingly. In other words, I found it to be a waste of time. But guess what…
Racism is a Structure
One of the biggest frustrations I have with the conversation surrounding race here in America is our shallow understanding of what race actually is as a social construct.
Without this shared understanding of race being nothing but a social construct, we’ll never truly see how race, has been and continues to be, used as a powerful tool for divide and rule.
If I asked you what is racism you’d probably say something along the lines of discrimination based on race. Which isn’t technically wrong, but isn’t technically right either.
If I went on to ask you how does racism differ from race discrimination or prejudice you’d either be stomped or would say they’re all the same thing.
All of this confusion, and gaps in parallel realities, only highlight the necessity for us as a country to have a more nuanced conversation about race and racism, and how it affects all of our lives.
“Racism is a structure, not an event”
– Robin DiAngelo
What this means is that instead of limiting racism to just individual acts of prejudice or racially motivated comments, we need to widen the net of racism to encompass the systems that are created in reaction to these racist beliefs.
Let’s use 45’s latest rule as an example.
Real Life Shit
Trump Supporters Anti-Racist Logic: Trump’s rule has nothing to do with race because race is never mentioned. Therefore since race wasn’t mentioned it’s impossible for the rule to be “racist.”
Again, this “logic” only highlights the necessity in which we all as Americans have to engage in a more nuanced conversation about race and racism in this country.
So here we go.
Race-based Critical Thinking
Yes, 45’s latest immigration rule doesn’t mention race, but that doesn’t mean the rule wasn’t crafted in a way that targets folks largely on race.
For decades now, politicians have mastered the southern strategy by perfecting the art of code-switching. In politics it’s called “dog-whistling,” but I like to call it what it by its real name, racist rhetoric.
*A little poly science for ya’
Dog-Whistle Politics |
Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.
Southern Strategy |
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.
Some folks will try and tell you that the southern strategy is a myth but trust me it’s not. In fact, take longtime American political consultant and strategist for the Republican Party Lee Atwater’s words on it…
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
– Harvey LeRoy “Lee” Atwater (February 27, 1951 – March 29, 1991) | American political consultant and strategist for the Republican Party. He was an adviser to US presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and chairman of the Republican National Committee.
*Another example of why we need to have a much more nuanced conversation about racism in this country.*
Other Related Source: In 2005, The GOP Apologized For Exploiting Racial Polarization
So in case, it’s not clear, just because the new rule doesn’t specifically target immigrants based on race, doesn’t mean the rule itself isn’t racist.
Since we have a more clear understanding about the politics behind dog-whistles we now must ask ourselves where were the “dog-whistles” for this new rule.
Que, “shithole countries.”
Nothing Happens in a Vacuum
I know it’s tough to keep up with the racist shit that comes out this MF’s mouth but, a little over a year ago when 45 heard that Haitians were among those who would benefit from the proposed deal between Democrats and Republicans regarding H-1B Visas, he asked whether they could be left out of the plan, asking, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”
He went on to ask why should he accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than from places like Norway…
Why would he say something like that? Out of all the places he could’ve named, why Norway?
I know why, but for shits and gigs, let’s explore some possibilities outside of the obvious.
Maybe he said Norway because he likes the politics Norwegians value?
You know that’s some bull shit haha.
I mean, they’re literally on two opposite sides of the political spectrum.
Norway maintains a Nordic Welfare Model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, not to mention its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals. Not only that the Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, and freshwater.
I mean, if Trump thinks Bernie’s policies are extreme socialism, wait till he hears about the Nordic Welfare Model…
So it’s pretty safe to say 45 interest in immigration from Norway isn’t because he thinks they’ll support his policy positions, and I highly doubt his ass would adopt ANY of those policy positions for 2020.
So why Norway?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Norway is a predominantly white country.
It also doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how 45 sees’s immigrants from impoverished areas of the world either.
I’m Almost Done Bruh
I say all of this to highlight how racism works in this country. It’s deeper than 45 calling black nations, “shit hole countries.” It’s deeper than folks disparaging immigrants by chanting, “send her back,” or “build that wall.”
Those are just symptoms of a much larger disease.
Who knows how many lives will be lost because of this new rule, but please believe lives will be lost.
Image this rule being in place when Irish immigrants came here seeking refuge from the potato famine. Or image if this rule was in place when the so-called pilgrims came here seeking refuge from religious persecution.
In dark times such as these, I think it’s imperative that we use our history almost as a light to help guide us to better days. This country was built —on the backs of slaves on stolen land. Had to slip that in— on the idea of the American Dream, the idea that you can make something out of nothing.
This latest rule is just one of many reminders POC are given that the American Dream is only for the select few.
I didn’t want to, but I think it’s best I end this piece with the poem from Emma Lazarus that is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty | The reason why I feel some type of way about this is because the Statue of Liberty was created to symbolize the end of slavery, NOT immigration, but that’s a whole other story…
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
– Emma Lazarus