Is it just me or is the rhetoric all beginning to sound the same?
- A)Amnesty for undocumented immigrants would be a slap in the face for all those who entered this country legally.
- B) Allowing same sex couples to marry is an attack on the institution of marriage.
As stupid as we know B to be, it is uniquely effective in firing up the homofobic base of the Republican party.
Notice that no one is asking recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America if they feel this alleged slap in the face.
Rather, what they’re doing, is playing upon the fact the the US system of (health, education, welfare, justice, etc) already excludes majority-minority populations of ITS OWN CITIZENS, and that therefore these disenfranchised citizens will lose even more 1) if undocumented immigrants are added to their number while at the same time implying 2) undocumented immigrants will be given MORE rights than they.
But what I think the politicians are really saying--in both cases--is that extending rights to disenfranchised groups is “a slap in the face” to those who’ve always regarded those rights as part of their own privilege.
- Q:For how long in this country have heterosexual people of color had the right to marry any person of the opposite sex whom they loved?
- A: Less than forty years, since Loving v. Virginia, 1967.
I’ve been teaching Beloved and reading Mosquito—in which Gayl Jones argues that assisting refugees from Mexico and Central America is the work of the New Underground Railroad--and I can’t help seeing the similarities between HR 4437 and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
Part of me feels like that’s a messy comparison to make. But another part of me feels like NOT making it is buying into this whole “slap in the face” ideology.