Reading the Opinion Page of the New York Times today confirmed the horror I feared would result from Alabama’s new Immigration law – which is illegal but Alabama is bold in their racism – raising its middle finger at Federal laws.
How to put into words the terror that people in Alabama are experiencing is hardly possible – my heart is literally in my throat as I write this. I want to help these people; I want to join this 2011 Civil Rights battle more than anything in the world. I feel helpless. Well, I have this little blog that some of you may read and then realize the seriousness and the desperation of this problem.
I wrote about this issue on November 6th in a post titled, Alabama Ignores Justice Department, because I knew it could get very ugly for children trying to attend school. NEVER, never-ever did I imagine the reality of this issue.
I never wanted to believe that Alabama could turn their Immigration policy into vile racism. Alabama’s brand of hatred drips with the blood of all who came before and fought and died for Civil Rights in this country.
The New York Times editorial from November 13, 2011 tells us this about the Alabama immigration law:
The law was written to deny immigrants without papers the ability to work or travel, to own or rent a home, to enter contracts of any kind. Fear is causing an exodus as Latinos abandon homes and jobs and crops in the fields. Utilities are preparing to shut off water, power and heat to customers who cannot show the right papers.
Alabama is far from alone in passing a law whose express aim is misery and panic. States are expanding their power to hasten racial exclusion and family disintegration, to make a particular ethnic group of poor people disappear. The new laws come cloaked in talk of law and order; the bigotry beneath them is never acknowledged.
The below words spoken by a US Senator should frighten the very life out of all of every one of us:
A sponsor of the legislation, State Senator Scott Beason, chairman of the Rules Committee, was secretly taped by the F.B.I. talking about black residents of Greene County. “They’re aborigines,” he said. He is the lawmaker who urged fellow Republicans to “empty the clip” to stop illegal immigrants.
How can Senator Beason be allowed to stay in Government? He is the lowest of the low; a neanderthals brain is his to claim.
How can he say things like “empty the clip” and not be arrested or charged? What a fine example of a lawmaker he is.
The important aspect in this article? The ease with which people can hate.
Today the hate extends to immigrants in Alabama, and other states (Alabama is the worst). What about tomorrow? Who is next on the list?
As Judge U. W. Clemon, a former Alabama senator, noted, the Latino immigrant population is very small and yet the target Alabama has placed on their backs is startling:
…..Judge Clemon, a civil rights foot soldier who fought Bull Connor and George Wallace, the common thread between then and now — the threat of racial profiling and the abuse of a cheap, exploited work force — is obvious, as is the racism driving the law.
Although the Hispanic population of the state is less than 5 percent, the leaders of the state were hell-bent on removing as much of that 4 percent as possible. And I think they’ve been fairly successful in scaring them out of the state of Alabama.
How can American citizens with any conscious allow such hateful treatment to fellow human beings? These immigrant human beings simply want a better life and they are willing to work their fingers to the bone for the basics. They’ll do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.
Anyone who thinks immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans is living in a dream world.
Wake up! They simply want to put clothes on their back and a roof over their head.
Alabama would deny immigrants even the basic needs of survival. Can you imagine having the below things taken away from you? I can’t imagine being denied the below basic needs.
- Own or rent a home
- have water service
- basic K-12 education
The NAACP’s leaders in Birmingham Alabama have groups of advocates to assist people caught in this government noose.
I feel helpless. However, I am a member of the NAACP; now I am going to get to work and get ACTIVE.
“Jim Crow is dead,” said the Reverend Anthony Alann Johnson, “but his cousins are still alive.”
You better believe it.
Please help by finding your local NAACP branch and join us to fight for Civil Rights.
Read the article: On the Rise in Alabama
Slide Show: A New Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is well known to most Americans, and certainly to lawmakers, judges, attorneys and academia. Any entity that seeks to disobey these laws is subject to rebuke via the Department of Justice.
Alabama is being sued by the Federal Government for its Immigration law, and now is seriously under investigations with regards to defying basic human rights.
Alabama’s newly enacted immigration laws which, in no uncertain terms, intend to disrupt the government’s job of handling immigration, is also disrupting basic civil rights.
Alabama is essentially ignoring the Constitution of the United States.
The Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, is intentionally and cruelly sticking out his proverbial middle finger at the Department of Justice by asserting the Federal Government has no jurisdiction to challenge and investigate its newly adopted immigration law. Not so, says the Federal Government.
In this country, a public education is available to all school-aged children regardless of their immigration status. Alabama’s cruel and illegal new “law” requires schools to check the immigration status of children and their parents. The result of which is causing extreme disruption for children who (if they even continue to go to school), are harassed and bullied. Parents, frightened about deportation, are keeping their children out of school.
This prompted the Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General to issue letters to every Alabama school superintendent regarding the change in their enrollment numbers since the new “law” went into effect. See Letter. http://blogs.usdoj.gov/blog/archives/1710
Meanwhile, the Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, wrote his own letter to the Department of Justice advising they have no authority to request this information. See Letter http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/opinion/downes/Perez.pdf?ref=sunday
To which Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General answered by saying, in essence, that the Federal Government, who is suing Alabama for its immigration policy, will investigate allegations that Alabama is running rough-shod over Civil Rights. (Think back to Governor George Wallace – the segregationist – who blocked the entrance to the University of Alabama, not allowing two black students to enter, in total defiance of desegregation. Constitution. It was not until President John F. Kennedy who made the Alabama National Guard a federal entity so they could enforce justice and allow the two students to register for classes. Think back to that time, and you’ll realize what is happening today in Alabama.)
It is deplorable. Shameful. But, not surprising. Since the election of Alabama Republican Gov. Robert J. Bentley stood up multiple times to say that people who had accepted Jesus Christ were his brothers and sisters. He said: “if you’re a Christian and you’re saved … it makes you and me brother and sister.” http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/19/nation/la-na-alabama-governor-20110119
Every lawmaker on earth has read the US Constitution and knows that such comments are unconstitutional. Yet, the Governor of Alabama is clearly snubbing his nose at his role in Government!
Gov. Robert J. Bentley went on to say,
So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/19/nation/la-na-alabama-governor-20110119
Assistant Attorney General Perez advised in his letter to Perez that the US, as they
“…receive additional information, the Civil Rights Division and other Federal Agencies will be evaluating the potential for violation of Federal laws in Alabama, including civil rights laws – looking at violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Safe Streets Act, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, among others.
I don’t have the words right now to express the disgust I feel for the lawmakers in Alabama.