My Rant on Racism In America and the Government In General
The United States of America is a racist place to live, governed by a majority of people who are themselves racist and if not outwardly white supremacists, then most certainly in their heart of hearts agree with the ideals of those bent on white power. How can I say this? I’m white, right? Yes, I am white, among other things, and I do know that all white people are not racists, yet honestly, many sure do act like it, most poignantly those in power. The attacks of 9/11 were inevitable and I am not surprised they occurred. Part of me believes the government of the United States had it coming and prompted the attack with its imperialistic meddling in the affairs of nations all over the world. What? I don’t mean to say that I think it was just. I don’t think that all those people should have died or that the Trade Center should have been targeted. The targeting of the Pentagon, hey, I understand that, as well, as the attempts on the White House or the Capital. The World Trade Center – well, I think it was targeted because it would be highly visible and would shake the financial market. Also, America is all about the money, so what’s more symbolic than the Trade Center. Still, am I saying that I don’t understand the motives behind the attack? Oh, I understand them. I don’t condone them or rejoice in them one bit. I ache for the loss of life that happened that day. I curse the stupid terrorists that planned and executed this horrific event. They suck. Were they trying to make a point? Yes, they were. Is there point a valid one? Yes, on many levels, their arguments against US foreign policy are correct.
The US government has been involved in destabilizing nations and governments all over the world since its founding as a government. Yep. The US government has taken part in what can only be called State sponsored terrorism throughout its entire history as a guise of being the helpful and caring democratic champion of the world.
Let me start at the beginning and paint you a picture of a country known as the United States of America. Truly – it needs to go WAY back to the beginning so you can see, this isn’t something new, its in the mortar and cornerstones of the Temple to Democracy the US worships at daily.
When was the area of land that is currently known as the United States of America settled?
Did you answer 1620 in Plymoth? You’re wrong. Perhaps you thought of Jamestown in 1607? Nope, wrong again. Did you go all the back in time to perhaps some Spanish conquers like Ponce de Lion, or De Soto, or maybe even back to Christopher Columbus? Well, those are all wrong, too. Vikings? Nope – sorry – wrong.
North America and South America were ‘discovered’ and ‘settled’ by persons of Asian descent that crossed the land bridge via the Berring straight tens of thousands of years ago, quite possibly as recent as 12,000 BCE (before the common era) to as long ago as 30,000 BCE. There is evidence that boats were also used pre-Columbus by Africans and Phoenicians to come to South America. Check out some pictures of the Olmec Indian heads in Mexico and tell me if you don’t think those are black people.
Why does it matter and what bearing does it have on America’s racism and imperialism today?
It matters a great deal! If Americans believe this land was discovered and settled by white people (yes, Spanish from Spain and Columbus be he Italian, Portuguese or Jewish are white people), then it stands to reason that America is a place belonging to white people. A country founded by white people, for the benefit of white people, ruled by white people, etc. If that is the underlying thought of believing in the Columbus or Pilgrim myth, then it permeates itself throughout history and comes to bear on today’s issues with relevance. It leaves out Native Americans and Africans including all of their related accomplishments. Yes, accomplishments.
If you believe all the claptrap about Sir Henry navigating Africa first and Columbus coming to the Americas first, you are falling into the Eurocentric trap. Arabs invented our alphabet, numbers and much of what began as astronomy. Africans were amazing navigators and had sailed around much longer and farther than any white Europeans. Native American social structure was more democratic than anything occurring in contemporary Europe in the 1400’s. The world was not civilized by Europeans, yet, by believing in the Pilgrim and Columbus myths, you believe it was. The first civilizations were in modern day IRAQ! Yes, the currently Muslim world resides on the cradle of mankind; the birthplace of civilization.
Also, it is important to know that this, the United States of America, was not a vacant land without inhabitants. Our history books don’t stress the acknowledged number of nearly 26,000,000 people living in what is now the continental United States prior to colonization. Independent people that needed no help from the white colonists to survive and thrive. They weren’t savages; they were people with a different ethos and belief structure who venerated the earth and lived in relative harmony with it. The land was tended and cared for, not raped and pillaged. The First Peoples were here and history needs to acknowledge them more than just a nod with the Thanksgiving myth.
Here is what www.nativecircle.com has to say about the Thanksgiving myth:
'Thanksgiving' did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact, in October of 1621 when the 'pilgrim' survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial 'Thanksgiving' meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited! There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. A few days before this alleged feast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we know as 'Thanksgiving' actually came into existence in the year 1637. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the return of the colony's men who had arrived safely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory’.
Here is something else that is hardly ever touched upon, written by Rev. Robert Two Bulls (Lakota Ogala)
“When the Pilgrims touched Plymouth Rock in 1620 and made it to shore, they found a deserted village, which they eventually appropriated for themselves and named Plymouth Colony. The village had been named Patuxet and was the formal home of people who were a branch of the Wampanoags. The majority of these people had died from smallpox in 1618. The village was a ghost town.
The Pilgrims were helped out by Squanto (or Tisquantum), a Wampanoag and a former inhabitant of Patuxet. Squanto spoke English. He had learned this language over a period of several years, following his capture by English traders and sale into slavery in Europe. He had made it back home, a heroic nine-year journey, only to find his people pretty much wiped out.
After teaching the Pilgrims basic survival and agricultural techniques, the Wamponoags and Pilgrims kept peaceful relations for well over fifty years. Some have said that Squanto was eventually killed by the “good Puritans.”
Perhaps we as a nation need to celebrate the life of Squanto, who was the real hero of this sad story. Instead we celebrate a false mythology that plays into our notion of greatness. It is presented like a bridge that connects a mythic past of one's ancestors having nothing to present-day descendents having a superabundance of everything. The troubling aspect of this symbol is that the foundation on one side of this bridge is unstable, and I am not sure that making a connection from this myth to giving thanks today is a very good one to make. We have to remember that land in America was largely acquired dishonestly by outright theft and by breaking treaties with the first peoples of this land. American History that only considers the false myths as truth will always diminish the past and present lives of Native American Indians.
There is the other problem that arises from this mythmaking, and that is the one about a certain special relationship being established between God and America. We have to ask the question, “Did God really send the diseases to annihilate all the indigenous inhabitants and then give the land to the Europeans?” Christians have conveniently found support through the years in the passages found in the book of Deuteronomy. One example is today's reading about the Israelites being given land to occupy that was already settled by other peoples. This problem surrounding land ownership is one that we will be fighting over for years to come.”
Why is knowing about this important?
Well, if we believe that Europeans are the most civilized, than that makes the rest of the world savages and thus, that perception dictates our actions towards them. Also, if we believe God purposefully destroyed the First Peoples and gave this land to the Europeans, then, God must favor America, right? Meaning, that the Protestant northern Europeans who did all this stuff to the First Peoples are kind of like the Israelites who entered the holy land after 40 years of wandering in the desert. America is the Promised Land and Americans (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants who are Americans) are the chosen people then by this belief. Mr. Bush may be the President of the United States and was born and raised here, but his ancestors weren’t – they were the chosen people coming to claim the Promised Land. They came from Europe as all white people’s ancestors did. So, if whites are descended from Europeans and Europe was the smartest most civilized place in the world then it could be reasoned that we are awesome too, yeah America! Bullshit! Seriously. Can you see how all of this plays into the belief that America is always right? America is the new Promised Land founded by Christians who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, unlike the Jews who asked the Romans to put him to death. America has God on its side and thus everything it does, particularly to non-whites and non-Christians is blessed. This seriously is the foundation of our government. In God We Trust?
History textbooks and the monitoring groups that oversee their approval and disbursal are the cause of American ignorance of the facts of our past. I am going to throw out a few whoppers right now and I’ll be back to address them later in the blog:
1) The United States is a imperialist power with a manifesto of world domination
2) The actions by the United States over the course of its 230 year history have been consistently pro-white, pro-Protestant Christian, pro-affluent, and anti-everyone else not fitting into those three groups.
What actions of the past cause me to come up with these statements?
1) Genocide of the Native American peoples
a. Including stealing the land by violating treaties
b. Purposefully infecting Native Americans with diseases
c. Forced relocation to inadequate lands
d. Systematic destruction of language and culture via Indian Schools and all the various Indian laws passed to terminate Indians and Indian rights
2) Slavery of the African people and continued oppression of their descendants
a. General “unofficial” acceptance by US law enforcement of white supremacist groups like the KKK and actual membership and support of these groups by political leaders around the country. I’ll give a nod to President Ulysses S. Grant for his signing of Benjamin Franklin Butler’s legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (known as the Ku Klux Klan Act), but this one action didn’t stop the KKK’s reformation in 1915 with the film birth of a Nation. The Klan was actually promoted by Woodrow Wilson in his book “History of the American People” and by his enthusiastic endorsement of the film while he was President of the US.
i. Notable Klan members who went about the business of making life for African-Americans tough through their political power:
1. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was a Klan member in the 1920’s
2. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was a recruiter for the Klan in his 20s and 30s – STILL A CURRENT SENATOR and currently third in line in the presidential line of succession!
3. Theodore Gilmore Bilbo Governor of Mississippi from 1916 – 1920 and again from 1928-1932 as well as a US Senator from 1935-1947 – nicknamed “The Man”
4. Ross Robert Barnett Governor of Mississippi from 1960 – 1964
5. David Bibb Graves Governor of Alabama from 1927-1931 and again from 1935-1939
6. Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham Alabama in 1960’s
7. Edward L. “Ed” Jackson Governor of Indiana from 1925 – 1929
8. Arthur Raymond Robinson US Senator from Indiana 1925 – 1935
9. James Eli Watson – US Representative 1894 – 1987 and 1898 - 1909 and Senator from Indiana from 1929 - 1933
10. Clarence Joseph Morley Governor of Colorado from 1925-1927
11. Rice William Means US Senator from Colorado 1924 – 1927
12. Clifford M Walker Governor of Georgia from 1923 – 1927; also Mayor of Monroe, Georgia
13. David Ernest Duke Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives 1989-1992
b. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments – look it up, you’ll be horror stricken
c. Segregation of all sorts – definitely not separate by equal either and all the issues arising from this, mainly:
i. Poor housing conditions – overcrowded and vermin infested with high infant mortality rates
ii. Inadequate educational systems
iii. Unequal rights under the law for trials, voting, basically everything
d. Crackdown or murder on black civil rights leaders and their movements by the US Government – FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover labeled the Black Panthers as “the greatest threat to internal security of the country”.
i. The shooting and imprisonment of Huey Newton
ii. The persecution and eventual exile of Eldridge Cleaver
iii. Bobby Seale, bound and gagged at his trial in Chicago
iv. Fred Hampton short dead by police in his bed while they raided his house
3) Constant support of the Colonialism and Imperialist of non-white nations around the world (the middle east, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and South America)
a. The multiple invasions of American troops into Mexico during the administration of Woodrow Wilson
b. The invasion of Russia to aid in the overthrow of their revolutionaries in 1918 under the administration of Woodrow Wilson
c. The United States assistance to the Shah of Iran’s faction in deposing the rightful Prime Minister Mussadegh and returning the shah to the throne in 1953 – thank you President asshole Dwight D. Eisenhower, former general and major douche bag – more on that in a second. The Shah of Iran was for secularism not an Islamic state, so even though he wasn’t Christian, the US supported a secular state rather than an Islamic one. Starting in 1924 secularism in Iran suppressed the outward expressions of Islamic faith, so of course the US supported the Shah who supported secularism. Look what a backlash that caused in 1979 & 1980 though – Islamic revolution in Iran, the taking of American hostages, and now Iran is a totally hostile country under the thumb of an Islamist theocracy.
d. The United States actions in Vietnam (yes, thank you again you asshole Eisenhower for dragging us into that mess in 1954 - you prick - He formally allied the US with the South Vietnamese! Sending a few hundred advisors was the beginning of the downfall into war you shithead. I don’t like Ike!)
i. Just as an aside – President Eisenhower is credited in ending the Korean War, but to date a peace treaty has never been signed!
A little bit about the Vietnam War:
The French maintained dominant control of their colony of Vietnam until World War II, when Japanese forces invaded and occupied Vietnam, using the country as a base to launch attacks against Southeast Asia and India. After the war France attempted to reestablish its colony, however a communist insurgency that had arisen during Japanese occupation forced the French into the First Indochina War that lasted until 1954. The French suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and shortly afterwards withdrew from the country. The world community divided the country at the 17th parallel into North Vietnam and South Vietnam during the Geneva Accords. This division was meant to be temporary, pending democratic elections and reunification.
This did not turn out to be the case. North and South Vietnam both formed geopolitical alliances, the North aligning itself with Communist China and the Soviet Union and the South with the United States (rah rah America). Think about what was going on at the time in the United States – yes – we are talking about mid-1950’s history here, something rarely talked about in the classroom. McCarthism – The Red Scare – the beginning of the Cold War in full force! In 1954, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy and The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) were investigating everyone – entertainers (yes, Ronald Regean and Shirley Temple were questioned before a congressional committee!), international entrepreneurs (like Howard Hughes), anyone they wanted to smear really. People were blacklisted and fear began to rise in this country. Fear of communism, and I can’t even explain why – but I could take a few stabs – educated guess.
Anyway, the Northern Vietnamese government sought implementation of the Geneva Accords, including reunification following an election that would likely lead to a victory for the Communists, while the government of the South sought to make the division of the country permanent, and was supported in this by the United States, which saw the "nation of South Vietnam" as a bulwark against the spread of "international communism" in the region.
Someone please tell me why the rest of the world should have had a say in what went on in Vietnam? It was the right of the people who lived there NOT the world community to decide anything. I don’t think the United States should have ever been involved. So what if the people voted for the Communists? Other countries don’t get involved in our elections. Why did we think it was right to get involved with theirs? Could it be that we thought we were more civilized than they? Perhaps we wanted to help France get back their colony and by destabilizing either the South or the North we’d help with white supremacy in Asia? What was the REAL reason behind thousands of American men being sent to their deaths in the jungles of Vietnam? Can we even begin to grasp the irreparable damage done to a generation’s psyche? My mother and father are of that generation and were involved as my father was in the air force during the Vietnam ‘conflict’. I was born in a different country as a result of it – on an American military base to be sure, but still born outside the United States technically – as the place I was born reverted to its own population’s control just months before my birth.
Back to my rant…
1) What other actions make me believe the United States is no better than the terrorists it hunts?
a. How about trying to assassinate Fedel Castro dozens of times?
b. How about the actual assassinations of heads of state around the world?
Wait, didn’t you know about that? Yes, in the 1970’s the CIA disclosed there were many plots BY THEM to assassinate foreign leaders. This deeply embarrassed the U.S. and since has made the CIA, whether it is involved or not, the prime suspect whenever a foreign leader is assassinated. It took a presidential declaration by Ronald Reagan in 1981 a true executive order stating that “no person employed by or acting on the behalf of the U.S. government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination” to try and clear the nation’s image.
2) What about the suppression of the actual citizens of the United States?
a. Anti-black laws even after slavery
b. Anti-women laws throughout its history
c. Anti-non white laws (various immigrant legislation)
i. Hello...Japanese concentration camps during WWII – our own citizens born here, speaking English, had never been to Japan!
d. Illegal domestic spying on US citizens by the CIA
3) Anti-Immigration Laws in general throughout this countries history. Early immigration restrictions began to be moved into place almost immediately after the Revolutionary War ended. First, I’ll make note of them, then I’ll expound on why:
a. The Aliens and Seditions Act of 1789 – declared that the President could expel anyone he thought dangerous
b. A Naturalization Act of 1790 – established than any free WHITE person “of good moral character” who had resided in the U.S. for two years could acquire citizenship.
c. The Alien Act of 1798 – This act extended the residence requirement for naturalization from the original two years to fourteen years. It also added that undesirable aliens could be deported. (Is there a definition of undesirable somewhere – hmmm?)
d. The Alien Act revision of 1800 – scaled back the fourteen years to five years.
Some quick figures for you – between the Revolutionary War and 1819, an estimated 250,000 foreign-born persons had arrived via ship and settled in the United States. This doesn’t include persons arriving overland from Mexico and Canada. In 1819, an act was passed that required more careful record keeping, and since that time, seriously, from 1820 until September 30, 1985, a grand total of 52.5 million people immigrated to the United States. The peak intercensal (you know like the 10’s, 20’s, 30’s) decade of immigration was 1901-1910, with 8.8 million recorded immigrants, while the peak decade (just a period of ten years) was 1905-1914 with a count of more than 10.1 million. The largest single year was 1907, when 1,285,349 immigrants were counted.
Now keeping that entire issue in mind, let us return to the lovely acts of our government and its racist Anti-immigration laws:
e. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – barred the immigration of laborers (but not teachers, diplomats, students, merchants or tourists) from China for 10 years. This act was renewed in 1892 and 1902 and rescinded only in 1943, when the US and China were wartime allies against the Nazis and Japanese. Here is some other important info about this: The precedent of this act as the first exclusion of a national group was more important that its impact on immigrant numbers! Why do I state this, well, because at the time of this acts passing, Chinese immigration amounted to 39,579, in 1882, compared to 250,000 immigrants from Germany that very same year. So – the law was Anti-Chinese (non-white) and anti-lower class (laborers).
f. Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907-1908 with Japan – barred entry to laborers from Japan (and from Korea after Japan annexed Korea in 1910) and in 1917, immigration was prohibited for laborers from an “Asiatic Barred Zone” (most of China, India, Indochina, parts of Afghanistan and Arabia, Burma, Siam, the Malay Stats, Asiatic Russia, most Polynesian islands, and all East Indian islands).
By 1911, more immigrants were coming from southern Europe instead of northern Europe – so more Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Hungarian people rather than British, Germany, Belgian, Norwegian, etc. The Dillingham Joint Commission on Immigration, supposedly scientific and impartial, concluded that the new immigrants were racially inferiors, “inclined toward violent crime”, resisted assimilation, and “drove old-stock citizens out of some lines of work”.
g. By 1921, the Quota Act, established immigrant quotas for each admissible nationality based on its share of the U.S. population counted in the 1910 census. Some 60 percent of the quotas went to northwestern European countries.
h. In 1924, the National Origins Act, passed a final definitive restrictive legislation. The quotas were similar to those in the 1921 document. As implemented in 1929, the allotted 82 percent of a maximum of 150,000 annual immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere to countries of northwestern Europe, 16 percent to southeastern Europe, and 2 percent to all others, effectively barring the entry of all Asians. They were “aliens ineligible for citizenship”. * Take note here that this was northwestern Europe – which is heavily Protestant in nature whereas southern and eastern Europe is heavily Catholic and Jewish. Also, take note that this passed at a time when the Klu Klux Klan had US Senators and a Supreme Court Justice as members working in Washington DC on their behalf.*
i. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed, over the veto of Democratic President Harry Truman (gotta love and appreciate Harry – one of our truly great presidents even with his awkward brush with the KKK). He objected to this piece of legislation because of the continuation of immigrant quotas. This act, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act after its congressional sponsors – is still in effect today, although heavily amended in 1965 and 2003.
Shame on Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nevada) and Congressman Francis Walter (D-Pennslyvania) – disgraceful men of the Democratic Party who obviously hearken back to the old days prior to the flip flop in idealism that took place. Yes, products of their time, but still, disgraceful.
McCarran, a child of Irish immigrants, was a staunch anti-communist, friendly with Joseph McCarthy, establisher of the Subversive Activities Control Board, sponsored unconstitutional pieces of legislation (McCarran Internal Security Act) that were “pro-security” and exclusionist. Here is a quote from Senator McCarran:
“I believe that this nation is the last hope of Western civilization and if this oasis of the world shall be overrun, perverted, contaminated or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. I take no issue with those who would praise the contributions which have been made to our society by people of many races, of varied creeds and colors. America is indeed a joining together of many streams which go to form a mighty river which we call the American way. However, we have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated into the American way of life, but which, on the contrary are its deadly enemies. Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain. The solution of the problems of Europe and Asia will not come through a transplanting of those problems en masse to the United States. ... I do not intend to become prophetic, but if the enemies of this legislation succeed in riddling it to pieces, or in amending it beyond recognition, they will have contributed more to promote this nation's downfall than any other group since we achieved our independence as a nation.”
Francis Eugene Walter (D-Pennsylvania) was an outright racist. The Walter Family’s roots rest in Holland – yes, he was a Pennsylvania Dutch, his last non-US born ancestor being born in Holland in 1790 – that being his great-grandfather, immigrating to the US between 1800 and 1832. He was Lutheran, as well as being a member of the Eagles, Elks, and Junior Order. Oh, and the Odd Fellows – not quite the Masons, but certainly exclusionist lodges intent on their own designs for society. He served in WWI & WWII in the Navy and became a lawyer 1919. He was a US Congressmen from 1933 to 1963. He was known as holding “reactionary and racist” viewpoints, as well as being a strong anti-Communist. He served as the chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee and was connected with the Pioneer Fund, a foundation best known for its advocacy of IQ variation among races. The Pioneer Fund was also known for their philosophy of Eugenics – basically a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of intervention such as selective breeding, forced sterilization, and other various types of birth control. YES! Can you believe this? It is true. This man was the director of a foundation that spewed a philosophy that has been used as a justification for coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, such as forced sterilization of persons who are claimed to have genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized population, and in some cases, outright genocide of races perceived as inferior or undesirable. Funding for the study of Eugenics came from prominent sources such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the Harriman family. By 1930, Ernst Rudin was using eugenic rhetoric into the racial policies of Nazi Germany. The Pioneer Fund is still at it today and no matter how much they try to sound neutral and scientific – the are a group of racists – check it out: http://www.pioneerfund.org/
In the United States, the eugenics movement had largely lost most popular and political support by the end of the 1930s while forced sterilizations mostly ended in the 1960s with the last performed in 1981. Many US states continued to prohibit biracial marriages with "anti-miscegenation laws" such as Virginia's The Racial Integrity Act of 1924, until they were over-ruled by the Supreme Court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. The Immigration Restriction Act of 1924, which was designed to limit the immigration of "dysgenic" Italians, and eastern European Jews, was repealed and replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965.
Okay – so – the United States, a country founded on the idea of liberty and freedom (supposedly) has been steadfastly passing legislation to keep non-desirable races (non-northern European) out of this country. Why does most of the world hate the U.S.A?
Well, our own laws (the immigration ones I noted above) tell the world populace straight out that the US thinks they are unfit to become Americans. Additionally, our lovely CIA has been doing things around the world, without most Americans knowledge, that aid America’s world domination and control interests by supporting America’s goals and keeping other nations crippled with drugs, wars, and well, you name it. The CIA sponsored anti-communist subversive literature ‘behind the Iron Curtain’ prior to it falling to help motivate the populace against the communist governments. The CIA was involved in drug trafficking during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, as well as in Central American prior to the US invasion of Panama.
As an aside – do you even remember the US invasion of Panama? It was called Operation Just Cause, and its intent was to depose general, dictator and de facto Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega during George Bush I’s reign as President.
Bush said at the time that the invasion was to 1) safeguard the lives of US citizens in Panama, 2) defend democracy and human rights in Panama, 3) combating drug trafficking, and 4) protecting the integrity of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. Rarely do people bring up the fact that the US had a strangle hold on Panama with harsh economic sanctions and was playing games with their military by conducting constant, provocative military maneuvers that were prohibited by the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. So – does it sound like the big Gorilla US is messing with the smaller country’s business or what? The invasion which sounded like it was targeting Noriega caused widespread damage to civilian neighborhoods, burning a few to the ground deliberately according to eye witnesses. According to Physicians for Human Rights, 300 Panamanian civilians died due to the invasion. Additionally, reports that upwards of 15,000 people were displaced because of the invasion and the US military only provided support for 3,000. According to official Pentagon figures 516 Panamanians were killed during the invasion, and the Army, well, their internal memos estimated it at more like 1,000. Finally, an Independent Commission of Inquiry on the US invasion of Panama estimated Panamanian deaths of 1,000 – 4,000. The Organization of American States passed a resolution deploring the invasion of Panama by the US. The US violated the groups charter, to which the US is a signatory and party, which prohibits members from invading other members for any reason. The US ratified that charter in 1948 (thank you again Harry Truman!) That charter states, “Every States has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State.” Under the US Constitution, Article VI, treaties ratified by the US are among the supreme law of the land of the US. I laugh at that part of the Constitution which is so readily ignored. The US broke treaties with Native American nations right and left, is the government going to start honoring treaties all of a sudden? YET – get this – after the resolution was passed, it was vetoed by three permanent members of the UN Security Council – guess who – come on, guess. Yes, think about it – France, the United Kingdom, and the US who cited its right of self-defense of 35,000 Americans present on the Panama Canal. Later, the UN General Assembly voted 75-20 with 40 abstentions to condemn the US invasion as a “flagrant violation of international law”.
Again – why do people around the world hate the U.S.A? Why shouldn’t the USA’s own citizens hate the government? Well, back to drug trafficking circa the 1980’s and the CIA dealing in the whole Contras affair. Yep. The CIA brought cocaine into the US, sold it to drug dealers in Los Angeles who in turn went to poor neighborhoods already beset with urban blight and helped to start the crack cocaine epidemic. Money from the drug sales was used to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Yes, the US and Argentina aided the Contras with financial and military support. It was an attempt to remove the Sandinistas. The Sandinista’s are a Nicaraguan political party founded on the broad leftist principles of the popular front. The Sandinista’s are definitely anti-imperialists. Yes, they have Marxist leanings. They have been in and out of power in Nicaragua over the last three decades voted there by their own people. At first it was the Junta of National Reconstruction (11 years), but then free democratic elections occurred – although the US denied that the results of the election were real because the people voted a prominent leader of the Junta into power as the president.
Hmmm – sounds familiar doesn’t it. The US doesn’t like the anti-imperialist leanings of a government. They try to subvert that government covertly, sometimes resorting to instigating revolution, sometimes supporting the revolutionaries with money and military might. Then when a government is formed after a mess of war, and the people vote into power the leaders they want, the US denies that the people’s votes were true. Sounds like the mess in Israel with Palestinians electing Hamas. Sounds like Iran and Iraq, oh, and every other mess the US has meddled around in the last 100 years from the invasions of the newly formed Soviet Union, to the training of Osama Bin Laden by US forces to help overthrow the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and all the various dictators the US has placed into power in Africa. On and on it goes.
WOW – I could go on and on about the foreign policy mess. Again with my question, why does a great deal of the world despise the United States government and why do I feel that the United States government is a racist one bent on world domination? Haven’t I made my argument?
My Italian and Armenian ancestors came here in because of the ideology and American propaganda what filled the world at the turn of the twentieth century. This poem sums up why they came:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
What’s happened to the ethos behind such words? Did you know they were written by a woman who was a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews? Most Americans don’t know these words, or the woman who wrote them. They don’t understand what they were conceived to mean at the time of their inscription on the plaque inside the base of Liberty Enlightening the World aka the Statue of Liberty. This is what my ancestors from Italy and Armenia saw when they entered the country at Ellis Island. They were fleeing from economic distress, as the case with my Italian ancestors. They were fleeing from religious persecution and genocide, as the case with my Armenian ancestors. They felt America would welcome them and they knew that the woman with the golden torch meant freedom when they saw here.
This female figure walking upright, dressed in a robe and a seven point spiked rays representing a nimbus (halo), holding a stone tablet close to her body in her left hand and a flaming torch high in her right hand means what to us today? The tablet bears the words "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776), commemorating the date of the United States Declaration of Independence. Does it mean independence from monarchies? Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States and more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Visually, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes. The Statue of Liberty's obviously classical appearance (Roman stola, sandals, facial expression) derives from Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbor, she is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' freedom from oppression and tyranny. The seven spikes on the crown represent the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand shows the date of the nation's birth, July 4, 1776. What a majestic idol, right? Yet, what is behind this façade of equality?
My family can be considered lucky. They came here and quickly assimilated abandoning their languages and culture and embraced the American dream. They were fair skinned (the Italians were) and if they weren’t, they married true ‘white’ people. They changed their names. Hagop became Jacob, and Baitzar became Florence. Giuseppe became Joseph and Giovanni became John. As for my northern Europe ancestors whose name sounded a little too eastern – Yezenkavachus (or Jazenkavechkus) which was too hard to say for most people not Lithuanian in origin, became Yesinkevich, which sounded too Jewish or Polish –which it is neither, which eventually became Zink. They didn’t quite shake the religious thing though. My Italian side remained Catholic up until my father and his cousin JoAnn who are both now Evangelical Christians (in the last twenty years). My Armenian side remained Eastern Orthodox type Catholic if you understand my meaning – and for the most part they still are – those that still embrace being Armenian. Although, there are parts of the Lithuanian side of the family that went Lutheran and Methodist, most of them abandoned religion all together.
YET – the side of my family that didn’t immigrate had a much different road for them. My Native American side was forced moved from Alabama when the Creeks (Muskogees) were told to leave and finally did. My great-grandmother Mary and her mother were the last to ever have anything to do with their tribal affiliation and gave up – assimilating into the larger predominantly white cultural around them.
My Mexican ancestors continued to speak Spanish until my father was born in 1949 and they have resided in what is now Southern California since 1791. They are still Catholic, yet, they too have married into ‘white’ families and have stopped embracing their Mexican ancestry as a whole. My French ancestors, well, I consider them dead with my great-grandfather and his daughter, my grandmother, who were the last to speak French and Spanish coincidently.
They were all sucked into the great American melting pot. All of my ancestors were sucked in. They assimilated and became Americans with the American dream as their goal. I am a mut, a product of the mingling of all these people. I am a product of immigrants as is everyone in this country who isn’t 100% Native American.
Really, it comes down to how long you’ve been here, doesn’t it. My husband’s family has been here since this was the colonies. Most of my family – well, next year will be 100 years of them coming to America.
Today’s immigration laws and the whole immigration debate make me sick. Here is what I would do:
1. Open the boarders to all those wanting to come to America for the purpose of becoming United States Citizens, no limit on how many want to come, no quotas, with these stipulations:
a. They must file an application for citizenship while still in their country of origin or while in another country if their country of origin is hostile towards them.
b. They must submit to full fingerprinting and DNA sampling to ensure that if they commit crimes while in the United States, there is some record that can be turned to, as a vast majority of US citizens today have had their fingerprints input into national databases. I have – for my teaching jobs and my employment with several city governments, and for my gaming license.
c. They must wait a period of 30-days while a background check is run.
i. No convicted criminals shall be admitted – period.
d. They must submit to a full physical including drug tests to determine if they have any highly contagious diseases or are habitual drug abusers. At this time, they can also be asked if they would like to be organ donors (in case of death while in the US), blood donors, or platelet donors, or marrow donors which could help many medical organizations.
e. They must pay an application fee, which includes the submission of photos, fingerprints, and DNA and which will cover all the expenses of the background search, physical and lab work. The application fee also pays for the printing of the resident alien card, social security card, special ‘in-process’ passport and all the required citizenship classes and educational upgrade classes. The fee will also help defer the cost of the personnel required to run the program and monitor the resident alien’s progress biannually. This fee is non-refundable. (This should be a substantial fee not dissimilar to the fees charged by coyotes that smuggle people from Mexico – something like $500 to $5,000 per application. If there were 2,000,000 applications a year each paying $500, that would be $1,000,000,000 or if it was $5,000 that would be $10,000,000,000.)
i. Okay – here is a special caveat, if they cannot afford to pay the application fees (say they have a very large family or something), then they must at least pay 10% of the total application fees cost and then have a small percentage withheld from their paychecks, like a garnishment, to pay the remaining fee over the resident alien period.
2. Once the applicant for immigration is accepted and a resident alien card is given, the following steps must be taken before full citizenship is granted:
a. The applicant will be assigned a social security number with the resident alien card, and must use it to acquire a legal paying job within the first 60 days of residence.
b. The applicant must continue to be employed for a full five years without significant breaks or periods of unemployment.
c. They must notify their case worker every time they move, change jobs, or phone numbers.
d. The applicant must not take any welfare, food stamps, HUD services, etc – government sponsored handouts during this five year period. They must prove that they are a self-sufficient member of the economic society.
e. They must file and pay income taxes just like every other legal working American in the United States. The IRS will have full rights to audit them just like they do everyone else. They will also be entitled to all the same tax benefits.
f. The applicant must take citizenship classes: United States History, and English (reading, writing and speaking) the full five years. A written and oral exam must be passed to demonstrate proficiency.
g. In addition to these classes, the applicant must demonstrate that they are a willing participant in society by serving on Jury duty if called, and volunteering occasionally in social programs for other immigrants.
h. During the resident alien period, the applicant may not leave the United States for longer than a two week period per year except in the case of the death of an immediate family member.
i. The resident alien must meet twice a year with a case manager who will monitor the progress of the resident alien.
j. The applicant must remain crime free during the resident alien period. This includes abiding by all state regulations such as car insurance, driver’s licenses, etc. Not even a parking violation or traffic ticket.
k. During the resident alien period, should the applicant like to attend college or universities, the applicant will be eligible for resident tuition prices if they meet the criteria of the institution.
After the five years are up and all criteria are met the applicant will be granted full legal US citizenship, the right to vote, full legal status for trials, et al. During the five year period, any children born to the resident alien will automatically gain legal US citizenship status should the applicant parent meet all the required criteria. Any children under the age of 18 that come with the applicant to the US and live in the United States the full time during the resident alien period will automatically receive US citizenship but an application fee must be paid for each of the children at the time of entry into the US and the children must not violate sections d, h, or j of the above area. Any minor that turns 18 during the resident alien period, must begin their own five year period in addition to the time they have already been in the US and meet all the requirements of the above section. They will not have to reapply or pay an additional fee over an above their initial fee.
If the applicant does not meet all the requirements during the resident alien period, the applicant and all the dependent minors will be deported from the United States. The applicant cannot reapply for immigration. The minors may apply on their own when they reach the legal age of 18. In the case of one parent meeting requirements and another parent not meeting requirements, the children may stay with the parent meeting requirements for citizenship within the United States. The parent not meeting requirements will be deported.
Special incentives for immigration –
1. Those resident aliens willing to move to rural areas of the United States (mostly the mid-west and northern plains) or communities shown to be in decline population wise on the last national census will receive additional tax credits as long as they remain in those communities and as long as those communities are considered rural or in decline. Any current US citizens willing to do this (move to rural areas or areas in decline) will be afforded the opportunity, although current citizens must not be on any form of welfare and will not be eligible for welfare during their stay in the rural areas or areas in decline. They exception to government assistance shall be declared natural disasters or emergencies.
2. Once the five year period is completed and citizenship granted, new citizens will be encouraged to seek higher education for themselves and their children in the areas of education and the medical fields. Should resident aliens that receive citizenship already hold degrees in those fields, the review and approval of their licensure will be expedited should they agree to serve in rural communities or those in decline areas.
For all those illegal immigrants that are currently working in the United States, they may file an application and begin their five year resident alien period. They will not be prosecuted for their current illegal status, but all those that do not meet the requirements as stated above will be either 1) deported to their country of origin, or 2) jailed should it be found through the fingerprinting and DNA process that they have committed a crime. After serving their full sentence they will be deported to their country of origin.
Now, with regards to VISAs and other immigration, like for work or education, the process remains the same as it currently is with quotas and whatnot. I think coming here to work or for education and then returning to their country of origin is bogus in general. It takes all their acquired knowledge back with them and doesn’t really benefit the US. Now, if they came here, became US citizens, and then split their time between the US and their country of origin (still spending more time in the US) then I could be okay with it. Still, they have to become Citizens in all ways – including paying taxes.
I would encourage large corporations that have sent their factories aboard to bring them and all of the workers that are over them back to the United States. Yes, they would have to pay them minimum wage at the least, but the jobs would be in America and taxes would be paid here in this countries by the workers. As an added benefit should the companies do this, they could wave the employer share of the payroll taxes. Each of their employees would have to meet all the requirements of the immigration law as I stated above. This would help keep their employees loyal to the company who is helping them with meeting the employment criteria. Additionally, it would bring over all of the employees minor children and spouses who would have to have applications as well.