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Hope and Change. Divide and Conquer. Stand Together.

August 31st, 2008 § 16 comments

Buddha Por Octavio Ocampo

 

PART OF WHAT makes me feel gross inside this hoopla, this ultra hyper TV extravaganza-palooza that both parties are telegasming 24-7 is that ICE is cracking down with serious force on gente while the popcorn is being buttered and the lights being dimmed. 

The scared elites on their sparkling shining heaps use all they can out there: media, distraction, propaganda, general ignorance, and all means of misdirection and misrepresentation to continue the war on the Brown®, the poor, the “meek”, some might say. I wouldn’t say. I would say that the fringe elements of this society surround the center, eh? Not so meek. Combined, las mujeres, the brown, the black, the golden, the gay, the women—all those who are not accounted for in the “UNIVERSAL”, in the default setting, make up quite a lot. Or maybe the “center” of this growing weave is not ‘whites’, but just those without honor, without heart, without sensitivity, without integrity. And the fringes…we’re bones and emotion. We’re fire and grito. We’re seeing things for what they are.

But either way, that’s always the aristocrat game. Divide and conquer the rabble.

Like this article, hey, it’s even titled Immigrant raid divides a Mississippi town.

LAUREL, MISS. — Fabiola Pena considered running away from her factory job when she realized she was being targeted in a federal immigration raid. She was deterred when she noticed the helicopters hovering overhead.                  

But helicopters were not what shocked Pena the most on her last, fateful day at Howard Industries, the largest employer in this small Southern town. It was the black co-workers who clapped and cheered, Pena said, as she and hundreds of other Latino immigrant laborers were arrested and hauled away.

“They said we took their jobs, but I was working from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Pena, 21, a day after the raid last week that resulted in the arrest of nearly 600 suspected illegal immigrants. “I didn’t see them working like us.”
Immigrant raid divides a Mississippi town
Just listen to the ungrateful invader, eh? Coming in here and working so hard, putting down all those lazy blacks. Grrrr. And now, listen to the Angry Blacks:
“They need to go and do this in every little town,” Tonya Jackson said.     

 

Jackson, who is black, said that over the years she had applied numerous times for a job at the locally owned manufacturer, which employs about 4,000 workers. Jackson, 30, said she never received a callback. The raid, she said, was a welcome purge of illegal Latino laborers who had taken jobs they didn’t deserve.

“We’ve been here all our lives,” she said. “And it seems like they have just arrived and are getting the nice cars and the good homes.”

Immigrant raid divides a Mississippi town

Well, I won’t get waylaid into laughing my ass off for an hour until tears start falling; tears for the children ripped from their parents. Tears for the lies infesting the “news.” Tears for the ignorance and apathy of so many. Tears for the tired families living with lack and only to work, tears for citizens yanked from their lives and made to die in cages. Tears for families living to work our produce, and making no extra except our suspicion and hate, always strangers from comfort, sleeping next to railroad tracks; tears for corpses in the streets and in the detention cells and in the fields. Tears for the sick who are being secretly deported when they need medical attention. I won’t get into reminding everyone that the Mexicans—the Indians, that is—have been all over this land for hundreds and even thousands of years. I won’t get too deeply into the Bracero program or how since Porfirio Diáz’s crushing agendas, México has been under the heel and the thumb of American labor and resources needs. 

Because that’s sort of what these pendejos want. They want me to go head to head, and they want it to be with the blacks who are my friends. While they write these filthy essays determined to divide us, we really ought to simply remember the FIELDS.

Who has worked THE FIELDS?  Who dies in the FIELDS?

THEM? Or your people and mine?

 
nationofmigrantsDesktop
 

They seek to divide us. They seek to impress upon us their own Model of Scarcity (sombrero tip a Theriomorph), their own fears of losing the ability to suck up all the resources, their own fear of the hordes of Others coming to steal their treasure. They want us to adopt it so we fight their fearful battle and they keep their polished hands well-softened. The elites, those with batallions of fears marching in on their piles of wealth, armies of advantages at their command, even actual armies and private armies and five houses, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollares.

You and me? We have nada. But no—

We have hope, we have love, we have familia, we have pride. We have our histories, and our herstories and all our stories. We have heart. Let us remember this, it is all we have. So many give theirs away or leave it sitting cold and unattended, or woo it with a hail of coin. 

Let us keep ours whole and in each other’s keeping. This storm won’t last forever. We will be the ones standing.

But sometimes we need help.                

Just last Monday as the Democratic Convention was getting underway the largest immigration raid ever took place.  595 people were arrested.  This post is a call for help.  

 

If you can, please do:

PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING ITEMS OR MONETARY DONATIONS TO:

Sacred Heart Catholic Church 
Father Ken Ramon-Landry 
313 Walnut St 
Hattiesburg, MS. 39401 

 

 

 

 

I HAD A ROUGH DAY in Denver. My second to the last day. I don’t have time to write much out, as tomorrow I leave for the RNC. But I traveled another mile in this journey I walk, the one that began with El Grito back in 2006. It was a good feeling, a good realization, a good mile. But it hurt. And I just about broke Twitter with sheer fury that morning. The moments kept adding up,  you see. Day after day. From the bus rides and the racist attitudes of a handful of whites around me who wouldnt stop offering their ignorant views, to the agenda of the MSM. One moment was when a latina activist and amiga was used by a WaPo reporter who she trusted. But Vargas, the slimeball, put words in her mouth, added Latina Stereotyping to the article, and changed her very political stances.

Another moment was when ICE was raiding mississippi with the biggest raid yet, families were being destroyed, labor workers were cheering—cheering cheering cheering. I kept hearing cheering On the news everywhere was cheering and laughing and confetti falling for a multimillion dollar party. On the bus was sneering. So we speak of MLK and a brand new day and hope and hope and hope for change. And everywhere I looked, arrows and daggers and walls are closing in on people. Chota on the streets with bats and bullets and beatdowns for the people who dare to stand up and speak to the State. Abuse and control, not in any new way, perhaps. But it wasn’t change I can believe in. And so I removed myself from the lobby and sat out in the sun by the pool and cried. 

And I wasn’t interested in standing with sardines, wasting hours in line to go watch the big scripted event. (Which is why Kai and I took the route we did.) I was left empty in the belly with this “representation” and the Hope of the Day and the Story of the Day. It wasn’t my Story of the Day, you see. And it did not give me enough hope.

It’s funny. I had a bit to do with the formation (and all of the design) of The Sanctuary. That, in part, came out of my disappointment with Ykos 07. (A XOLAGRAFIK documentary not yet made, but it will be, footage is all digitized.)

While I was in Denver, someone from an org sent a carom shot through someone else to attempt to tame my voice, or teach me framing. As if. You see why they didn’t waste their time and come straight to me, but put it in someone else’s ear? Well, they know it’s a waste of time. Although it’s not the last time an org or org person mentioned the same.

But oye, I don’t frame. I don’t “Frame” and I don’t FRAME. I speak my heart and mind. I do not do it for some dull or dry or ideological reason, nor to be an Ally or a friend or a Political Activist. I do it like I would stand in front of my mother or mijita or mi amor if a threat showed up. I do it for Lucha, and for Felipe. For Jeno and Alejo. For Juanita and Vicente. Mi familia. Mi gente. And nothing you say speaks to me louder than their voices.

And anyway, I’m doing it for me. And I already know how to speak my heart.

But to add injury to insult, the types of groups that imagine they somehow deserve the bullhorn for Migrant Advocacy? They equivocate, say one thing, do another, or just turn their backs when it counts, like the blanquitos they wish I would be. Nobody at the DNC—aside from my little posse of sanity—was talking about the raids in any way that mattered. 

It’s you and me, gente. We are many and we are strong. Let us not be convinced otherwise. Let us stand together.

 

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§ 16 Responses to Hope and Change. Divide and Conquer. Stand Together."

  • RickB says:

    Hey Nez, I think this must me my first comment on the new site (the rss fooled me!). I’m sorry to hear your experience of the DNC included equivocation and framing nonsense (but I’ve seen the vid, you do frame- artistically!)but it seems a common experience for those with principles beyond careerism & party. I read about the raids and it was sad to hear union members and people of colour being quoted in support of them. It is about divide & conquer and I also expect the media play it up too. They love to up the drama of a story and splitting solidarity is an essential part of keeping labour controlled, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the corporate media.
    Good luck at the RNC, in the belly of the beast!

  • Carmen D. says:

    Amigo, you have done it again. With one post you have blown the pictures out of a “frame” I carried in my head.

    You write: “Who has worked THE FIELDS? Who dies in the FIELDS?

    THEM? Or your people and mine?”

    We know that answer.

    And HaHa. Who would dare ask you not to see? I can’t even imagine.

    What I know about the next 60 days is that we will not hear the candidates talk about race, or justice or economic justice or human rights or humanity.

    That means we have to speak even louder.

  • Man–
    I love reading your blog. As an African American female it humbles me and reminds me that no matter how much I feel I have the right to be upset with the US, there are people who have it much worse than I could ever imagine. And that there is so much more that unites us peoples of color than tears us apart. In short, we are all being given the shaft and should get together and do something about it.
    The stickiness between black and brown is due to a lack of understanding. Fabiola is right she won’t see blacks working like that because I can honestly say– most of us (at least the black folks I know of) refuse to. We do not do 6am to 8pm– and nobody else should for that matter.
    It pains me to see one of us (a black female) be happy with legalized discrimination and out right oppression. It’s like we forgot where we came from, and can’t recognize when others have it even worse.
    Anyway– thanks for doing what you do Man!!
    Infinite Blessings

  • nezua says:

    thank you amigas and amigos, you rock! thank you for helping me remember what’s up and to be strong,too.

  • Jose says:

    Well you know how often I’m cynical (in the truest sense) of this government and how it’s run. Whether Dem or Repub, it’s often the same ol’ story of us getting the short end of the stick, and us getting a weird feeling whenever we approach events like this. I’ll most certainly be linking this post in response to the thoughts I’ve already had in my mind about events of this nature. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they don’t get it (psh!) Keep on keepin’ on, bro.

  • nezua says:

    you too, my friend. look fwd to your post.

  • NLinStPaul says:

    I know your heart is true Nez, because it speaks so strongly to mine…and helps it grow. Keep on keeping on. You’re doing it as far as I’m concerned!!!

  • Lilly says:

    the day you start framing is the day you lose your voice and while you may gain audience, you lose also.

    If I wanted to read framed issues I’d listen to air america.

    If I wanted to watch it…I’d go to a TV.

    I am here for a reason. I suspect others are here for the same. This world is framed everywhere you turn, its hard to distinguish reality.

    Speak your truth, it takes courage and its rare.

    gracias for that and this

  • Tracy Rosen says:

    Yes, you definitely already do speak from your heart.

    Not sure I get the issue of framing, help me to understand. The way I see this post is as a reframing – a reframing of the idea of division, when you asked:

    “Who has worked THE FIELDS? Who dies in the FIELDS?

    THEM? Or your people and mine?”

    Thanks for including the link to the address…diapers are on their way (or will be once this labour day thing is done ;) ).

  • Ravenmn says:

    Nezua, I hear you are hanging out in the Twin Cities this week. This is my home town and I’d love to hook up with you. You’ve got my e-mail address!

    Ravenmn

  • Rafael says:

    Keep your head down Nez. The police/federales are out in force.

  • Lary says:

    Hi

    It makes sense what you say about the illegal immigrants..Why don’t we just legalize them right?

    I think its just too bad that many Mexicans may or may not have it so bad in their own country that they must leave for the U.S. instead.

    Another thing you must realize is that Mexican governments will do the same thing to get rid of Americans or other nationalities from their countries as well who are illegal..

    I think the US, and Mexico should be one country. Then we wouldnt have these problems of deportation.

    I feel your saying….

    “Who has worked THE FIELDS? Who dies in the FIELDS?

    THEM? Or your people and mine?”
    Is a good point…Illegal labor has helped American business progress…

    But you must realize…no one forced them to do these jobs..these people fled their own country to get these jobs..No one forced it on them..

    Also, I think if the illegals really wanted to make a good life for themselves, they could do it in Mexico as well as the US…

    Furthermore, they are more than welcome to apply for citizenship…

    How to become a U.S. citizen

    ABOUT MEXICAN CITIZENSHIP: To learn about the new Mexican citizenship law, which provides for limited dual citizenship and enables Mexicans to retain legal rights to property in Mexico after becoming U.S. citizens, CLICK HERE.

    DOWNLOAD CITIZENSHIP QUESTIONS: Right click, “Save As” on the following link: Questions
    You will need Acrobat Reader software to open the document and print out the questions. Get the free Acrobat Reader here: Acrobat Reader

    By BOYD F. CAMPBELL
    Attorney and Civil Law Notary

    Whether you will find it easy or hard to become a U.S. citizen will depend on too many factors to discuss in this short article, but I will discuss eligibility requirements, age, disability, and relatively new laws governing children born to U.S. citizen parents overseas.
    There are only two ways to become a U.S. citizen: either by law, or by birth.
    If you are a citizen by birth, no action on your part is generally required (for example, if you were born in a state or territory of the United States), unless you were born to a U.S. citizen parent overseas, and your birth was not recorded as a U.S. citizen birth at a U.S. consulate overseas.
    If you are not, then you will probably seek to become one by naturalization, an administrative process that requires you to take some action and which is strictly governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
    Generally — very generally — you may not be naturalized unless you:

    1. Are at least 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder);
    2. Have resided continuously in the United States, having been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, for five years immediately preceding the date you filed your application for naturalization, or
    3. Have, after having been removed from conditional permanent resident status, based upon your marriage to a U.S. citizen, having resided in the United States for one year after the date the condition was removed;
    4. Have resided continuously in the United States at all times after your application to the time and date of your admission for citizenship;
    5. Have, during all periods of time referred to above, been and still are a person of good moral character;
    6. Have no outstanding deportation or removal order and no pending deportation or removal proceeding;
    7. Have the ability to read, write, speak, and understand simple words and phrases in English;
    8. Have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government;
    9. Are attached to, and can support, the principles of the U.S. Constitution and can swear allegiance to the United States.

    Just some thoughts from a Gringo..Laugh out loud..

    Racism is pure ignorance and nothing more.

  • Rafael says:

    “But you must realize…no one forced them to do these jobs..these people fled their own country to get these jobs..No one forced it on them..

    Also, I think if the illegals really wanted to make a good life for themselves, they could do it in Mexico as well as the US…

    Furthermore, they are more than welcome to apply for citizenship…”

    Extreme poverty forced them out of their countries. And the economies of the two countries are not the same. So no they could not make a “good life for themselves” there, that is why they risk everything to get to the US.

    As for applying for citizenship? If they ever want to get a job and not wait for decades to see if they get past the quota system then they have to take the risk.

    I’m sorry, but you seem extremely misinformed on the subject, even for a lawyer.

  • sweetleaf says:

    watching this freak show (dnc and rnc) creeps me out as my flesh crawls from the complete absence of dignity, regard for humanity, common sense, meaning, purpose, reality, significance, passion, respect, potential, god…. the waste, the waste, the waste, the waste of hope, of chance. the insult to my spirit is maddening. there is no change other than an evolving of a living distortion. yes, these parties a distraction contrived for what means for what end. it is same shit different piles.
    you are brave to be there. protect what is soft within you. i couldn’t handle it, and i’m grateful i have the luxury of turning the power off. thank you for your reporting. you scrutinize (feeling with your eyes) well, truthfully…
    the workers in the raids and all immigrants are in my conscious contact of prayer as you bring this to my attention.

  • […] Fall Down, a story of a Hmong family and their clash with the US medical establishment), seeing the mainstream media pump out divisionary stories about workers of color clapping while ICE raids terrorized their fellow workers, seeing how I have […]

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