By Pablo Aceves
The recent US Supreme Court decision SB 1070 Law in Arizona, which allowed local and State Police to question, detain, and turn over to Immigration authorities those who are suspected of not having authorization immigration documents (read Mexican), far from being what MALDEF and others called a “victory”, is in fact a green light to attack us at will. Facing yet another discriminatory action against Raza, what should be the response from our Movimiento?
The Supreme Court, made up with what many in the Raza community consider some of the worst anti-Raza, anti-African, anti-Worker ever to wear black robes did strike down most provisions of the law. But what they struck down (requiring “immigrants” to register with the State, and making it a crime to work in Arizona without a work permit) is nothing compared to what they upheld: the most controversial (and the heart of the legislation) often referred to as the “Show Me Your Papers Provision.” It not only allows but requires police to make a “reasonable attempt” to “determine Immigration status of a person stopped, detained, or arrested if there is reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is in the country illegally.” (Alia Beard Rau Arizona Immigration Law: Supreme Court Upholds Key Provision of Senate Bill 1070 The Republic/AZ Central June 25, 2012 11:15AM).
In spite of references to the ruling by some pro-immigration organizations as the “best we can expect” given the “current climate,” it should be understood that striking down some provisions while leaving the core spirit and letter of the “law” intact is a ruling that gives racial profiling the go-ahead and declares it “constitutional.” In effect, the attacks upon our community, which has been common practice for much of our hisoty in occupied territories, has now been made legal and the “duty of law enforcement.” It also gives who are in fact white settlers the right to “sue” local and state government if they determine that they are not doing enough to carry out the law.
With the decision to uphold selective provisions the Supreme should convince us once and for all that our people will never get justice from the colonial courts. This system with its police, Migra, Armed Forces, and its so-called “justice” in fact exists to oppress, lock up, and, when necessary, kill us. Yet, we have those “reasonable voices” within our community who convoluting reality continue to tell us that a defeat is a victory and that this is the “best we can expect.” They attempt to convince that we should continue to put our faith in the “justice system.” To be sure, because of the Colonial Education System that has been forced upon us, there are individuals in our community that do not have a clear understanding of the true nature of the oppression we suffer. However, there are others that do know the difference and are trying to sell this new attack on our gente as a “victory.” They advocate that we follow the “legal process” and doing so that it will set us free. We must look closely at their motivation.
The majority of the “hispanic middle class,” the lawyers, the Democratic Party shot callers, and many academicians have a vested interest in the system and are much too comfortable to take a stand that will lead to true justice.
In this same spirit, it is time to take to task the “Hispanic Media” (Univision, Telemundo, Televisa, and others) who for the past decade has tacitly supported some of the most vicious attacks our gente has ever faced. At mass street actions, they have repeatedly tried to get us to wave American Flags, wear white, not yell too loud, or say anything that will offend White people. Most importantly, they attempt to convince us to put our faith in the system and the courts. We have to understand that just because a media talking head speaks Spanish, does not mean they represent the interests of the Mexicano/Raza working class. It is simply the sytem getting its message across in all languages. As the Raza Press and Media Association has said many times, we must build an independent, pro-liberation Raza Press that can bring clarity and mobilize our community to defen its own interests in our own land!
THIS DECISION IS NOTHING NEW
We also have to be clear that this decision is nothing new but a microcosm of what is going on all over the U.S. While the controlled corporate media, liberals, and so-called community leaders may have an interest in convincing us that this has not before or that Arizona is an extreme exceptional case, those of us on the front lines of history have a responsibility to get the truth out to our people. We know we must expose that Arizona is what we have experienced all throughout our history and that this law and resultant increased deportations are not occurring because we are “immigrants” but precisely because we are NOT!
The role of media is key in the continued confusion and lack of clarity. Over the past decade, our movimiento, which strives for self-determination and is of our own making, has been diverted by media and community forces previously mentioned toward a reactive immigrant rights movement that exists in the here and now. It actually argues that history is a distraction, ensuring the continued ignorance of our youth and those that do not have a long history in the Occupied Territories. This is one of the main reasons why there is so much difficulty in our community when it comes to developing strategies and tactics for the defense and liberation of our people.
THE RESPONSE TO THE SUPREME COURT DECISION
Despite the misleading interpretations of this decision, the response of all who struggle for self-determination and defense of our community’s basic human rights is to step up our efforts to combat against racist attacks in Arizona and throughout Aztlan/Mexico Ocupado. We cannot allow the Supreme Court to decide whether we are to be treated like human beings or not. We must march, protest, organize, and struggle on all fronts and in all forums to denounce this State-sponsored terrorism. Furthemore, the books that are banned in the state of Arizona shows clearly that racial profiling is what this empire is built upon and that it goes hand in hand with colonial injustice. Only a proper understanding of our history to expose the fact that we are not immigrants but indigenous to this land will we be able to effectively mobilize and combat assaults like these.
The Raza Press and Media Association calls on all independent, progressive journalists and forces in our community to expose and denounce the Supreme Court Decision for what it really is. We further call on all of those in struggle to redouble efforts to expose and denounce this colonial, capitalist system and to step up all phases of resistance as the State steps up all forms of oppression.
Somos Un Pueblo, Sin Fronteras
Todos Somos Arizona
Alto a SB1070