For months I have sat back and listened to my friends, who all happen to be white Republicans, speak out against Obamacare and the attack on our constitution. I've heard them say how we need to fight the tide of socialism, fight for our country's freedom.
All the while I have watched the news footage of Tea Party members carrying monkeys and holding up signs telling Obama to go back to Kenya. I've listened to stories of racism: a mural of a Latino child that Republicans wanted "whitenized;" a story of a Latino man who served his country in the armed forces and when he went to a Tea Party rally he was told to "go home."
(His country is America, by-the-way.)
I watched the footage of Shirley Sherrod and nearly cried as I listened to her story and the racism perpetuated against her, her family and her people 45 years ago. I was saddened to think of such suffering in the past, long ago when things were different than today, in modern America, 2010.
But then it hit me, maybe things aren't so different. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back and the types of atrocities that happened in Shirley Sherrod's day will happen again. Maybe even the types of things that happened to the Japanese after World War II or the types of things that happened when Hitler ruled Germany.
For months I have been arguing with myself, in defense of the Republican party. After all, almost all of my friends are Republicans. I have argued that my friends couldn't be racist since they are my friends. If they aren't racist, then how can they be so zealous about the Arizona Law? The Arizona law allows police to arrest people that they suspect aren't citizens.
I keep hearing those in favor of the law say that the law won't cause racial profiling. Well, I wonder how that is so? I mean the law was instigated by Mexicans crossing the border illegally and supposedly overtaking American's jobs and it was instigated by the fear that jihadist Muslims are infiltrating the country via the Mexican border. So tell me, please, who are the police going to suspect aren't citizens? My guess is they will suspect people who look like me.
The Arizona Law scares me. It doesn't scare any of my Republican friends. But then again, they are all white and I am not. My children are brown and look "foreign." Their children are white and look "American."
Now, how did that happen? Weren't the original Americans brown-skinned and the immigrants from other countries all white? Boy times have changed haven't they?
So all of my dear friends don't have to be concerned for their freedoms or their children's freedom when it comes to the Arizona law. But what about mine? If they were truly my friends, and truly not biased when it comes to race, then wouldn't their fight for the constitution include the fight against the Arizona law?
I have to wonder why when it comes to Obamacare they sure get heated up about our freedom but when it comes to the Arizona Law they are all for it! Maybe my friends, whom I've always considered deep thinkers, are being duped by the propagandists just as surely many of the 60% of Americans who support the law are.
I watched my kids walking down the street a couple of months ago. They were walking with some other Hispanic teen age boys. As I watched this group of 5 brown-skinned boys walking down the street laughing, carrying no proof of citizenship, it hit me that if they were in Arizona a police officer could ask for their papers and if they didn't have any on them they could be arrested. If Republicans have their way every state may end up with the same law.
That scares me!
Over the months I have reasoned on behalf of my friends and my fellow citizens that not all white Republicans are racist. Many white folks fought for people of color's rights during the Civil Rights movement. Many fought against slavery.
But there were many who stood by and did nothing. Who were satisfied that they had their freedom. Who turned a blind eye and lived quite contentedly.
Indeed, I recall that many people were convinced by Hitler that the Jews needed to be eradicated because they were a threat to the Germans. Fear caused the average German citizen to elect Hitler and stand by while their neighbors were given stars to wear on their arms to signify that they were of a different race.
No, our government isn't passing out stars... yet.
I thought this sign was a relic of the past. I hope it is not a symbol of the future.
As hate mongers like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Bill O'reilly, Sean Hannity and the rest of them, are spewing their propaganda and laws like the Arizona Law are being passed, racists are feeling emboldened and crimes against Hispanics are on the rise.
Not only are crimes on the rise against Hispanics, disdain is, too. These types of things are drawing the ire of one race against all others. As I have protested on behalf of my Republican friends, I have experienced that ire and disdain.
My husband and I have a baking business. We take our baked goods to several stores. Every delivery includes different goods based on what I feel like baking. A few months ago I decided to make one of my personal favorite treats, Mexican Sweet Bread. My husband warned me not to as we live in middle America, where it is predominantly white. I assured him that the people in this area were tolerant people who appreciated diversity.
Imagine my surprise when one of the stores requested that we not bring the Mexican Sweet Bread again. It wasn't because they had tried and didn't like it. None of the breads that I took to that store were bought.
Would they have protested Irish bread, or Swedish bread, or Amish bread? I doubt it. Their refusal to sell Mexican Sweet Bread was based on the political correctness of racism pervading America, today, in 2010.
How depressing that Republicans are allowing this to happen. And they are allowing it. Let me give you an example. When Connie Crowley interviewed Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnel, she asked him if the posters at the Tea Party rallies made him uncomfortable.
His response floored me. He chuckled! He chuckled and said that all sorts of things make him uncomfortable on the right and the left. He didn't take a stand and condemn the behavior that a supposed "minority" of Tea Party members exhibited. He didn't take the opportunity to stand up against this kind of race based b.s.
Thankfully, just as my husband and I were really feeling saddened by the current status of race relations in America, Connie Mack made our day! Finally, a Republican who searched his heart and is willing to speak out and state what is plainly evident:
The latest issue freedom-loving conservatives should be concerned about is the Arizona immigration law.
This law clearly challenges citizens' freedoms, and it does so by putting some Americans at risk of losing their freedoms while others stand little or no chance of being affected.To all of my Republican friends I plead you to apply all your zeal for freedom and protecting the constitution to the fight against the Arizona law and others like it that are being passed across America. Please help preserve my rights, my husband's rights, my children's rights, and all of the other brown-skinned citizens, who like us, love America.
My husband has warned me that I shouldn't post this. He's afraid I'll lose my friends. I tell him that I'm confident my friends can handle hearing my opinion. I guess we'll see if he's right or not.