Still no justice in Suffolk County for victims of anti-immigrant bigotry

January 21, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

In 2008, a horrific crime brought national focus to New York’s Suffolk County.

Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was stabbed and murdered by seven teenagers who reportedly set out that evening to beat up “some Mexicans.”

In the early 2000s, Newsday tagged Suffolk County ‘Ground Zero’ for a growing anti-immigrant movement stoked by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Even though the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy had indoctrinated the community with legislative policy meant to dehumanize the immigrant population there, FAIR tried to describe the murder of Marcelo Lucero as an ‘isolated event.’ Read more

Nominate a courageous person for the Freedom From Fear Award!

January 20, 2011 by Dylan May · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

Geri Mannion, director of the U.S. Democracy Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Taryn Higashi, executive director of Unbound Philanthropy, received the Council on Foundations’ Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking in 2009 for their work on the Four Freedoms Fund. The Four Freedoms Fund is a collaborative fund that has invested more than $30 million since 2003 in more than 85 grantees working in 33 states to protect immigrants against abuses, promote humane immigration policies, engage newcomers in civic life and build bridges between receiving communities and new residents.

The Schrivner Award came with a $10,000 cash prize,but Mannion and Higashi opted not to spend the money themselves.  Instead they used the prize to establish the Freedom From Fear Award, a national award that honors ordinary people who commit extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees. Read more

Basking in Deletion of “Civil Rights” and “Labor” from Committees, House Leaders Vow More Name Changes

January 19, 2011 by Rev. David L. Ostendorf · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Leaders of the new House Majority did not slack off during the Christmas break.  In the giving spirit of the season, they generously provided new names to several key Committees.  The Education and Labor Committee was re-christened the Education and Workforce Committee, while the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties was sliced to the Constitution Subcommittee.  “Word changes, they’re just word changes,” one chuckling wag said.

In an unsent press release found on a back room floor, House leaders stated that “Our intent is to be more inclusive, in the spirit of our new role here.  “Workforce” is a term that embraces all employees, not just those involved in “labor.”  And the Constitution is far more inclusive than the old “civil rights” and “civil liberties” name of the past.  All those old terms are passé now—it’s time to delete them and move forward.”  At their last holiday party where leaders were said to have discussed the press release, “White Christmas” played endlessly in the background. Read more

Gun rights groups don’t kill people, but their frantic politics might

January 18, 2011 by Brian Schultz · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

The tragic events in Tuscon on January eighth have clearly left the world in awe. Such deviations in the standard function of civil society always have. Speculations abound, aligning the shooter Jared Lee Loughner with countless ideological ties that spurred the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her constituency.

But despite this frenetic tangle of purported motivations, it seems that explanations have crystallized on the issue of firearm allowances in the US—especially from those who identify themselves as members of the political left.

All other discussion seems to evaporate when the argument shifts to the more pragmatic issue of gun control: clearly, one could not have facilitated such an attack without the necessary equipment. And Loughner certainly equipped himself. Read more

This MLK Day remember the importance of 14th Amendment

January 17, 2011 by Cloee Cooper · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, we should remember the cornerstone of  civil rights in the U.S. - the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment was written and enacted to give full rights to former slaves. It is the affirmation that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are, in fact, U.S. citizens. It is integral to the civil rights of African Americans and women, and is a crucial facet of American identity. Currently, we are in a political climate where the 14th Amendment is under attack.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) are behind this attack. Earlier this month, State Legislators for Legal Immigration and Kris Kobach of Immigration Reform Law Institute met at the Press Club in Washington D.C. to announce plans to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment. Read more

Rep. Bachmann’s reckless rhetoric targets environmentalists

January 13, 2011 by Rebecca Poswolsky · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Ecopolitics 

Signs at a Bachmann rally

In a 2009 interview on a conservative radio program, Michele Bachmann urged Minnesotans to become “armed and dangerous” against Obama’s energy tax bill to reduce carbon emissions.

According to the Huffington Post, when Bachmann was asked about the White House-backed cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions, she told WWTC 1280 AM:

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

Read more

Sarah Palin and the Pied Pipers of Political Violence

January 13, 2011 by Eric Ward · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

It’s only been four days since the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords of Arizona and already the rightist spin machine is operating at full throttle.  As calls for civility grow, the American public must also remind those practicing the politics of division that actions speak louder than words – particularly when those words continue to flirt dangerously with justifications for political violence.

Media accounts confirm alleged perpetrator Jared Lee Loughner specifically targeted Giffords. Written notes recovered by law enforcement suggest that Loughner pre-planned the crime. Facebook posts along with YouTube videos also suggest that, while struggling with mental health issues, Loughner embraced issues long promoted by rightist movements in the United States.  In The Hidden Menace of Arizona, pro-democracy leader Tom Hayden lays out succinctly how Loughner’s beliefs, while distorted by mental illness, were part and parcel of historic and present day philosophical attempts by rightist to undermine civil society. Read more

Communities in fear, the after effects of hate violence

January 10, 2011 by Eric Ward · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Saturday’s assassination attempt on Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona is part of a growing trend that began years ago.

The candidacy and ultimate election of Barack Obama touched off a deep and sustained political backlash. Politically motivated hate violence included arson of a predominantly African-American church on election night, the murder of Cape Verdean immigrants, and a few months later, the assassination of abortion doctor George Tiller.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that while overall bias crimes dropped by 2% from 2007 to 2008, incidents of anti-Black bias crimes rose by nearly 5.9%.

During the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, police in Denver, Colorado detained three individuals after discovering a weapon, drugs and wigs in their possession. The individuals, eventually released, were described as “white supremacists.” Read more

Arizona mourns child targeted by hate

January 9, 2011 by Cloee Cooper · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Saturday morning, nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was shot, along with 18 others at a public gathering to greet U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.

Christina-Taylor was born on September 11, 2001. She was waiting to meet Rep. Giffords when the suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire on the crowd, killing six and critically injuring 13 others.

The exact motives of the suspect are still in question. Reports however indicate that Loughner supports anti-government conspiracy theories linked to anti-Semitic and populist perspectives. Reports also indicate that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was targeted by Sarah Palin during the 2010 midterm election, and that Gifford’s office was tagged with anti-Semitic signs after her open support for the 2010 health care bill.

No one could have foreseen the tragic death of Christina-Taylor at a political event; however, this is not the first time a child has been targeted by xenophobia and bigotry-fueled violence in Arizona. Read more

Did hateful rhetoric fuel deadly shooting in Arizona?

January 8, 2011 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

In the aftermath of today’s tragic events in Tucson, the motive of the shooter who killed six and injured over a dozen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is still in question.

What we do know is that the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, was apprehended after shooting 18 people at a public event held by Rep. Giffords. Of the six people shot and killed, one was a 9-year-old girl.

Giffords was one of 20 Democratic Congressmen and women, quite literally, targeted by Sarah Palin during the 2010 midterm elections. Palin released a map of the United States with 20 cross-hairs over the states the 20 House Democrats represented. Read more

Congresswoman gunned down in Arizona, democracy crumbles in the beleaguered state

January 8, 2011 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

Rep. Giffords (D-Ariz)

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head Saturday morning at a public event in Tucson. Several news outlets are reporting that the newly re-elected Democrat was critically injured and underwent emergency surgery.

At least 12 members of her staff and other bystanders were also shot. Five are reportedly dead, including one child.

Congresswoman Giffords has been targeted before. According to sources in Tucson, after Rep. Giffords voted in favor of health care reform her office was shot at and swastikas were painted on her office building. Giffords is Arizona’s first Jewish Congresswoman.

In April, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and his staff received threats after he called for a boycott of Arizona in response to the passage of controversial “papers, please” law SB1070. Rep. Giffords publicly supported Grijalva  after he had to close two offices as a result of the threats, stating: Read more

Cross-Post: Why Racism and White Supremacy Will Continue to Reign in 2011

January 8, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 
January 6, 2011 | Black Agenda Report / By Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. is not a post-racial society, as the events of the past year attest — from a governor glorifying segregation to a Fox pundit calling for Michael Vick’s execution.

The overlay of an Obama opinion supportive of Vick only inflamed already irate racists, who were indignant that a black man should have a successful life after being convicted of a crime. Some opined that Vick should be able to work, but not in such a lucrative and prominent position. The absurdity and gall that such foolishness should be openly expressed is the result of racism and nothing more. Read more

State legislators unveil plan to attack the 14th Amendment, face protests

January 6, 2011 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

The new Congress has barely taken session and already lawmakers are eliciting angry protests from community members.

At a January 5 press conference in Washington DC, lawmakers from several states announced plans to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment. The effort is fronted by Arizona state senator Russell Pearce, who is best known for introducing racist law SB 1070. The lawmakers had to physically remove at least four peaceful protesters - in front of clearly bemused reporters - before they could complete the press event.

The state legislators involved in the effort are a part of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, a coalition of anti-immigrant state-elected officials. As a partner of the John Tanton Network, a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) serves as the legislative arm of the network, and works closely with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Read more

Cross-Post: The Indomitable Blackness of Teena Marie

January 2, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

Originally posted Dec 28 2010, on The Atlantic. By Ta-Nehisi Coates:

I’m sure some of the old-heads here, can come up with a corollary, but I’m having trouble thinking of a white artist whose relationship to black music mirrored Teena Marie’s. More specifically, I can’t think of a white artist who was more beloved by such a large swath of black people than Teena Marie. Here is how she put it:

Black people would always say, “I didn’t know you were White.” But people like good music. Back in the forties and fifties they made the race records where a group like The Temptations wouldn’t appear on the cover of the album. Mr. Gordy used the same concept with me for my first album. He said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is White? Omigod? Overall my race hasn’t been a problem. I’m a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul.
Read more

Cross-Post: from the frontroads and backroads of the 2010 election campaigns

January 1, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Re-posted from Jim Hightower’s

The day before the election, I sensed a strange karma, as though some diabolical political force was settling across the country like a heavy, almost suffocating fog. What could it be, what would it portend for the election… and beyond?

Then it came to me: The spirit of Tom DeLay was loose on the land! Read more

A stroll in the Arizona desert

December 31, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

The state of Arizona, located in the Southwest region of the United States, shares a 389 mile border with Mexico. After the passing of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, a 640 mile fence has been built along the US/Mexico border, and much of the foot traffic has been funneled to Arizona, forcing migrants to pass through its harsh desert.

As part of a student delegation by the Center for New Community to Arizona earlier this year, I had the privilege of following a few migrant trails and spending some time in the Sonora desert myself. What I saw and experienced in only half a day in the desert were pretty terrifying. Clothes had been shed along the way to lighten the load, and the presence of high heels and baby strollers were a clear indication that people had been misled regarding the nature of the travels. Read more

The Tanton Network’s Top 10 Gaffes of 2010

December 29, 2010 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

Reflecting on the past year, the John Tanton Network’s anti-immigrant organizations performed an embarrassing number of gaffes that further exposed their extreme views and ties to white nationalism. Here is a list of the top 10 gaffes made by the John Tanton Network in 2010:

10. House Immigration Reform Caucus member Steve King (R-Iowa) attended the 2010 CPAC conference in Washington DC. During a panel session with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, King said that he empathized with the man who crashed into the IRS building in Texas. King clarified his comments by saying that he would hold a fundraiser to help others “implode” IRS offices. Read more

Pro-gun group, Appleseed Project, attracts white nationalist fans

December 28, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

If you’re at all familiar with Second Amendment lobbyists and interest groups, you understand the general revolutionary panache in which the movement drapes itself: frequent appeals to the Constitution; incessant and undefined use of the word “liberty;” insistence on the lasting significance of arms in all societies.

The mystique of any pro-gun argument originates in this logic, tortuous rhetoric defending civil liberties and “rights” while remaining, on the whole, socially conservative. It’s a pretty complicated argument, and you’d need a crash course in this logic of tradition in order to fully understand it. Luckily, class is in session.

Enter the Appleseed Project. Operated by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, it’s described as a “501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.” Read more

2010: Highlights from a year of resistance

December 27, 2010 by Cloee Cooper · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

More often than not, acts of resistance do not get written into history books.  Here are five acts of courageous opposition to xenophobia and bigotry, spearheaded mostly by youth, that should be highlighted for the year ahead.

1.      On Friday, May. 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM, 1st Nation and Migrants opposed SB1070 during their occupation of the Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson, AZ. They demanded dignity, human rights, and an end to border militarization.

2.      On August 9th, nine university students from around the country embarked on a Student Delegation to Arizona amidst controversial Senate Bill 1070. The goal was to investigate the most controversial state in the nation. They brought their findings back to campuses through a No More Arizonas Speaking Tour. Read more

Cross-Post: New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers

December 26, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

Originally published on by Joshua Holland.

Forget about fake moon landings and Obama’s birth certificate. The most enduring unfounded conspiracy theory in America is that our institutions of knowledge – the media, the academy and even science — are biased in favor of liberals.

The national media is based in large urban centers, so it should come as no surprise that conservatives would rarely see their views on strictly social issues well represented. But on matters of substance, we are talking about a corporate-owned media that pushes relentlessly for “free trade” deals, foreign wars and fiscal “austerity.”

Read more

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