Monday, May 21, 2007

Legislating the Mexican Body

(Photo from The Washington Post online by Melina Mara)
Congress Continues to Grapple with Immigration Reform Today

Racism seems clearly and conveniently tangled with immigration and the very fiber of "American" nationalism. Ironically, some cultural theoreticians have announced that the demise of race as a critical object of study is not something to be feared. It would be disingenuous, however, to assume that, because race is not a biological category, Americans do not continue to think, feel, and act as if it were a biological truth. As Congress grapples with immigration reform today, protesters cry "No amnesty!," recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and sing "God Bless America." Many of the 400 protesters were apparently flown in from California and Arizona (get a load of the guy's T-shirt!), which begs a series of questions even the article below can't begin to fathom. In this myopic narrative of nationalism even the right's "man of reason," John McCain, is just too far left of right supremacy.

'No Amnesty' Is Cry at D.C. Immigration Protest

Black Bodies and Unequel Justice in Jena, LA.

"The tree was on the side of the campus that, by long-standing tradition, had always been claimed by white students, who make up more than 80 percent of the 460 students. But a few of the school's 85 black students had decided to challenge the accepted state of things and asked school administrators whether they, too, could sit in the tree's shade."

That "black students" have to ask where they can sit for shade is disturbingly reminiscent of Jim Crow era racist practices and laws meant to deprive Blacks of their civil rights through institutional and quotidian obeisance to whites. Is deep south Louisiana still in the murky waters of uncivilized race-hatred? Yes.

" 'Sit wherever you want,' school officials told them. The next day, the nooses were hanging from the branches."

And then a past of ignorance and racism emerged untouched by reason or state protection...

See Howard Witt's story "Racial demons rear heads" in Chicago Tribune.