Do I Look Illegal?

I am amazed about how much people are really taking to the issue with Arizona and Senate Bill (SB) 1070. By no means did I come up with the “Do I Look Illegal” tag line nor did I come up with the idea of the picture. I would like to think that I did help spread awareness that racism and it’s laws do exist. So, when May 1st came around I took the above picture which I now have on my Facebook and Twitter profiles. This was my way to show people that we cannot just let things like this happen without a response.

There have been several people that I know who have taken the time to take pictures and create videos about this. One thing that strikes me is the sheer diversity of the pictures. There are people who are as white as can be along with Black and Latino who are joining in on this silent of protests. I will not fail to mention the pictures of children as well.

I used to think that immigration was not my issue. After all, I am a 3rd generation Latino and none of my family deal with issues quite like this. I can also say there was a time in which I thought immigration was more an issue for Mexicans who cross the border or Cubans who try to sneak into this country via boat.  But of course in my ignorance of early age, I never thought about this as a Latino issue. I think back to my past and I did not know any illegals. Of course, it wasn’t until recently that an old friend told me that he had been illegal for years.

Clearly there has been a growing sentiment on closing our boarders and curbing the amount of undocumented people in this country. In one hand you have politicians who want to regulate and round up illegals and in the other who some who are try to force Puerto Rico to make a choice about statehood. Where is this all coming from? Clearly it all comes down to the all mighty dollar. Latinos generate money and we can have our own economy if we continue down the road of success. What undocumented people do is work the jobs that none of us would ever want to do. Lets be honest, fruits and vegetables would not nearly be as a affordable if “normal” Americans were picking them. In the case of Puerto Rico, that could be a whole other state that could be paying taxes and adding to the amount that government can use.

For years, we all talked about the idea of “driving while black”. I would joke with my friends and colleagues that I had to be careful of a DWB. I think now this acronym can really stick by changing black to brown. I have had another friend state on my Facebook that the police can not stop anyone without probable cause because if not, that would be a violation of the 4th Amendment. For those who did not study what this is:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I get that if you know this law then maybe you can protect yourself from being unlawfully stopped by the police in Arizona or anywhere for that matter. But really, all it take is for them to say that your vehicle matches the description of another that they are looking for. In most cases, that is probable cause enough to stop anyone. More importantly what this law does is scare people. How comfortable can any Latino be driving around Phoenix or any other city in Arizona. Let’s not mention those who are perceived to be Mexican, like darker Italians or Native Americans. Almost reminds me of how the TSA is looking for “people of suspicion” in airports.

So when I think about those idiots who have told me that racism does not exist or that not everything is about race, it is time to re-examine your view on life. The people who make racist laws do not have to be racist. Institutional Racism is a system of oppression that was made by those whom had the best of intentions in mind.  

Dear Arizona…

Dear Arizona,

What a wild ride it must be. To take a stand against immigration! Wow! I am sure that all the Republicans in your great state are celebrating this monumental victory. Think about how you have all the illegal Mexicans cowering in their sombreros (big Mexican hats).I am sure that our borders are now much safer from those brown aliens that do nothing but work the jobs you wont do and multiply! We certainly do not want The United States of America (land of the free) to be a melting pot of all cultures. After all, the American Dream is reserved for it citizens only (or at least the rich ones anyway).

Speaking of dreams, I am sure next January, when you have a day off for Martin Luther King Jr, you can think about all the Mexicans who get pulled over for just looking brown. Let’s face it, this is what that holiday is for, to observe the idea of Civil Rights. Martin Luther King’s dream was of little black and white children playing together in harmony. There was no mention of Latinos (or Mexicans…let’s face it, it is all the same to you). Of course, it took you all so long to even recognize that holiday that perhaps the true significance is lost some where in the desert that is your state.

Nor should I mention that the true illegals are us. Of course, I wont count African Americans because they were brought here. In fact, I wont even count Latinos because…well most of us were either here first or forced to come. We cannot count Asians because who else was gonna build the Railroads? So I guess that leaves you. I know, it wasn’t your fault that your ancestors raped and killed most of the original population here before this was considered the “land of the free.” The Native (please note the word “native”) Americans were just savages right? How dare they not use up all the land and natural resources! We could have blamed them for Global Warming (which you don’t believe exist because it is always hot in Arizona)!

Well when you think about it, I guess it is only right to pull over every Mexican look-a-like since Arizona used to be a part of Mexico. Great Job Arizona! Let’s make sure we stand proud because as you know, before this decade is up, Latinos will be the majority in America!