I’m in an odd position about immigration / citizenship. So many people are illegally here already. And because they are illegally here, they are the new slave class. They work for very little money and have no protection against workplace dangers. And yet they stay – because it is better than where they came from. And if they speak up, they risk being sent back. So that tells me a lot about what they are trying to flee.
I do not ascribe to the NewSpeak of “undocumented people” or “refugee”. I call a spade a spade. If you are illegally in this country, you are an illegal immigrant. Changing the terms does not change the facts.
I’m opposed to anyone illegally here getting free anything – education, healthcare, etc. However – if they do, it is the fault of the government for giving it. It isn’t meaningful to demonize illegal immigrants for getting anything for free. The system needs to be fixed on the government side.
Also, the American government needs to stop:
giving money to other countries
going to war with other countries
We have enough problems here that need to be fixed.
Americans need to get over the idea that this is “our” country. We stole it from the people who were already here, and then committed genocide. That must be addressed and healed. We will not move forward until that wrong is corrected.
Our immigration laws are racist – Europeans invade an already-occupied land and colonize it. Then they make rules about who can and can’t come here – that are often skewed towards other Europeans and away from anyone who is not white.
It is as if someone invaded your home, kicked you out, and then changed the locks and only let their friends in.
They tried to teach us. They put their words into every bag, inside every fortune cookie. You ordered the meal and the cookie came along with. Maybe you opened the cookie. Maybe you read the fortune. And just maybe, if you were lucky, you had the insight to turn it over. It was right there, on the back. A word, in Chinese, with the translation. Collect enough and you had a sort of makeshift dictionary. You got fed in body and mind that way.
They had given us a chance, but so many of us ignored it, or overlooked it. So many of us did that all the time anyway, with everything. But not anymore. No longer do we have a luxury of being the Masters of our own destiny. No longer do we have the luxury of ignoring the signs that had been around us all these many years. For now, we are the minority. Now, we are the ones who have to meekly ask if the shop owner speaks our language. Now we have to go to tiny shops and strip malls in questionable neighborhoods to find a box of Cap’n Crunch or Jif peanut butter. Because now we are all Chinese. Now, English is a second language for all of us, and hot dogs have been replaced by Hunan cuisine.
There wasn’t a war. It wasn’t sudden. But the invasion happened all the same. They were here all along, quietly working, quietly saving, quietly planning. Their strategy was so subtle, so long range, that we didn’t even notice it. We thought they were OK with a second or even third-class existence. It seemed like a good system for everyone. We let them live here, let them own property, let them open up shops. We thought their ways were exotic if we thought of them at all. We certainly didn’t think of them as a threat. Sure, they assimilated, flew under the radar. They changed their names that we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) pronounce into ones like Jack, or Susie, or Joe. They put away their own clothes and adopted the anonymous uniform of America, all jeans and T-shirts, but never went so far as to debase themselves with sweatpants and singlets, not even in private. Even they would not stoop that low in playinf the game to fool us into not noticing them. Because that is what they were doing. They couldn’t change their skin or hair or eyes (though some did with lightening cream or bleach or even surgery to remove the epicanthic fold) so they blended in with all the other little ways that made us experience them as background noise. Hell, they could’ve been from Mars, looked like little green men as far as we’d pay attention if they only wore our costume and took our names. It was that lack of attention that was coming back to haunt us now.
(Written early July 2019)
I think the problem a lot of white people have with immigrants in the US is that deep down, unconsciously, they are terrified that the immigrants will behave exactly as the white’s ancestors did and displace them. That it won’t be a melting pot of peaceful coexistence but a radical and forced overturning of power.
The whites moved to America for a better life, free from religious oppression, and ended up using their religion to oppress those people who were already living here. Deep down, those who are opposed to immigration are afraid that they will become the new Native Americans and will be force marched on a new Trail of Tears to new reservations. They know karma is a bitch.
This doesn’t have to be. We can live together and work well together, but it takes a lot of work.
(“Together” art journal piece I made 11/16/16 – cardstock, Distress inks and stains, stamp, gold pastel, scissors, weaving) I like making art that shows how different colors work against each other to show each other off to make each other be their brightest.