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Posts tagged Nativists

The Conservative Mind (second Sin Fronteras edition)

The stimulus:

The response:

Do you have one for uninsured drunk illegals crashing and killing innocent Americans?

Or how about one of a drophouse packed full of endentured [sic] slaves?

Or of an illegal killing a police officer in a sanctuary city?

How about the fragile desert environment full of trash?

BTW: I love Mexican food. Just hope an illegal with a contagious disease that wasn’t screened at the border doesn’t work at my favorite restaurant. Kinda challenging to draw a cartoon of that.

Seen by searching illegal immigrant.

— 89AKurt, comment at Flickr (2008-02-08)

Just remember: they are not against immigrants. They’re just against illegal immigrants.

(Via Boiling Point Blog 2008-02-09.)

Further reading:

The Conservative Mind (Sin Fronteras edition)

There’s no real way to reply seriously to the kind of deliberate political sadism suggested by nativist creeps like those commenting on Wizbang’s latest on the Evil Alien Invasion. So, instead, I’ll limit myself to a couple questions and a remark. Here’s Linoge, suggesting massive new layers of government regulation in order to make undocumented immigrants suffer as much as it’s feasible to make them:

The word illegal sums it up entirely… I would not go so far as to say they should be arrested on sight (though I am close), but their presence illegally in another nation should be heavily discouraged. That means, no health care, no driver’s licenses, no jobs, no nothing. At all. Ever. —Linoge

Well, at least you’re not going so far as to say they should be arrested on sight. That’s mighty white of you.

Now, here’s the question for the day. How would immigration cops looking to make an arrest determine somebody’s immigration status on sight in the first place?

Meanwhile, here’s a small-government conservative who’s a fan of the East Berlin immigration policy:

At any rate, I don’t see why the States don’t take matters into their own hands. Why do we have to wait for the feds to take action? Is there some reason that Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California can’t start building walls and fences along their borders with Mexico? What prevents the States from using their state police forces to find, arrest and detain for later deportation illegal aliens? I’m not suggesting roadblocks, house-to-house searches, or Ihre Papiere, bitte, but I don’t see why a state trooper who stops a Hispanic driver can’t do a quick computer check to see if the person is in the country legally.

— docjim505

Here’s the second question for the day: what is the difference, if any, between (1) a cop stopping you and — solely on the basis of your race, by the way — demanding your ID for a check of your immigration status, and (2) a uniformed goon demanding Ihre Papiere, bitte? Because he, what … demands your papers in English rather than in German?

SJBill, for his part, didn’t feel threatened by undocumented Mexican immigrants until they scared him by … exercised freedom of speech and assembly:

Before these protests, I was pretty ambivalent on the issue — meaning I wasn’t directly threatened by illegal Mexicans. I see them all the time at local Home Depots, etc., but they are looking for work and trying to grind out a living. So, with the protests, the lights in the kitchen came on and we see millions of Mexicans (presuming most have other than legal status) marching in our cities and streets — all of a sudden I’m not quite so comfy. It’s pretty scary.

… I see a credible threat to our nation’s security, and we should do what we can to send these folks back home if they cannot abide the law of our land. That’s not being a xenophobe.

— SJBill

Maybe not. But suggesting that people be threatened, beaten, restrained, arrested, detained, imprisoned, exiled, etc. simply on the basis of their nationality, for having done nothing more than tried to work for a living for a willing employer, is.

The Labor Movement and Women’s Organizing

A little while ago I stumbled across a great page on the history of Women and the Labor Movement [TheHistoryNet], including the formative role that women played in labor radicalism (organized industrial work stoppages were going on in Lowell, Massachussetts as early as the 1820s) and the way that the mainstream, AFL-line labor movement conspired with the Progressive regulation movement to cut women out of the labor force in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through protective labor restrictions which discriminated against women and by excluding women from the mainstream wing of the labor movement, which negotiated itself into a powerful alliance with the bosses and the government (this move, conveniently, induced greater labor shortages and drove up profits for their own all-male membership).

We think of unions as primarily male institutions these days, responding to the problems faced by men in industrial labor, but that neglects the fact that women have always been the first victims of industrialization (through textile mills and garment sweatshops, for example; this is still happening today in Mexico, Indonesia, immigrant communities in Los Angeles, etc.) and therefore had some of the first and strongest incentive to organize. The male-dominated condition of the labor movement and the industrial workforce today is precisely because of to the discriminatory laws that a powerful coalition of male mainstream union bosses, male corporate bosses, and male government officials managed to concoct during the labor struggles of the Gilded Age.

Of course, the ciritical role that women such as Sarah G. Bagley (a leading organizer in Lowell), Rose Schneiderman, Lucy Parsons, the female membership of the Knights of Labor, and innumerable others played in forming the labor movement, are often ignored in mainstream labor history. So are questions of women’s labor, the horrendous conditions imposed specifically on women under industrialization, and the struggles around the question of women’s labor and the anti-woman line that the mainstream male Left took in order to expand working men’s profits at the expense of working women’s (much like they used the racism and nativism of the post-Reconstruction era to exclude Blacks, Chinese-Americans, and poor immigrants from entering into unionized segments of the industrial workforce, thus protecting the profits of American-born white workers at the expense of all other workers). All of this isn’t too surprising, when we consider that the collective consciousness of the labor movement and labor history continues to be defined primarily by male organizers who aligned with the sexist AFL line and supported the discriminatory protective labor regulations that cut women out of the work force.

It’s also worth noting a couple of points about the relationship of all of this to feminism.

  1. This unholy male supremacist alliance between mainstream male unions, male corporate bosses and Progressive regulation activists, emerged–like many other anti-woman alliances–during the post-Reconstruction period up to the 1920s, which happens to be more or less the same time as the peak of the struggle for women’s citizenship (with women’s suffrage finally being constitutionally protected in 1920). We may thus add it to the list of anti-woman institutions forming the backlash against First Wave feminism, including such illustrious company as Freudian psychoanalysis, the criminalization of abortion across the Western world, the flourishing of violent rape-based pornography in Victorian cities, and the AMA‘s efforts to seize control of women’s reproductive medicine away from midwives and other women into the hands of male surgeons.

  2. The most effective forces in fighting the abuses inflicted on women laborers were organizations such as the Women’s Trade Union League, an organization allying women of across social classes around the abuse specifically faced by women in the industrial workplace. The WTUL’s organizing efforts galvanized general strikes and other massive actions which eventually helped massively reform the horrendous sweatshop conditions faced by many garment workers (virtually all female) in New York. Not to be monomaniacal or anything, but once again organizing uniting all women on behalf of women (i.e., feminist organizing) was the most effective force in fighting patriarchal power.

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