Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arizona and Immigration (what's old is new)

I don’t understand the hysteria surrounding the immigrant “problem.” I think our message to the world has always been, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…….” I haven’t looked it up, but that’s what I remember from a high school history class my junior year. I’m now sixty seven, so it was a long time ago, but it stays in my mind.

My mother’s family is descended from the Choctaw tribe of indigenous people of the North American area now known as Mississippi. We come from people with an ancient culture, language, government and territory. We welcomed you immigrants with warmth. You came and liked what you saw. You decided to stay. And then those of us you couldn’t slaughter or kill with your exotic diseases, you eventually force-marched to Oklahoma, to live in an environment that was, compared to our native lands, barren, poor, uninhabitable, crowded, and ruled by the "Bureau of Indian Affairs" which was staffed with white immigrants from Europe, hostile to our language, customs, religion, food gathering and hunting practices. It was the mission of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to convince us, by force, that our beliefs, language, and customs were wrong and to indoctrinate us, to rid us of our “savage” ways. We all know how that worked out for my mother’s people. Eventually we intermarried with whites who stole even our Reservation lands. But the most damaging thing for my mother’s family was that all of this made them ashamed of who the were, where they came from, how they talked and looked. And so we began to pass for white. Hell, we became white. It is only through a DNA test that anyone would know that I am descended from a proud and beautiful people with a rich culture and language of it’s own, with lands both vast and fertile. We were rich. Now we barely exist. We are ghosts living among you.

So now, those of you one or two generations descended from those first European invaders, want to stop “illegal” immigration, to send back the eleven to sixteen million immigrants from South of the border. I think what bothers you most about these brown native American people from Mexico to Argentina is that they remind you of the Native Americans you tried to exterminate. Not you personally, of course, but your ancestors. These people "talk funny," they don’t speak your language, they have their own customs, food, and worst of all they are brown and they will color your precious white bloodlines. Well, get used to it. There is no stopping it. You can’t find them all and send them all packing. They are here to stay. They are the new America. Soon we will all be a little browner. I won’t live to see it, but I can’t wait for it to happen. Welcome my brothers and sisters. I’m glad to see you here at last. Interesting how history has a way of righting past wrongs.

This was first published 4/25/10


Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Don't you bet your last nickel on it Utah. The majority of immigrant fear is coming from an aging and fading white WASP-sy community of creul minds who fear loss of superiority. I applaud your sentiment and indignation ...! And I'm a non paying dues person on the rolls of the DAR.
I am proud of all of my Ancestors... but then again, I know their contributions to our society and I am not ashamed.
Race wise is another story.
I felt your blog Peggy.

Jaliya said...

The most ludicrous thing we homo sapiens do is to erect so many damn fences between us. Boundaries are one thing; barricades another.

Lady Liberty continues to crumble ...

... You wrote of "brown" people who would "dilute your precious white bloodlines" ... My intuitive mind immediately thought, "Hey, wait -- isn't that backward? Isn't it *white* that dilutes all colours?" ;-)

... I watched the movie *Avatar* with my man the other night ... All told, the story struck me as overblown ... but the felling of the Home Tree made me want to vomit.

All of the Earth's processes show us that immense diversity creates extraordinary resilience, beauty, function, and *sustenance* ...

Jaliya said...

If ever I find myself lauding my own "precious white bloodline", I will remind myself of this ...

mountain.mama said...

Hahaha, good one Jaliya! I don't even want to think that my white bloodline ever mixed with GWB. I could be a card carrying DAR but I'm not. Again, what difference does it make what color we are? We all bleed just the same. Fear and hate just corrode our society.

jadedj said...

I think it is quite ironic that the Spanish took the Southwest from indigenous peoples, then the U.S. took it from the Mexicans, and now some rabble rousing white people want "their" country back. I agree, the future of this country is brown (if it lasts and isn't blown to smithereens by white bigoted extremists)...and one doesn't need to live in the Southwest to see it. We will all be better off for it.

D.K. Raed said...

I'm concerned this attitude will spread from AZ to surrounding states. NM is probably immune, but not CA, NV or UT. The seeds are already thick enough here.

I'm 4 generations removed from a moapa pauite woman named Jane, but like UT, you'd need a DNA test to see it. In Jane's case, I don't think she was running from her heritage, just her extreme poverty.

D.K. Raed said...

paiute! she, jane; me, typo.

Beach Bum said...

The majority of immigrant fear is coming from an aging and fading white WASP-sy community of creul minds who fear loss of superiority.

Gwen hit it on the head for me. Everything from fear of Obama to immigration is connected to the coming fall of majority status for whitey.

My grandmother was 1/8 Cherokee and somewhere in the great beyond I know she has kinfolk laughing their asses off.

Utah Savage said...

Great comments you guys. I tweet my posts and then tell people the best part of my posts are the comments. It's so true.

Kulkuri said...

My father and both sets of grandparents came to this country before WWI. Now my people pass as white, but it wasn't always so. There were cases in the early part of the 20th century where citizens born in this country were deported back to the old country.

The root cause of the problem is like the Third Rail of politics, THE CHEAP BASTARDS THAT HIRE THE ILLEGALS!!!!!!!! If they were to put those that HIRE illegals in jail and fine them enough to make it unprofitable, the problem would solve itself. Once word got out that there were no jobs, they would stop coming here.

As long as employers can exploit illegals the problem will continue. A number of years ago there was a case in Illinois where a company hired illegals from Eastern Europe and other places to recover silver from photo negatives using poisons. They actually had one guy paint over the skull&crossbones on the 55gal drum(the illegals didn't speak English, but everyone know what the skull&crossbones means). Several people died working there and some of the management were charged with homicide or manslaughter.

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BBC said...

The natives should have had their own homeland security department to keep the likes of my ancestors out of here.


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Faded said...

I always try to find logic in it, but it really is just this simple: Assimilate or die. The ruling class Will destroy everything that is not-them. Until they cant. It works out well for them. Until Every other person's last name is Sanchez, and the brown people will assume the ruling class mantle, and will most likely forget the past and rule with the same heavy hand.

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