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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    New civil rights movement has begun

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    Published on Sunday, January 14, 2007

    New civil rights movement has begun

    Myron Pitts
    Workers at Smithfield Packing Inc., a large number of whom are Hispanic, are pressing to get the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday off. The Tar Heel company has told them no.

    Smithfield says the request came only last week, and says it is only a tactic by union supporters to make the company look bad. Well, the company does look bad. Some workers say they will just not show up for work.

    Clashes between Smithfield and its work force are becoming commonplace, as the work force starts to stand up for itself. During the holidays, when people really need their money, the company fired 50 workers after a crackdown on undocumented workers.

    That fueled a walkout of 1,000 Hispanic workers. The company backed down, for now.

    The deeper issue to the Smithfield strife and the ironic element of the MLK Day protest is that both illustrate that this country is being convulsed by a new civil rights movement, although most folks either don’t or won’t acknowledge it. The stakes are the same — basic rights for an oppressed people — and the hysteria generated by the opposing side is eerily similar to that of Southern racists back in the day.

    A few notes from the front lines:

    A pizza chain in Dallas reported it had received death threats and hate mail for accepting Mexican pesos as part of a promotion to appeal to its 60 percent Hispanic base of customers. Some businesses along the border, including Wal-Mart, have already been taking pesos, and some businesses on the northern border take Canadian dollars.
    A judge overturned a Texas town’s law forbidding landowners to rent to illegal immigrants.
    Babies “R” Us, a division of Toys “R” Us, stepped into it by taking back a $25,000 scholarship it had awarded to the first baby born in 2007, whose mother happened to be an illegal Chinese immigrant. After a protest led by Chinese Americans, Babies “R” Us gave back the scholarship after concluding what it already should have known: that the baby is a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born here.
    Across the country, various states and communities have made efforts to bar illegal immigrants and their children from receiving basic health services.

    This hysteria causes some people to lose sight of the fact that Latinos, whatever their immigration status, are people. The illegality of some Latinos is clearly being used to justify hate, nativism, xenophobia, racism — whatever you want to call it.

    One can oppose the Texas pizza chain’s “peso policy” if one wishes without taking it to the level of death threats. Why does a simple business decision engender that level of venom?

    Another feature of the anti-illegal immigrant hysteria is the stereotype of the Latino criminal. There are some people whose total focus in this debate are statistics that show all the crimes illegal immigrants have committed.

    Using the violent criminal stereotype has a long and storied history in our nation of immigrants. Black folks know it is used against us so regularly and so consistently, that even our kids have bought into it with all this gangsta rap stuff.

    Or you can go all the way back to the 1920s and Sacco and Vanzetti if you wish, back when the new Italian immigrants were the feared group of the moment.

    One way or the other
    As for Smithfield, the private company can do as it pleases about the MLK holiday tomorrow. But it should realize, as should we all, that Latinos, the largest minority, will get their rights one day.

    Every child born here, whether Latino or white or Asian American or Arab — is a full-rights, voting citizen. They will get their rights.

    The only question is how much turmoil and strife we want to foster along the way.

    I say we heed King’s message and not repeat the ’60s.

    Columnist Myron B. Pitts can be reached at or 486-3559.
    Copyright 2007 - The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2006
    I am so sick of these ppl's belly aching and boo hooing about how they are people and they deserve American rights!

  3. #3
    JadedBaztard's Avatar
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    Jan 1970
    I mentally substitute the word "PEDOPHILE" for illegal immigrant every time I read their arguments/justifications, just to make sure I am not being unfairly biased in my views against these "poor" folks just tryin to get by. I know it sounds harsh but both are criminals, quilty of a crime who's actions have long lasting effects on their victims.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnB2012's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I read an article when this first came about that the Smithfiled employees were aparently given a choice of MLK Day or Easter to be off. They voted and the majority went with Easter off. This is just an example of how if you give some people an inch, they'll want a mile.

  5. #5
    Cthelight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    MLK Day is NOT about hispanics. This is a day dedicated to a
    legal American citizen who happened to be black. This day
    is not a day celebrated by hispanics, legal or illegal.

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