February 26th, 2011 11:23 EST
Minorities Need to Band Together to Fight Right-Wing Racism
So brobdingnagian is the immigration issue that right-wingers and their collaborationist press haven`t been able to stuff it into a jewel box and inscribe it to people concerned about illegal entry into the United States.
The reason the issue is big is that it isn`t about illegal entry and the consequent strain on our resources, it`s about the wicked and divisive half-century-old strategy of stirring up nativism to elect conservative Republicans. Instead of tamping down race hatred the Republicans have been stoking it, and to a larger extent than the press has ever suggested this explains the embittered red state-blue state divide. Wherever there is a degree of racial homogeneity the Republicans have inflamed the populace in what amounts to a concerted attack on our domestic tranquility.
It started in the 1960s with the so-called Southern Strategy to wrest the South from Democratic dominance, a strategy that ought to have been called the Race Card.
Right-wingers have tried to gift-wrap this nativist strategy in states` rights, immigration, national security, debt and any other political contraption they think might fly, but their ongoing and accelerating appeal to racism has had a calamitous impact on our politics.
They have actually succeeded in convincing a large number of otherwise fair-minded Americans that their strategy is not about racism and xenophobia but rather about the labels they`ve stuck on their game.
Why women, Hispanics, African-Americans, Arab-Americans and Native Americans have not coalesced in opposition to this putrid strategy remains one of the most perplexing mysteries of our time. Perhaps it is because the press, always seeking to remove an issue from its larger context and reduce it to tidbits, has been so cooperative in hoodwinking us.
The right-wingers have no interest in immigration reform "if they did we would have had it by now "they`re interested in riding xenophobia to the polls. The right wing`s problem with Hispanics and other immigrants is not that they`re here illegally, it`s that they`re here.
The Southern Strategy was at heart Anglocentric, and when you consider how Anglocentric our advertising and film casting was at the time it`s not hard to understand why the press was so obliging. Little has changed. We are still committed to multiethnic tokenism. If that were not the case our rich politicians would look more like our poor soldiers and sailors. But they don`t. Our warriors reflect our diverse demographics. Our politicians do not.
It would be easy to dismiss this nativism as the rearguard action of a fast-fading Anglo elite, a last hurrah, but it could just as easily be a prelude to corporate fascism, a class society determined to prove Karl Marx a prophet.
But in setting up immigrants and leftists as scapegoats the right wing has been able to give cover to its real agenda. Women, children, the elderly and the ill are collateral damage. The real aim is redesign America as a country closely resembling Russia under the czars, a small, rich aristocracy and an immense serfdom.
As disturbing as the failure of our various minorities to rally against this putsch is the failure of American Jews to see the resemblance between what is happening here and what happened in Germany in the 1930s. They sometimes seem to me so concerned with how events will impact on Israel that they fail to see that they happen to be in the same boat as the other minorities who are being made to feel foreign. "
Connecting the dots isn`t the press`s thing. The press swallowed the Southern Strategy as a states` rights issue rooted in our founding history and it`s swallowing the immigration issue as a politico-economic issue. The ugly truth doesn`t bring advertising revenue to the press and so it`s all too willing to sacrifice the public to its bottom line.
The right-wing agenda calls for a race war by any other name that can distract us from its ugliness. While the press focuses on union-busting, collective bargaining, security, debt and other fast-food issues, the much more dangerous issue of racism poisons us.
Djelloul Marbrook is a retired newspaperman. His second book of poems, Brushstrokes and Glances, will be published by Deerbrook Editions on December 20, 2010. His first book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. It won the International Book Award in 2010. His novella, Artemisia`s Wolf, will be published by Prakash Books of India in December. His novella, Saraceno, was recently published as an e-book. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com