Friday, July 4, 2008
Black? Help us keep out the Mexicans!
So I meant to blog about this a WHILE ago (like when I first read the article) but I've had a lot going on an dam a negligent blogger - sorry Kaya! Anyway, according to the New York Times, the US Border Patrol, in an effort to beef up its forces, is now reaching out to young African Americans. You read that right- border patrol is stocking up on Black kids.
Maybe I'm being a bit sensitive, after all I usually get pissed when I hear about one government group or another reaching into a very specific pool of minorities b/c they figure those kids have no other alternatives and little prospect for work outside of government or law enforcement.. but even so this seems severely fucked up. I don't normally like to 'air family business,' but I think it's no secret that Black Americans have a huge and I mean HUGE amount of tension and resentment for ethnically diverse immigrants. Why? Well, outside of the normally American reasons ("they take away our jobs!" "they suck up resources!" "they take space in schools!") many immigrant groups come to America with a messed up view of Black Americans fueled by hip hop videos, violent movies and racist portrayals, and this perception can sometimes manifest itself in feelings of superiority. Not to mention Black Americans are pretty much the lowest caste in American society, and the idea that people can come in from another country, be in America for a few months and already have more social and economic capital than Black Americans (who were the base and foundation of even creating America) is pretty fucked up.
So, even though you know they would never admit this, I think it's pretty obvious that this is definitely helping their recruitment agenda. Kill two birds with one stone- help darken up the group that's trying to keep a country built on immigration "pure" and recruit kids that have a blind resentment (and sometimes hatred) toward a group of people that they have more in common with than they think.
You know, these are the times when my dual status as both a Black American and a first generation latino immigrant make me have all sorts of complicated emotions. It's all just very sad.