Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Using Derived Terms to Further Their Racist Ideology

The far right employs the following convoluted logic. Aliens are persons who are not citizens nor naturalized under current immigration law. Any "alien" who gains entrance without documentation is breaking current immigration law. A person breaking immigration law is hence called an "illegal alien" in reaction-speak. The most reactionary drop the word alien and refer to undocumented peoples as "illegals."

The problems with this derived description are manyfold. First off, when did we begin associating what we call individuals by a single action they have committed? If we follow this line of thinking, what other derived terms can we come up with? Clearly any one using the term "illegal alien" has, at one time or another, broken the law. More than likely they have exceeded the speed limit or failed to come to a complete stop at a sign or signal. Using reaction-speak we should start calling these people illegal drivers. If these people are citizens should we call them illegal citizens? After all their single action of breaking the law should be forever associated with their citizenship status according to the above logic. Another example. When an executive flagrantly breaks international law by illegally detaining and torturing people should we call them an illegal president?

Calling another human being illegal because of their immigration status is nothing short of institutionalized racism. If we apply the illegal moniker to anyone who breaks laws, why do we reserve the term just in relation to immigration status? The answer is it allows the right to further villanize these poor working class peoples. They are not human beings displaced by oppressive economic or political situations, they are illegals. The very term allows them to segue into even more inflammatory descriptions. Never mind the racist and elitist USCIS quota system that overwhelmingly favors political refugees agreeing with reaction, or workers with a particular skill needed by large capitalists. No, our immigration policies are fair, and hence anyone who doesn't follow them deserves special terminology. The USCIS doesn't even use the term "legal alien" anymore, they call such status a "permanent resident.'

Employing the word illegal at every opportunity, right wing extremists weave apocalyptic phrases intended to heighten the culture of fear the government and corporate media work so hard to maintain. Examples of the fear mongering:

"...devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens." -- MMP W3 Site

"...community is ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool." -- SOS W3 Site

"...our borders are wide open and accessible to illegal aliens and terrorists." -- FOBP W3 Site

SOSSuch reactionary prose finds a home with uneducated citizens who have been whipped into an ongoing condition of fear with state supplied color "Threat Advisories." While the border extremists and their apologists continually maintain they aren't racists, their actions and rhetoric are nothing but. Wasn't too long ago when this photo was taken of a SOS rally against the Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center. Swastikas and confederate flags held aloft by their sister contingent of white supremacists intermingled with and encouraged by the SOS membership. Funny how the AN/NV/Stormfront types use the phrase "illegal alien" in the same sense as the so called "law respecting border security" folks do.


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