I recently attended a reception/dinner at UCLA that was meant to be a “kick-off” for a new inter-functionality and corroborative effort between like departments in the U.C. system across regional boundaries, chaired by the U.C. Center for New Racial Studies and the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (UCCNRS – ISBER). This would obviously provide for a much-needed sharing of ideas and a much faster acceptance of new ideas, ideals, and newly formed disciplines of study. It should also prove to be a great idea for effective collaboration of intellectual pursuits and consensus building of definitions and accepted source material for instruction. There were many advanced PhD’s present, and the dining hall was full of heads of departments, vice-chairs, and well-published authors, whom all tried to contribute as much as possible to the gaiety of the dinner during the key notes address. It was obvious that the U.C. campuses had been staffed with individuals possessing advanced credentials, and a good deal of experience from a multitude of countries, political realities, and varying learning institutions.
The second day proved to be the point at which I became disinclined to continue participation; my reluctance was due to several statements that had been made on the state of affairs in the United States with regards to racism and immigration that more or less chilled me to the bone. I should note at this time, that of all those present, the majority were from non-caucasian descent. Of the handful of Caucasians present, I was one of the few not currently employed within the system or the department curriculum. In addition to putting me somewhat at a disadvantage with regards to recent submissions of scholarly positions on the subjects being discussed, it probably also had the effect of causing me to feel as if I were on the “outside looking in”, I fully admit to. This aside, it was also alarming in that it reminded me of some of the “consciousness-raising” sessions that I had been to and even presided over when I was involved with the “feminist movement”. Many angry, hurt women were developing their own language, their own studies, and their own publications in order to expound upon the “largest minority on the planet” and how it had been side-lined, and to brainstorm about what the future would hold and what to do about it… which was something that I had heard alluded to this day. The difference between the two scenarios is that the room I was in on this day was filled with people with advanced degrees, employed as professors, heads of departments, deans and vice-chairs whom still viewed themselves as suffering various forms of racism, while the room full of women from long ago was filled with mostly women who were seeking a way up and out of oppressive relationships, discriminatory employment, and hoping to gain a stronger political presence – these women KNEW they were suffering from “gender-racism” because all around them their lives reflected the absolute LACK of what they didn’t have that men did have. The people in this room at UCLA could not really say that, because these individuals, men and women alike, had a California State institution (UCLA) that was sponsoring and supporting their efforts in education, for themselves as well as others, as well as providing a vehicle of day-to-day support for them in the form of reasonably well-paying jobs while they were doing this. The women in the womens’ movement had to pursue their political aspirations and forge ahead to make a better life for themselves without that benefit being present. I merely wish to note this because it is important in understanding my shock, disappointment and ultimately, my anger as a result of hearing some of the allegations that were expounded upon during the second day’s organizational compendium.
Firstly, I would like to say that I am fairly “thick-skinned” with regards to my race or nationality, partly due to going through consciousness raising functions, but also, because I am a human being who knows how it feels to be taunted, picked on, disliked, abused (emotionally, mentally or physically), and just plain left out! What was fairly appalling to me was the fact that the claims that were made were by well-educated members of society that for all intents and purposes were accepted as members of the main stream society. I am certain that some, most or all of them have at sometime in their lives experienced racism, I would venture to say that the majority of these individuals are no longer dealing with such vagaries of existence on a regular basis.
One of the speakers of the second day, whom had the esteemed honor of being a keynote address speaker, and thereby setting the tone of the entire day’s presentations, was a department head and professor of Race Studies. From his lips was uttered, among other sentiments, a declaration of such vehemence against “white” people, (and without distinction or qualifying support) that I literally was moved backwards physically… while I was seated! I have heard people declare their hatred, fear, animosity, etc., quite vehemently before… I always seemed to be prepared to some extent for such declarations… perhaps because of the venue. The venue of this meeting, however, was not the proper one for such an utterance, in my humble opinion. The person who spoke it was from a wage-earning category and an employment position that would, ostensibly, remove most of what it would appear this gentleman was suffering from – according to his declaration. Perhaps I misunderstood him though… perhaps he was speaking for someone else(s) on their behalf. I do not know if this was the case, but he definitely believed that there was an enormous amount of racism still present and functioning within the United States and that it had little or nothing to do with the current sentiment of USA citizens up in arms about the issues over border protection and government policies. The next statement issued confirmed my sentiments because he followed this up another statement that basically told everyone present in the room that it was their duty to expose the racism that was currently being practiced in the United States; in particular that with regards to immigration issues within the United States and the attempt to hide the presence of racism within the burgeoning immigration issues. He went on to state that this issue is a global issue and that everyone in that room was responsible for exposing and dealing with the “white supremacist” problem… in particular the “war” being waged against immigrants within the United States currently.
I think I literally heard each and every forefather of the United States Constitution turning over in their graves with the utterance of this “enchargement”. There was absolutely an implied threat to individual rights of all naturalized American citizens within this charge. There appears to be a groundswell of anger that is being fed by those whom are the least affected by the tenets that they are expounding upon… in short, it sounds to me as if there is a group of people creating unrest deliberately and trying to start another civil war within the United States! Coupling racism with immigration is a foolish practice… it merely serves to hide that which most needs to be exposed. Racism, true and real practiced racism, has hatred at its’ roots… immigration issues are based on a sovereign host country having national security and administrative problems brought upon by economic gaps in distribution of wealth, food, and necessities of life and survival by refugees from another sovereign countries’ citizens. Re-stated, it is an issue of the recognition of imported problems and the refusal by the citizens of the host country to take on the burden of those wronged by their sovereign country and government. And, while hatred may become an issue of these events, it is NOT at the root of the issue.
The key element here is the issue of borders. And, whether they be geographical, political or merely abstract, (as in… within one’s own mind) the fact remains that there is a barrier there that some believe should not be there. The legal and moral issue at stake is whom gets to make and legislate the laws that will govern just how those barriers are policed. If we stoop to call every issue involving barriers an issue of racism, we have doomed ourselves to an existence with no privacy, no personal rights, and no legal redress to solve the harm being done to many, by another many. There would be no end to a constant churning of legal issues in a never-ending back and forth motion; no certainty with which to live ones’ life and plan for the future… by anyone. And while I definitely empathize with anyone wishing to leave their sovereign country because the government therein treats them worse than the host sovereign country that they are seeking to invade , I do not wish to forego my own personal rights within my country to someone seeking to “take over” my country legally, or illegally. If you are going to declare war on me, do so. If not, please leave… do not try to hide your intentions by couching your actions within deceptive rhetoric. My country already fought that war, and most of our citizens think we won. The few left over that do not, well, I think they are the “white supremacists”. And I don’t much care what color they are, either.
“The worst from of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” Aristotle.
Embracing the concept of “Globalization” in hopes of eradicating racism is the delusional action(s) of a fool. Regional sovereignty has been instituted since time immemorial as a fair doctrine that should be applied to all, regardless of one’s preferences. Even wild animals understand the concept of trespass… and enforce ruthlessly a policy of non-acceptance of aggression from others of like-kind species. Passing through is allowed, and watched rigorously from a distance; lingering and pillaging, no matter how “nice” it may seem, is not tolerated.
Supporting a policy of “globalism” as a deterrent to racism, in not a valid measurement tool to be used in defining immigrant entry to any country.
Differences amongst peoples’ should not be forsaken in the hopes of achieving equality of any sort. The only value it achieves is “alikeness” – this can only serve to worsen the already growing discontent, and hatred, and inequalities present amongst peoples’ and races. To achieve a “vanilla” race globally is not a value I aspire to. To try to enforce a policy of forced entry into a country by non-sovereign people upon sovereign people is also not a value that I aspire to. I invite you to visit the website “Globalization 101“, which is produced by the Levin Institute at the State University of New York… their first line of text on their website states:
What Is globalization?Is it the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe? Or is it the dominance of developed countries in decision-making, at the expense of poorer, less powerful nations? Is globalization a force for economic growth, prosperity, and democratic freedom? Or is it a force for environmental devastation, exploitation of the developing world, and suppression of human rights? Does globalization only benefit the rich or can the poor take advantage of it to improve their well-being?
It would appear that the State University of New York questions the rationality and appropriateness of globalization as much as I do… hoisting the onus of immigration on top of that of globalization merely exacerbates the problems inherent in both issues. The issue of immigration, and the problems that migrated immigrants face when they move from one country to another may overlap with that of racism, but the root of the problem is far greater than mere skin color or cultural differences; and I am quite taken aback by the arrogance of the faculty and administration within the U.C. system to inflame and issue deliberately in order to assure themselves additional funding to continue their own departments! This is no different from their assertions about the pillaging of third-world countries by multi-national corporations… merely a different take on the concept of “their slice of the pie”. Except, they have taken the concept to greater heights of pillaging by further robbing the populace of tax dollars to support them on an individual level while languishing quite luxuriously within the U.C. system…. a state-run and federally funded institution. Oh, and don’t forget that most of the dollars they are using to do this comes from those “white supremacists” that they lump everyone into whom is not a member of THEIR RACE OR COLOR! Truly arrogant and, mmmm…. yes, I believe, RACIST. And, lest you bring up the concept that this cannot be racist, because the “oppressed” can NEVER be considered the oppressor, because they are fighting back and retaliating to the oppression, this very concept loses its’ strength when used by middle- and upper-middle class members of a society, (read state university professor/department head here) regardless of where they reside or which side of the fence they are coming from.
Immigration problems are fought by identifying the problems inherent within a political structure within a refugee’s country – the reason(s) those refugees are seeking to leave their native country, or NOT. These problems are not fought and won by enraging and even trying to enslave the population of the sovereign host country that they are seeking to brow-beat into submissive assistance. And they are especially not won by insulting the members of that sovereign host society by using racist slurs against them in hopes of “embarrassing” them into providing asylum. Anyone, regardless of how many letters of degree they have behind their name, whom refers to me as a “white supremacist” will definitely not find me teaming up with them anytime soon. Aside from the fact that they are all wrong with the designation, primarily because it is based on skin color alone, it is racist in and of itself to do this, and promulgates hatred and ill-will.
The phrase, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”, was never intended to invite massive invasion by other countries. I direct your attention to the following excerpt from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
Author John T. Cunningham wrote that “The Statue of Liberty was not conceived and sculpted as a symbol of immigration, but it quickly became so as immigrant ships passed under the statue. However, it was Lazarus’s poem that permanently stamped on Miss Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants”.
Paul Auster wrote that “Bartholdi’s gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanism, but ‘The New Colossus’ reinvented the statue’s purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world”
The term Republicanism, as defined above by Wikipedia, is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. This is a key concept especially when understood in terms of its importance to immigrants as they seek entrance to citizenship within the boundaries of the United States of America. It means that all citizens may seek redress, legally, within those boundaries, once they become citizens. It does NOT mean that anyone may enter beyond her borders and then claim greater rights and freedoms than the citizens already residing there… even if those immigrants are willing to work at jobs that citizens within those borders do not wish to work at. It does not exonerate anyone from breaking the law. Those illegal immigrants whom wish to partake of the fruits of the governmental system within those borders must become naturalized citizens just as everyone else has done whom was not born there naturally. Until that time, any and all other attempt at “taking over” the economy, borders, jobs, food or anything else of value to the citizens of the sovereign nation, will be naturally considered acts of theft, if not outright war.