ATR 28 – June 26, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –

Another episode, another Addicted to Race roundtable. This time around, we’re discussing the issue of immigration, and whether it’s fair to compare the current movement with the civil rights movement. We’re talking with two bloggers who have very different views on the subject. Marisa Treviño is a Dallas, Texas-based freelance journalist who writes the blog Latina Lista, which is about anything and everything from a Latina perspective. Philip Arthur Moore is a Houston, Texas-based student at Rice University who writes the blog The Think, about hip hop culture and issues of interest to black and biracial people.

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Duration – 58:11
File Size – 26.8 MB
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9 thoughts on “ATR 28 – June 26, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –”

  1. Pingback: TheThink
  2. I see and feel that the immigrants have struggled to get to America and have worked hard however the fact still remains that the immigrants came by choice because they wanted a better life. Where is the black people who were shipped here during slavery did not have a choice. This fact alone sets a different tone for civil rights as opposed to the current immigrant issue we are facing. It is like saying that a woman who wants an abortion who was forcibly raped and becomes pregnant is in the same category as a woman who had consensual sex and became pregnant. The bottom line is the woman who was raped did not have a choice and should not be put in the same category just as the black civil rights struggle and the current illegal immigrant struggle should not be placed in the same light. No matter what anyone says or does the black civil rights movement has its roots in slavery and there was no choice for the slaves to come here or not and they did not look at coming here as an opportunity as the illegal immigrants do. These are two different struggles and should be viewed as such. So far as the minorities who are at the bottom of the economic and social ladder in America sticking together that is not a bad idea in theory but once again the roots of the problems for each group are different and before they can stand together to fight together they must understand and respect each others origins. I do agree that these corporations that are taking advantage of the immigrants and paying them slave wages should be held accountable because what they are doing with the immigrants is awful.

  3. Illegal immigration.Good, or bad?That is the main question to me.I know it’s a complicated problem.But that is the one thing that is avoided in these discussions.Everyone talks about illegal immigrants problems and issues, how they work hard even harder then american born people, how america is a country made up of immigrants, etc,etc.But is illegal immigration right, or wrong?I also agree with what many thing “the think” said.

  4. Mr. Guy says, “Illegal immigration.Good, or bad?That is the main question to me”
    That is a question or point also. All other points are irrelevant if you look at the legalities of how the immigrants have gotten here and choose to remain here in an illegal status.

  5. Sorry, but have to disagree with the assumption that blacks were brought here by force as opposed to most immigrants (especially since over 25% of the current U.S. black population are migrants). Most legal immigrants are voluntary migrants, but Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants are a somewhat different case. Perhaps it bears stating the obvious – that most Mexicans are descendents of indigenous peoples that have been living in the American South West and Central America for the past several thousand years! To many people this is a very touchy issue and it doesn’t serve as a blanket excuse for unauthorized migration, but it’s atleast important to acknowledge that the “Mexican” presence in U.S. territory predates the existence of the U.S. and Mexico as legal entities–and that this is one important reason why so many “illegal aliens” are Mexican people. During the apartheid era, the South African state defined black Africans as guest workers who weren’t really South African citizens–but this didn’t mean that they were immigrants in the same way that a voluntary migrant from Italy was an immigrant to South Africa.

    On top of this, many of the immigration policies, enforcement practices, and labor market practices that have been used to constitute migrant farmworkers (for example) as a cheap & expendable work force for U.S. industries have definitely been coercive. There is a pretty strong parallel between these processes and the forms of institutional discrimination that (atleast according to some critical race folks) have contributed to the social marginalization of black youth.

    Having acknowledged this, I agree that the current immigrant rights movement is not the same as the African American civil rights movement. There are strategic reasons why immigrant rights activists want to make this link — but I also feel that the issues defining this movement are substantive enough that they can stand on their own merits. I also think it would be great if leaders of the African American and Latino/immigrant rights movement saw fit to support each other on issues of common concern. You don’t need to share the same history to do this–it’s just smart politics. But the immigrant rights movement doesn’t need to drape itself in the mantle of African American civil rights–in the long run it would probably do better to seek its own identity.

    What does concern me is not the “appropriateness” of the comparison, but the fact that it really is a pointless distraction. The
    whole “black/Latino” tensions frame, tends to single out the black community for negative attention (implying that blacks “of all groups” should understand the importance of another minority’s struggle). I don’t think this presents a realistic framework of the factors that drive the politics of race & nation in the U.S. It also ends up reinforcing misguided stereotypes of African Americans as having some transcedent responsibility to struggle for the emancipation of every other oppressed group (despite the fact that some of these other groups haven’t been above pandering to anti-black racism when its suited them).

    This distracts from the fact that the most organized and most xenophobic opposition to immigration is not coming from the black American community. It also disguises the “dirty secret” that recent immigrants have a history of favoring immigration control measures in numbers (percentages that is) that are not much lower than the support for these measures among native born Americans. So we can’t assume that black Americans are any more in favor of immigration controls than Latino/a Americans!

    Guess I’ve said plenty so I’ll just shut up now. I study this stuff for a living so I sometimes get frustrated by the way the immigration debate is framed–but also appreciate that ATR made an effort to honestly tackle the issue.

  6. Phil says, “I also think it would be great if leaders of the African American and Latino/immigrant rights movement saw fit to support each other on issues of common concern. You don’t need to share the same history to do this–it’s just smart politics. But the immigrant rights movement doesn’t need to drape itself in the mantle of African American civil rights–in the long run it would probably do better to seek its own identity.”

    I agree with that point and that’s what I was trying to say but, I did not word it that way. Thanks for clarifying my point.

    On the point of blacks coming on a voluntary basis perhaps I as well as many other people were mislead to believe that the black slaves brought over were basically uprooted and forced here for free labor as opposed to the immigrants in question who have been illegally moving over the border lines.

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