When the federal government tried to bus immigrants, many of whom were women and children into the town of Murrieta, Calif., residents turned out and turned the buses back.
The immigrants include children sent from Central America by parents hoping the children will enjoy a better life or, at minimum, will remain alive.
But for all the surface talk of the need for legal immigration and all the bluster about no local consultation, the bitter reception from Whites in the small town is connected to the roots of this country.
In its early definitions and practices, Americans could only be White and notably those from European stock. That ideology persists and while it may not be acceptable to admit the sentiment exists, denial does not negate the fact that the perception and the attitudes are real. And while the Italians, the Poles, the Irish, and even the Armenians went through a process that would declare they were indeed White and acceptable, the badge of Whiteness has never been extended to the Blacks and, in particular, darker skinned Latinos.
The response seen in a small town in Southern California was enough to make the government keep future movement of immigrants secret as the United States tries to deal with this new wave of arrivals.
While the right wing may declare the arrivals are sparked by American giveaways that is far from true. Any loving parent who sends a child half a world away alone doesn’t do so with glee. Heavy hearts and desperation force parents to send children off, hoping and praying that they will indeed make it to America.
But the welcome, adults shouting, “Go back home!” “USA! USA! USA!” and physically preventing entry of buses shows the true face of White America and an ever dissolving mask of civility.
America has had enough of the influx of the Brown Horde just as she had enough of the “Yellow Peril” posed by Asian newcomers in late 18th and early 19th century. These newcomers were approved for heavy labor but nothing more.
Today America faces job shortages and a patience shortage alongside a cherished identity rooted in the lie of White Supremacy and a superior White Identity. The collective growing numbers of Latinos, Blacks, Native Americans, and Asians is troublesome to Whites. A Black family in the White House is disconcerting to Whites. A Black man in the Oval Office is a crisis for Whites. So a racially reluctant president does all he can to appeal to Whites via beer summits, apologies, appearances on right wing television networks and right wing media, but it will never be enough.
Capturing and killing the one called America’s greatest terrorist and dumping his body in the ocean is not enough. Repudiating his former pastor and mentor for words of truth that warned America of the fate that awaits her if she persists in evil and wrongdoing isn’t enough. Speaking to every constituency that voted for him–and some who did not–while denying Black interests is not enough.
“Protester Ellen Meeks said the country’s identity has eroded with an influx of undocumented immigrants. ‘I just wish America would be America again because it’s not, and it’s not just pointed to the Hispanics,’ Meeks said. ‘Everybody needs to go through the legal ways,’ ” according to CNN.com.
“ ‘You bring in all these children and they’re going to take over our schools,’ Bel Reeves added. ‘What’s going to happen to the kids that were born and raised here?’ ” CNN.com said.
This fear and indignation is not only seen in the protests against President Obama by the Tea Party but also contributes to the general attitude among Whites that a president whose efforts kept the country from going over an economic cliff is a failure. In their minds an insurance program is a program against democracy and liberty and its advocate is a dictator and a tyrant, a Black Hitler.
Anti-racism activist Tim Wise has regularly attacked this deeply rooted ideology that exists in the minds of White America. He has connected this ideology to the attacks on the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. “Perhaps when White folks begin to show as much concern for the bigoted statements and, more to the point, murderous actions of White political leaders as we show over the statements of Louis Farrakhan, then we’ll deserve to be taken seriously in this thing we call a ‘national dialogue on race.
‘ Until then, however, folks of color will continue—and rightly, understandably so—to view us as trying to dodge our personal responsibility for our share of the problem. They will view us, and with good reason, as merely using Farrakhan so that we can divert attention from institutional discrimination, institutionalized White privilege and power, and the way in which White denial maintains a lid on social change, by creating the impression that everything is fine, and whatever isn’t fine is the fault of crazy, militant Black people, who follow crazy and hateful religious leaders.
“In this way, White Americans can continue to pretend that the nation’s racial problem isn’t about us; that we are but passive observers of a drama concocted by others, over which only they have any control. And in this way, we guarantee the perpetuation of the very enmity we claim not to understand, the very tension we cannot comprehend, and the chasm-like divide that was created in our name and for our historic benefit, no matter how much we try and shift the blame now, heads rooted firmly in the proverbial sand,” writes Mr. Wise on his website.
That same denial surfaces when Whites attempt to justify opposition, virulent and ugly opposition, to the presence of dark-skinned immigrants, women and children. Gone is the talk of America the merciful, the gentle, the kind, the world savior and a gleaming angelic city on a hill.
The anger and hatred displayed in California is another sign of a nation on the brink of a racial explosion and the signs only say the worst is yet to come.