Monday, May 17, 2010

Both Sides of The Loop Podcast

On this week's episode, Marvin King and Lenny McAllister cover minorities getting the frisk from NYC cops, Arizona's immigration law and civil rights, the anti-incumbent mood in American politics and Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

1 comment:

The Angry Independent said...

Excellent show as usual.

You mentioned that the law is about the treatment of illegal immigrants....or something to that effect. I have to disagree. I also have to disagree with Lenny McAllister (what in the world is he talking about?).

Opposition to the law really has nothing to do with illegal immigrants, at least not in my view. Some of the biggest problems with the law have to do with the likely targeting and maltreatment that it may create for actual citizens....Hispanics who have every right to be here and who should be protected under the Constitution. We cannot have laws that advocate the targeting of certain ethnic groups (although I am sure the Tea Party folks would love it if the U.S. could ban certain ethnic groups. They even suggested that Obama should go back to Africa). Hispanics are about 13% of the population as you well know... and they make up an even higher percentage in Arizona (citizens....not the undocumented folks... but citizens). Opposition to this madness is about protecting the rights of Americans.

The last 3 times that the U.S. codified racial discrimination in any major way was the persecution and genocide of Native Americans, slavery & the subsequent Jim Crow period, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. These were examples of America at its worst. In all 3 cases, the nation had to reverse itself...and at least acknowledge its monumental errors.

Do we want to go through this again?

This is about highlighting and safeguarding the equal protection rights of citizens...citizens who undoubtedly would have been targeted by this law as it was originally written. (Arizona has since gotten slick by modifying the language in the law...so that law enforcement cannot initiate a stop based on suspicion about legal status alone....but that was mostly a cosmetic change designed to hurt the legal challenges...and unfortunately it probably will hurt those future court cases).

Point is...it really isn't about illegal immigrants.... at least not for me.

P.S.

What McAllister suggested (that law enforcement has the right to check status as a consequence of some other stop) is correct. But law enforcement across the Country already has that right..and exercises it as a matter of routine. So why do we need a law codifying what is already standard practice? The answer is... codifying this standard practice was not the intent of this law. The intent of this law was (initially at least) to go far beyond that.

Let me pose this question to Lenny McAllister....since he seems to support this law....


Here's a hypothetical... (something that could realistically happen). Let's rearrange the furniture so to speak. What if the tables were turned...and the nation was having a huge problem with illegal immigration from Haiti or Africa (by way of Mexico and Canada.... let's say Africans were stowaways or flew to Canada or Mexico because of their lax immigration...and then entered the U.S. from there). Let's replace Mexicans with Haitians and Africans.

What if Florida got fed up with the constant, problematic flow of Haitians coming to Florida for work...(despite the business owners - many of them Republican - who are using the cheap labor and are enticing the Haitians and Africans to come). And what if Florida came up with a similar law permitting law enforcement to target Blacks for their papers.

Let's say the U.S. had the same problem that France and Italy have with Black African immigration.

And let's say that other States were looking at Florida's law and were considering their own similar immigration laws.

What would be your position then? If you can answer that honestly....