Tag Archives: racism

The answer is in diversity

America is a nation that was built on diversity. It wasn’t something that was a choice or a point in the nation’s history where a vote was held to allow immigrants to start coming in. No, America has been a land of freedom for immigrants all through the many years of its history.

Having people from all around the world living and working in one country, with different backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs means an absolute necessity to come together with respect, tolerance and understanding. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to become who the other person is but it means that each person does need to understand each others’ differences and learn to respect those and realize that each person has many likenesses and common goals which is what drives America to move forward.

America has always been known as the land of opportunity and has been looked to for its great medical advances, technological advances, freedoms and many other qualities that have been part of what has made America a place of growth, opportunity and achievement.

What gives that edge to America? America has qualified input from its citizens and residents that reside here from all over the world. Everyone that comes here brings with them their expertise, their dreams, goals and determination to have a better life. Whether they come here to be a doctor, a scientist, a student, an engineer, a chef or whatever they desire to be, they become part of the American fabric.

Too often, a person is judged by the way they speak or the way they look or by what part of history their culture or religion has played in America’s past but has that individual personally been part of that history?

Why should they be judged? Why would their religion be held responsible for a group of extremist?

Throughout America, look around, there are many different people. Different races, cultures, religions and with each person there is a story. Until people take time to talk to each other, there is no way of knowing who the other person is. There is no reason to judge someone without knowing that particular individual, not by something that someone said or what someone may think but by talking to them and knowing them individually.
Without this effort and getting to know those around this great land of diversity and culture, a lot of what America has to offer is being put to the wayside and being wasted. So many people are in the shadows.
Showing respect, tolerance and understanding may be the best thing to start moving the U.S. out of the struggles it seems to be stuck in. This is not just something to learn when it comes to working within different cultures, races, religions and beliefs. This is also true when working with anyone, for any reason. This is true within our political parties, our Congress and our House. This is true in our schools with our young people. This is true within the workplace. This should just be part of daily life in America.

It starts with wanting to make a difference, stop arguing, end hate and intolerance and be willing to do what it takes to move America forward and making life better for everyone and each generation to come.

The best America has to offer may be one conversation away, one handshake away or one smile away.


Arizona is just the beginning…. Watch Out!

Has Arizona’s crime problem come to the point they need to take the law into their own hands? That is the question. That is not the only thing really going on here though. There is so much more under the surface of what is going on. This is like a long line of dominoes and the longer “Arizona” is able to continue lining up those dominoes without having a stop put to it before they all fall down, the worse the situation can get.

Let me explain.

Arizona is saying their biggest problem is the border and the immigrants, actually the illegal immigrants coming across that border. It can’t be denied the illegal immigration is a problem and what the United States has done to this point hasn’t been working. The question here is what is Arizona’s reason behind this law? What are their future plans? What comes after this law has been in effect for a while? Read on.

Governor Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, otherwise known as Arizona SB1070 on April 23, 2010.  If you haven’t read the law, I urge you to do so. Not to get a negative or positive opinion of it but the knowledge of what the law says and stands for. Most people are hearing about the law, talking about the law but haven’t read the law.

Certain parts can be explained about the law, for example; the law says a person can only be asked for their identification if they have been pulled over in a traffic incident or are already doing something wrong but if you read the law closely, parts of it are directed toward a certain group of laborers as well. These laborers are most always immigrant laborers, legal or illegal. It is directed. It is also directed at those that will be in the country over 30 days whether visiting or on a study visa or there for whatever reason, they have to register (which I am fine with that) and have their I.D. on them at all times. If for whatever reason they are with someone or in a situation and they are asked for that I.D. and they don’t have it, then they risk being arrested? Let me point out that this is for anyone that looks fits the image they are saying could be an illegal immigrant. This person could be a fourth or fifth generation U.S. Citizen. You can look Hispanic and not even be Hispanic. You can be Hispanic and not even look Hispanic. You see the loopholes here?

The idea here for Arizona, they say, is to find illegal immigrants but they haven’t said how they are going to handle the people that just don’t walk around with their I.D. Think about it. If you look like who they are looking for which in this case is “Illegal Mexicans” and I don’t get that either because Mexico itself has citizens that have diverse look? I don’t know, I guess Arizona’s government and police know who they are looking for. However, in either traveling or living how many times do you go places without your I.D.? Well, legal or not, you better make sure you have it on you in Arizona or just don’t visit Arizona.

The second problem is this. The Arizona Governor is making it sound like the majority of crime is being caused by the same people they are hoping to “root out” by this law. So, she makes it sound like these are ruthless individuals, gangs and members of drug cartels. Could this not be something that could turn out to be dangerous and violent for the police and the citizens of Arizona? What happens if something occurs during one of these situations where an officer is trying to prove immigration status? Someone reaches in their shirt or pocket for their I.D. and an officer thinks they are pulling out a weapon and shoots the individual? Then come to find out, the person had no weapon and was actually a Mexican-American Citizen with no weapon? What is the next step? Have they already thought ahead to a worse-case-scenario? If I have thought of this, they must have. It is their state and the safety of their citizens they say. Mind you, their citizens include Mexican immigrants that have lived there for generations. Their safety alongside everyone else’s is the priority of this law, is it not? What would be the next step? How would they make it more clear or visible who is a legal immigrant or an illegal immigrant? You know “safer” for everyone involved. That is what Arizona is after, right? Are they going to ask for anyone that looks Hispanic to wear their I.D. around their neck? This is beginning to sound a little familiar. But, I can see it going there just by the way things would be playing out in the different case-scenarios. They aren’t really too far off base to me. I mean it is a touchy situation for everyone involved when you put it in a State Government’s hands.

At this moment many Hispanics are saying they don’t want to go into Arizona to visit due to the new law and others are moving out due to this new law going into effect. At the same time, the attention this law has brought about has had its own “Silver Lining” according to one News Article that points out how some Mexicans are seeing a group of Americans standing up against the SB1070 law including President Obama. The numbers go both ways with a large group of Americans supporting the law and other Americans standing against the law. This has definitely been something that has seemed to “draw a line in the sand” when it comes to debating how people feel when it comes to immigration reform laws.

As far as politicians, this is like Hot Potato. Some want to jump on board and go with one idea and others don’t want anything to do with it especially now with elections so close. Although Republican Barry Wong, a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, an elected body that decides public utility issues came up with an idea of cutting electricity, water, natural gas, even telephone lines at the homes of illegal immigrants, he said it would lower costs for the rest of the state’s customers.

The idea of taking away basic necessities from someone, even kids is something I can’t personally see anyone thinking would further their political career but how dare someone believe that is even remotely okay something like that when it comes to human rights? Cutting electricity and water wouldn’t be acceptable in a third world country. Has it come to that? Really?
Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican of Mesa Arizona says he wants to see the SB 1070 law mirrored across the U.S. He wants it to be the law of the land. He is working with representative in 18 other states to draft the legislation.

“It will be the law of the land,” Pearce said to a few hundred participating in a support rally for SB1070. “We’re not waiting on Washington, D.C.” He is backed by the Tea Party Movement.

Arizona’s immigration law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

Arizona’s Border is more than Mexico. First and simply, Arizona borders Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. That is geographically and visibly obvious. Whoever wants to come and go from those states is free to do so and whoever is in Arizona is free to come and go into those states. But Arizona is part of the U.S. and whatever goes on inside of Arizona affects all of the United States and all of its Citizens and it is having a great deal of affect on Mexico’s citizens. This is something that has been shown through not only our history but the history of the world. It is not always what you are doing but how you go about your actions.

Certainly there has been a problem with border control. Both the Mexican government and our government see that. Certainly things need to happen to fix that and it needs to have happened already, a long time ago. That is not the fault of the citizens of Arizona. That is not the fault of children that have been born here to parents that were here without their legal status. Arizona is also trying to turn over or rewrite the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

14th Amendment: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This isn’t the first mention of changing a part of the U.S. Constitution or not agreeing with a very important part of our U.S. History and what we have fought for which is freedom and equality for all. If you remember just recently, Rand Paul’s speaking about the 1964’s Civil Rights Act.  First he stated that he believed private businesses should be able to say who they serve and do not serve but in an interview with Robert Siegel of All Things Considered on National Public Radio he states, “And to tell you the truth, I haven’t really read all through it because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn’t been a real pressing issue in the campaign, on whether we’re going for the Civil Rights Act.” What? How old is the U.S. Constitution? Is it just old material? Invalid? These documents have been fought for and are there for more than just a simple reason to be glanced at when someone gets a chance. Rand Paul thinks that the Civil Rights Act needs to be changed but hasn’t read it?

This is something that is new for a large group that we keep hearing from more and more these days. A group making a lot of noise and wanting to say how wrong things are going and how nothing is happening in Washington D.C. and the only way to fix it is to listen to them and get them in there so they can fix it. Once everybody hears their message and joins their rallies, follows their movement then things will go the right way. Finally things will work out. They have been saying that on and on for a long time on their news network, at their rallies, at their Tea Party Movements and yet they held office for eight years and left a mess. Now they want to say they have the answers and for everyone to move aside?

I mentioned earlier about the dominoes lining up and the longer they are allowed to line them up, the worse it gets. Well, that is what is going on in Washington. There are a lot of excuses as to why nothing can happen but why? There is a big need for Immigration Reform, right? Everyone knows that. It is not a simple problem. Who is making the most noise about it? The Republican Party. Who is blocking the progress on not only that but nearly anything that tries to get moved through the House and the Senate? Why is that? What are they waiting for? Again, they had eight years to get things done. How did Immigration Reform go during that time? Was the border safe then? Did this all just now start? If this is a problem, why can’t the Republican Party work with the current administration in the White House? Isn’t this for the good of the American people? Isn’t that what they are elected for? Or, is Arizona’s government doing this for political gain and the Republican Party doing this for political gain? Who is working for the American people? Even if they want political gain out of the situation, I am sure their constituents will see they were part of getting something done if they could do so without all the fuss. If they could make common sense speeches as to why Immigration Reform needs to move forward and how it will benefit the country and how it will benefit the country for both parties to work together to get the job done.

Like I said, Arizona borders more than Mexico. I talked about the physical border but this isn’t just about Arizona. Crime is everywhere in the U.S. Crime is not caused by a person’s nationality or their location. It is caused by the person. The person chooses to commit the crime. Many crimes are hate crimes. I talked about this in an earlier article, “Are you the “right” color?” Please click on the link and read the article. It is a very worthwhile article to read. It goes along with and discusses the problem in Arizona as well.

America is a great country, with a big land that was founded with many dreams. It seems that what America has been built on is falling right through our cracks. Those are our freedoms, our desire to grow and expand, to learn and invent and to leave behind something better than we found.

Our country has been run with a government from the beginning of its founding. It is our job to elect that government and in doing so we also elect to work with that government. When there are Bills in the House or the Senate continuously not getting passed due to party lines and this is the person you have voted for, it is time for you to rethink your vote. This is why things don’t happen in Washington D.C. This is where the things get bogged down. We are going to watch it with the Immigration Reform Act. This is where you matter, you make the difference. You make a choice. It isn’t your party, it is your vote.

What else is in our control? Arizona is not alone. Arizona isn’t at the top of the list for crime. Immigrants aren’t the reason crime has risen in the U.S. While the government is working on immigration, there is far more that needs attention.

In an article, “That’s how a lot of these shootings happen…over nothing” a former high school teacher in Chicago points out how abundant guns were in his school. In Chicago the Supreme Court ruled June 28th the ban on guns was unconstitutional. The teacher states how abundantly gun availability is and the students admit having to walk away from a hand fight knowing what it will lead to. It is a city basically held hostage to the knowledge of how many people are walking around with guns. They aren’t anywhere near a border.
What is your biggest fear? Who do you try to protect? Do you appreciate your freedoms?

Have you read the U.S. Constitution? Does it bother you that politicians would like to change it? Right now the parts they have mentioned trying to change may not affect you but what if they want to change something that does affect you? Then what? If one part can be changed, then another part can. I spoke about that also in the previous article I mentioned, “Are you the “right” color?” When you are talking about one person’s rights being taken away, you are also talking about the ability of your own rights being taken away.

So much of what I see going on in our nation today makes me think of what has gone on throughout our world in history. I keep asking myself how people can’t see the resemblance of past world horrors that can be repeated. I wrote a rather long article, “Will history repeat itself?” I always think that people would recognize something that would be so obviously similar before things would happen but this situation in Arizona and the fact that other states want to copy the law is just something that people are brushing off but it isn’t something that should be taken so lightly. People become desensitized to what is often hidden racism. It can be labeled as “law enforcement….safe neighborhood act” but it is what it is when it isn’t looking out for a person’s civil rights and human rights. People need to step back and put themselves in the shoes of others.

Stand up and get the representatives in Washington D.C. to do their job, stop hiding behind their party lines and vote to pass the Immigration Reform Act. Don’t leave it to the states to make up their own laws, their own rules and start trying to make changes to our Constitution. They don’t want Washington to work the way it is supposed to. They want it to continue to fail so they can continue to beat the same dead horse and tear this Nation apart piece by piece. Don’t vote in people that aren’t willing to work in Washington but want to just make their own rules and laws and tear apart our U.S. Constitution, our Land, our People and our Freedoms. Today you may be on one side of those rights they are taking away but tomorrow you may be on the other side.

Are You the "Right" Color?

In an article posted on CNN’s AC360 Blog, “What’s Behind Rand Paul’s Confusion“, there are a lot of points on the government’s role in the Civil Rights of racial equality. Should the government even be involved? Should there be any say, on the government’s part, about racial equality in a private business or individuals?

This can go way beyond what many people may be seeing so I have decided to take a few steps forward and a few steps back.

First of all, what is a Hate Crime? We have started seeing a lot of Hate Crimes and people being punished and prosecuted for them. So what defines a Hate Crime?

Hate Crime: “a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin”

Where do Hate Crimes typically happen? The amount of hate crimes have continued to rise but from reports filed in 2008, the FBI put these numbers together.

31.9% near homes or residences, 17.4% on highways, roads, alleys, or streets, 11.7% happened at schools or colleges, 6.1% took place in parking lots or garages, 4.2% occurred in churches, synagogues, or temples, 2.2% took place in restaurants, 1.8% transpired in bars or nightclubs, 11.9% occurred in other or unknown locations, 18.3% took place in the remaining specified location categories or in multiple locations.

Numbers above taken from FBI.gov

In 2008, in an analysis of the 7,780 reported Hate Crimes to the FBI, 51.3% were racially motivated.

This does not even mention Hate Crimes for other reasons such as religion, sexual orientation, disabilities or other reasons. Not all Hate Crimes have been categorized.

Are these crimes okay? Maybe I should word this differently. Are these crimes okay on private property? Maybe inside a private business?

During the past 7 years, hate crimes have risen against blacks and Hispanics. Often these crimes are against each other in the forms of gangs but more and more there is a growing trend of hate crimes against Hispanics as the debates over the Comprehensive Immigration Reform escalates. Although many differences arise when our government is discussing changes or reforms, this has caused heated debates which have caused violence to erupt in the Extremist Anti-Immigration Groups.

Okay, so it seems people want to step backwards with progress that has been made. That is what we would be doing here. No matter how pretty you draw the picture, how you word your point, that is what would be going on. We would be stepping backwards. This is talking about INEQUALITY.

Maybe this seems simple to you, bugs you, pisses you off that people would want to do this. Maybe it doesn’t. It bugs the hell out me!!

First of all, who says how white or dark your skin has to be for you to be the “right” color to come and go from one place or another? REALLY? How can someone seriously think that the color of one’s skin makes that person better than another person? Where would that logic come from? How about if we started giving IQ tests to everyone to see if they could come and go from grocery stores, malls, churches, public libraries, or amusement parks. But that would be something we could ultimately study for and improve on. So that isn’t fair. What about if we went by a person’s height? If you are over a certain height or under a certain height, this allows you certain privileges. So everyone over 5’6” can vote. That rules me out. How about you? What is the “right” person to have all the rights? Who actually gets to decide that?? Who makes the rules? Who has the list? What list are you on? The right one or the wrong one? You may not know because the “LIST” may be changing.

Talking about voting, did you read my last blog, “Who is Running Our Country“? Until 1920, women didn’t have the right to vote. Are we going to take that away too? When is that going to be something up for discussion? How about if private businesses, restaurants or bookstores suddenly said, we don’t women in here? Would that cause an issue? How about if they said we don’t want men? How about if whites were discriminated against?? Whoa… is that too much? Unheard of in this country? Remember that before we fought for equal rights, if you read my last blog, white men over the age of 21 were the only ones allowed to vote. White men received the fairest pay, had the best jobs. Isn’t that still a problem today? Isn’t that still something that women are trying to fight for equality on?

If you look at unemployment from April 2009 through April 2010, there is a substantial difference between white and black Americans. This is with the protection of the Civil Rights Act being “enforced” within the average workplace. Let’s say that suddenly different workplaces get the idea or the “permission” to do whatever they pleased. Turn away customers due to color. Hire and not hire with regard to race. I am not saying that every business would take advantage of this and I would certainly like to think that a great deal of America has moved beyond the days of discrimination. What would happen to jobless rates? Not just against blacks. Let’s remember, the Civil Rights Act and what it said. Who did it protect?

If you click on the link, you will read the Civil Rights Act was written to protect anyone being discriminated against due to their individual race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Remember, everything that has been fought for, all rights that have been gained are just as easily taken away. The importance of this depends on which side you are on. The giver or the taker? The quiet one or the one speaking up? Sometimes, not doing anything is the same as taking part in. That doesn’t mean a person should go out and take part in a riot or send hate messages but standing up for what is right saves lives. Our soldiers stand up for is right everyday of their lives. Why would they do that if what they are fighting for may just be changed? Do they know there are people here saying that many of them possibly won’t be allowed in certain private business if things go the way some certain politicians think they should and should not be able to go? While these soldiers are fighting abroad, there is a war going on at home.

Rand Paul did not just get up and say these things out of “left field”. He said these things because they have been discussed and thought about. Some are saying that he just started running off at the mouth and should have stayed on topic? This may be his topic. That is the thing. We are getting more and more groups and individuals that are anti-government or trying to undo what has taken years and dedication to put together. I am not talking about “big government” or policies here. I am talking about the rights of individuals, people. Putting skin color aside, sex and religion we are all the same, right? Wrong.

Okay, so then we go to Arizona. I can fully understand a State wanting to take care of its people, its schools, libraries, the streets, the parks, etc. I am all for that. But, I also know that when I go out and I am not the one driving, I don’t carry around my driver’s license. I can guarantee that if you go to the mall near my house without announcing it ahead of time that more than 80% of the people (and I am shooting low there) have no proof of their citizenship. This is Tampa and there is a wide variety of ethnicity here. So, are they going to start questioning everyone here next? What about all the major cities? NY? LA? Chicago? Is that supposed to be the answer for a problem? What problem is that the answer for? What problems are they going to cause in Arizona while they think they are answering “this problem”? To me, this sounds like the streets of Mississippi and Georgia back in the 60’s. Pull someone over, say they were going a few MPH too fast, ask for some I.Ds from everyone and hope you find some immigrants, point proven!

Immigrants do not only come from countries of darker skins mind you. There are immigrants from every country with every skin color. So, I am not sure how Arizona is going to fulfill this new law? Are they really looking for illegal immigrants or Mexicans? They didn’t spell that out but it appears they are “looking for” Mexicans by their appearance.

America is THE LAND of opportunity but America is as strong as we make it and as weak as we let it become and lately, we are letting it become very weak. We are ALLOWING America to become very weak. I say that not out of disloyalty, quite the opposite! I say that because I am upset by the fact that a few rotten apples really can spoil a whole bunch. That isn’t just something my teachers used to say. That is really true! I am amazed and very saddened at how easily people can turn against another person and really not see that the other man is a father, a husband, he is the same as you but just has a different color of skin. I am in awe when I hear someone thinks that a woman can’t have the same job as a man and do just as good and possibly even better. To think this all had to be fought for at one time is unbelievable to me because that means that a lot of people had to die to get to the point for someone to think, “Hey this is getting really bad and we need to do something about it.” But we did fight to make a difference and end discrimination. And now, there is a growing number of absent minded idiots that actually think we should go back in a sense and disrespect all those lives that have been lost, disrespect those who died in those hateful episodes of nothing but rage and hate against another of God’s children. We should just forget about all of that and just say, “You know what, let’s just let people discriminate if they want.” Forget that!!! I am not going to sit by and not say anything or do anything. No I am not going to go grab my friends and start a riot or jump on some news show and tell others to turn violent or start a raging group. I am saying my part, telling people how I feel and why I feel that way. I am hoping you will pass this along, share your comments. If you disagree with me, why? What do you disagree with? I think people should be able to share their opinions with respect and why they feel what they feel but not just repeating someone else. We each have the ability to have our own thoughts. That is why we are each so individually important and should be treated rightfully so.

My point is every person is to be treated equally. It doesn’t matter what office building they walk in, what car they are in, what state they live in, what coffee shop they go in, which library, bookstore, mall, fast food restaurant, hotel, or law firm, anywhere they go. It doesn’t matter where they go to get a job. If they are qualified for the job on paper, they are qualified for the job in person.

“We can’t be who we are if we don’t respect where we have been.” Tracy Solomon