Trump – Connect The Dots


The gringa likes to steer clear of controversial politics. However, after researching Donald Trump’s candidacy for almost 12 months now, I feel compelled to share. Although all the candidates for the US presidency have their fair share of baggage and issues, I sincerely believe Donald is the only one who threatens to cause irreparable damage to my nation as well as to other countries around the world. So, while some candidates may be troublesome, Donald is downright dangerous.

This election season is historical and a struggle for the heart of our nation. Donald’s bigotry is dangerous. Those who deny this are: A. Right wing extremists who are trained in the art of subversion and misinformation; or B. Average folk who really don’t want to destroy their country but are caught up in the celebrity of Donald and doing nothing more than believing everything he says. This post is for those people in the hopes that it will open their eyes. To see the outline of Donald the white supremacist in chief, one only has to connect the dots.

Over the past year I have been going toe-to-toe with Donald supporters, dispelling and exposing their concerted efforts to recruit through misinformation campaigns. I have been threatened with rape, beheading, bombing, dismemberment and any other imaginable form of torture and murder, along with my loved ones. Although the gringa finds this disturbing, it only confirms my belief in the truth I will share, truth Donald supporters either don’t want to admit or don’t want to see the light of day. So, get comfortable. You are in for a long read, almost 4,000 words.

If you are a Donald supporter and become incensed by what I publish and feel the need to insult or threaten me, it’s no big deal to this gal. I’ve heard it all before. Besides, I am a direct descendant of a Mississippi Klansmen, my maternal great-grandfather, and have dealt with just about any insult you could throw my way. I will ignore your insults just as I have ignored that side of my family for years. Truth matters more.

Begin At The Beginning – Donald’s Early Years

Donald’s father, Frederick Christ Trump, was arrested in May, 1927. He was a KKK Klansmen participating in a “Fascisti” riot targeting Catholic New York City Police officers. Trump was arrested for assaulting New York City police officers. Arrested with him were fellow KKK Klansmen: John E. Kapp, John Marcy, Fred Lyons, Thomas Caroll, Thomas Erwin, and Harry J. Free. The arrest was reported in the June 1, 1927 edition of the New York Times as well as many other newspapers. Trump got off with a not guilty plea which is not surprising. One strategy of the hoods Klansmen hide behind is so that legally they can offer up a defense of no proper identification available as to their involvement in the crime.

Donald’s father enjoyed the power and benefits of KKK membership in an America that had not yet passed the Civil Rights Act (passage in 1964). This is the era where a young Donald, born in 1946, was raised and conditioned, being prepped to one day take over his father’s empire. A teenage Donald would have witnessed his KKK father’s reactions to Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Park’s famous bus ride, marches, protests and the riots and unrest associated with desegregation. The gringa does not believe that a KKK father would have left a multi-million dollar legacy to a son who was not with the ideological “program”. (Sources: boingboing.net/2015/09/09/1927,  www.ibtimes.co.uk/frederick-christ-trump,  www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1918462/1927,  www.vice.com/read/all-the-evidence,   www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3229542/).

Donald’s father needed effective legal counsel to help manage his real estate empire. Donald spoke of the family attorney as his personal mentor, perhaps even more influential than his own father to shaping Trump’s business style and persona as we see him today. This man was none other than Roy Cohn, aide to Joe McCarthy, and known for his anti-Semitism, hatred of Communists and brutal hatred of homosexuals. After service to McCarthy, Cohn became counsel to some of the most notorious mafia figures in US history: Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante, and John Gotti, just to name a few. In essence, Donald “mobbed up” with a vicious attorney who believed what our country calls “McCarthyism”. (Source:  www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/, www.thenation.comwww.salon.com/2015/09/26/ ).

As Donald continued managing the helm of his father’s empire, his true racist colors can be seen in the transcripts of the Department of Justice case against a young Donald and his father’s empire for racial discrimination. Their racism is DOCUMENTED in court records. They were once again defended in court aggressively by their “McCarthy-ist” attorney. This occurred in the 1970s, less than a decade after the passage of the Civil Rights Act but it seems Donald and his father believed they did not have to change with the times.  (Source:  www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/15/, www.washingtonpost.com).

In 1991 a biography on Donald was published, “Trumped!”. Within the covers are quotes of Donald’s words to biographer O’Donnel about a black man working at Trump Plaza as an accountant. Donald’s words are very telling that, as of 1991, “grown man” Donald, no longer dependent on the approval of a KKK father, was still a well-conditioned racist: “… laziness is a trait in blacks… Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”  Donald said that. You can buy the book yourself or Google it.

Donald & His Special Interest Groups – Now

What about now? Has Donald changed? Is he still a racist, xenophobe Klansman in Republican disguise? The gringa believes he is based on the fact that his strongest support comes from special interest groups that are identified by the FBI, Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League as domestic terror groups, right wing extremists, white supremacists, white nationalists, radicalized Christians, radicalized Constitutionalists and conspiracy theorists and Donald has never denounced them publicly or vehemently. In fact he has allowed them to flourish and recruit at his rallies. His campaign’s success is greatly in part because of the effective recruitment campaigns of these domestic terror organizations. Let’s examine a few of these groups connected to Donald and see who they are, what they represent and what they believe Donald’s political ideology represents.

Donald’s first public endorsement by a white supremacist domestic terror group was Tweeted September, 2015:

@realDonaldTrump You Sir are the only hope we have of getting WHITE AMERICA BACK! WE all will be voting for you! CHURCH OF INVISIBLE EMPIRE  – Wm. Quigg (@GrandDragonCa) September 17, 2015

After this endorsement Donald came under media scrutiny. The KKK moved into damage control and attempted a public endorsement of Hillary Clinton. This move is very typical of the political strategies exercised by groups like this in order to propagate misinformation campaigns. The media and Clinton’s other political opponents ignored this ruse for what it was, but white supremacists still use this as a deflect argument when the truth of Donald’s white supremacy connections begins to hit too close to home in debate and argument. More on misinformation strategies of organizations like this will follow later in the post. For now the gringa is trying to stay on point about some of the domestic terror organizations linked to Donald.

Opening line quote from open letter to Donald from the national KKK chapter, published March, 2016 on their website, www.kkk.com, which he has never denounced:  “They hate you for the same reason they hate us.”

Most recent public endorsement of Donald by the KKK national chapter published May, 2, 2016 that Donald has not denounced:  “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in,” KKK Imperial Wizard. The KKK video can be viewed at www.thewrap.com  (Source:  www.sfgate.com, www.washingtonpost.com/news ).

Recent interview with former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke expressing his belief that Donald will enact a white supremacist agenda that Donald has not refuted:  freakoutnation.com/2016/05/.

Stormfront is a white nationalist domestic terror group that proudly supports Donald and has actively recruited at his rallies. Although this organization officially lists its membership at 30,000, it has the largest white supremacist web forum in the entire WORLD according to the FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center.  Its founder and leader, Don Black, was investigated, along with other white supremacist domestic terror groups, by the FBI in connection with the radicalization of Dylan Roof who murdered a church full of people in North Carolina last year. In Black’s appeals to fellow white supremacists he railed against the investigation as a violation of his Second Amendment right to freedom of speech. He believes speech is protected even if that right is exploited in the propagation of radicalizing propaganda designed to incite mass murder. (Sources:   www.postandcourier.com   and  www.splcenter.org/hatewatch).

Stormfront makes no effort to hide their faith in Donald to enact their white supremacist ideology as his political agenda should he become president. Title of article written by one of their members supporting Donald with this message as a byline: “Donald Trump is just the opening act. Yes, we will live to see a Fourth Reich”. (Source:  www.dailykos.com/story/2015/8/28/1416143/).

Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Stormfront as a white nationalist/white supremacist domestic terror group of radicalized right-wing extremists. This domestic terror group is connected with Donald Trump. A quote from their website states that they have actively recruited at Donald’s rallies: “Trump’s presidential campaign has received support from numerous white nationalist groups and leaders who have used his campaign to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. Trump has retweeted white nationalists, repeatedly declined to denounce former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in an interview, and gave press credentials to a white nationalist figure who also interviewed Donald Trump Jr.” Stormfront also announced recently that they had to upgrade their servers due to a 40% increase in website traffic since Donald’s sail to the top and Donald has NEVER denounced their support. (Sources:  www.stormfront.org/forum/t1149220/, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/17/).

A third white supremacist domestic terror group supporting Donald due to their belief that his political ideology aligns with their own is the Council of Conservative Citizens that boasts over 1 million members and growing. Dylan Roof, who murdered nine Americans having a prayer meeting in their North Carolina church last year, credited this domestic terror group’s website as one source of radicalizing propaganda. Introduction to an article on the CofCC website  expresses their belief in Donald’s white supremacist agenda and that he will “make America great again” by returning the nation to pre-Reconstruction Era policies. Donald has never denounced the support of this domestic terror group. (Source: www.amren.com/news/2016/03/).

The Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center and the FBI have all identified Council of Conservative Citizens as a domestic terror organization of radicalized extremists and this is yet one of many such organizations tied to Donald’s rise to the top as the Republican candidate. CofCC has also stated that it actively recruited at Trump’s rallies.  (Sources:  www.adl.org/combating-hate/).

Now, the dear reader may be asking themselves, “Are these fringe groups really that dangerous? I mean, isn’t it the radicalized ISIS style terrorists we should be worried about?” The gringa assures you that the domestic terror threat from Trump’s most fervent supporters is the REAL and PRESENT danger the US is dealing with. Consider the following data and information…

Since 9/11 only 45 Americans have lost their lives on American soil at the hands of radicalized extremists using the Muslim label. Those extremists were radicalized HERE, in America. Our vetting process of immigrants is working the way it is designed to work to protect Americans from imported terrorists.

However, since 9/11 right wing extremists, such as white supremacists, white nationalists, radicalized Christians, radicalized Constitutionalists, and conspiracy theorists, have murdered, injured and terrorized thousands of Americans. According to collated data from the FBI, on average, 337 events of domestic terror occur every year. These terrorist activities are performed by some of the very groups supporting Donald, not Muslims. To break it down easier, the average American is 7 times more likely to be injured or killed by a right wing extremist than by a radicalized Muslim. A few examples of the terrorist activities perpetrated by the types of domestic terror groups and individual domestic terrorists supporting Donald:

  • SC church massacre, 2015, by Dylan Roof, radicalized by white nationalist groups Stormfront & Council of Conservative Citizens, 9 AMERICANS KILLED
  • 1/8/2011 Gabrielle Gifford shot, 6 killed by Jared Loughner who was radicalized by the propaganda of anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, white supremacist hate group American Renaissance according to DHS report.
  • Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page, neo-Nazi, fatally shot six worshippers and wounded four others.
  • George Tiller murdered May 31, 2009 by radicalized Christian Scott Roeder. This occurred after he had already had his clinic firebombed by right wing extremists and had survived a previous assassination attempt, shot 5 times by radicalized Christian Shelly Shannon in 1993.
  • Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church massacre July 27, 2008 by radicalized Christian Jim David Adkisson murdering 2 and injuring others while a children’s play was being performed. His manifesto stated that he hated “liberals, Democrats and gays”.
  • January 17, 2011 white supremacist/white separatist Kevin William Harpham was arrested after attempting to bomb a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March in Spokane, Washington.
  • January 2012, Jason Barnwell, Jake Murphy, Dustin Hammond, and Gary Dodson, white supremacists, committed a racial hate crime of fire bombing the home of an inter-racial couple in Evening Shade, Arkansas.

Over a period of 86 years the KKK alone was responsible for lynching over 3,446 AMERICANS. That does not include unreported crimes, rapes, and assaults by the KKK or crimes committed by any number of white supremacist groups spawned since the KKKs inception.

Donald lies about Muslims being the REAL domestic terror threat. The FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center’s data and public reports both agree that the very organizations that support Donald, the domestic terror groups he is connected to and has never denounced, are the very REAL and present domestic terror threat. FBI quote published on their website regarding domestic terror:  “Today’s extremists are more challenging than ever. They’re affiliated with a variety of white supremacy groups, and they can be motivated by any number of religious or political ideologies… White supremacy extremists specifically target racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; the federal government;… Their tactics include assault, murder, threats and intimidation, and bombings. They also commit other kinds of crimes—like drug trafficking, bank and armored car robberies, and counterfeiting—to fund their hate-filled activities…”

White nationalists, radicalized Christians and white supremacist domestic terror groups and their terrorist in chief, Donald, are a greater threat to freedom in America today than radicalized Muslims have ever been. Anyone who says otherwise is either a white supremacist sympathizer attempting to misinform or a person who is simply ignorant of the truth.

Sources:  www.rawstory.com/2015/06/, securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists, www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/may/extremism,    thinkprogress.org/justice/, usuncut.com/news/, www.FBI.gov, Southern Poverty Law Center
Despite the official data from the FBI, Donald still insists on promoting anti-Muslim hate propaganda. Donald has re-stated recently that he will indeed require Muslim ID badges. This is an absolute unconstitutional position, requiring dismantling the fundamental principle of the Constitution, separation of church and state. NO federal, state, county or municipal ID requires religious identity. A person can change their religious identity whenever they please. It is not a permanent identifier such as physical identifiers.

But Donald goes even further than badges, dangerously further. He proposes to create a database on all activities of Muslim AMERICANS. He also wants to legalize warrantless searches of Muslim AMERICANS. Do you understand that? Because he is proposing an absolute ban of Muslim immigrants, his ID, database and warrantless searches agenda is aimed at AMERICANS.  (Source:  www.washingtonpost.com/news/,  thehill.com)

Political Strategies of Domestic Terror Groups

The dear reader may be wondering why the media doesn’t expose Donald. The dear reader may also be wondering why political opponents have not used this information as well to expose Donald. The gringa will tell you why. Every media outlet has their own political bias and agenda. They do not want to tank the careers of the politicians they support. And the racist domestic terror groups have perpetrated a very clever strategy to protect themselves from ever being exposed by either political party. This strategy is just as effective as the cloaks and hoods the KKK Klansmen use to hide their identities.

Radicalized racist domestic terror groups are neither Republican nor Democrat, although members have their own political affiliation. Throughout history they have aligned with either party depending on which was most expedient at any given time to further the white supremacist/nationalist cause. And at THIS PRESENT TIME they do not necessarily identify as Republican, but as Donald’s supporters. White supremacists/nationalists only exploit the advantages of power within each party. A white supremacist/nationalist is neither a Republican nor Democrat, even if it is actively supporting one of the parties. The political party identity is really only a means to an end, furthering a white supremacist/nationalist agenda. The loyalty of a white supremacist/nationalist is only to their racist agenda and white nationalist identity.

What this strategy effectively does, then, is muddy the political waters.  The effective political strategy of moving between both parties has created a dirty political history with skeletons in both party’s closet. This strategy results in NEITHER party ever going after an opponent hard about any white supremacist/nationalist support they may be receiving. It is another way white supremacists/nationalists are able to hide under the shrouds of political party shame, knowing full well one party cannot call out the other party on the connection because they both have history. By infiltrating BOTH parties at different times in history white supremacist/nationalist organizations have ensured they can wear this cloak of shame and remain hidden as they push through their political agendas.

The leaders of these domestic terror groups supporting Donald are not uneducated hillbillies living in bunkers in the deep woods (although many of their minions are). The leaders of these organizations are highly educated, many of them have law degrees, specializing in Constitutional law, medical degrees in psychology that enable them to develop effective recruitment propaganda. And ever since the first day that they have been forced to submit to a black man’s presidency, they have been fervently strategizing and infiltrating powerful political parties for this very moment in time.

These infiltrators are in America’s state legislatures, governors’ mansions, city councils, sheriff’s departments, school boards, city police departments and, most importantly, the Republican party. They have already staged a successful coup of one of the nation’s most powerful political parties and they are staged to next take the White House. And the discriminatory “bathroom” legislation going on the deep South now comes as no surprise once people understand what is going on.

Transgender Americans have been using public bathrooms associated with their gender identity for decades without any outcry. There is absolutely no criminal data to suggest it has ever been a problem. Yet now the transgender community and the LGBT community at large are the targets of discriminatory laws in southern states in the control of right wing extremists. It is a test. These domestic terror groups are determining what kind of resistance they should expect from the public once Donald takes office and rewards the special interest groups that helped him get there by giving them exactly what they want, free reign to oppress and discriminate against non-whites and non-Christians. And the LGBT community is the “safe” group to target right now without fully exposing themselves and their full race/religious based agenda.

White supremacists/nationalist domestic terror groups have become highly active with recruitment and their ranks have been growing with Donald’s supporters. Recruitment propaganda uses key emotional trigger words such as “patriot” and “conservative”. Not all political groups that use these labels are white supremacist, but many are and you have to be careful. White supremacist recruiters are highly trained to be subversive. These are not rednecks from the backwoods. A white supremacist/nationalist recruiter is not going to approach you and say, “Hey, I’m with a racist organization. Wanna join?” No, they tap into a person’s Christian or politically conservative outrage at having to live politically correct and gradually condition them to a white supremacist ideology.

And don’t be surprised to see a few acceptable minorities mixed in to a “public” face for these organizations. Much like how Donald exploits Ben Carson and other minorities, placing them in the limelight. This strategy is so when white supremacist connections are pointed out Donald and his supporters can point to their “cover” and say, “Look! Donald’s even working close with minorities. He loves them and they love him.”

And if a person gets too close to exposing the truth about Donald’s white supremacist/nationalist domestic terror group connections, the favorite strategy these groups use is to deflect with the accusation of the Democrat party’s connection with the KKK. In particular they like to point the finger at Hillary’s relationship with Robert Byrd. The gringa has already explained the inter-party relationships white supremacists historically have with both political parties as a strategy to protect them from exposure. However, to move beyond that neutralizing argument, let’s examine Democrat Senator Byrd’s history and put that argument to bed once and for all as well:

The REAL story on Byrd and why it’s a non-issue with the media & other candidates who see it as NON-relevant: A young adult 20-something Robert Byrd was a KKK recruiter in the 1930s-1940s. He remained a Klansman during the early years of his 51 year career serving as Senator of West Virginia. Byrd later renounced his KKK past and called it “the worst mistake” of his life in his last autobiography in 1997. When interviewed, he warned all young people to steer clear of the Klan. He also publicly expressed deep regret at voting against Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. Born in 1917, Byrd’s early life was conditioned in a heavily racist South (much like Donald’s dad) but he grew and socially evolved and recognized the error of such beliefs and became a changed man (unlike Donald’s dad).

I find it amusing when subversive white supremacists defending Donald’s white supremacist connections with misinformation use the Byrd argument. Their own argument defeats them. Their logic is that they reject and demonize the Democrat party/Hillary/Byrd because of historical connections with white supremacists. By their own logic, then, they must reject Donald whose white supremacist connections are very real, out in the open, active right now and obvious to everyone which is why white supremacists are working so hard on spreading misinformation on social media and any venue of open debate. And if misinformation doesn’t work to shut up a person they then resort to personal insults, attacks and, ultimately, intimidation. And that is exactly why every single non-racist, non-xenophobic, non-religious bigot must work even harder to defeat them despite the fact that they are well armed, well organized and have a history of intimidation, murder, arson and bombing as their methods of dealing with those who oppose them.

Sources: cited within the body of the article

Image Credit:  www.pbskids.org

 

 

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Who Are The Real Entitlement Whinebags?


The gringa has been distracted with concerns about current war migrations and the possibility of future climate change migrants that I haven’t even noticed that my own countrymen are migrating as well. It seems to have been going on rather significantly for about three years now. A little over 4,000 did so in 2015. When I look back to the year 2006 the gringa discovers only 300 people bailed on the country. Why are so many more Americans renouncing their citizenship now?

Apparently, it all comes down to taxes. Now, the gringa hasn’t been on a political crusade and ranted and raged for a cause in some time so, perhaps now is the time. Especially since it’s an election cycle and the you-know-what is getting thick. So, be prepared for a clarifying earful about subjects such as “entitlement whinebags” and “propaganda hounds” aka, the GOP, aka, “compassionate” conservatives, aka, the Republican party. And get comfy because, clocking in at over 3,000 words, you, dear reader, are in for a long read of a long rant.

So, back to the original question… what kind of Americans are giving up their American citizenship and why… Many Americans expatriate to live in other countries. Many of these are Americans who are still working and earning. It is not just retired folk who expatriate. However, even though they live in another country, in the past, they retained their American citizenship because of all the benefits and security the nationality afforded them. Now, it’s just one big tax hassle to be an American in another country. So, they renounce their citizenship. Rather than work to change what’s wrong with their country, they take their ball and go home. Boo hoo.

You see, it doesn’t matter where an American lives. They still have to pay their income tax so that money can be used by the nation to maintain the country’s infrastructure, protect its citizens, and care for its less fortunate at home as well as vulnerable populations around the world. Apparently, these turncoats don’t want to contribute to the well-being of the nation, they only want to reap the benefits. I think that’s the description of an “entitlement whinebag”, someone who expects that they deserve something for nothing.

I mean, the gringa pays her taxes. The caveman pays his taxes. We don’t complain. For our contribution we enjoy lots of good stuff.

I can drive across the highway to the grocery store without the freeway bridge collapsing and killing me because the highway funds keep that bridge in good operating condition.

I can sleep peacefully in my bed at night, without a loaded pistol within reach, because taxes pay for an adequate police presence of law enforcement in my neighborhood.

I enjoy the luxury and safety of clean water running right out of my tap at a dirt cheap price (and so should the people of Michigan).

I don’t have to worry about airplanes falling out of the sky and squishing me flat because my country can afford to have proper safety management controls where air travel is concerned.

And the gringa can go on and on but I’m sure the dear reader has sufficiently gotten my point.

So, what about these renouncers. Who are they? Who are the most likely people to move to another country for work or retirement? Um, they are the people who can afford to. They are not the poor, working class, or even the middle class, American. They are the very people who live a life of comfort and luxury and point their fingers at the indigent and poor and berate them for having an “entitlement” attitude because they are asking their nation to provide such things as living wage protection, affordable healthcare, and affordable housing. Hmmm.

So, the privileged of the country want to enjoy more bang for their abundant bucks by living in another country where their dollar stretches farther. Bully for them but the poor, working folk are stuck back here in the States still eating beans. And, since the corporatists and wealthy are not pitching in their fair share to the household budget, the middle and working classes are the only ones supporting the household.

That is why our economy is suffering. That is why there is not enough money in the budget to do what should be done. If the corporatists and wealthy actually paid their legitimate taxes rather than hide their money in offshore accounts and enjoy the tax loopholes they are rewarded with for big dollar campaign contributions, there would be much more money in America’s household fund. We could easily afford to adequately fund our schools, care for our veterans, provide affordable healthcare for everyone, etc., etc., etc.

But the corporatists and wealthy continue to rob their country of what it is due. And, they use their “propaganda hounds” to convince others that expecting them to pay their fair share of taxes is something very evil called “socialism”. Um, that’s a lie. It’s actually called “obeying a taxation law that is fair, just and undiscriminatory”. You earn, you pay your fair share of taxes, EVERYONE, no matter how much you earn, even if you are a corporation. Period. That is not socialism. That is taxation is a capitalist democracy.

These privileged people are fully aware that they will still be taxed by their homeland even if they live outside its borders. But, they make the decision to do it anyway. Then they complain about the consequences when tax payment time rolls around. They bewail their condition of being double taxed, by the land of their birth as well as their new host country. The gringa doesn’t want to hear their crybabiness. They knew it going into it and made their bed. Now they need to lie in it and suck it up like big kids. Nobody made them move to another country.

So, for all the big money “entitlement whinebags” in and outside of my country, this rant is for you:

With regard to a nation as great as the United States providing healthcare for all of its citizens, let me ‘splain something to the selfish critics who have “got theirs” and don’t care about the working class people who have, for years, been employed by companies that did not offer health insurance and did not make enough money to afford their own health insurance but made too much money to receive Medicaid:

For the first time in over forty years, thanks to Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the gringa has coverage for my pre-existing condition that usually lands me in the emergency room 2-3 times a year. This epileptic also doesn’t qualify for disability because I WORK. Which means I had a revolving door of uninsured healthcare debt averaging about $10-20 grand every year except for now. Because of convulsions and recovery periods, my work cycle was usually work about three months, recover for a month, so I RARELY even made $10,000 annually. I was often out of a job after a health crisis. How in the heck could I possibly afford my medical bills?

In 2015 my medical bills were less than $2000. Thank you Obama and kiss my patootie those who have never walked a mile in those shoes yet want to deny those who have and offer no alternative. That is the GOP’s solution – no solution, simply ignore the need of Americans like me.

So, the real “entitlement whinebags” are those people who are simply too stingy to let a tax dollar be spent for a neighbor in need. “Entitlement whinebags” who resist any effort of the government to create a public benefit attempt to use “propaganda hounds” to protect their dollars by telling lies in an effort to convince everyone else that the benefits are only for undeserving people who don’t want to work and want something for free. That is a big fat lie.

The greed of the wealthy and corporatists, and their arrogant belief that the working poor are undeserving of any public benefit, are the biggest “entitlement whinebags” the United States supports. They live a life of indulgence that has divorced them from empathy and compassion.

Their selfishness leads them also to an argument of erroneous ignorance. All those past years of outrageously high medical bills, the gringa, being conscientious and responsible, always desired to be able to pay them. When you have people who are unable to pay for the medical services they receive, the doctors and clinics and hospitals have to absorb that loss. They do it by spreading the money owed them around, which basically means the cost of services go up. So, one way or another, the bill is paid whether it comes out of a tax funded benefit or an individual’s pocket paying for something at an inflated price to cover a loss. And, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but at least it’s a step in the right direction which is something that the Republican party has never done or even offered to do.

Many corporatists and wealthy Americans commit another error of ignorance. They believe that all the poor receive free healthcare. And, I might add, they resent that fact. They actually resent that they have to pay taxes that provide any benefit for the poor. They would rather keep their money and let every single poor American never have medical access. But, I digress, their error in believing that all the poor receives free healthcare is proof of how divorced from reality they are. Most of the poor in the U.S. are the working poor. The working poor make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

If they would take the time to educate themselves, rather than believe the “propaganda hounds”, they would learn that during the Clinton Administration the threshold for qualifying for government benefits was lowered. That created a situation where many poor people who were receiving public benefits were thrust off the dole and into the working arena.

You see, there was a big business boom during the Clinton years and he was scratching the backs of the corporatists who helped him get into office by creating a huge pool of low paid workers available. The ranks of the working poor swelled with an on-slought of unskilled, untrained labor which meant wages stayed low. Most of these were single mothers and the elderly.

We now have people that are pushing eighty-years-old in America working low wage jobs, barely able to feed themselves because corporatists and the wealthy do not believe a nation has any obligation to care for those unable to care for themselves. That is not “compassionate” Conservatism. Whether Conservatives want to admit it or not there are certain people who simply should not and cannot work and they are the Americans the other Americans should be caring for. That would be our old folks and medically disabled (however, I will share a dirty little secret – most Republicans do not believe that anyone is really medically disabled. They believe that every chronically ill person should be doing some sort of job and accepting their lot in life even if that means they can barely afford to feed themselves. Better they live a miserable quality of life than receive a taxpayer provided benefit).

As for single mom’s, don’t even get me started. Not only are they needing to feed, clothe, house and provide medical care for their children, if they work they also have to pay for childcare. How in the world can a mom do it on a forty-hour work week even if she makes $10 hourly much less the average $8 hourly that many actually work at? Huh? Please, answer me that?

Where are they going to find the money and time to manage the needs of their household and get a college education in order to better their conditions? Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. Is it likely? We all know that many of the mom’s are absolutely exhausted simply by caring for their children. A full-time job on top of that often takes what little bit they’ve got left to give. So, the reality is that most of these moms devote themselves to their children, placing all their hopes and dreams in their future, determined that their children will become college educated and they lay their own dreams aside.

Does that thinking really work for single moms? Take a look at the statistics. It doesn’t. The high school drop out rate in the United States is shameful. The majority of these children are being raised by single parents. The college enrollment rate for children of single parent households is equally shameful. Every single mental health professional tells the truth. Children of single parent households are simply not getting the attention they need. It’s not necessarily the divorce factor that is the problem. The problem is that when only one parent is bearing the burden of financial and time responsibility, they simply can’t provide enough of either.

If we want to preserve the greatness of our country’s future, it begins with securing a future for all of our nation’s children. Giving them the best opportunity to receive the nurture and attention they need to thrive and meet their potential. Children of single parent households need a country who recognizes that need and is willing to invest in assisting that household so that parent is not robbed of critical time with their child because they have to work a 50-60 hour workweek just to put food on the table.

And, you know what, if we would spend more money on our kids here at home rather than spending money to prepare them to go overseas with weapons, our country might just become a better nation. If this political party that is so resistant to caring for its own citizens in need would consider their hypocrisy of calling themselves “pro-life” when, in actuality, they are really only “pro-birth” because they don’t actually give a hoot about that “life” until it becomes old enough to join the military. Then, once that “life” has been exploited by the war for profit greed hounds of the Republican party and comes home damaged and in need of care and unable to work and care for itself, the party that exploited them is no longer so “pro” about their “life”. It makes me sick. But, I digress. Back to Clinton and his changing of the poverty qualification dynamics.

So, after Clinton’s revamping of welfare, many working class people became underemployed, thus underpaid, unable to even get a full 40 hour work week at times because the working class job market was swarmed with more people looking for jobs than jobs were to be had. Bad news for the working class, good news for the pro-Clinton companies who were getting paid back for their support with an opportunity to exploit the working class for their labor at dirt cheap wages.

And, because there were more working class people than their were jobs, the fierce competition created a desperation where anyone was just glad to have a job no matter how crummy the pay, few the hours and absolute lack of benefits. And, because the poverty line had been lowered, people who would once receive medical, housing and food benefits, now received nothing, despite the fact their earnings had not increased and may have very well decreased. And, poof, like magic, with the stroke of a pen, overnight, the poverty class in America seemed to almost disappear. It was only an illusion. In fact, the quality of life of these people was worse than it was before.

It didn’t matter what numbers a government official scratched on an official document, claiming that’s the minimum income to qualify as poverty class and entitled to a benefit. The reality was that the actual poverty level of real life stayed the same. So, more and more Americans showed up and work and toiled 40, 50, even 60 hours a week but still lived with a poverty income and absolutely no help from the government who had betrayed them and lied about their wage and living conditions. And many working class people couldn’t even find a 40 hour work week job. They settled for whatever they could find. Sometimes that meant two or three part-time jobs. And this problem has never even been admitted openly much less addressed and solved.

There have been a few years when I was unable to work at all. The caveman was the sole supporter of our family. He is a truck driver. Our income tax returns for those years was, well, I won’t say the number but most of you probably know that a truck driver does not make much money. For a family of four, he made too much to qualify for any benefit the government had to offer to “the poor”. We had to pay for housing, food, utilities, keep cars on the road, and, because the company he worked for did not provide health insurance, we also had to pay every single dime of medical expenses we incurred. And the epileptic gringa is expensive.

Now, a corporatist or wealthy person would be arrogant enough to feel entitled to criticize and say, “Why didn’t the caveman get another job with a different company that offered insurance?” Well, actually, he did get laid off once and got a job with a company with full benefits. But, my pre-existing condition wasn’t covered. So, alas, it really did us absolutely no good.

So, “entitlement whinebag” corporatists and wealthy who want to enjoy all of your wealth and not contribute to the upkeep of this great nation and be a good steward with your overabundance by helping those less fortunate, here’s some food for thought for your hateful, selfish, arrogant minds:

I am the working poor. And we are legion. Let me introduce you to us. We’re the people who press your suit and shirts at the dry cleaners. We are the ones who scrub the floor of the salon where you get your nails done. We wipe snotty noses in daycare centers and nursing homes. We pick the veggies and truck them to your supermarkets. We’re the folks who trim your lawn and give your dog a haircut. We change the trash bin liners in the hospital where you were born and dig the grave where you will be buried.

We live in barrio apartments surrounded by other working poor families who are all doing their best to feed their families. There are usually two parents here, working together to raise their children and find a way to take unpaid leave from work to see their programs and games while still managing to pay the bills.

We usually have only one very old car that is paid for. We can barely afford the liability insurance. Forget about a warranty and full coverage. If the alternator goes out or there is a minor accident, the repair cost comes out of our pocket. It may be way too much that a working class Joe can afford. Looking under the hood, a working class Joe scratches his head wondering how he is going to pay for the parts to get the car back on the road because he has to be at work at 6am in the morning.

Fortunately for working class Joe, his neighbors know exactly what’s up. We’ve all been there. Soon, all working class Joe’s neighbors have pooled some money together, driven him to the auto parts store, and several are working by his side with flashlights well after midnight until the car is finally fixed.

You see, “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy”, the poor working class enjoy something you don’t understand. We enjoy freedom. We are not slaves to the latest fashion trends. We have learned to live without them because we cannot afford them. We have learned to live without the manis and pedis. We have learned to live without the brand name can of green beans. We have learned to live without the vacations at the resorts. We have learned to live without the mall and high-end supermarket. We have learned to live without beef or chicken or any kind of real meat on our dinner tables every night. That is how we are able to pull out the last twenty bucks from our pockets and give it to our neighbor in need without complaining and resign ourselves to beans and rice for a week.

You see, the working poor understand and accept that we are our brother’s keeper. We don’t feel entitled to that last $20 even though we earned it. We see our neighbor’s need and understand it and can meet it so we do, even if it means personal sacrifice.

The working poor have a humble dignity the “entitlement whinebag corporatist and wealthy” will never understand. We do not have an “entitlement” attitude. We only ask that our opportunity to send our kids to college not be ruined by a broken arm, appendectomy or serious bout with the flu (or recurrent episodes of seizures).

And if the “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy” want to continue to turn their backs on this nation so they can keep all their wealth rather than contribute their fair share to the nation’s needs, easing their consciences with the delusion that the poor are not worthy of help, the gringa’s okay with that. Because, we don’t need them. We’ll do just fine without them. In fact, we’re better off without that kind of attitude. So, please do say “Bye, bye” to America and let the true, hardworking patriots have their damn country back, because we can fix it.

 

 

 

 

The U.S., Migrants & Climate Change


 

It’s easy to be academic and read reports on climate change and nod your head in agreement. It’s easy to be concerned and realize that if we don’t get our crap together, world, and make some meaningful changes fast, our grandkids are going to inherit a planet and lifestyle we will not even recognize. But, truthfully, despite our academic acceptance and realization of the future, has anything actually happened close enough to home to truly motivate us to make significant change in our own personal lives?

I am not a faithful recycler. I live a minimalist consumer lifestyle but that’s probably because I’m poor. I don’t drive that much but that’s probably more to do with my work-at-home lifestyle and epilepsy. I keep the house warm in the summer and chilly in the winter mainly because I want to save money on my utility bill. So, really, despite all of my opinionated bloviating on climate change, I feel like I’m not actually walking the walk. I don’t think I’m alone in this. What would really have to happen to inspire drastic action for the average person?

What about a mass migration occurring right in your neighborhood? What if you lived in a small, rural town that had a very small conclave of immigrants from a tiny island in the Pacific ocean? What if this island is facing a very real threat of being inundated with devastating storms and floods because of climate change? What if the 50,000+ population’s primary connection to salvation lay in their friends and family living in this small, rural, U.S. town? What if they expect to be “run aground” within ten years at the current rate of rising sea levels? What if many decide to get the heck out of Dodge starting now?

Guess what? All of those “what ifs” are the real deal for Springdale, Arkansas and the Marshall Islands. And the Marshallese consul general in Arkansas is already preparing for this very real and very near possibility. We could very well be entering the era of climate refugee migrations. And it could all begin in the Pacific Ocean and Heartland of America.

The 7,000+ Marshallese community of Springdale, Arkansas is the largest community of Marshallese within the U.S. mainland. About 12,000 more live in the northwestern region of Arkansas. Honolulu is the only place on Earth, other than the Marshall Islands, with a larger Marshallese population. And, if the Marshallese are fleeing from climate change destruction on their islands, it is unlikely they will migrate to other Pacific islands (Hawaii) for refuge. So, it looks like the open arms of friends and family in Arkansas will soon receive an influx of the first climate change refugees.

The Springdale population is around 75,000. Could they handle taking on another 10 or 20 or 30 thousand over the period of ten years? What if the entire 50,000 show up? The town already has the nation’s only Marshallese newspaper written in their own language. They also have a radio station. Is that enough? What else would such a vast cultural community need to adjust to new migrants?

Over the years, the Marshallese that have immigrated and settled in Springdale have proven to be good citizens, getting educated, finding work and behaving themselves as good citizens. The history of the Marshall Islands connection with the U.S. reflects a close relationship. That was where the country tested out nukes in the 1940s and 1950s.

Perhaps the name “Bikini Atoll” sounds more familiar to most mainland Americans than Marshall Islands. That little atoll was inhabited and those poor people had to abandon their homes because of the nuclear tests. Even today that little atoll is uninhabitable because of the nuclear contamination. It is then no wonder that in the 1980s the U.S. attempted to right this wrong by creating the Compact of Free Association which allowed indefinite, visa-free immigration to the U.S. by Marshallese citizens. Many of these “Bikinians” made their way to Springdale.

The Tyson Foods plant was one of the first employers of the immigrants. It did not take long for word to get back home about job opportunities at the chicken plant. Very soon many more Marshallese were arriving in Springdale looking for work.

Despite the opportunities for work and education on the mainland, most of the Marshallese want to return to their homeland. Unfortunately, it may now disappear. Because of this history of displacement and longing for home, the Marshallese have become strong advocates regarding climate change. And the gringa is listening.

Arkansas is practically right next door! I know I live in Texas, but, still, Arkansas is my neighbor! I have an aunt and uncle that live there. My family and I have vacationed there. And it could be the first state in my country to receive the first climate change diaspora. And it could happen within my lifetime.

If the Marshallese Islands become uninhabitable within a decade, how many other island nations are facing the same stark reality and looking at the possibility of the extinction of their homeland? Where are they planning to escape to? Could it be in your own backyard? How could this affect you and your own?

These are things the gringa wants to know. And, the gringa has to really change.

Source: http://www.unfccc.int

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com

 

 

Tempers Flare When Huntington Park Appoints 2 Undocumented Immigrants To City Commissions « CBS Los Angeles


Tempers Flare When Huntington Park Appoints 2 Undocumented Immigrants To City Commissions « CBS Los Angeles.

1990 Immigration and Nationality Act – It’s The Lottery, Baby!


Let’s play the lottery and see who gets to enter the country! Yes, the 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act introduced a lottery program. But, don’t be fooled. Lottery is just a fun way of saying “quota”. Quota was a bad word in the history of United States immigration policies. I guess legislators thought this was a pretty slick maneuver.

November 29, 1990, President George Bush, Sr., spoke to the nation and made these points about the bill he signed into law:

  • He respected immigrants: “… the fundamental importance and historic contributions of immigrants to our country…”
  • He appreciated the need for family unity: “… our tradition of family reunification… support for the family as the essential unit of society…”
  • He acknowledged the economic benefit of the immigrant, “… immigration of skilled individuals to meet our economic needs… cultivation of a more competitive economy… encourage the immigration of exceptionally talented people, such as scientists, engineers, and educators… promote the initiation of new business… and the investment of foreign capital in our economy…”
  • He was honest about the “bad” element among immigrants: “… swift and effective punishment for drug-related and other violent crime… aliens who, by their violent criminal acts, forfeit their right to remain in this country… jeopardize the safety and well-being of every American resident… improves this Administration’s ability to secure the U.S. border…”

Annually, the Attorney General would review statistics that had been gathered for five years from all over the country. Nations would be designated as “High Admission” or “Low Admission”.  High admission countries had at least 50,000 immigrants that had become permanent residents. Immigrant hopefuls of these nationalities would not be permitted entry unless the “lottery” was unable to be fulfilled by immigrants from the “Low Admission” nations who received preference. The purpose of this was to achieve more ethnic diversity within the United States. The gringa supposes this seems okay on the surface. Let’s dig a little deeper and see how it all works out.

These were the regions that comprised the “High Admission” and “Low Admission” zones considered in the new visa lottery system: Africa; Asia; Europe; North America (Canada and Greenland); Oceania (the geographical area including Micronesia, Fiji, all Polynesia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Melanesia, and Australia); South America; Mexico; Central America; and the Caribbean. In order for an immigrant hopeful to get a visa, not only do they have to come from a “Low Admission” country, but they also have to have a high school diploma and two years of work experience. If an immigrant hopeful was lucky enough to get a visa, their children and spouses were included. The United States considered family unity in this immigration reform policy and the gringa is happy ‘bout dat!

To get down to the specific numbers, America would issue about triple the number of visas than it did prior to the passage of this act. Most of these visas were issued to immigrants who were sponsored by employers. Guess what was required of these employers? They had to show documentation that they were unable to fill the position with an existing American citizen worker. Now, when will all these people stop griping about immigrants coming over here and stealing American jobs? It just ain’t so! Funny how the politicians know these laws exist to protect American jobs yet when an election year comes around some will campaign on headline grabbing, voter stimulating issues that are absolute lies, such as, “We’ve got to do something about immigration! Unemployment is so high and Joe Bob can’t get a job because those damn immigrants are pouring over the border and taking jobs away from good ol’ Americans!” Liar, liar, pants on fire. There are so many jobs that an humble immigrant is grateful to get paid to do that a spoiled American will turn their nose up at. That’s why most of these visas were issued!

For the first five years of this law, maximum limits were put in place. A total of 700,000 would be allowed in annually during this first five year period. Family based immigration was preferred so 465,000 visas were set aside for this type of immigrant. 55,000 visas were designated for spouses and aliens who had spouses or parents who had been legalized in the U.S. under the amnesty plan of 1986. 140,000 visas were set aside for skilled laborers to enter. 40,000 immigrants from “adversely affected” countries were given their own special group.

An example of “adversely affected” people would be the 1,000 displaced Tibetans who entered the country in 1991. On April 30, 1990, China announced the end of martial law in Tibet’s capital. For thirteen months Tibetans had suffered under military rule, harshly silenced and oppressed from any protest against the Chinese government. Military rule had existed in Tibet for decades but China cracked down in 1989 when Tibetans started getting too big for their britches and actually wanted a little freedom and independence, particularly in the area of practicing their religion, and began protesting in public. Too bad it was only 1,000 that made their way here. The gringa wishes all of them could have made it.

Did this immigration reform achieve its goal of creating more diversity in the American population? Prior to this bill, Asia and Latin America were the source nations for the majority of immigrants entering the United States. Under the provisions of this act, the American workforce was primarily supplied with Mexican and Filipino laborers. Indians, Canadians, Chinese and Africans made up the balance. Even today the Latin and Asian immigrants are the predominant ethnicities represented in the immigrant population. So it seems the goal of diversity wasn’t achieved. The most significant change was that fewer of these immigrants were poor.

However, the ethnic fabric of American medicine, science, education and sports was enriched as the result of this immigration reform. To keep these skilled workers in the country, deportation laws were relaxed as well as many stipulations that otherwise would have excluded an immigrant hopeful for qualifying for entry. One of these stipulations, which really seems to get xenophobes all worked up, is that the requirement to speak English was passed over. It makes no difference to the gringa. The gringa likes a challenge, especially a challenging conversation.

The ultimate culmination of the aftermath of this legislation is what we have today. For those who are not threatened by cultural and language differences of other people, the gringa being one those people, we shrug and say, “Who cares. Let ‘em stay as long as they’re minding their own business, working and caring for their family and community.” For the xenophobes, this is their worst nightmare. They have to suffer the indignity of pushing the number one button on their phones to select English. It’s all just so much more damn work and inconvenience that’s been created by these non-English speaking foreigners. It seems American government was socially evolving (except during campaign years when they regressed for the sake of garnering votes). Now the work is to help these hard-headed, scaredy-cat xenophobes evolve.

Sources:

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1990_immigration_and_nationality_act.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/01/world/martial-law-ends-in-tibet-s-capital.html

http://immigrationinamerica.org/592-immigration-act-of-1990.html

http://cis.org/ImmigrationHistoryOverview

http://online.sfsu.edu/mcollier/AAS_write/aas%20essays/1990act.pdf

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19117

Photo credit: www.tibetanreview.net

1943 Bracero Appropriations – Immigrant Exploitation, Again, And Again, And Again…


How many times had the United States implemented immigration policies for the purpose of importing cheap labor and things turned out badly because capitalist utopian ideology did not consider the human and civil rights factor?

  • 1798, new residency guidelines create a system where typical natural life span expires before citizenship requirements can be fulfilled; a dirty trick to continue to entice loads of hopeful immigrants to arrive only to be exploited as a working class with no political representation for the rest of their lives
  • 1882 the U.S. evicted Chinese laborers who had been exploited immigrants for decades as a cheap labor class during the California Gold Rush and railroad construction days
  • 1882, hot on the heels of kicking out the Chinese, the U.S. wanted to bar the door to prevent entry to those damn Irish Catholics and troublesome Germans, among other ethnic groups, who were coming over here and stealing all the jobs as well as creating Socialist rabble-rousers out of the working class. The masses of citizens were screaming for higher wages so it was politically expedient to blame the immigrant, wasn’t it?
  • 1888, the Scott Act once again has the U.S. snubbing its nose at the Chinese, kicking out even the diplomats, travelers who were just passing through, and wealthy elites who had previously been acceptable; once again legislators needed to manage the masses for the stability and economic growth of the nation
  • 1907, The Gentlemen’s Agreement, for the purpose of importing cheap Japanese labor, would also eventually go south, just like the same idea ended disastrously every single time the United States made immigration policies based on greed rather than moral racial equality
  • 1924, and here comes the final slap in the face for the Japanese, labor exploitation with no hope of representation due to the naturalization ban. Does anyone wonder, then, about the reasons behind Pearl Harbor? A national grudge was nursed for almost twenty-years before they slapped the U.S. right back.
  • 1943, after getting slapped back by the Japanese, the US goes crawling to the Chinese out of fear they would become allies with Japan. I can hear it now, “Um, please Chinese people, I know the U.S. treated you worse than a pack of ol’ junkyard dogs. We probably even fed our dogs better than we were willing to pay you guys, but, hey, we’re real sorry. We could really use your help over here and, we’ll make it worth your while. Whaddya say?” And, China returned to the fold like a junkyard dog that gets kicked and smacked but still faithfully sits at the feet of its abuser, or like the battered who bail their abusers out of jail and welcome them home. I say to the government of China in 1943, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?” If a country exploited and oppressed this gringa then insulted me and kicked me out I WOULD NEVER GO BACK, FOR NO AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE WORLD! But, I digress. My real question is, if Japan nursed a grudge for twenty years and then delivered a major smack-down such as the United States had not known up until that time, could China still be nursing a grudge and gauging conditions for the perfect moment to eventually give America the come-uppance it deserves for national insults dished out for decades? The gringa says, “Watch your back! It’s happened before. And that’s why treating people with loyalty and respect is a wise policy. You tend to get it in return.”

And that brings us to April 26, 1943 when the nation formalized an agreement that had developed between Mexico and the U.S. through a series of notes between Joseph F. McGurk, Counsel of the American Embassy in Mexico, and Ernesto Hidalgo, of Mexico’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. With the assistance of Mexico’s Ministry of Labor, the United States’ Farm Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and War Farming Operations within the USDA, the Bracero Agreement opened the gates not only for immigrants from Mexico, but also for all of Central and South America.

The Bracero Agreement outlined what was mandated or what was prohibited in order for these immigrants to enter the nation temporarily and serve as migrant farm labor. These immigrants could not be engaged in military service. They would be entitled to round trip transportation and housing paid for, and provided by, the USDA and participating farms. Braceros were entitled to equal pay. If Braceros were accompanied by children under the age of fourteen, these children were entitled to equal education opportunities just like the children of U.S. citizens. The Mexican government, Mexican Labor Inspectors, and Mexican Consuls had the right to inspect the working conditions of Braseros. Burial service was also included in the act, provided and paid for by the USDA. The gringa wonders if this was indicative of the thought that, just perhaps, these immigrants may be exploited and worked to death. Hmmm, just sayin’, it is curious, isn’t it?

You see, because Mexico was much too docile in this round of negotiation, this program ended up being no better than America’s previous episodes of importing cheap labor. For one thing, farmers didn’t like the government intruding in order to monitor working conditions and wages. The farmers preferred to do things their own way, which usually meant hiring undocumented workers and paying them drastically lower wages. But, with most of the American population diverted to war industry jobs, and all the Japanese detained in internment camps, a labor shortage was created in the lower paying agricultural field. Despite the dissatisfaction of farmers, Roosevelt went ahead with the plan because it was critical to stabilize food sources for the nation, especially during wartime. The nation needed to fill the gap, so the nation decided it would exploit the Mexicans and their southern neighbors.

Roosevelt even whipped out Executive Order No. 8802, written June 25, 1941, to assure civil rights protection of the Braceros. The dear reader jumps for joy and says, “Aha! Aha! Civil rights! Well, well, well, social progress!” The gringa is sorry to disappoint. Don’t get all hopeful that this was proof of Roosevelt having a racial equality agenda in mind. This was more about the success of wartime defense production than civil rights. It was the President wagging his finger at any American who might get some high-and-mighty white supremacist attitude toward the Braceros, or any other people of color, during the critical time of war efforts and production. It was as if Roosevelt was telling these Americans, “Look, behave yourselves! We need this imported cheap labor to win the war!” The Executive Order states “…as a prerequisite to the successful conduct of our national defense production effort, I do hereby reaffirm the policy of the United States that there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin…” Now, in case you didn’t notice, the gringa will point something out to you. It specified “no discrimination” in defense industry and government sector jobs. If you owned the local café and wanted to discriminate, well, by all means please do. Get it? Yes, you must have a very critical eye as you peruse these tricky documents. So, as for Roosevelt, a non-racist he was not, a cunning leader to war time victory, he was.

Now, the term “bracero” is from the Spanish root, “brazo”, which, in English, means “arm”. Yes, I suppose there will be lots of Spanish-speaking immigrant “arms” being employed as a result of this international agreement. I suppose this concession to try to appear more open-minded by using Spanish terminology was supposed to put at ease the nation’s southern neighbors, distracting them from memories of the prior decades of exploitation. I tell ya, the gringa just wants to pull her hair out! How many times will people from other countries fall for this dirty trick America plays? It’s like breaking up with a terrible boyfriend, then, six months later he comes slinking back and the gal thinks, “Oh, I miss him, “ and gets all wobbly in the knees. The next thing ya know they both have black eyes and the girl is saying to herself, “What the hell was I thinking?” When the U.S. starts squirming with the need to import cheap labor, other countries, listen up! The gringa’s gonna give you some advice! Let ‘em squirm til they wet their pants and THEN you’ll be in a position of power to negotiate the best terms possible. Quit selling out your populace for a quick infusion of cash into your anemic economy! Just stop it!

Despite the provisions to prevent discrimination, such things were enforced half-heartedly, if at all. U.S. federal government oversight was minimal and Mexican government oversight was practically non-existent. People wonder, “Why?” The gringa wonders, “Why do you ask?” I mean, hasn’t it become clear that U.S. immigration policies are always motivated by capitalism or national security? It was in the interest of neither motivator to invest time and money to see that these non-citizens were treated right. America’s only interest was how quickly they could fill a bushel basket. Earning an average of about a buck a day, it is easy to see that the Bracero average income was about one sixth the national average that annually ranged between $1800-$2000. Equal wages? Are you kidding me?

And if low wages weren’t bad enough, their own country robbed them of their future retirement because Mexico had its own interests to serve off the backs of these hapless laborers. The act had a provision that 10% of wages would be deposited into a fund managed by Mexico. It was a plan similar to American wage withholding for Social Security. This compensation was never paid back out to Braseros who found themselves poverty ridden and abandoned by both governments when they reached old age. Is it just the gringa, or do my dear readers also have a problem with the United States exploiting a class of people necessary to help the nation win a war, and, in the end, the nation has no sense of loyalty and gratitude for such efforts and let’s these old folks waste away, disrespected and forgotten. America, these people you robbed and turned your back on played a critical role in keeping your people and military fed during the Second World War. Without them the U.S. would have starved and probably be speaking German by now. Good God, how do you say “betrayal” in German? Shame on the United States. Shame on Mexico.

Because of cultural differences, particularly the language barrier, these migrant workers experienced discrimination on the same scale as former slaves. Braseros often saw signs at businesses that read “no Mexicans” right alongside “no Blacks”. Restaurants would serve them in the kitchen, right alongside the nation’s other second-class citizens. The children of Braceros suffered discriminatory practices as their right to education was exercised and they entered U.S. public schools challenged by a language barrier. Los Angeles County responded to this challenge by forming language workshops for teachers to assist Spanish speaking students in their adjustment to English speaking classrooms. Despite good intentions, however, it fell far short of providing the bi-lingual education these students needed. This resulted in generations of Brasero children receiving little, or no education at all despite the fact it was their legal right, and, the gringa believes, the moral duty of a host nation who was exploiting the student’s parent(s) for wartime production in the name of national security. Shame on the United States and shame on Mexico for allowing sub-standard education conditions to continue and never compensate or correct this injustice to innocent children.

At this time in America’s history, lip service was the only attention civil rights issues received. The façade of America as a humanitarian nation protecting civil rights and promoting a culture of equality among all ethnicities was a sham. Supply and demand was what really mattered in a wartime nation that was rationing food and gasoline. Although I’m sure the Mexican Government was aware of this, I don’t believe that this was the bill of goods that was sold to the Braceros, bless their little hearts.

Sources:

http://www.farmworkers.org/bpaccord.html

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=72&page=transcript

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1943_bracero_appropriations.html

http://www.ccrh.org/comm/moses/primary/bracero.html

http://www1.american.edu/ted/bracero.htm

http://www.ushistory.org/us/51e.asp

http://www.theseamericans.com/civil-rights/california-collection-civil-rights-speeches-social-conditions-of-mexican-american-youth-1943/

Photo credit:  www.oregonhistoryproject.org

Wartime Measure of 1941 – Entry Into The U.S. By Businessmen’s Approval


By 1941, World War II was raging across Europe and the mood of the good people of the United States was pretty surly. The Defense Department was in need of a study supply of goods and services to supply the nation’s military that was engaged in a conflict of unprecedented scale in modern history. Every person in America was barely getting by after the lean years of the Great Depression. Big industry was raking in war profits hand over fist and the little guy wanted his share. President Roosevelt just wanted everyone to behave themselves, report to work and churn out the mechanical parts, machines, steel, coal, transportation and ships the country needed to keep our soldiers moving and the nation bankrolled. This created the conditions which resulted in legislation creating yet another change to the country’s immigration policies.

In 1941, labor unions were seriously flexing their muscles. Beginning in January and lasting until April, laborers at the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee dug in for a long strike over whether the company would be a “closed shop” or if workers could opt out of union membership. Bethlehem Steel Corporation of Pennsylvania, which had a long history of profiting from government defense contracts as well as a long history of organized workers, held a five day strike in March over the election of new collective bargaining representatives. In the following month of April, over four hundred thousand Appalachian coal miners organized a strike over a wage dispute. After a month of such shenanigans President Roosevelt got involved to assist in negotiating an agreement.

American citizens were quickly developing anti-labor sentiments. Strikes throughout the nation continued to keep the population embroiled in controversy no matter which side of the fence someone sat. Most Americans were simply happy to be employed after the jobless years of the Great Depression. The nation looked to its elected leaders to resolve these conflicts once and for all so everyone could focus on the American way of life, earning a paycheck then cashing and spending it. The U.S. government’s solution to all this industry mayhem was to pass the Smith-Connally Act on June 25, 1943 (also called War Labor Disputes Act) which gave the president authority to seize and operate private industries critical to manufacturing war products. This power was exercised by President Roosevelt twice within two months of its passage, and later, in October, when there was a strike at Air Associates, Inc.

In June President Roosevelt exercised emergency powers to commandeer North American Aviation in California as a result of a labor strike. August 20th, motor coach and street car operators affiliated with the AFL went on strike forcing over 400,000 Detroit workers who depended on public transportation to walk, hitch-hike or car pool. Also happening in August, workers at New Jersey’s Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company rejected an agreement put forth by the National Defense Mediation Board panel and a seventeen day strike commenced. Later that month President Roosevelt seized control of the plant.

Many Americans were not supportive of the disruptions created by organized labor and strikes. Typical cultural sentiment was to just get to work and not cause trouble. Do your part as an American and keep the country moving forward. Not only did the majority of the population support legislation that kept unions in check, they were also desiring policies that would prevent foreign rabble-rousers from importing their Socialist ideas and throwing a monkey wrench in all this progress. Although the economic tide was turning, people were still suffering privations because of how disastrous the Great Depression had been. Overall, at this time, the United States was seeing economic improvement but full-fledge prosperity was still some time away.

As a result of these concerns, the United States thought new immigration legislation was necessary for national security. The 1941 Wartime Measure of June 20th provided for refusal of entry for any immigrant if an American diplomat or consular thought their purpose was to cause trouble. It was rather vague in interpretation and application. It would eventually be exercised to its fullest extent after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Two months after the attack, by the power of  Executive Order 9066, approximately 120,000 Japanese were forced into internment camps on American soil. Of those prisoners, sixty-two percent were U.S. citizens. This injustice, yet, only ten people were ever convicted of spying for Japan and they were Caucasian.

Two months after the passage of this Act, President Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Newfoundland to create their war effort plan known as the Atlantic Charter. Considering the amount of time and planning for two heads of state to meet at a neutral location, it is safe to assume that at the time legislators were working on this new immigration policy, they did so with full knowledge it was in preparation for the country moving toward entering the war. To get into America now, you had to pass muster of the personal opinion of an American diplomat or consular. Who were these diplomats? Were they even qualified to make such a determination of a person?

One American diplomat at this time was W. Averell Harriman. He was a U.S. diplomat who carried on dialogue with the Soviet Union during the conflict of World War II. During 1932-1946 he was chairman of the board with Union Pacific Railroad Company. An enviable position probably secured for him by his daddy, railroad bigwig E.H. Harriman. Hey, the gringa understands all about nepotism. It is regularly practiced here in the barrio with Junior heading out to work right beside Big Daddy on a regular basis. But, does working as a railroad wheeler-dealer qualify a person to decide if another person will make a good U.S. citizen?

Harriman also served as an officer of the National Recovery Administration from 1940-1941, which assisted in developing Roosevelt’s New Deal scheme. Specifically, he advised on the provisions that eliminated what would be considered “cut throat” competition and establishing “fair practices” in industry and trade. He also sat on the National Defense Advisory Commission as well as the Office of Production Management.

He made a career as an effective negotiator between the United States and Great Britain as well as the United States and the Soviet Union. Harriman’s profile was the typical resume for American diplomats. Boardroom negotiators have what it takes to navigate treaty talks with other nations.

American diplomats sound like great guys in stiff suits. The gringa’s just not so sure they would really be the go-to guys that would understand the heart of an immigrant, who probably didn’t even own a suit. In a nutshell, as a capitalist utopia run by the rich white guys, the gringa thinks the immigration changes of 1941 were appropriate for the times, but enacted and enforced by the wrong folks. But, that’s no surprise. War has always resulted in reactionary legislation that, in hindsight, causes the people to say, “What the hell were we thinking?”, from the Wartime Measure of 1941 to the Patriot Act of 2001. Say it ain’t so.

Addendum:  I would like to thank Samir Chopra for his encouragement and his own contribution to the story of American immigration. For an interesting read, please visit his blog and read the following article “The Cruelest Cut Of All: Punjabis Are Not White“. This link will take you directly to it…   http://samirchopra.com/2015/04/09/the-cruelest-cut-of-all-punjabis-are-not-white

Sources:

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1941_wartime_measure_1.html

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/primary-sources/1941-wartime-measure

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=138

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/war-time-conferences

http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2149&context=lcp

http://newdeal.feri.org/survey/sg41578.htm

http://www.britannica.com/topic/Smith-Connally-Anti-Strike-Act

http://www.historyonthenet.com/ww2/japan_internment_camps.htm

http://www.britannica.com/biography/W-Averell-Harriman

Photo credit:  wikipedia