The Big Mac Boot


The gringa’s oldest son is doing her proud. Like many millenials, my son has a strong desire to make the world a better place. He has aspirations of doing this by becoming a community organizer and rallying people around important issues of social justice, working together to bring about public awareness and positive change. He has taken his first steps toward achieving his goal by volunteering with a local organization and participated in a press conference.

As a proud and supportive parent, and a bit of a rabble-rouser myself, I simply had to devote a post sharing the good work this organization is doing. Please see their press release below. Links are provided to other media coverage or research documents for your own browsing pleasure!

MEDIA RELEASE

Doctors, dieticians, parents call on Texas Children’s, Ben Taub hospitals to give McDonald’s the boot

Coalition announces campaign to eliminate junk food marketing in hospitals

HOUSTON –Today, as part of coordinated actions in five cities nationwide, doctors from the Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and Texas Children’s Hospital joined more than 35 health professionals and community organizations to demand that McDonald’s and other junk food corporations end all marketing inside Texas Children’s and Ben Taub hospitals. The coalition is calling on the CEOs of Texas Children’s Hospital and Harris Health System, which oversees Ben Taub Hospital, to close on-site McDonald’s stores, citing health concerns.

The call comes on the heels of Cleveland Clinic’s decision in August and Allina Health/Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s decision in December to sever ties with the burger giant, due to concerns for their patients’ health. It also amplifies the voices of more than 3,000 health professionals and advocacy organizations like Corporate Accountability International who have called on McDonald’s to stop marketing to kids and 12,000 physicians of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine who have urged hospitals, including Texas Children’s Hospital, to go “fast-food-free.” Increasingly, hospital administrators are equating McDonald’s in hospitals to the tobacco industry’s tactic of selling cigarettes in hospital gift shops decades ago.

“In the midst of an epidemic of diet-related diseases, it makes no sense for kids to be treated on one floor of Ben Taub and Texas Children’s and see a McDonald’s on another—it sends the wrong message,” said Rosalia Guerrero, president of Healthcare for All Texas.

Texas Children’s and Ben Taub hospitals would become the twelfth and thirteenth to sever ties with McDonald’s since 2009, joining the ranks of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Truman Medical Center, Vanderbilt Medical Center, and others.

“I was shocked and disappointed to find McDonald’s in the world’s largest medical center,” said Azeen Anjum, first year Baylor College of Medicine student and member of Choosing Healthy, Eating Fresh (CHEF). “McDonald’s symbolizes the toxic dieta ry climate that contributes to America’s current epidemic of diet-related illness. It should not be allowed to continue damaging health in hospitals that serve our community’s most vulnerable populations.”

Siting stores in hospitals is one of the many ways McDonald’s attempts to “nutriwash” its brand.   Increasingly, health professionals are linking the skyrocketing rates of diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes to pervasive junk food marketing. Research from the Institute of Medicine and the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that ending kid-targeted junk food marketing could benefit the health of millions of children.

Dietitians from across Houston also weighed in on the issue.

“We are learning more every day about the roles of preservatives, refined sweeteners, oxidized fats and their role in diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, obesity and more” said Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE author of Naturally Nourished: Food-as-Medicine for Optimal Health. “As a nutrition expert I am confident in saying processed fast food like McDonald’s has been shown to have harmful deleterious effects not neutral.”

This week, hundreds of people in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and Tampa are also calling on McDonald’s and other junk food corporations to end targeted marketing through schools and other institutions. The groups are organizing to support of school boards and hospital administrators to strengthen existing policies and sever ties with junk food corporations.

In the coming months, the Houston coalition will continue to build community support for Ben Taub Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital to prioritize its patients’ health over corporate profits.

 

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1952 Immigration and Nationality Act – The Big Red Flush


June 27, 1952 United States immigration policies changed, and not for the better. Commonly called the McCarran-Walter Act, the bill sought to exclude immigrants that were criminals, immoral,diseased, or political radicals, particularly communists. Anyone who had any association with communism could just forget about entry. The ban on all Asians was lifted, except for the Japanese.  Because of World War II, the Japanese were “out”, and the Chinese, the “good Asians”, were “in”. This was their reward for being such great allies in the war with Japan. Quotas would still exist, rigidly controlling entry according to ethnicity by nation of origin. However, if you were a good candidate for assimilation into the nation’s economy, society and political system, and, more importantly, white, odds were you’d get in. This was all done in the name of national security.

Because of the Soviet Union’s success at spreading the practice of Communism throughout China and Korea during the war, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, co-author of the bill, and his congressional cronies considered communism to be the biggest threat to post-war America. Now, instead of being discriminated against because of race, a new form of discrimination based on ideology emerged. Anti-communism was the underlying tone throughout the legislation.

Prior to this bill, McCarran had been the driving force behind the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950. This law required persons who were members of the American Communist Party to register with the Attorney General. The gringa is pretty certain this was not so they could be on the Attorney General’s Christmas card list. No, Big Brother was watching. Eventually, many of these folks would be rounded up as subversives and incarcerated under the authorization of Title II of that bill and its “loyalty clearance programs.” Under the umbrella of this bill’s authority, McCarran investigated Roosevelt and Truman’s administrations in efforts to flush out any communist infiltrators. The gringa thinks it’s safe to say that McCarren was most likely a passionate, commie hater.

It would also seem that McCarran did not harbor many warm sentiments toward Asians either. Journalist Phil Tajitsu Nash would look back at this legislation and conclude that it was “explicit racial discrimination against Asian immigration…” I mean, after all, annually it only allowed into the country 2,000 Asians indigenous to the area known as the “Asia-Pacific Triangle”. Countries within the “triangle” were allowed only 100 immigrants toward the quota. Also, even if a Chinese person was born in Europe, that person still counted toward the Asian quota.

Some immigrants enjoyed privileges where entry into the nation was concerned. If an immigrant already had a family member in the country, that person experienced preferential treatment in gaining entry to the nation. Such immigrants also did not count toward that ethnicity’s quota. And, if someone was from the Western Hemisphere it was practically guaranteed that person could enter the United States.

McCarran was not ashamed at all about his racist ideology. He introduced a quota system that practiced flagrant, open, ethnic bias. If you were British, Irish, or German, in other words, white, you got the preferred slot in the 70% of the immigrant quota set aside for these races. Now, if you were a skilled laborer, no matter what color your skin was, you had a pretty good chance of getting into the country. McCarran still liked the idea of importing labor that could be oppressed with no political representation as a non-citizen.

McCarran also seemed to have a great appreciation for the term “subversive”. That was a very present theme throughout the 1952 bill he co-authored. The immigration law of the land now could incarcerate a person, bar them from entry or deport them solely on ideological grounds. A person didn’t even have to do anything. They simply had to think about it or talk about it or write about. That means a person could be considered a criminal even if they were exercising their First Amendment right and talking in glowing terms about communism. Hell, the gringa would probably be considered a “subversive” and thrown in the slammer for writing something like this. My Caveman thinks it could still happen and tells me not to expect him on visiting day for getting myself in trouble with my big mouth.

The first time around, President Truman stamped the bill with a big fat veto. Remember, he viewed immigration policy from a more humanitarian point of view. He did not feel threatened by ethnic diversity. He recognized the discriminatory nature of the bill. At the time of Truman’s veto, he said, “The basic error of this bill is that it moves in the direction of suppressing opinion and belief… that would make a mockery of the Bill of Rights and of our claims to stand for freedom in the world.”

Truman rejected the bill on the grounds that it created a second-class status among citizens based on whether an American was born here or was naturalized.  Truman was so dissatisfied with the spirit of the legislation, he commissioned an investigation of the political implications of these immigration policy changes. The Presidential Commission on Immigration and Naturalization (PCIN) advised relaxing the policies of the Act. McCarran reacted to this by accusing the commission members of, wait for it, wait for it…. Yes, he accused them of being Communist sympathizers. Mmm Hmmm. Anger somebody and get an accusing finger pointed your way, labeling you a “subversive” or a “communist”. Your enemies would get their revenge by accusing you of being a Red. McCarran’s paranoia about Communism is reflected in his statement that if immigration controls were relaxed “in the course of a generation or so, [it would] tend to change the ethnic and cultural composition of this nation.” In other words, he was afraid the nation would become less white.

Despite Truman’s strong objections and veto, Congress had enough votes to support it anyway and it became the new immigration law of the land. Thus the era was ushered in of Communist hysteria which will always be remembered by rejection of immigrant hopefuls such as Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Other Nobel laureates that were barred were British author Doris Lessing and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. They were considered “undesirable aliens” because their ideology was unacceptable. In other words, they didn’t think they way Congress wanted them to think.

This Communist hysteria would culminate in the infamous trials and 1953 executions of the Rosenbergs. So, in 1952, not only was racism alive and well in the United States, but open, state-sanctioned intolerance of a specific ideology becomes the new social trend.

Sources:

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1952_immigration_and_nationality_act.html

http://icirr.org/sites/default/files/IPC%20McCarran-Walter.pdf

http://immigrationinamerica.org/593-immigration-and-nationality-act-of-1952.html

Photo credit: www.foundsf.org

Displaced Persons Act of 1948


As World War II ended in 1945, it was estimated that there were up to 11 million displaced survivors in German, Italy and Austria. A displaced person is someone who is expelled, deported or forced to flee from his country of residence as a consequence of war or oppression. Earl Harrison, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School, was commissioned by President Truman to evaluate conditions of these people who were living in displaced persons camps throughout the U.S. occupation zone in Germany. He recommended to the President a massive transfer of population from Europe. He advised that these displaced persons should be resettled in British-controlled Palestine or the United States because anti-Semitism throughout Germany made conditions impossible for these people to return home. Upon reporting his findings to the President, it became Truman’s desire to offer many of these people a safe haven in the United States and delegated to Congress the task of enacting legislation for this purpose.

Truman’s Presidential statement of June 25, 1948 declares: “It is with very great reluctance that I have signed S. 2242, the Displaced Persons Act of 1948.” So, Truman really didn’t want this legislation. Why? He wanted a “fairer, more humane bill”. The bill he signed was “flagrantly discriminatory”. He claimed that it mocked America’s tradition of “fair play”. Well, to be honest, the gringa hadn’t seen much fairness in many of the immigration bills that passed except for, perhaps, the War Bride’s Act that had just passed in the same year. So, why, then did he demean himself to sign something he really didn’t want to put his name to? I mean, after all, he WAS the President, wasn’t he? So, is this just lip service or did he actually find himself in a position where he felt compelled to put his pen to a paper he reviled? Well, if he didn’t sign the bill, it would be another year such persons would have to wait for relief because the Act was delivered for his signature on the last day of the legislative session. These poor folk would have to wait until American Congressmen went back to work the next year. Truman decided it would be unfair to punish those who would benefit from the bill on behalf of those who had been left out. He signed it with the expressed intent that the resulting injustice would be “rectified by the Congress at the first opportunity”.

Truman then chastises the Eightieth Congress for their failure in producing a satisfactory bill, considering that they had ample time to get their act together. At Truman’s State of the Union Address a year and a half earlier he had instructed Congress that such legislation was needed.  Six months later, seeing that Congress had not responded to his direction, he reminded legislators, “We are dealing with a human problem, a world tragedy…” Eventually Congress would adjourn with nothing done. The following year on January 7, 1948, Truman once again reminded Congress that legislation was necessary so “that this Nation may do its share in caring for homeless and suffering refugees of all faiths. I believe that the admission of these persons will add to the strength and energy of the Nation.” After Truman’s third reminder within twelve months for Congress to get off their asses and do something to help relieve the suffering of the survivors of World War II, Congress once again thumbed their noses at their President and did nothing. Scheduled to deliver a report on their progress by January 10, 1948, three days after this reminder, instead they delivered a request for an extension until February 10. February 10 rolled around and these nincompoops sat on their hands, finally delivering a report in March.

Through various sundry methods, the Senate managed to delay any debate on the subject until the end of May. When the Senate finally got around to passing the bill on June 2, it was then up to the House to put in their two cents worth. Well, they delayed until June 11, which led to Senate and House members meeting in the very last days of the session to hammer out a compromise. So, the lives of European war survivors and their recovery are at stake and American politicians are playing American political games. The gringa is disgusted beyond measure with all of them except for good, ol’ Truman. The final product was what he was faced with which he said “consisted largely of combining the worst features of both the Senate and House bills.”

The only good thing Truman had to say about the bill was that it stated that “displaced persons should be admitted to the United States. Two hundred thousand displaced persons may be admitted in the next two years, as well as 2,000 recent Czech refugees and 3,000 orphans.” Well bless their little hearts. The Congressmen were being so generous and charitable to the world. The gringa hopes they didn’t break their arms when they went around patting themselves on their arrogant little backs.

Truman was the inspired leader of two of America’s most significant humanitarian actions, this bill and the War Brides Act of 1948. Unfortunately he was dealing with legislators that had been indoctrinated by centuries of race based agendas and, whether consciously or subconsciously, supported the superiority of Caucasians and habitually considered immigration legislation from the capitalist utopian perspective or for national security reasons. Truman’s perspective simply made no sense to these old establishment Congressmen. Truman was introducing a revolutionary point of view. These stiff old men in suits had been willing to bend a little bit on immigration legislation with regard to the War Bride’s Act but letting people into the country simply because the nation felt sorry for their destitute condition as the condition of war, and without religious prejudice, was unheard of. I’m sure the Congressmen could only wonder, “Will these beggars be in my district?” These immigrants would arrive broke and broken. They would not be citizens. As far as the Congressmen were concerned, they would contribute nothing, not even a potential vote. They would only be a burden. What was the motivation to write the legislation Truman wanted if these men did not have a humanitarian bone in their body?

Truman went on to mention that the bill was chock full of bad stuff. He said all this bad stuff created a “pattern of discrimination and intolerance”. Hmmm. And we wonder why we live in a society full of people that are in denial that discrimination, tolerance and racism still exists. Ummm, it’s been designed into the very fabric of American society from the moment the first pilgrim set foot on the continent of North America. The reason denyers cannot accept this is because of a very special tool, propaganda. This tool was used when the first capitalists convinced the world they were being religiously persecuted and had to flee to the New World. However, the reality was they just didn’t want to worship alongside Catholics under a king who desired to blend Catholicism, Presbyterianism and Anglicanism in order to create a religiously united kingdom.

The Puritans were the intolerant persecutors of Catholics who convinced their king to let them take all of their wealth across the pond and build him some new colonies that would deliver up to him enormous wealth. Actually, they wanted to escape with their wealth, build a capitalist utopia then, when enough wealth was amassed, revolt and establish their own country so that all their wealth would be their own and not subject to the king. And yet, so many of us thought they were high-minded, equality enlightened, poor little persecuted folk. That was the propaganda.

America was settled by white capitalists who designed a nation to be a capitalist utopia. Wealth is reserved for the white capitalists provided by the labor of other ethnicities or lower class whites. These classes were originally designed to remain a politically unrepresented, oppressed labor class. This same propaganda machine has never stopped churning out the subtle rhetoric that continues to reinforce these race and class based ideals. Now Truman came along and wanted to change the rules of the game and let people into the country simply because the nation cared about their welfare. The old white guys were threatened. The status quo was a good thing for them. This monkey wrench could really spoil their good times and ruin their America.

Truman minced no words as he criticized the bill as discriminating “in callous fashion against displaced persons of the Jewish faith.” Congress was well aware that more than ninety percent of the remaining Jews in need of relief were “definitely excluded.” Truman also points out that the Jews are not alone as subjects of religious discrimination. Catholics who deserved to be allowed entry were barred because of the imposed date deadline that also affected the Jews. It was the President’s sincerest “hope that the Congress will remedy this gross discrimination at its earliest opportunity.”

After raking Congress over the coals for their shameful discriminatory actions, he went on to criticize the bill because it applies the displaced persons who enter toward fifty percent of the quota allowed for other immigrants of respective countries. Truman found this deplorable because this would then affect immigration opportunities for certain ethnicities for generations. He believed this method was unacceptable because it would “deprive many other worthy people of an opportunity to come to the United States”. He believed the displaced persons should be recognized as a different classification of immigrants than the typical immigrant arriving as part of the established quota system.

Truman accused Congress of insulting the American people with this bill by treating the population as if they did not have the “capacity and willingness… to extend a welcoming hand to the prospective immigrants.” He felt there were unreasonable conditions contained within the bill. For example, these survivors of war would be required,  before entering the U.S., to have secured an employment prospect as well as “safe and sanitary housing”. Now, that’s just ridiculous considering many of these war survivors had lost everything except the clothes they arrived in and probably knew no one here as they had lost all of their family in the war. Fortunately, the American people lived up to Truman’s belief in their generosity. Relief organizations such as the National Catholic Welfare Council, the National Lutheran Council, the ChurchWorld Service, as well as the United Service for New Americans sponsored many of these immigrants, assuring Congress that such people would not become public liabilities. Congress may not have had generous hearts, but they obviously did not represent the American people who were willing to step up.

At the time of the bill’s passage, 15,000 displaced persons had already been welcomed into the United States and offered permanent residence which the bill revoked. Truman was absolutely disgusted with this prospect and the resulting special action that would be required to “adjust the status of individual aliens.” 15,000 individuals would have to bog down immigration courts with the necessary paperwork and hearings to change their status because the bigots in Washington wanted to undo the generous gift that Truman had given them. These Congressmen were not just Jew and Catholic haters, the gringa’s pretty sure they hated Truman, too.

Truman closed his statement calling the bill a “bitter disappointment”. His heart was truly in the right place because it was his desire to open up this rich nation for the “many displaced victims of persecution who looked to the United States for hope; to the millions of our citizens who wanted to help them in the finest American spirit, to the many Members of the Congress who fought hard but unsuccessfully for a decent displaced persons bill. I hope that this bitter disappointment will not turn to despair.”

The gringa also considers how insulting the behavior of Congress must have been to our surviving soldiers. The men who were part of liberating the concentration camps and witnessed first-hand the inhuman suffering that was meted out to these victims must have been filled with pride that they represented a country that not only rescued these survivors, but would also receive them and help them rebuild their lives in safety and acceptance. The gringa can only imagine how incensed and deeply hurt and disappointed the noble servicemen of America must have felt when Congress behaved in such a petty fashion with absolutely no honor.

This epic immigration battle placed Truman and the American people on one side and Congress on the other. The gringa thinks this struggle exposed the nation’s historical non-humanitarian immigration policy. The well-established pattern of U.S. history proves that immigration policies were driven by economics. When the nation needed cheap labor, it relaxed immigration in order to import a group of people that were easy to exploit because, as non-citizens, they had no political representation for their best interests. When economic times were bad, it was easy to target and blame the immigrants. If the politicians targeted any voting class, they could lose votes, so, again, the non-represented immigrant class was the safest scapegoat. They would be demonized and eventually immigration policy would be amended so that the scapegoats could be deported or, at least, have their entry into the country limited or even banned. This was the America the Congressman of 1948 had been trained up in. President Truman was a social revolutionary who wanted to bring the country forward towards a new era of diversity where immigration was humanitarian driven rather than determined by economic or political conditions. The people of the nation seemed to be forward thinkers falling in line with their President. This bit of history makes the gringa proud, even if the Congressmen did act like big dunderheads. Why? Because the gringa can smell hope in the air in 1948.

The gringa predicts that for today’s America, during the remaining time until the next Presidential election, certain political groups will demonize the un-documented immigrant class in America and blame them for high unemployment, low wages, and crime. It’s actually already begun. I ask my dear readers to believe nothing claimed by politicians or political interest groups. Go to a reliable source for facts to prove or disprove any claim they make. If you want crime statistics, go to www.FBI.gov. Any information under the sun can be found and validated by multiple sources with just the click of your mouse. Truth and truth alone is what will solve the real issues troubling our nation. Do not blindly follow a political party agenda because none of them have cornered the market on truth. If we simply pick the most popular scapegoat, and deceive ourselves that, “Hey, look! We just solved the problem!” we, too, have then become denyers and the problem is not only unsolved, but we have also created another problem by enacting a social policy on false information. And, if you’re unsure of what to believe, just ask the gringa!

Sources:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displaced%20person

http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1948_displaced_persons_act.html

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12942

http://immigrationinamerica.org/464-displaced-persons-act-of-1948.html

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005462

Photo credit: www.uhaweb.hartford.edu

1940 Nationality Act – Hypocrisy and Double Standards


In the late 1930’s the United States was once again scratching away at the parchment writing out the legal parameters of the Nationality Act of 1940. The problematic parts of the legislation are certiain conditions that, if not met, a person’s citizenship “automatically expires”, with no due process.

What was going on in the country that had lawmakers going to such efforts as to write new laws? With the country in the throes of the Great Depression, its economic effects rippled throughout the world. People from other countries did not have the means to emigrate. Also, because of the restrictive immigrant laws of 1924, many immigrants had been deported. As the threat of a second World War intensified throughout Europe, refugees began to challenge America’s restrictive immigration policies, although rarely successful. The gringa wants to know the facts. Digging a little deeper is required.

By the 1930’s, the religious landscape of the nation had changed. America has been historically viewed as a nation founded by, created by and governed by Christians. By the year 1930, however, the population of Jews outnumbered the ranks of the Episcopalians and Presbyterians combined. Eastern European Judaism was the predominant Jewish culture in the U.S. They assimilated into American culture but designed community programs in order to maintain their distinctly Jewish heritage. Despite their “Americanism”, many schools and colleges blatantly discriminated against Jews. With public figures like Henry Ford openly criticizing the patriotism and character of America’s Jewish population, it’s no surprise that violence was commonly visited upon Jews during this period of U.S. history.

America was becoming infatuated with it’s own national identity. Folk culture became popularized with the Library of Congress even beginning to collect American folk songs. American intellectuals churned out thoughtful manifestos such as “I’ll Take My Stand”, by the Southern Agrarians who desired a return to the simple way of life of agriculture. In direct contrast was Lewis Mumford’s “Technics and Civilization” which was more forward focused on developing technology to advance U.S. capitalism through a new age of modernism.

Such modernist ideas were reflected in the architecture and art of the 1930’s. The 1939 World’s Fair in New York made it clear to the world that America wanted to leave behind the anorexic economy of the Great Depression and this would happen through the development of “the world of tomorrow”. This “world of tomorrow” was pictorialized in America cinema and television shows of the era. This was the birth of the superhero, like Superman and the Lone Ranger. Hollywood also played a critical role in producing forms of entertainment that also served as propaganda to lift American spirits out of the defeatist spirit of the Great Depression. This was when the world was introduced to an American original comedy genre, slapstick and screwball. The financial disaster of the Great Depression gave way to fantasy and longings for a modern, futuristic world.

The nation’s economic solution for the people’s relief from the suffering of the Great Depression was the New Deal. This was not specifically a cure, but more of a stabilizing plan. This would enable people to get their feet back under them so they could focus on what Americans do best, make money. Because social and economic salvation came through the government, American perspective toward the government began to change. Americans who previously were suspicious of too much government control and power were now more inclined to believe that the intentions of Big Brother had the citizens’ best interest at heart.

As people in the United States are looking forward, the Japanese are looking back. After years of chafing at the political insults America meted out to Japan through immigration policies, on December 29, 1934, Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty it had entered into with America in 1922.

Five years later, 1939, Germany invades Poland. After a year of appeasement fails, aggression by Nazi Germany begins the Second World War. September 5th of that same year, the United States declares its neutrality. The U.S. had complete confidence in its isolationist position because by that time we already had the A-bomb thanks to refugee Albert Einstein that America welcomed to its shores in 1933 as he fled from the Nazis. And thus begins a flood of European immigrants seeking to escape the horrors of war which inspired the nation, known as the great hope of the hopeless, to once again reveal its true capitalist colors and reform the nation’s immigration and citizenship policies with the 1940 Nationality Act.

Section 201 of this act declares citizenship at birth for any child born outside the U.S. of at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen. This parent must have lived within the U.S. or any of its territories for a minimum of ten years, with at least five of those years being after the age of sixteen years. In order for the child to maintain U.S. citizenship status the child must live within the U.S. or any of its territories for five years between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one years. These, of course, being the formative years of primary education and higher education. The nation wanted assurance that during those critical years the child was in the U.S. being indoctrinated with educational propaganda in the public schools in order to shape the mind of the child into a good patriot. If these residential conditions are not met, the child’s U.S. citizenship automatically expires without due process.

Section 401 contains wording that provides for the revocation of U.S. citizenship if a person votes in a political election of another country. This particular requirement created legal challenges that resulted in inconsistent action by the U.S.

In 1958, U.S. district courts ruled in Perez v. Brownell. Clement Martinez Perez was a U.S. citizen born in El Paso, Texas who traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico, residing in either country for extended periods of time. At some point he voted in a Mexican election. Perez lost his U.S. citizenship based on the court’s finding that Congress can revoke citizenship regardless if the action qualifying for the loss of citizenship is intentional or unintentional. The Supreme Court upheld the decision based on the Necessary and Proper Clause of Art. 1, 8, clause 18 of the Federal Constitution which states that voting in a foreign political election means a withdrawal of U.S. citizenship. The purpose of this clause is so that the U.S. can avoid international embarrassment by Americans getting involved in foreign affairs.

Nine years later the United States reverses its position. Beys Afroyim, who arrived in the U.S. in 1912, a Polish immigrant, and was naturalized in 1926, also became an Israeli citizen in 1950. He voted in six separate Israeli elections. He applied with the U.S. Consulate in Israel for an American passport. At first he was refused based on the same legal position attached to Perez in 1958. Taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court, the judge determined that Afroyim had not shown intent to lose his citizenship when he participated in Israeli elections. However, this was a direct contradiction to the published court opinion of the Perez case.

Due to the country’s special relationship with the nation of Israel, Americans can hold dual citizenship here and in Israel. That is not the case with Mexico. The gringa suspects the reasoning behind the special relationship with Israel is founded in religion and guilt.

Proof of the nation’s guilty conscience resonates in the words of President Truman after the war, “I urge the Congress to turn its attention to this world problem in an effort to find ways whereby we can fulfill our responsibilities to these thousands of homeless and suffering refugees of all faiths.” Now, if guilt is the reason for the special relationship between Israel and America, the gringa is okay with that. After all the United States should have a guilty conscience for not opening the immigration gates for the lambs who were trying to escape the slaughter.

However, if religion is the basis for this international special relationship, the gringa says, “We gots us a problem.” According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” If religion is the basis for a special relationship between the United States and Israel, resulting in laws being applied in a prejudicial fashion between Americans of different ethnicities, I believe that is some pretty clear evidence of racism as well as a violation of the spirit of the Constitution.

The gringa thinks the District Court of 1958 and the Supreme Court of 1967 has got some splainin’ to do because it seems America’s “world of tomorrow” was one of racial double standards.

Sources:

https://americansabroad.org/files/3013/3478/0295/18-04-2012_1318_971.pdf

http://www.prothink.org/2008/03/27/the-1940-nationality-act/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perez_v._Brownell

http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/immigration-timeline#1930

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/twenty/tkeyinfo/jewishexp.htm

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3452

http://americasbesthistory.com/abhtimeline1930.html

Photo credit: www.designarchives.aiga.org