Kyle de Beausset: November 2007 Archives
Anti-migrant advocates have been tremendously successful at labeling everything amnesty and then pushing an anti-amnesty agenda. It's always easier to organize against something than it is to organize in favor of something. With that in mind I've decided it's time pro-migrant advocates come up with their own anti-agenda: anti-attrition.
Attrition sounds innocent enough. It's a clinical term. An anti-attrition rallying cry might not seem very appealing at first. But the same could have been said for amnesty. Amnesty essentially means forgiveness. If anti-migrant advocates were able to make amnesty a bad word in a God-fearing, Jesus-loving nation, then it can't be hard to do the same thing with attrition.
What does attrition through enforcement mean? Believe it or not, unlike amnesty, attrition through enforcement is something that leading anti-migrant organizations actually advocate for. A dry definition of the term attrition is to wear something down, like a rock, through constant rubbing or friction. But when applied to humans attrition has all sorts of horrible connotations. Dictionary.com provides this definition:
A wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassmentTo engage in attrition warfare is to wear down your enemy to the "point of collapse". If these connotations haven't gotten you riled up yet, they should.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) recently partnered with Blue America in order to hold Rahm Emanuel accountable for his anti-migrant posturing as the representative of one of the most diverse congressional districts in the nation (Illinois' 5th Congressional District).
ICIRR began this fight with a rubber chicken campaign at YearlyKos (see left) in an effort to get Emmanuel to stand for migrant rights.
The exact opposite happened. After a close electoral fight in Massachusetts, Emmanuel assumed the role of Tom Tancredo of the Democrats, and issued this comment to the Washington Post:
“This issue has real implications for the country. It captures all the American people’s anger and frustration not only with immigration, but with the economy,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and an architect of the Democratic congressional victories of 2006. “It’s self-evident. This is a big problem.”Democrats were running scared after the Massachusetts special election, but an overwhelmingly different picture was painted after the recent local elections in Virginia. There Republicans failed miserably on an anti-migrant agenda and now the tides have changed.
- Jonathan Weisman - Washington Post
These intellectual challenges to mainstream and other viewpoints are some of the opinions Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander-American, and black bloggers are exposing on a growing number of sites focused on social, political, and cultural issues. The sometimes facetiously named blogs range from Angry Asian Man to The Angry Black Woman. Readers can find Latino viewpoints at Guanabee, The Unapologetic Mexican, or Latino Pundit. Those interested in information from an Asian angle head to Ultrabrown, Zuky, or Sepia Mutiny. Sites created by blacks include The Field Negro, Too Sense, and Resist Racism. But often these bloggers discard the handcuffs of their ethnic origins to tackle subjects affecting a range of racial or ethnic groups.Always brings to mind the blogs that are missing. Specifically, Culture Kitchen, Latina Lista, Latino Politico, and Para Justicia Y Libertad. I come across new inspiration everyday, though, and I know I'm forgetting a few, so feel free to give me your own in the comments and I'll put them up.
- Vanessa E. Jones, Boston Globe
Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'I never thought I'd see the day when I could safely say that the pollsters, the pundits, and the establishment democrat bloggers would turn toward the light of migrant justice. That day has come and it only affirms one of the Doctor Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s most hopeful themes.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice
- Doctor Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Center-left candidate Alvaro Colom beat out right-wing candidate Otto Perez in what should largely be interpreted as a victory for the rural poor of Guatemala. This picture (left) from the Prensa Libre election special (pdf) says it all:
The picture above shows that Colom won the vote in every single rural, poor, and indigenous department in Guatemala. While there were problems with the election I can safely say that I am proud to be a Guatemalan citizen. In my life I have only known a democratic Guatemala, and soon the country will be led by people that have known freedom instead of war.
Renata Avila of Global Voices has a compilation of the challenges Guatemalan bloggers have for the next President. Colom does not have a cakewalk in front of him, that's for sure.
It's been difficult to follow Guatemalan politics from abroad, but it doesn't take much digging to highlight problems with the international press coverage of the country. U.S. press has misinterpreted a narrative of low-voter turnout that has effectively undercut the legitimacy of Colom in the eyes of the international community.
I just voted in Cambridge today in municipal elections that will be lucky to have 25% voter turnout and MSNBC has an entire story dedicated to low voter turnout at 41%? Give me a break.