Immigration and Amnesty and Racism, Oh, My!
I have just finished re-reading "Infidel," written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali born Dutch politician who now lives in the United States and works for the American Enterprise Institute.
Whew, what a mouthful. I used to be one of those people who scoffed at "hyphenated Americans, Canadians - or Somali-Dutch or whatever" but seriously, we are going to keep referring to people's backgrounds and other attributes in conversations. For the most part (the only exception are the Native Americans) we all hail from somewhere else. It is just human nature to want to place people and objects in categories. Doing so is not necessarily discrimination. Making assumptions is also human nature - sometimes seriously bad manners, but human nature nonetheless. It's also human nature to want to express ourselves. Part of that self expression can include how we self identify.
Assumptions can be maddening - like when my New York born Puerto Rican husband was constantly stopped and harassed by police in Athens, Georgia - police who demanded his "Green Card" (they aren't actually green, but I digress) and sometimes threatened him with arrest when he tried to explain that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.
Assumptions can be amusing - like when I once upon a time went to pick up my African-American/Puerto Rican niece from school. The teacher said, "Aryanna, your aunt's here for you!" Another little girl piped up, "That can't be your aunt! She's the wrong color!" Aryanna's response? "She can't help it that she's pink and not brown!"
We have some major ethnic diversity in our family, so we have lots of jokes and stories to laugh at. We also have stories after stories about awkward or just plain bizarre happenings. Some are funny ...and some are creepy.
Arizona has gotten a lot of attention lately. Okay, that's an understatement. Arizona's recent law dealing with immigration issues has been extremely controversial. There are so many different aspects of immigration issues, and there are as many ways to look at it. Below is the full text of Arizona's law. Read it for yourself. Decide what you think of it. I'll post my own analysis very soon.