Stand Up Against Racism

RECEIVED Thu., Oct. 6, 2005

Dear Editor,
    On Sat. Oct. 1, about 75 people rallied at the Capitol in support of “securing our borders” and keeping “illegals” out of the country (see “Naked City,” News, Oct. 7). Almost all in attendance were white (as in ancestors of immigrants of Western Europe descent who “illegally” raped and pillaged this land and the indigenous people on it) and their cry for “homeland security” reeked of our neo-conservative fear-mongering administration, and is also, I might add, the theme used to justify the extermination of 6 million Jews. These same people organized a counterprotest recently at the Diez y Seis march, yet they claim to not, in fact, be racist. Whatever.
    About 25 people counterprotested: mostly some anarchists and socialists and a few others‚ like myself. There were understandably few representatives from the Latino community, since they don't need any more abuse than they are getting from this upsurge in racism.
    Curiously absent (not for lack of prior knowledge) were the liberals and progressives who say they oppose racism and stand for justice for the oppressed. It's a simple question I pose to them: Do you want racists terrorizing immigrants at day labor sites and passing state law to legitimize vigilantism? Can you sit comfortably at home knowing this is growing because you just don't want to make a fuss or feel it might be violent to directly confront racism? What would MLK say? Cesar Chavez? Gandhi?
    It is the job of whites to directly confront racism in this country. If we don't, then we allow it to grow, which is equivalent to supporting it. This tactic is important, and not meant to patronize the oppressed; it is about not allowing hatred to grow. It affects us all.
    To learn more about the Minutemen, contact the local AFSC to organize a viewing of a documentary.
Debbie Russell
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