[La Jornada, Mexico]

[Click Here for Jumbo Version]



Court Decision on Arizona Law Marks Deterioration of U.S. Democracy (La Jornada, Mexico)


“Abusing the human rights of foreigners and the ongoing domestic process of social exclusion are closely connnected. ... The legalization of torture at Guantanamo was, in that sense, a major defeat for the entire U.S. population, since support for such an extreme measure helped justify the loss of domestic guarantees.”


By Claudio Lomnitz


Translated By Florizul Acosta-Perez


June 26, 2012


Mexico – La Jornada – Original Article (Spanish)

American Hispanics flex their muscles on the streets of Los Angeles in protest against Arizona's new law on immigration, May 1.


BBC NEWS, U.K.: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down parts of Arizona migrant law SB 1070, June 26, 00:01:28 RealVideo

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that police in Arizona have the right to demand immigration papers from all offenders of any law or regulation. Any infraction could be a pretext for a demand to see papers. As migrants in Arizona are mostly from Mexico, police will tend to more regularly bully Hispanic-looking people - undocumented or not. The new law means that in all probability, tensions between “Mexicans” and "Anglos" will worsen.


So what can we in Mexico do about it? Of course, the Mexican government should pay attention to events and support lawsuits, complaints and media campaigns as forms of pressure. But the general public will also have to think about and discuss the current state of democracy in the United States, in order in the best possible way to support progressive forces in that country.


Democracy in the United States is not in a very good state of health.


Every democracy depends on maintaining a minimum level of social welfare, and above all, one not so abysmal as to inevitability lead to plutocracy. For much of its history, the U.S. has been a nation with a strong middle class. Today, this is not as much the case. Its level of inequality has risen consistently since 1980, and its fiscal policy favors the speculator over the wage earner, particularly under reforms introduced during the Bush presidency. Only in this way can one explain why Mitt Romney, whose father was CEO of American Motors, paid a paltry 15 percent tax rate last year, while the average wage earner paid around 25 percent.


Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz recently wrote that the United States is rapidly ceasing to be “the land of opportunity.” Increasingly, opportunity is inherited. The system rewards financial speculation over work: on average, engineers, inventors, designers, technologists, doctors, artists and scientists earn only a fraction of what a brat from the financial sector receives, although his contribution to the economy is to sink one company or another or embezzle the funds of pensioners.


Politically, this rise in inequality is creating a system that resembles a plutocracy. The right has a Supreme Court majority, and in electoral terms, this has resulted in reforms of the electoral laws that allow corporations to operate as if they were people. This gives huge advantages to candidates who enjoy corporate support, as was seen during the recent Republican primaries, in which a candidate, although more sane and presentable than his opponents, was also much less popular.



La Jornada, Mexico: Pirates, Puritans and U.S. Immigration
La Jornada, Mexico: President Obama Makes Two Decisions Worth Applauding
Multiple News Sources: The World Reacts to Obama's Approval of Gay Marriage
La Jornada, Mexico: Clueless Border Patrol Uses Intelligence to Study Recidivism
La Jornada, Mexico: Undocumented on Edge Before U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
La Jornada, Mexico: Undocumented are Again Caught in U.S. Power Struggle
Excelsior, Mexico: 'Comprehensive' Mexico-U.S. Integration is the Only Answer
La Jornada, Mexico: NAFTA Should Be Reopened to Protect Mexican Workers

La Jornada, Mexico: Mexicans in the U.S.: A Nation Within a Nation

El Universal, Mexico: Lawmakers Condemn Arizona's 'Racist' Anti-Immigrant Law

Diario Co Latino, El Salvador: Europe and U.S. Equally Cruel to Migrant Workers

El Periodico, Guatemala: Obama is Right: U.S. People Need Spanish Lessons!
El País, Spain: Tea Party 'Endangers Health' of American Democracy

Estadão, Brazil: The Massacre in Arizona: Will America Ever Learn?

News, Switzerland: The Day Hope Was Shot, in America and Europe

Der Spiegel, Germany: Blaming Sarah Palin for Tucson Attack is 'Wrong'

Rheinische Post, Germany: America's 'Intellectual Instigators' of Hatred

Berliner Morgenpost: Mutual Respect: What U.S. Owes Itself, World

Polityka, Poland: America in Anger's Clutches

Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Massacre in Tucson: 'A Sad Day for U.S.

Guardian, U.K.: Arizona Shootings: Left, Right at Odds Over Effects of Toxic Politics

TLZ, Germany: America's Hate-Filled Rhetoric 'Unworthy of a Democratic Nation'  


Finally, we must understand that there is a close relationship between abusing the human rights of foreigners and the ongoing domestic process of social exclusion must be understood. The legalization of torture at Guantanamo was, in that sense, a major defeat for the entire U.S. population, since support for such an extreme measure helped justify the loss of domestic guarantees, the hardening of criminalization and the proliferation of prisons and migrant detention centers. To all this must be added this most recent decision, which means that Arizona police now have a new tool with which to oppress the entire population with a Latino appearance, whether they are citizens or not.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Traditionally, one way to hide facts like these has been to offer citizens of Latino extraction police positions, so that they are the ones doing the dirty work of discrimination. But such tactics work for only a limited time, and statistics will soon reflect the increasing exclusion of Latinos in Arizona.


Like Worldmeets.US on Facebook  


The hard line against migrants, including symbolic toughness such as linking together the fences of border communities - legitimizes the brutal prison policy within the country, which again, benefits the misleadingly-called “security” industry. California spends almost twice as much on prisons as it does on higher education. And a few days ago, when state senators from urban areas of New York sought to pass a law easing penalties on possession of marijuana, senators from suburban and wealthy areas blocked the law.


In short: U.S. democracy is passing through a delicate time. It is interested in strengthening the democratic process, thus supporting migrants and the resident Latino population. It is interested, tool, because its policies on arms sales and battling drugs are today at the mercy of the plutocracy.



What can we do from Mexico? First of all, publicly discuss the erosion of the U.S. democracy, with a strict adherence to the truth, without exaggerations or lies, which are in the end counterproductive. Secondly, a Gandhian strategy could be explored, preferably with a Latin twist: that is, a peaceful but consistent protest, with the use of humor and ridiculous as a weapon. In any case, it is vitally important that there be a public reaction to laws like that in Arizona.




opinions powered by
blog comments powered by Disqus



























































[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 6, 12:59am]