Whiteness is always looking for sell outs to encourage people of colour to be passive. Every once in awhile, they choose the wrong person, and it comes back to bite them directly in the ass. The Braves recently hosted a civil rights day in Georgia (I know, ironic considering their name), and they decided to honour Carlos Santana. It seems that Bud Selig should have approached a sell out from Fox news rather than Carlos Santana.
Though Carlos would obviously not be effected by the recent passing of HR 87, a law that mimics Arizona’s SB 1070, in criminalizing Latino people, he chose the opportunity to speak out. Gotta love it when power is forced to confront truth.
Bud picked the wrong Latino. Carlos Santana took the microphone and said that he was representing all immigrants. Then Santana added, “The people of Arizona, and the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.” In a perfect display of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Georgia, the cheers quickly turned to boos. Yes, Carlos Santana was booed on Civil Rights Day in Atlanta for talking about Civil Rights.
Then in the press box, Santana held an impromptu press conference where he let loose with an improvised speech to rival one of his virtuoso guitar solos. He said, “This law is not correct. It’s a cruel law, actually, This is about fear. Stop shucking and jiving. People are afraid we’re going to steal your job. No we aren’t. You’re not going to change sheets and clean toilets. I would invite all Latin people to do nothing for about two weeks so you can see who really, really is running the economy. Who cleans the sheets? Who cleans the toilets? Who babysits? I am here to give voice to the invisible.”
He went on to say, “Most people at this point they are either afraid to really say what needs to be said, this is the United States the land of the free. If people want the immigration law to keep passing in every state then everybody should get out and just leave the American Indians here. This is about Civil Rights.”(source)
The very fact that audience booed, tells me that they still don’t understand the meaning of civil rights. Selig sneaking out during the fifth inning to avoid answering questions, proves that the event that he has planned was a complete and utter sham. There should never be a place where talking about civil rights is inappropriate, and this is especially true at an event supposedly structured to highlight and celebrate civil rights. It seems that The Braves and their fans just don’t get the point of irony.
These Juan Crow laws need to me removed from the books. They are specifically based on fear of the other, and yet another example of the way that the law is used corrosively to attack and oppress marginalized people. Undocumented workers add to any country that they reside in, and whether the U.S. likes it or not, they are absolutely dependent upon this cheap labour force. The very idea that they are taking jobs away from “real Americans” is ridiculous, when we know that entire industries would collapse without their labour. This is the truth that these bigots don’t want to face, even as they spread their vitriol and create laws that are bigoted, they need undocumented workers. If they think they experience sticker shock looking at new cars, they would be surprised to learn the actual cost of the fruits and vegetables in their grocery store, or the real price of the t shirt that they are wearing.
The other issue that is seldom discussed when it comes to this is class. Poor Americans are being offered undocumented workers to hate and blame for their class position. Rather than aiming their righteous anger at the ruling classes, they are attacking undocumented workers, as though they are literally take the bread from their stomachs. The attack on undocumented workers is misdirection, which is something that the ruling bourgeoisie has been doing since the beginning of capitalism. The poor can only rise when we function as a group to throw of the yolk of oppression, and this is why the least powerful are constantly served up as targets for attack. The only people stealing, are the rich elite and it long past time that this is recognized.