New racisms, for the most part, are an expression and continuation of old unchallenged racisms. Old ideas from previous generations become integrated into the cultures, languages and societies of newer generations. The original meanings become lost, and often repeated, often heard ‘racial’ cultural stereotypes become accepted ideas among those who grow up within, and are educated within, any given society that does not offer required public education courses on the topic of ‘race.’
A simple example is the stereotype of “Jews being greedy.” When asking someone who believes this old idea why they believe this, the answers are usually to the tune of ‘it’s what they learned growing up,’ or they consist of vague answers riddled with illogical assumptions and inaccurate conclusions; never based in valid science or fact. The reality is that this stereotype was created over nearly 1700 years ago, when the Roman emperor Constantine I and Christian bishops made laws forbidding the practice of Usury, and only non-Christians, namely those of Jewish faith, could lend money and charge interest. Religious discrimination targeted those who would not convert to Christianity as being ‘greedy’ money-lenders, and over time further confusion and discrimination created the inaccurate ideas that those of Jewish faith, or the ‘Jews,’ were somehow biologically greedy by blood.
Where Is Racism Learned?
When understanding where racism is learned, the first step is to understand and acknowledge the studies showing that racism is indeed a learned behavior, and is not inherent in little children. A study conducted at NYU found that five and six-year-old children do not believe ‘race’ influences an individual’s skills or behavior. The ‘racial’ culture and system in America is something that children repeatedly and constantly see and encounter. Racist ideas are often first learned in the home when children listen to and observe their first and most influential educators; their parents. Children are also exposed to subtle and open ‘racial’ stereotypes through the media, textbooks, culture, religion, institutional racism, and racist education.
Between the ages of two to six, children can differentiate between different skin colors, the same way they can differentiate between different hair colors, but they do not believe that an individual’s personality or ability is connected to their skin color. The NYU study observing hundreds of American children which found that American five and six year olds largely reject beliefs related to skin color determining personality and abilities, corrected previous ideas related to children being born with supposed biases and preferences to people of similar skin colors. Head researcher Tara Mandalaywala of New York University reported that beliefs concerning skin color and a person’s abilities, which are potential precursors to prejudice, “are the product of protracted developmental processes, and require ample cultural input.”
Dr. Marjorie Rhodes of New York University states that, “Beliefs about race that contribute to prejudice take a long time to develop.” For example in the U.S., we are educated to think of ‘race’ as an inherent and real biological grouping, rather than as a mental construct which has been proven untrue by science (See: The Biology Of Human Variation), to the extent that we must recognize its supposed existence when filling out certain government forms and applications.
“In contemporary U.S. society, ideas about ‘race’ are often consciously or unconsciously thought of as natural, just the way things are, common sense. The attributions of behaviors, what people are like, what they’re good at, what they’re not good at, strengths and weaknesses — this often gets treated as common sense, and what this means is that it can become part of our unconscious thought,” explains Dr. Erin N. Winkler, an associate professor and chair in the Africology Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
These misleading ideas form the inaccurate assumptions about ‘race’ that exist; that people come from genetically different groups of people and that they can be identified by their skin color. As science has proven that no such biological ‘racial’ groupings exist, that all humans on Earth have interbred within an evolutionarily short amount of time, and that only skin color has quickly changed due to differences in UV ray exposure in different geographical locations of the world, it’s important that societies and government institutions catch up and eliminate the harmful, dangerous and inaccurate references to would attempt to classify humans according to make believe ‘races.’
Cultural education as well as education by TV media continues to play a very big role in developing racist ideas among children and adults. It’s important to remember that only a very few generations ago, were there wealthy white Americans owning poor black Americans as slaves in the United States. After the end of the civil war and the institution of slavery was finally abolished, serious education reform and required public education classes on the topic of ‘race’ were never implemented in the southern ex-confederacy states. This led to much of the southern parts of America persisting in their ideology of black human beings being inferior to white human beings, and has led to innumerable acts of cruelty, prejudice, violence and discrimination.
Factual and compassionate education related to the idea of ‘race’ has never been implemented on a major level in the United States, and is the sole reason why such racism continues to exist today in America. Only when the United States government recognizes the importance of educating on the topic of ‘race’ in all public high schools will racism dissipate and eventually go away. This continues to be the hope of all peace loving citizens who want to live in a kind nation from free racism, as well as the dire need of all minorities who continue to face unnecessary cruelty and hatred on a daily basis due to prejudice and discrimination.
There is hope as well for children who have grown up with inaccurate ‘racial’ ideas, as Dr. Banaji of Harvard University reports; “As children age, let us say past 10, environment begins to play a tremendous role in how they perceive in-group and out-group people – people who look like them, and people who do not,’’ Dr. Banaji says. “So the good news is that even a child whose parents make no conscious effort to teach [him] not to be prejudiced can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place and consistently observes in-group and out-group people interacting positively and as equals.”
The Chain Of Racist Ideas: Understanding Where Racist Ideas Came From And How They Turned Into The Ideas We Hear Today
As Edmund Burke once famously said; “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Through understanding a bit of the history of where racist ideas came from, we can illuminate, connect the dots and see how old and rejected racist ideas of the past are being expressed in the present time in the form of new racist ideas.
1. From The Civil War, To The Construction Of Confederate Statues During The Civil Rights Movement, To The Confederate Flag:
There is a current debate among whether or not symbols of racism should be removed from places of honor in the American south; namely the Confederate flag and monuments of Confederate leaders. To the shame of America, the statues symbolize some of the darkest moments in American history; memorializing the individuals, movements and ideas that enforced slavery, cruelty, racism, prejudice, hate, and which directly caused the tragic suffering of millions of human beings.
Statues are most often used to honor and to help people remember the great deeds, wisdom and ideals of great leaders and great nations of the past. Ancient Egypt built great statues to honor the deities of their mythology. Ancient India created statues honoring their many Gods to be used for worship. Numerous Christian churches and countries have built statues honoring Jesus and the Saints. They did not, however, build statues of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus and turned him over to be killed.
The American Statue of Liberty is an honored figure of a robed woman representing Libertas, a Roman liberty Goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.
The Lincoln Memorial is a monument containing a large statue of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was one of the greatest U.S. presidents in history as he was responsible for ending the slavery of African Americans, and his memorial was used as the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s renowned “I Have a Dream” speech. The inscription reads; “In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” Statues are erected in honor of positive leaders and positive social events, so that we may learn from their compassionate and heroic examples in making this nation and world a better place.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a large monument carved from the large side of a mountain to show the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, all renowned and honorable U.S. Presidents.
When statues and flags of Confederate leaders in the American south, which constituted the Confederacy that broke from, and then betrayed the United States of America by declaring a war which caused the deaths of nearly one fifth of the southern male population in an effort to maintain the cruel institution of slavery; when these statues are erected in an effort to honor their cause, it openly shows that the citizens of the time believed in and honored what those who were made into statues were fighting for: the continuation of slavery for black human beings within America.
It’s also important to remember that the majority of these Confederate honoring statues were built both during the early 1900’s when southern state legislatures were no longer controlled by those opposing slavery and white supremacy, and Jim Crow segregation began to occur, and also built during the African American civil rights movement of the 1960’s in order to show hatred for and to discourage rights for Black Americans.
Many in the south say that they want the statues to exist in order to remember their state’s history, and they claim that the south did not fight the civil war to keep the cruel institution of slavery, but rather the south fought it to protect their property and their “state’s rights.” Even in this very year, there are numerous large festivals in Texas and in other southern ex-confederate states which on American holidays, hold large community festivals teaching a pretend history of the civil war; claiming that what the Confederacy fought for was some vague idea of state’s rights, at a time when Abraham Lincoln won the presidency running on a platform of abolishing slavery. These festivals honor the generals of the confederacy, and subtly the cause of what they fought for to unsuspecting residents of the southern United States. Pictures are often available attendants to take with the festival’s “hero” Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy general.
The question concerning whether the civil war was fought over slavery or not was accurately answered in this short and very informative video by U.S. Colonel Ty Seidule, the head of the department of history at the U.S. West Point Military Academy:
The Southern Attempt To Re-Write American History
There is an ongoing attempt to re-write American history in terms of why the civil war was fought, yet as Colonel Ty Seidule accurately explains; the civil war was fought by citizens of the southern states specifically over slavery. The historical fact is that slavery was the number one issue and cause leading to the civil war, as the south clearly explained during their secession from the union that; “They were leaving the Union in order to protect their “peculiar institution” of slavery.” The south rallied armies and quit the United States directly after Abraham Lincoln was elected President while running on a political platform of restricting slavery’s expansion in the midwest and south.
Wealthy plantation owners utilized the media to generate hatred towards African Americans, and generated propaganda consisting of lies against the North to trick the public and to maintain their cruel ‘businesses’, incomes, and their own self-interests.
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens wrote, “Our new government was founded on slavery. Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, submission to the superior ‘race,’ is his natural and normal condition.” After the defeat of the Confederacy in the civil war, the Confederate General Robert E. Lee himself opposed the construction of public memorials to Confederate rebellion on the grounds that they would prevent the healing of wounds inflicted during the war.
When looking at an accurate account of history, it’s important to be clear about what the statues of Confederate generals and the Confederate flag are honoring and representing: they solely represent the cruel and tragic institution of slavery. It’s also important to imagine how it feels to be a young African American boy or girl growing up in America and seeing these statues and schools honoring people who fought to continue slavery. Feel their hurt and their pain, as these young innocent minds see places of honor being held by those who believed that people of black skin color should be slaves to people of white skin color, all because of greed, and a cruel and scientifically untrue idea of ‘race.’ Again, it’s very important to remember that a large number of these statues of Confederate generals were erected in the south during times promoting segregation and during the Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr., as an openly racist message that portrayed white supremacist values of black skinned humans as being inferior and unequal to white skinned humans.
Statues are for honoring and remembering role models whose good deeds helped to make the world a better place; so that future generations may look upon them and learn from and model their positive behavior and positive ideals. Statues are not made to remember people who stood for injustice, cruelty and abuse. If we want to remember the civil war and the citizens of the former confederacy, then the right thing to do is to build statues of remembrance of the slaves who were forced into bondage, and who after hundreds of years of oppression finally gained their freedom promised them by the American constitution.
Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were also a tragic part of Germany’s history, where they murdered millions upon millions of innocent men, women and children based on inaccurate and hateful racist ideas. Yet Germany does not raise the Nazi flag or erect and maintain large statues of Hitler, because they have recognized their faults and have removed those symbols from places of honor, something the American south also needs to do for the sake of their young men, women and children who are being led down the path of supporting hatred, cruelty and discrimination towards their fellow neighbors. For the sake of the young children who must look at the 1500 public parks, monuments and memorials named after pro-slavery Confederates, who must go to over 100 Confederate named schools, such as the Robert E. Lee elementary school in Austin, Texas named after the commanding General of the Confederacy, and who must live on and walk down the 1,132 Confederate named streets in the south, for the children’s sake, it’s important that people representing cruelty, abuse and racism are not placed in positions of honor and acceptance in American society.
Take a second, and feel from your heart how it must feel for our young children, in their schools to witness cruelty being honored and exemplified. We must protect our children’s minds with loving and positive education, and we must help to support compassionate change for their sake.
2. From Slavery, To Segregation, Rosa Parks, Police Brutality And NFL Kneelings: The Same Expression Of Racism
Silence And Powerlessness Go Hand In Hand.
The silencing of the voices of the oppressed is a strategy used quite often in the many expressions of racism. Silence is deemed approval, and when people are silent about problems, they never change nor go away. Only when individuals begin speaking out against oppression is awareness on the issue raised, and are solutions proposed and created.
Racism Silencing African Americans During Slavery
During the more than 200 years of ‘race’ based slavery in America, slave rebellions were a constant fear of slave owners, and in order to silence any talk of equal rights or any form of freedom, the education of slaves was made illegal. Following the end of the civil war when slavery was abolished, southern politicians used all means necessary to silence black Americans. They imposed poll taxes necessary to vote, which poor African Americans could not afford. They imposed difficult literacy tests for African Americans that needed to be passed before being able to register to vote. They also used and continue to use Gerrymandering where district boundaries are manipulated to give more voting power to white areas and less power to black or minority areas. These among countless other undemocratic and unjust practices were created in order to silence the voices of minorities in America.
Racism Silencing African Americans During Segregation In The 1950’s And 1960’s
Racism takes many forms and is expressed through numerous different ideas, but a common and persistent theme is the violently worded criticisms uttered towards black voices and protestors in order to intimidate, bully, terrorize, and to ultimately; silence into obedience and submission.
In 1960, racism told four black students sitting in a “whites only” counter at a store in Greensboro that they would not be served coffee, that they needed to stand up and leave. The students refused to get up and stayed until the restaurant closed, and came again the next day, the next day, and the next day, inspiring a movement of thousands to protest ‘racial’ injustice across the country. The restaurant’s sales dropped by a third, and the restaurant owners ended up changing their segregation policies to allow black customers at all counters.
In 1957, racism told nine newly admitted black students that they could not enter Little Rock’s Central High School, and the Governor of Arkansas even went to such lengths as to station troops outside of the school to keep the black students out. They faced violence and threats of lynching, yet they persisted and succeeded as President Dwight Eisenhower intervened by sending the National Guard to escort and protect the students as they went to their classes and pursued an education.
In 1955, racism told 42-year-old Rosa parks to stand up and to give up her seat located in the colored section of the bus to white passengers who were standing and wanted a seat. The driver demanded, “Why don’t you stand up?” to which Rosa replied, “I don’t think I should have to stand up.” Rosa refused to stand, and the driver then called the police and had her arrested. Her protest for equality led to a boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which lasted 381 days until segregated seating was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Racism Silencing African Americans Speaking Out Against ‘Race-Based’ Police Brutality Today
Police brutality is the abuse of authority by the unwarranted infliction of excessive force by personnel involved in law enforcement while performing their official duties.
In November of 2014, 12-year-old African American Tamir Rice was shot and killed by white police officers after playing with a toy gun.
In July of 2014, African American Eric Garner was wrestled to the ground, and choked until dead by a white police officer for selling untaxed cigarettes.
In April of 2015, a video captured a white police officer pulling over African American Walter Scott for a supposed broken car taillight, who then ran and was shot in the back five times as he fled. The video also captured the police officer planting a weapon by his body.
In April of 2015 African American Eric Harris was shot and killed by a white police officer, who claimed he mistook his own pistol for a stun gun, but video later revealed he taunted Eric while he lay on the ground writhing in pain after being shot.
In March of 2016, 22-year-old African American Stephon Clark was in his grandparent’s back yard holding a cell phone when white police “mistook” it for a gun and shot him seven times.
In September of 2016, a video camera recorded the shooting of African American Terence Crutcher by white police officers as he had his hands in the air.
In July of 2016 African American Philando Castile was pulled over for a supposed broken taillight, and then shot and killed by white police officers while in the car with his girlfriend.
In July of 2016, African American Alton Sterling was shot and killed by white police officers while selling CDs outside of a convenience store.
Tony Robinson, Rumain Brisbon, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown Jr… there is seemingly no end to the list of innocent Black African Americans murdered without just cause by white police officers.
This list is just a glimpse of ‘race’ based police brutality looks like in the United States today, as every single one of the victims unjustly murdered had black skin. These known murders took place within the relatively short timespan of two years between 2014 to 2016, and most of which happened to be captured on video camera. The overwhelming majority of police killings are not caught by camera, and the information reported as to what happened relies solely on the police officer’s claimed statements. Many of the white police officers who engage in police brutality receive minimal disciplinary actions, and are often even given paid leave from work; a deeply concerning expression of racism which had led to large scale rioting in many instances.
There’s no question that an alarmingly high amount of African Americans are unjustly murdered by American police officers, and as video cameras have been made available to the public, a painful yet wonderful awareness on the subject is rising. The American justice system and privately owned prison complex also disproportionately convicts black Americans of crimes. While only 13% of the American population is African American, African Americans make up 34% of the jail inmates, and 37% of the prison inmates of the 2.3 million male Americans held in captivity as of 2014. The first step to solving a problem in society, is realizing that a problem exists, and then raising awareness by speaking up about the problem through protesting: the constitutionally protected right of Americans to assemble peaceably.
What first started with the kneeling of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem, turned into a nationwide protest of police brutality against African Americans and of ‘racial’ inequality. The purpose behind Kaepernick’s kneeling was related to the high number of innocent and unarmed African Americans being murdered by white police officers, and his choice was to use his constitutional freedom of speech to speak out against the racist crimes committed against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
The NFL interviewed Kaepernick and asked him why he was kneeling, to which he replied, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Kaepernick was referring to recent awareness of the high amount of unjustified murders of black men by white police officers. The protests of NFL players helped to raise awareness for a very valid problem that exists within police departments across the United States; the ‘race’ based murder of black Americans by police officers, and the lack of any action taken by the United States government to institute police reform to remove dangerously racist individuals from the police force.
In 2016, Racism Told Colin Kaepernick To Stand Up And To Stop Kneeling During The National Anthem
Racism sought to silence Colin Kaepernick. It told him to stop drawing attention and awareness towards ‘racial’ inequality in America, to stop agitating a compliant white base that is content with the overwhelming number of unjust African American murders committed by white police officers, and racism called Colin Kaepernick a “Son of a bitch.” Racism misconstrued and deliberately misled people from the true meaning of his protest by claiming that he was disrespecting the flag and expressing hatred towards law enforcement, which is another form of silencing his message. A key point to remember outside of Kaepernick’s first amendment rights is that when someone, through protest, wants sensible, safe, just and equal treatment for African Americans, they are not anti-police, in the same way someone who wants sensible, safe, just and equal traffic laws, is not anti-car. They just want a safe country to live in that is free from the terrorism of racist police brutality.
Protests Are A Key American Value
The First Amendment states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Written by the Founding Fathers of America, the first amendment ensures that a free people have the right to peaceably protest, and have the right to freedom of speech. In pre-colonial days, the English monarchy regularly restricted the right of English citizens to assemble and preach in public out of fear that they would be uprooted from power. This led to authoritarian rule where the orders of the king could not be questioned, and anyone who proposed an idea contrary to the law chosen by a single monarch could be subject to all manners of arrest and persecution. The Founding Fathers of America envisioned a nation of freedom, where all people are created equal, and where even the least of us are given a voice. The freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble, and the freedom to peaceably protest are part of the very foundations of American principles that allow for a free country.
One of the greatest minds of American history, Henry David Thoreau, when speaking out against the terribly cruel institution of slavery, taught citizens that when racism is happening, they must speak out against it and use their whole influence to resist the system and to bring about positive change. Thoreau famously said, “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves,” and, “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison.”
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” is another powerful message written by Evelyn Hall illustrating the importance of freedom of speech.
The silencing of the voices of the oppressed is a strategy used quite often in the many expressions of racism; it was used to silence slaves through a lack of education, it was used to keep free African Americans from voting, it was used to bully and intimidate Rosa Parks on public transport, it was used to intimidate and harass black students from going to a white school, it was used to divide lunch counters, and it is now being used to criticize Colin Kaepernick and to cover up the many ‘racial’ killings and crimes committed by the police.
Always stand up for the equality and fair treatment of all human beings, as the great Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said, “The silence of the good people is more dangerous than the brutality of the bad people.”
Islamophobia is an intense fear, hatred of, or prejudice against, the Islamic religion or Muslims, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism. It is an anti-Muslim racism and a continuation of anti-Asian, anti-Turkic and anti-Arab racism. A Muslim is someone who follows or practices Islam; a monotheistic Abrahamic religion similar to Christianity in that they follow Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, but who also follows Muhammad.
Statistics from the FBI have shown an alarming rise in hate crimes since 2016, which are believed to be connected to the anti-Muslim platform conservatives ran on during the 2016 elections promising a “complete and total shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. American fears escalated after the bombing on 9/11/01 of the World Trade Center towers in New York by extremists, and the actions of a small group of extremists became inaccurately associated with the actions of an entire religious community.
There are currently 1.8 billion (1,800,000,000) people who identify as Muslim living in the world. In 2002, documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound revealed that core al-Qaeda membership consisted of 170 people. In 2006, estimations were made claiming that al-Qaeda had roughly 3,000 members within 40 different countries, and in 2009 it was believed that no more than 300 were still active. In 2014 the CIA estimated that ISIL, also known as ISIS, had between 20,000 to 31,500 active troops in Iraq and Syria.
When calculating the statistics of what percentage of Muslims belong to known terrorist organizations, using the highest estimated number of 31,500 ISIL members, and dividing it by the 1.8 billion Muslims living in the world today, the math indicates that 31500/1800000000 = 0.0000175, and that the largest estimation of worldwide Muslim terrorists is 0.00175% of the world’s total Muslim population, or roughly one thousandth of one percent. The accurate mathematical conclusion based on real data in the highest possible scenario of Muslim terrorism is that 99.99925% of Muslims live peaceably, while 0.00175% belong to a terrorist organization.
According to the FBI, 94% of terrorist attacks within the United States are carried out by non-Muslims, and data has shown that Americans were more likely to be killed by a toddler in 2013 than they were by a Muslim terrorist.
There are many theories as to why Islamophobia has drastically increased in the United States, with the most common being the fact that former Vice President Dick Cheney and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, who both were critically instrumental in generating the fear towards Muslims through the media and in creating the American war in the middle east, are themselves now profiting tens of billions of dollars as the owners of the oil company that is currently drilling for oil in Syria and Afghanistan; Genie Oil and Gas, and through the use of generating fear towards Muslims, they were together able to setup their oil empire in the middle east. While this is most likely true, the important thing to remember is that innocent human beings are suffering, being discriminated against, and facing violence due to misplaced and inaccurate fears of Muslims generated by conservative media.
As the travel bans on Muslim specific countries to the U.S. was put into place through an executive order, the increase of intolerance, hate crimes, discrimination and violence towards the 3.45 million innocent and law abiding Americans who follow the Muslim faith has dramatically increased. This has lead to numerous injustices taking place within America: increased stress as Muslims are targeted by white supremacists, sleepless nights as polls have shown that 38% U.S. Muslims fear for their safety, and children are afraid to goto school, as surveys reported that 42% of Muslim children have been aggressively bullied in school because of their faith. Add this to the 500,000 innocent civilians killed in the Syrian war, the 360,000 innocent civilians killed in the Afghanistan war, and the estimated 1.2 million innocent civilians killed in the Iraq war, and the massive amount of deeply saddening and tragic suffering of innocent people is almost too much to bear. Islamophobia needs to be stopped to prevent the suffering of roughly 25% of the world’s population who identify as Muslim, and truthful, accurate and compassionate education is the only way to stop it and to provide a safe world for all people, regardless of which religion they choose to follow.
Racism Towards Illegal Immigrants
A recent rise in racism towards human beings labeled “Illegal Immigrants” has increased hate crimes and discrimination within the U.S. towards people of Mexican descent. Illegal immigration is defined as the illegal entry of a person or a group of persons across a country’s border, in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country, with the intention to remain in the country.
In 2015 there were 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., with 50% being from Mexico. The U.S. civilian workforce includes 8 million of the immigrants living in the U.S. without a current visa, the majority of whom, in an effort to escape the poverty and the crime of Mexico and other third world countries, and to provide a better life for their children, came to America in hopes of a safe environment. The majority of these human beings try to escape poverty tend to work low paying jobs in restaurants and in construction in the U.S.. Increases in poverty, especially when associated with immediate crises, can increase the likelihood of illegal immigration. The 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, subsequent to the start of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was associated with widespread increases in poverty and a lower valuation for the peso relative to the dollar. When loving parents who live in poverty face the choice between a life of hunger and suffering for their children, or a better paying job in America and a taken care of family, anyone can understand why they make the choice to come to America.
There are a few aspects contributing to racism against the people living without valid visas in America: Political leaders made false claims that the majority of illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals, rapists and drug dealers, southern states such as Texas have a long history of war with Mexico, and some American neighborhoods which 50 years ago tended to consist of only middle class white residents, have changed to include poorer immigrants from Mexico who have come from living in poverty, have lower incomes, all of which are perceived by locals to lower housing values, when in reality housing values tend to go up as immigrants often buy houses that were not well kept and then fix them up as they pursue the American dream. As each of these considerations represent concerns of many southern Americans, they are worth looking into and factually analyzing.
A not often publicly spoken fear of southern American whites is also the fact that population demographics are changing in America. In 1950, 89.5% of the U.S. population was white. In 1960, 88.6%, 1970 87.5%, 1980 83.1%, 1990 80.3%, 2000 75.1%, 2010 72.4%, and by 2050, the Census Bureau estimates that whites will become the minority in America. This generates enormous fear in those who believe in and support white supremacy within America, leading to increased racism, hatred and discrimination.
Statistics Show That The Majority Of Illegal Immigrants Are Not Criminals
More than 76% of the documented crime committed by illegal immigrants is in fact one singular crime: simply not having a current visa to stay in the United States. Of the total primary offenses in fiscal year 2013, 17.6% of drug trafficking offenses and 3.8% of sexual abuse cases were caused by illegal immigrants, with 82.4% of drug trafficking offenses and 96.2% of rape and sexual abuse cases caused by U.S. citizens. False claims were made stating that the majority of Mexican illegal immigrants were criminals and rapists, yet when looking at the actual data and statistics, it’s easy to see that this is not true. There are roughly 6 million illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the U.S., and the U.S. sentencing commission reported 34 cases of sexual abuse by illegal immigrants in 2016. To find the percentage of Mexican illegal immigrants classified as “rapists” we divide a maximum possible 34 cases of sexual abuse by 6,000,000 Mexican illegal immigrants, and find that 34/6000000=0.0000056 indicating that the real data shows that 0.00056% of illegal immigrants were found guilty of sexual abuse, while 99.99944% of Mexican illegal immigrants were not guilty of rape nor sexual abuse.
The majority of Mexican illegal immigrants are not rapists, and the only crime of the majority is living in the United States without a valid visa, yet when false claims such as this are believed without doing proper research, dangerous ideas of racism are spread.
Studies found that increases in immigration actually lead to decreases in crime, reporting that only 1.6% of immigrant males 18 to 39 years old were incarcerated, compared to a more than double 3.3% of native born American males. Misleading statements which lack factual evidence and ignore the reality of statistics have increased fears towards immigrants, and resulted in a sad rise in racism towards Mexicans, Hispanic Americans and other minorities.
Racist Attitudes Developed Following The Mexican-American War
The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) was an armed conflict between the United States of America and Mexico, where ownership of the land which now constitutes Texas was fought over and ultimately won by the United States. Texan southerners hoped both to expand slavery into the newly conquered territories and to gain more political power from the acquisition by acquiring more votes in Congress; seeking to avoid being outnumbered politically by the faster-growing North. The war was strongly opposed by renowned Americans Abraham Lincoln, Henry David Thoreau as well as Joshua Giddings, who opposed the war with Mexico calling it an “aggressive, unholy, and unjust war,” and stating that, “In the murder of Mexicans upon their own soil, or in robbing them of their country, I can take no part either now or hereafter. The guilt of these crimes must rest on others. I will not participate in them.”
Ulysses S. Grant who later led the Northern army as its General and served as 18th President of the United States wrote that; “Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.”
The war against Mexico left a bitter taste in the mouthes of Texans, and Mexicans were often referred to and identified as the enemy and the “other.” The famous statement “Remember The Alamo” is a phrase dedicated to the American fear of the Mexican body, of potential Mexican invasion and of the Mexican efforts to protect their land which conflicted with the southern expansionist agendas of increasing the breadth of slavery and white supremacy. Texans were motivated to take land away from minorities they referred to as the “lesser peoples,” and after the end of the war, fears of Mexicans coming back for their land became a foundation of much of the hatred and racism expressed by American southerns.
In 2016 Texas Placed Racist Propaganda Into Children’s School Textbooks
In as recent as 2016, the Texas education system was found to be manufacturing racist propaganda and hateful material; implanted in school textbooks for children. The material, labeled as the “Mexican-American Heritage” text, asserts that some Mexican-Americans during the civil rights era of the 1960s “opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this [American] society.” The children’s propaganda text links Mexican-Americans to the drug trade as well as to being possible illegal immigrants, and says that Mexican-Americans are ambivalent about assimilating into the United States.
The textbook presents a distorted view of Mexican-Americans, in part because it relies on stereotypes and incorrect assumptions. The book asserts untrue racist propaganda when saying, “Pressure exists that those of Mexican origin are not ‘Mexican enough’ or do not have enough sympathy and respect for their roots if they venture beyond the Spanish-speaking world.” It goes on claiming: “This belief, along with the idea that Latin culture must be held up as superior and separate from American culture, holds many back today.”
The stereotypes and racist ideology implanted in the “Mexican-American Heritage” text has no place being in a textbook for public school students in America. Equally inappropriate is the book’s conflating of immigration with problems such as poverty, crime and drugs, none of which are backed up by real data and statistics.
The combination of past resentments from the Mexican-American war, as well as miseducation in public schools results in racist attitudes towards Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and human beings living in America without a valid visa, labeled as illegal immigrants.
Resentment Against Poor People Of Mexican Ancestry Exhibiting The Known Signs Of Poverty
Some of the concerns recently voiced by many southern white Texans have been related to the differences in the standard of living between white American families and minority American families. What once in the 1950’s was the all white middle class neighborhood representing the American dream; a family, a car, a good income and a house with a white picket fence, has witnessed poorer immigrants, many of whom are from Mexico, moving into cheaper apartments, and into homes located within these same communities, but having more family members per house to share the cost of high mortgages. The sight of used cars, and large families living within the same home bothers many white Texans, who are used to a quality of living that only white privilege tends to provide in America.
White residents have made many claims such as; “Mexican immigrants bring down property values,” “have too many children ‘flooding’ schools and streets,” “do not ‘properly’ learn English,” and that they “bring increases in crime.” While these statements are inaccurate, untrue and have deep roots in ‘racial’ stereotypes and in racism, it’s important to understand some of the situations witnessed by southern white residents.
The scenario of poor minorities, some of whom are labeled Mexican-Americans, moving into cheaper housing near wealthier neighborhoods consisting mostly of middle class white residents is a situation that has occurred in America. But the reality and crucial point to recognize is that the social results and behaviors that are disliked by southern whites are not caused by any imagined idea of ‘race’, skin color, immigration visa status, or Mexican ancestry. The issues that bother southern whites; such as decreasing property values, large family sizes, poorer living conditions and increased crime have one common link, and that link is poverty.
Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or amount of money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Poverty refers to the lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter. When it comes to poverty, studies have shown that; 1. increases in poverty cause increases in crime, as all people, regardless of skin color, turn to crime when they do not have enough to survive, 2. increases in poverty cause increases in birth rates, as there is a lack of contraception, a lack of adequate sexual education, and higher child mortality rates for the poor which cause higher amounts of births in order to have a surviving child, and 3. that poverty and education levels are inextricably linked, as higher education helps and allows individuals to elevate themselves out of poverty, while lack of education and opportunity for schooling keeps individuals in poverty.(See: 8. Understanding Poverty)
When You Have More Than You Need, Build A Longer Table, Not A Higher Fence
The compassionate answer to solving the problems of poverty is not in building higher walls to exclude the poor, but in building longer tables to include, help and to provide for the poor. The answer we are seeking does not exist in judging and criticizing those who are poor and are living lives that reflect their state of poverty, but it exists in helping to reduce poverty altogether. It exists in showing compassion to your fellow man, woman and child, it exists in helping the poor, in providing for those in need, in offering higher education and adequate living expenses when higher education is pursued. When poverty levels decrease, crime also greatly decreases as people then have what they need to survive. Birth rates are also greatly reduced, as studies have proven, and disease and illness vastly decrease as people can afford medical care. It is only in helping to elevate the poor out of poverty by providing adequate higher education, that the issues all Americans face can be truly solved.
In this 2-minute video, hear the real story of a child whom America calls an ‘illegal immigrant’
Who Profits From Racism?
From the profits of slave traders and plantation owners during slavery, to the political power and wealth gained by the Nazis of Germany, to the major tax breaks written by political white supremacists in America today, racism is used time and time again as a tragic and immoral tool to earn large sums of money for the wealthy and powerful.
The racist ideology and propaganda of wealthy southern American slave owners claiming that black skin was a criteria for slavery convinced half of the nation to leave the United States, and to then declare war against the USA in an attempt to protect their profits.
In 1930s and 1940s Germany, Adolf Hitler ran on a racist platform scapegoating ‘Jews’ as the reason for their loss of WW1, manipulated the newspapers and media to demonize the ‘Jewish’ population, and then carried out a “final solution” where 6 million innocent men, women and children were killed. His political wins were largely attributed to his use of racist propaganda during uncertain economic times, and the foundation of severe racism caused his rise to political power.
After securing political power in 2016 on such a ‘racial’ platform, American conservatives proceeded to write tax laws which profited their leader an estimated $1.1 billion dollars in personal profit, and who then accepted another $500 million in ‘loans’ from foreign governments after writing favorable trade laws for them.
For Machiavellians who use ‘race’ to profit large sums of money, leadership is about the decisive exercise of power, not about morality. For a peaceful society and peaceful Earth, it’s crucial that governments outlaw the many forms and expressions of racism, and require schools to educate on an accurate understanding of the idea of ‘race,’ as well as to educate the public on how to identify and stop the immoral from using dangerous expressions of racism to profit and to gain political power.
The Ultimate And Final Expression Of Racism Is Genocide: The Mass Killing And Complete Elimination Of The Other
While different people have different levels of tolerance towards different forms of racism, it’s deeply important to understand the fact that racism in all forms is dangerous, as the final expression of racism, which we learned from Nazi Germany, is genocide; the intentional action to completely destroy, eliminate and kill a national, ethnical, ‘racial’ or religious group.
In 1996 Gregory Stanton, the president of Genocide Watch, presented a briefing paper called “The 8 Stages of Genocide” at the United States Department of State. In his paper he explains that genocide develops in eight stages that are “predictable but not inexorable.”
There are eight stages to genocide, and stages may occur in a non-linear order. Each stage has its own preventative measures that responsible citizens must undertake to ensure a safe society for all people:
In this 5-minute video, see how Hitler used racism and propaganda to rise to power, and to eventually carry out the most terrible genocide of the 20th century.
The strongest deterrent to genocide is justice; where laws make racism, hate speech, propaganda and hate crimes illegal, and where society strictly enforces these laws.