I*L*L*E*G*A*L Spells Apartheid

And people wonder why they/we protest?

By Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: April 1, 2006

I*L*L*E*G*A*L Spells Apartheid

Wasn't it Howard Dean who predicted last year that 2006 would be the year that conservatives would use the issue of immigration as a subterfuge to distract the nation from focusing on the administration's incompetence and immoral and illegal behavior.

Wasn't he again deemed deranged for making such a suggestion?

Yet, could even he have predicted the current nationwide protests involving millions in the entire state of California, Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta & Washington D.C.?

These protests -- which are actually just beginning -- are not simply in response to draconian immigration bills that would treat migrants as felons and that would put up hundreds of miles of Berlin-style walls. They are actually about rejecting the codification of not simply apartheid laws, but an apartheid form of government.

This is not hyperbole or a misspelling; A*P*A*R*T*H*E*I*D is a legal system that produces two types of human beings. Those with rights and those without. Under this system, as a society, we have grown comfortable with creating a two-tiered society of citizens and non-citizens. Or better yet, with full-fledged citizens and dehumanized, expendable and exploitable illegal aliens.

Even the allies of undocumented workers remand them to occupying a position in society to ?the jobs no one wants.? In other words, they are being consigned either as a permanent illegal criminal alien caste? or to simply occupying a permanent subhuman position in life.

They're already treated as criminal aliens. They already live in shadows. (Even in protest, they're supposed to speak English and hide their flags).

But it's not about race, right? Yet, who would have predicted that in the land touted as the pinnacle of democracy, that a society would remand millions of red-brown human beings to such a status, to such a caste?

And they wonder why the insurrection?

The reason is called apartheid. All under the guise of the Sensenbrenner subterfuge. His proposals are so outrageous (where even good Samaritans become criminals), that apartheid has become the moderate and sensible alternative.

Apartheid goes by another name; B*R*A*C*E*R*O. The workers take the work that employers claim no one else wants. They are prohibited from unionizing. They work under subhuman wages and conditions. They cannot switch jobs. They cannot bring their families with them. And when their labor is used up, they are sent home. (They can clean up and manicure the homes of the middle class; they just can't live in the same neighborhoods, or the same country.)

What if braceros decide to change occupations and attend community college? No, braceros cannot go to colleges and uinversities, though they may be given the right to go to school to forget their language and to reject their culture. Will they be permitted to fall in love and get married?

BRACERO is coolie labor. It is racialized indentured servitude. It is modern-day slave labor. Bracero labor is millions of red-brown workers consigned to a semi-permanent, subhuman status. It is semi-permanent only because when their time is up, they must go back to where they came from. Congress has a different name for them: Guest workers. Not workers, not citizens, not full human beings. Just guests. Unwanted guests.

And people wonder why they/we protest?

And what of those that remain outside of this generous apartheid scheme? Congress has figured that one out too; hunter battalions and internal checkpoints, charged with finding 12 million red-brown peoples. Soon, we will see mass deportation raids. Or perhaps we will not be permitted to see them on television.

How did this all come about? The Minutemen? Lou Dobbs? Congressman Tancredo? Sen. Sensenbrenner? The war on terror? Fear of brown hordes?

All subterfuge. All part of the strategy to create a nation of fear. Designed to bring about a militarized apartheid state.

Rather than actually solving this issue, let's instead just give this apartheid labor scheme another, more palatable name. That'll fix everything.

About Roberto Rodriguez:
Rodriguez writes the Column of the Americas and can be reached at: or 608-238-3161

   print this


Arts & Entertainment Comunidad Forum People El Editor's Blog

Careers Expresate Hollywood Tecnología RSS Feeds