Revolution #80, March 4, 2007
To Hell With Divide-and-Conquer BS
One of the cruelest things about the whole anti-immigrant offensive has been the ways in which the system and its mouthpieces have worked to turn other sections of the working class and oppressed people against the immigrants. The ruling class is all too happy to see its words and thinking coming out of the mouths of the oppressed.
“They’re taking our jobs.” Our jobs? We don’t own any jobs. In fact, we don’t own anything more than our ability to work and the chance to sell that to some capitalist. Operations shut down and leave overnight, going south or going overseas, and you don’t have a damn thing to say about it--at least anything that makes any difference. You can either try to fight with other people in the same position, or you can fight the system that sets things up that way--but in either case, there’s no such thing as “our jobs.”
“They’re not following the laws.” Sure they’re not--because the “laws” are set up to keep them in an oppressed and super-exploited position! Should people have obeyed Jim Crow laws? NO! Today many people say they agree with that--but “back in the day,” Black people who defied Jim Crow were told by the white power structure and media -- and the Uncle Toms too -- that they were “going about it in the wrong way.” They were told to play by the rules, when the rules were rigged to exploit and oppress them. They refused to, and that was righteous. The oppressed always have to defy the law to win their freedom. When have they ever not had to do so?
“This is not the new civil rights movement.” Since when did civil rights and liberation become copyrighted brand names? Since when did the blood that people gave in struggle become something that someone owns? Since when did the inspiration and lessons that people draw from different struggles all over the world become the private property of one group or another? This is shameful and deserves no further comment.
“The ‘illegals’ get special treatment.” Yeah, real special. They are driven off their farms by U.S. capitalist agribusiness; they go through terrible suffering--and often die--in the desert trying to get here; they are forced into terrible jobs; they are robbed of their wages by bosses; they are abused and preyed upon because of their illegal status; and then they are put into prison-like detention centers when they are caught. Do you really want this kind of “special treatment?”
“They won’t learn English.” Even if this were true, so what? This society has white supremacy bred into its marrow. Because of that oppressed people have to fight to maintain their own cultures, customs, languages and so on. This was a big point of the Black liberation struggle in the '60s, as well as the struggles of Native American, Chicano and other oppressed peoples, and it is still valid. How is English Only any different than White Only??
These kinds of opinions--and we won’t even try to list all of them--really boil down to one slave blaming another for the conditions of their slavery...instead of fighting together to resist and overturn the system of slavery itself.
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