Pogroms against specified minorities, often used as scapegoats for society’s ills, are a fact of western civilisation. The ghetto is an effective tool of the ruling class, against the disenfranchised, the minority race, ethnicity, culture, or religion. It is very functional to mass a targeted population in one central location. Tracing the term, allegedly, to Vienna, the ghetto concept was institutionalized as an effective government tool by Prince Klement von Metternich, an eighteenth century Austrian diplomat and governmental puppeteer. It was in Metternich’s day, that the concept of the Jewish Ghetto flowered. Unique, concentrated, ethnic communities existed in Europe, and unwanted minorities were shunned in specific locales, long before Metternich, but under his rule, walled neighborhoods rapidly evolved, and became institutionalized. Targeting, isolating, and containing an entire ethnic population to make pogroms more efficient and effective was one of the Prince’s most renowned achievements. Metternich’s eighteenth century social experiment resulted in the birth of the fabulously wealthy House of Rothschild, as well as enabling Adolf Hitler’s final solution.
Fear of the ‘others’, outsiders, is especially effective as a tool against the immigrant. Immigrants speak a different language, have different customs, and often have different skin pigmentation. Immigrants are very convenient scapegoats. In a dysfunctional society, marred by economic suffering, the immigrant is an easy target. We have seen this behaviour repeated time and time again against different religious sects and ethnicities in America. Puritans discriminated against other Protestants, especially Baptists and Quakers, and Catholics. The ethnic majority English population discriminated against the incoming Germans, and later, against the Irish and Italians. Current discrimination against the Latino population is merely a repetition of an age old tradition.
Arizona’s legendary SB1070, and its offshoots in Alabama and Georgia, put a new spin on the phenomenon. Latino immigrants, because of ethnic affinities, and due to societal pressure, not unlike the governmental pressure of Metternich’s day, live in insular, ethnically characteristic neighborhoods. Signage is often solely in Spanish. Buildings, commercial, as well as residential, are frequently decorated in bright hues. Vehicles, a significant investment, especially to the poor and disenfranchised, may be parked in front yards, to increase their security. Crossing the street in any American city, especially in the Southwest, is regularly a journey from an Anglo dominated world, to Mexico, Central, or South America. Language and culture are immediately skewed, an experience profoundly awakening and dissident to the culturally ethnocentric or racist. This is a journey into the land of the ‘others’.
Identical to the actions of the Waffen SS in the Warsaw ghetto, Anglo dominated law enforcement continues to carry out ‘sweeps’ of predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Homes are invaded by deputies, to show a dominant presence, under pretense of searching for drugs or contraband. Motorists are stopped because of their skin pigmentation or hair color, using the bogus excuse of traffic violations. Pedestrians are targeted because they are walking in the ‘wrong’ neighborhoods.
As in the Warsaw Ghetto, entire families disappear in the middle of the night. Rather than being rounded up and taken to camps, the targeted population often independently vanishes to far away new locations, to more tolerant states or to their country of origin, in fear of persecution. Often, but not always, do they flee, because the same disappearance happens in the case of the notorious ‘sweeps’, wherein persons unable to adequately prove US citizenship or documentation of legal residency, vanish into ‘the system’.
The motivation for racial profiling and sweeps is abundantly clear. In their never ending quest for absolute wealth and power, Charles and David Koch funded the creation of ALEC, in 1973. Among the many ‘member corporations’ of ALEC, is the Corrections Corporation of America. CCA is an interstate, private prison corporation, which seeks to supplant public prisons. ALEC scholars write ‘model legislation’ for state government. Arizona SB 1070, the notorious immigration law, and inspiration for similar legislation in Alabama and Georgia, is a typical example of such legislation. Written by Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, with the assistance of ALEC, SB 1070 created an entire population as fodder for the profit seeking private prison system. Latinos, because of their unique language and culture, became more than merely ‘different’. They became, as a population, ‘illegal’, and were targeted for arrest, whether undocumented or not. Statistics support the thesis that American citizens, whose families have lived in the Southwest, since before the American Revolution, have been among SB 1070’s victims. Racial profiling, due to SB 1070, was legalized.
A new twist exists in the old ghetto mentality: profit. Take a population and make it illegal. House these ‘criminals’ in private prisons after they have been incarcerated in county facilities, and before being handed over to ICE, for deportation, and CCA turns a nice little profit. This action is supported by a population’s racist fears of ‘the others’ in economically challenging times. Rank and file union members, not necessarily racist as a norm, cry out in support of SB 1070, as a way to protect their assumed, threatened livelihoods. Union leaders, not necessarily racist themselves, follow the desires of their rank and file, and influence political parties for support, which is granted. Management of the political party is sympathetic, because their orders come with donations from an investor class which profits from CCA’s earnings. Society’s disease comes full circle. The etiology is Koch brothers inspired spin. It is classic Goebbels propaganda. As in the whispers of the radio announcers, steadily growing to a crescendo, in the movie ‘Cabaret’, the insidious rumors of economic disenfranchisement by ‘illegal aliens’ becomes the mantra of the dominant population. Koch investment in a profitable private prison system is secure. Adolf Hitler said that if one tells a big enough lie, and repeats it often enough, it becomes the truth. As Nazis harvested personal effects, gold fillings, hair, and even human skin to profit from their targeted populations, Charles and David Koch profit from an entire population, outright. It is the same behaviour, only less brutal.
- The Most Racist Organization – Behind SB1070 (VIDEO) (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- Is There Any Doubt? SB 1070 is about Racial Profiling (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Supreme Court Hears Arguments on SB1070- Decision Expected Late June (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- California Sb 1070 (socyberty.com)
- Arizona Latinos Take to the Street Protesting Deportations and Racism (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- SB 1070 Opponents Hold Vigil (myfoxphoenix.com)
- Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Arizona’s SB1070 Two-Year Anniversary (local49.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: SB 1070 Supporters Break Out The Hate In Front Of The Supreme Court: ‘Go Back To Your Third-World Armpit’ (thinkprogress.org)