Immigration and Hate Crimes

I have been thinking and writing a lot about immigration lately and have been surprised at just what kind of bedfellows the issue of immigration makes. That’s what I was thinking of as I got out of the Grand-Newton subway station at about one in the morning last night and put my ear plugs in and got ready to put the radio on 91.5 FM to hear the BBC News; but before I could do that I was interrupted by a loud commotion.

Someone with a heavy Spanish accent was yelling ” why you no pay me mister? I work hard everyday, I work hard, why you no pay me.”

A white American with a heavy New York accent responded ” shut up you fuckin piece of shit, your a piece of shit, your garbage….”.

Then the Spanish guy punched the white guy ( who was locking up a storefront on Broadway at the time) and the white guy kept on yelling ” why did you hit me you piece of shit” and then they started wrestling and the Spanish guy was thrown to the ground and the white guy kicked him in his face and walked away, a big mistake. Street rules dictate that when you got someone down you keep them down at all costs because you may not like what happens when he gets up, so this guy should have kept kicking until the guy couldn’t get back up.

While he was walking away a random Spanish guy ran at him and threw a punch ( that missed); but this gave the other guy the chance to get up and run at him and a fist fight broke out between the two and a big crowd gathered and that’s when a big garbage truck pulled-up and blocked my view of what was happening and while that truck sat there about three cop cars drove by and didn’t stop. What I could see is that a large crowd of Spanish men had gathered and the view from the street was totally obstructed; not good news.

Maybe the white guy didn’t pay his worker, in which case maybe he deserved what he got, or maybe the Spanish guy was a thief, who knows? One thing we do know is that immigration is an issue that is pissing a lot of people off and that the paying of the books that is common today, especially in NYC, can lead to these types of things.

ER Shipp on Hate Crimes
In her column in the Daily News Shipp wrote about her problems with hate crimes legislation and that a crime is a crime regardless of the motivation. Others have said that hate crime laws criminalize thought. I can understand where they are coming from, but I think civil rights advocate Michael Meyers, has a better idea in my opinion when he says that hate crimes should be specifically tailored to crimes that are meant to intimidate and have an overtly racist or xenophobic motivation and are tied to some kind of political or racial agenda.

Let the McAllister Family Stay
There has been an anti-Irish sentiment amongst many at the New York Post for a long time and I can remember their vocal opposition to the peace process more than a decade ago. Recently they ran an editorial calling for the deportation of Malachy McAllister a single father raising two kids who fled Belfast after gunmen tried to kill his family. The Post said there should be no excuses for terrorists; but does taking part in self-defense measures against an occupying force qualify as terrorism? By all counts he has been a law-abiding man here, why not let him stay and think about the future of the kids?

Random Thoughts While Waking the Streets of Queens

I have been so busy with my move into my apartment that I have not had time to write. It has not been because there is nothing I wanted to write about, in fact I made a list of all of the things I wanted to write about and then promptly lost it.

I was walking down the street in the Jamaica Queens neighborhood the other day when I heard the usual assortment of things being sold by the street vendors ” batteries, watches, DVD’s, short sets….” and I didn’t pay any attention to it until I heard ” Yo, I got that health insurance”.

What? Is the health-care situation so bad for low-income Americans that you have to comp insurance on a street corner in Jamaica, Queens? I wonder what our European and Canadian friends think of that? Could you imagine that even in the Brixton or the most dilapidated parts of Birmingham?

That incident occurred on the way to the main Queens Library where I was denied a library card because I could not produce a telephone or utility bill with my name on it. I tired to explain to them that I only use my cell phone and that I have no utility bills as they are all included in my rent; but the rules are the rules and I walked away with no card. Of course I already have a Brooklyn Library card and a New York Library Card but I wanted my damn Queens card.

On my way to the library, which I could not find, I first asked three Spanish-speaking men where the library was and he asked me “what is the library” and after talking to him for a brief time I was able to find out that this guy didn’t know what a library was and my jaw just sank. Now I can understand not going to the library, or having no interest in reading, but not hearing of a library? Then again I have been in many homes where there are no books in the home and when you wake-up the TV goes on and it only goes off when you go to sleep and that is the case in many ghetto homes of all races.

Coming back from the library I ended up walking behind a guy with a black thobe and a red gutrah like the Saudis where. It was a hot day so I walked up to him and said “must be hot in that black, are you Shia” ( because they wear black a lot) and he replied ” no I am Salafi, Salafi, do you know what that is?” I told him yes and asked where he was from, he spoke the English of someone raised in New York but he looked to be a Latino ( if there is a Latino look). He told me he was Saudi, and I knew he was full of shit, so I asked him a few questions about the KSA that he dodged other than to say he was from Riyadh. Now, unless there is a Riyadh in Puerto Rico his ass was lying.

This comes a day after an Italian guy at my job all of the sudden switched to being a Cuban because he found out this Puerto Rican girl he likes doesn’t like Italians and I ask what is the world coming to?

Everything here in this country is complicated by race and many people feel, including myself at times, there is no need being nice to people because everyone hates each other anyway. Most blacks will always hate whites and be suspicious of Whites no matter what they say or do and the same in the other direction.

Just some thoughts.

Assessment of the Immigrant Rights Rally Yesterday

Immigrants rallied yesterday in front of City Hall in Manhattan yesterday and organizers say that as many as 200,000 people attended the rally. I was very happy at some of the things that I saw yesterday and was less than happy with others.

What I was happy about:

– It seemed that Spanish radio played a huge role in this rally as it is in so many other cities and Reggeaton DJ Mega got some of the loudest cheers and was the talk of much of the crowd and I am glad to see music playing such a role. Maybe in the next rally we will see Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Queen Ivy and Tego Calderon ( who are all popular reggeaton stars for those who do not know).

– I saw so many groups that have been so politically dead in New York for so long and who most political observers believed to just be workers with no political ambitions and who will not stand up for their rights; Dominicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans and other Latino groups.

– Non Latino groups also showed up in force yesterday and I saw Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Guyanese, West Indian, Irish and other groups which was a good thing and I was happy to see that.

-Fun! This rally was fun with a lot of chanting, music and dancing in the crowd and people were having fun and hanging out and guys and girls were flirting with one another and everyone was taking it easy which is the exact opposite of what you normally see in white leftists rallies were everyone is so robotic and uniform and you see organized carefully planned playfulness.

– Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Congressman Jose Serrano and many other elected officials, activists and power brokers showed up to speak and all got a warm reaction from the crowd ( for the most part). When you get these kinds of people to address your rally then you are being noticed.

– Unions. There was a large presence of labor unions and in particular I saw the Laborers Union, the Telecommunications Workers Union, the Service Employees International Union ( whose President Dennis Rivera addressed the crowd) and others.

What I Was Not Happy About

– There were groups of Leftist groups, mostly white but I did notice a lot of Latinos in the group, who were trying to use the event to call for all kinds of things unrelated to the issue at hand and I see these same people at all kinds of rallies. When Sen. Clinton was speaking many started a chant against her which ran against the spirit of the rally.

-The lack of Muslims. There was a Bengali delegation at the rally, but it was relatively small and the people didn’t look particularly religious. At the entire event, and I was walking up and down the street examining the crowd, I only saw one family that looked like a religious Muslim family, and on that note, I also saw one Orthodox Jew in the crowd.

– The lack of Americans and certain immigrant groups. There was a sprinkling of white Americans in the crowd, and at least a handful of African-Americans I saw; but on the whole there were not that many American citizens who are non-relatives who were their to show support. I also did not see that many people from some very large immigrant groups in New York; Russians, Polish ( though I did see one), and Arabs. What are the reasons for this? Ill let you figure this out.