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?

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