Thursday, March 30, 2006

Todos Somos Illegales

It is not clear to me how one could espouse the values of Unitarian Universalism and still consider any person illegal or alien. I want to thank the Latino/a, Chicano/a and Mexicano/a youth in my community that came out to take a stand earlier this week.

Tommorrow is the birthday of Cesar Chavez. His "The Organizer's Tale" is a favorite text of mine on organizing. I have been inspired by Father Victor Salandini (The tortilla priest) who worked with Chavez and the UFW. In my left wing student journalist days I got to meet Cesar Chavez, Fr. Salandini and Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers. My mouth still remembers the day that I ate grapes for the first time after the boycott ended.

I've had the pleasure over the year of teaching immigrant children from Asia, Africa and Latin America. I can still vividly remember the difference between Spanish speaking kids who went to school in California and were illiterate in two languages compared to my kids who went to elementary school in Mexico. For every time I had a upper middle class white parent try to make excuses or cut corners for their kid, I can tell you about the dedication of the parents (with questionable immigration status) who came here to give their kids an education.

3 Comments:

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Joel Monka said...

Having met Cesar Chavez, were you aware that in 1969 he led a march to the border with Walter Mondale and Ralph Abernathy to protest against illegal immigration? Or that the UFW routinely turned illegals in to the INS from the 60s all the way into the mid 80s?

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Paul Wilczynski said...

You say "It is not clear to me how one could espouse the values of Unitarian Universalism and still consider any person illegal or alien.".

I don't understand what you're saying. Regardless of how you feel about immigration issues, there are people who are in this country illegally. And Google (using wordnet.princeton.edu) defines "alien" as "foreigner: a person who comes from a foreign country".

So why aren't some people illegal aliens?

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Radical Hapa said...

Joel - my understanding is that part of the protest against illegals was related to their use in breaking strikers, and in our changing climate, i doubt that his position would have stayed static. I also didn't know that UFW routinely turned illegals in, that is good to know. Still I find the post apropo, illegal human beings..illegal and alien, makes a pretty profound statement.

 

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