[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: No Immigrant Backlash Here (UPDATED)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

No Immigrant Backlash Here (UPDATED)

(UPDATE 9:45 PM: I have provided some links containing photos of some of the protests I refer to below. My bad for not putting these up originally).

Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm wrote an interesting and thought-provoking column on why South Florida immigrants didn't protest in large numbers this past weekend, as opposed to the throngs of people in other immigrant-heavy cities.

Grimm suggests the reason may be because many immigrants here are content with their special status, particularly Cubans and Central Americans. He has a point, although I wouldn't say all Cubans are content with the wet foot/dry foot policy. Haitians certainly aren't happy with their status, but you still didn't see them protest en masse.

It's certainly not because there are a lack of illegals here.

I suspect the main reason is something Grimm didn't address: lack of resentment for the United States of America.

Many (not most, but quite a few) of the protesters in the other cities had anti-American signs, chanted anti-American slogans and in an isolated case even burned an American flag. You will be hard-pressed to find an hardcore anti-American immigrant in South Florida. They don't have the "history" factor that many Mexicans in California and Texas have, for example. They just want to come here for a better life and hold no grudges. They work hard and are grateful for what they have. Sure, they complain occasionally, but I have never seen blatant anti-Americanism.

Everyone remembers the reaction to the Elian fiasco. Cubans didn't protest against Americans and America, only against those in charge. It is totally different to the reasons behind some of the protests I saw in other cities.

I'm not saying that all the protesters are anti-American. Those who love this country and have a legitimate beef have my respect. But the anti-American factor is definitely present.

26 Comments:

Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

My friend you hit the proverbial nail flush on the head!

8:38 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

So I just sat through 143 photos of the protests out in California and Dallas (Yahoo) and didn't see one anti-American photo. Plenty of Mexican flags, some upside down American flags, plenty of Mexican nationalism....but not one anti-American banner or sign. Oh, there was one that had Bush as Hitler and there were some Spanish signs that I couldn't read, but I would be curious to where you've heard or seen "quite a few" expressions of Anti-Americanism during these protests.

I was thinking that the Cuban-American community's blind allegiance to the Republican Party might be stifling their outrage but that doesn't explain the Haitian-American complacency in this matter. I really should give up trying to figure out the thought processes of Miami's residents because there is no logic to it at all.

9:17 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Johnny Cuban said...

I think that the many Cubans in the local and state government who are blatantly corrupt are anti-American.

Cuba became a communist nation because the people were tired of the never-ending corruption of the Batista Regime.

Unfortunately all of the rich and powerful Cuban families that corrupted and destroyed Cuba came to Miami and their childred are corrupting and destroying Miami and South Florida.

9:41 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Rick,

Don't forget some of the Che t-shirts in the crowds.

Check out the links I just provided, I think they back up what I said. By quite a few, I meant a significant number. I did not say MOST, I made that very clear in my post. I also made it clear that I respect the valid concerns of those who are here illegally but who have contributed positively to this country. This is not an easy issue for me to take sides on.

You really should check out Spanish TV here in Miami, especially the show A Mano Limpia. On that show tonight they had the leadership of the Cuban-American National Foundation being very critical of GW Bush's lack of progress vis a vis Cuba. CANF, the historical leader of the Cuban-American community (although that title is shaky at best these days). CANF, a stalwart "evil Republican" entity for the most part, criticizing Bush in public.

If somehow it was possible for you could get subtitles or closed captioning for local Channel 41, do so.

10:09 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

Rick, pray tell, where are you from?

12:28 AM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Robert:

Leave it to Malkin to dig up the photos necessary to focus the worse light on a minority population.

I don't see the same anti-Americanism that you see. I see a fierce pride in their Mexican heritage and what they've contributed to this country and it's economy. Che is being used as a call to protest what they see as a direct attack upon the Mexican population. I'm not saying that it's the best or most effective form of protest, but to characterize it as anti-American is inaccurate, in my opinion, and ignores all the American flags that people were carrying at the same time. Are their flag-burning photos there that I missed?

universalspectator: I live in Broward County, if that's what you're asking. I'll be interested to see where you're going with this.

7:19 AM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

corrected to read: Are there flag burning photos there that I missed? Jeez.

7:21 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Val Prieto said...

Johnny Cuban,

You are an idiot. Id explain why, but it's so damned obvious that Id be wasting my time.

8:22 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Rick, I didn't see pictures of flag burning, just read a news account of that. It was an isolated case.

For the record, I disagree strongly with Michelle Malkin on immigration issues. On that issue, she comes from the dark side of the right. I used her post for examples of the signs that illustrate my point, not as a indication that all immigrants are anti-American.

Some of the comments in the pictures I think are definitely anti-American. Whether you agree with their statements or not, I think you have to acknowledge that there is an anti-American undercurrent running pretty strongly in those people.

"We are indigenous, the ONLY owners of this continent"

"Stolen Continent"

"If you think I'm illegal because I'm Mexican, learn the true history because I'm in MY HOMELAND".

"This is stolen land"

"Don't cross the border, the borders crossed us".

8:45 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

The whole argument about California, Texas, etc. being part of the Mexican homeland is ridiculous. It's just another manifestation of the left's anti-white, anti-American stance.

I guess we're supposed to believe that before white men arrived that all of the native Americans lived happily as one big happy family singing kumbaya. That they didn't conquer and subjugate each other and fight battles over land, the winner of which got to keep the land. Yeah that's purely a European construct! SARCASM.

Give me a break.

And what makes it their land anyway? Because they beat us to it? There is no such thing as a native american. They crossed the Bering straits from asia and migrated southward. Perhaps we should all leave and cede the land back to the animals that inhabited the continent!

7:42 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Ummmm....don't look now but that "lack of resentment" argument may have just went the way of WMD's in Iraq.

(CBS4 News) MIAMI There are few more passionate issues in the US today than immigration, and that passion ignited South Florida streets Wednesday. Protesters gathered in South Florida to express anger and frustration at a new US immigration law under debate in the US Senate.

Protesters gathered at Tamiami Park, carrying the flags of a number of Hispanic countries, prepared to drive down Flagler street to Biscayne Boulevard, and from there to NW 79th street, where the South Florida headquarters of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is located.

The protesters tell CBS4 they are prepared to break the law, by engaging in what they called ‘acts of civil disobedience’, to express their anger at the proposed changes to US immigration law.

9:32 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

The South Florida "protests" I just saw on the CBS-4 news clip were specks of dust compared to the massive throngs in LA.

Sorry Rick, the news clip didn't show even a fraction of the resentment I saw in the pictures from LA. No anti-Americans signs, slogans, etc. People have an honest gripe and that's OK.

The report said 100 people participated in the protest. For an area with as many illegals as South Florida, those are incredibly small numbers.

We'll see if the protests here get larger and more hostile, but I doubt it.

9:45 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

I'm betting that Michelle will find some pictures. You gotta give her a chance.

You're right, they were small. But they were there.

9:59 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A stunning article on the secret reason the government does not want to seal the border - a VERY novel idea.

http://futurist.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/02/what_is_the_rea.html

1:24 PM, March 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the URL above, a link. (to a great article on why the government wants the border to be open)

1:25 PM, March 31, 2006  
Anonymous Fatmouse said...

Heh, I like how in his 9:32 post following Robert's rebuttal, Rick COMPLETELY ran away from his "durrr, what anti-americanism?" argument and switched to the standard, "ooh, look at THIS instead!" tactic.

Seriously, dude, at least admit that you were wrong.

1:41 PM, March 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article on which countries in the world hate America, and which are pro-American. Quite a few surprises here.

2:19 PM, March 31, 2006  
Blogger clazy said...

Rick, don't you hate it, being misled by AP and Reuters like that? I mean, you'd think after flipping through god knows how many photos you'd get a sense of the overall tenor of the march, but it takes the people who were there to let you in on the truth.

7:37 PM, March 31, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Fatmouse/Clay: I stand by my opinion that the pictures I've viewed, including the ones linked to by Clay, do not show an anti-Americanism but an intense nationalism and and dislike for the politicians that make anti-immigration policy. It doesn't surprise me that these people are considered as unAmerican by conservatives. It's the same approach that many conservatives take with those who don't walk in lock step with the Bush Administration.

And I still haven't seen one photo of an American flag being burned.

.

11:49 AM, April 02, 2006  
Blogger Miami Loco said...

Why must you criticize the Mexicans who are demonstrating as being "anti-American"?

The truth is, most Americans, at least the ones in power now, are anti-Mexican. In fact, they are anti-Hispanic because they don't give a shit whether you're a political refugee from Cuba or a migrant worker from Mexico.

The reason we haven't had the numbers of people marching in the streets down here is that most of the immigrants here are legal. And the ones who are here illegally are not getting harrassed or raided by "la migra" as they are in the Southwest. They don't feel the hate that the Mexicans do in the Southwest.

Contrary to other cities, Miami is run by immigrants who are not as xenophobic as civic leaders in other cities; who are claiming they are being drowned in an "immigration crisis" -- all while living in homes built by Mexicans, eating produce picked by Mexicans and dining on food cooked by Mexicans.

I don't know how old you are, but we used to have those same xenophobes in Miami in the 1960s and 1970s. It was that attitude that enabled the Cubans to unite politically and eventually run the city.

So I ask, why do you criticize the Mexican protesters as being anti-American instead of defending them as fellow Latinos?

The Cubans are fortunate to have the wet-foot/dry-foot policy, but that shouldn't give them the right to belittle the Mexican immigrants who only have the same dreams and aspirations as the Cubans.

I think it's sad that a second generation Cuban-American has taken the same attitude as those racist xenophobes. And trust me, if you ever leave Miami for another American city, chances are, you'll be viewed as just another "spic".

12:17 PM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Miami Loco,

My criticism is leveled at the Mexicans (or wherever else they may have been from) who carried the anti-American signs, not at the protesters in general. I made that clear in my post, perhaps you should go back and reread it more carefully.

If you don't think that those particular people who had those signs are anti-American, then well my friend I don't think there's much else I can say. You won't meet too many people more tolerant than me, but even I can't tolerate those who are ungrateful to this country. As a second-generation Cuban-American, that kind of attitude really burns me up. Those people should be thankful that they have the opportunity as non-citizens to complain publically about their status. My Cuban ancestors would have given anything to be able to do that in THEIR OWN homeland.

By the way, just because Mexicans may be Hispanics (note I didn't use your LATINO term) doesn't mean I have to be in lock-step with them. The only thing the different Hispanic groups have in common is language and a very general shared Spanish ancestry.

You say we should be "fortunate" to have the wet foot/dry foot policy? How fortunate were those 15 who landed on the wrong bridge back in January?

I have lived outside of Miami, and have never been called a spic.

And finally, your accusing me of having the same attitude as a "racist xenophobe" really shows a lot of nerve on your part. If you don't agree with me, you may say so, but name calling and accusations towards a total stranger is naive at best, and incredibly insensitive and stupid at worst.

11:00 PM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Miami Loco said...

This is how you described the differences between the immigrants who arrive in South Florida to the immigrants who arrive in the Southwest, which we all know, are mostly Mexican.

"They just want to come here for a better life and hold no grudges. They work hard and are grateful for what they have. Sure, they complain occasionally, but I have never seen blatant anti-Americanism."

I spent eight years in the SW and every Mexican immigrant I met came to this country to work hard towards a better life, to give their children a better future. Not any different than your parents or my parents.

I still haven't seen any "blatant anti-Americanism" in the photos you provided. Maybe a couple of signs posting historical facts that they've been living on this land for centuries. But no "blatant anti-Americanism" like I saw in Miami in the days after Elian got seized.

The Cubans didn't just demonstrate as the Mexicans are doing right now. No, they burned American flags and set dumpsters on fire. Then they set out to shut down the city by blocking the Port of Miami and driving extremely slow on the expressways.

And you're right. I shouldn't expect you to be in lockstep with the Mexicans. We all know that the only group the Cubans march in lockstep with are the republicans. Yes, any day now, Bush will topple Castro.

But even if you feel no cultural connection to the Mexicans, but that still doesn't give you a right to belittle them. Especially when it's obvious you have no idea what you're talking about.

And if you think that it's a stretch for me to say that the Cubans are "fortunate" to have the wet-foot, dry-foot" policy because of those 15 Cubans who got sent back, then what do you say to all the Haitians who have been getting sent back for decades?

It's clearly an unfair, racist law. And the least you can do is acknowledge that Cubans are lucky to be on the right side of the policy. But no, you obviously have that sense of entitlement that so many Cubans have.

Then you said:

"Those people should be thankful that they have the opportunity as non-citizens to complain publicly about their status. My Cuban ancestors would have given anything to be able to do that in THEIR OWN homeland."

What the hell does that have to do with anything? Why is it some Cubans feel they have to clamp down on free speech just because Castro clamps down on free speech?

It's no wonder you can't get a democracy down there. It's either fascism or communism.

2:09 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Loco,

Funny how you criticize me for what you perceive as a anti-Mexican bias, when your latest comments are full of anti-Cuban remarks.

It is true that most of the anti-Americans comments on display came from Mexicans, like it or not. The vast majority of Mexicans there behaved themselves appropriately and I have absolutely no problem with them protesting. But the fact remains that there was a portion of the crowd in L.A. that was motivated by anti- American feelings. That is something we have not seen even a hint of here in South Florida.

I'm not going to explain my post over and over and over again. I've already given you way too much attention, especially after you called me a racist xenophobe. If you don't understand qualifying terms such as most or many or quite a few, then there's not much I can do except encourage you to read more carefully.

If you still don't get it, then so be it and let's move on.

11:03 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Miami Loco said...

It was intentional. I don't like generalizing or stereotyping and you don't like being on the receiving end of it either. I was hoping you would see that nobody is immune to ignorant, baseless statements.

As a Colombian-American, I've dealt with negative stereotypes my whole life, especially when I lived outside of Miami.

Which is why I initialy responded to your blog. I still haven't seen an example of this "anti-American" sentiment you're talking about. I've seen signs that compare Sensenbrenner to a Nazi but as a angry liberal, I would agree with those signs.

What you see as "anti-American bias", I see as anger at being discriminated against. Let's face it, if the jobs weren't here, the Mexicans wouldn't be coming. But then you have a guy who wants to pass a law that would turn every illegal immigrant -- and anyone who associates with them -- into felons overnight.

I'm not Mexican and my family is here legally, but that pisses me off. All it does is create more division within this country, which is exactly what the republicans want.

Don't you find it curious that the immigration issue was raised only after Bush's approval ratings sunk below 40 percent? Before that, there was no need to raise the issue because we were already divided over the war and the president.

So maybe you don't feel any cultural connections because they're Hispanic (or Latino - I use the terms interchangably, but you seem to have a preference for Hispanic), I was hoping you would find a small bit of empathy because they are immigrants.

12:51 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Oh, so your anti-Cuban remarks were in response to my perceived anti-Mexican comments. I get it now. You wanted me to feel bad. Too bad it didn't work.

You still don't understand, do you?

OK, here it is, for the one millionth time: My displeasure was directed at THOSE WHO CARRIED ANTI-AMERICAN SIGNS, not at MEXICANS IN GENERAL.

Do yourself a favor and read my latest post. Then perhaps you may finally understand where I'm coming from.

I really appreciate that you admit to being an angry liberal. Now I understand why those signs make sense to you and why you would see them as anger instead of anti-Americanism. Extreme bias can blind someone, as is obviously evident in your case. I don't agree with everything the Bush administration has done, but I'll be damned if I resort to making ridiculous and baseless comments such as many on the left make on a daily basis.

Loco...consider this comment thread offically closed. Frankly, I'm running out of patience trying to explain myself to you and trying to fend off your accusations without being mean spirited myself.

If you want to continue this conversation, send me an e-mail. I will delete future comments posted on here. You can only go round and round so many times.

The average person would have cut you off a long time ago. Fortunately I have patience.

2:31 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Miami Loco said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:03 PM, April 14, 2006  

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