Adventures of a Forced Migrant Contact Me
A host of the popular show ‘Top Gear’ described a Mexican car and people as “lazy, feckless, and flatulent” on a recent show. And it is not going over well with a lot of people.
The icing on the cake is that the Top Gear hosts were confident that people would not complain. Especially the Mexican Ambassador to the UK, who they pre-supposed, would be asleep on the job. After all, Mexicans love to eat refried cheesy food and sleep against the fence with their coat hanging on a cactus, according to the hosts.
Don’t take my word for it. Watch it for yourselves while you can since BBC is in a rush to take down all videos of these offensive remarks for “copyright violations.”
I think the better question is why would anyone watch such a filthy and ignorant show?
Mexican Ambassador Medina has urged Hammond, the show presenters and the BBC, to apologize for what he says are “offensive”, “xenophobic” and “humiliating” remarks. I urge you to do the same. Tell BBC and Top Gear hosts that this type of humor is unacceptable.
- “Top Gear Presenters Accused of Racism. World Acts Surprised” and related posts (ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com)
- Mexico angered by Top Gear ‘xenophobia’ (independent.co.uk)
- Mexico wants apology after “Top Gear” tirade (reuters.com)
- Mexican car described as ‘lazy, feckless, flatulent’ by Top Gear team: We’re not like that (dailymail.co.uk)
- We¿re not like that, insists ambassador after Top Gear¿s slur on Mexicans (and their cars) as ¿lazy, feckless and flatulent¿ (dailymail.co.uk)
I am migrating a few of my favorite blog posts over the past year to my personal blog. I apologize if this causes issues with your RSS feeds.
Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher can don the Brazilian soccer jersey and cheer for the South American team without bringing his citizenship under scrutiny. But apparently a 12-year old can’t wear a Mexico soccer jersey to school without enduring punishment.
Last month, when Coral Avilez attended her performing arts class at Big Bear Middle School in California, she wore a Mexico soccer jersey in anticipation of the Mexico-South Africa World Cup game. For that, she was chided by her teacher.
When the teacher asked 12-year-old Avilez whether she supported Mexico, the young girl replied in the affirmative — and was shocked when the teacher questioned the legality of her presence in the United States. Maybe the educator thought she was in Arizona. (Papers, please.)
The American-born Coral Avilez was then told by her teacher that “people like you make me pay higher taxes and make my insurance rate go up.”
All right, listen up, Mexican soccer fans. You may have been knocked out of the second World Cup round, but you can take consolation in knowing that you have the power to raise U.S. taxes and insurance rates — all by virtue of your support for a soccer team!
In all seriousness, the teacher’s bigoted behavior reveals how fraught Mexican-American identity is in the United States, and how it often serves as a proxy for illegal presence. Cheering for a team other than the United States does not make one any less American. But for people of color — especially for Mexican-Americans — apparently a certain burden of proof is required beyond just an American birth certificate to justify presence in this country.
Despite the U.S.’s diverse makeup, for many, the idea of a true American citizen still remains someone who’s non-Hispanic white. Mexican-Americans are treated as second-class, hyphenated citizens — including those with claims to birthright citizenship. Many have to carry their U.S. passports at all times (hello, Arizona), for fear of being perceived as an invading Other and getting subjected to the horror of deportation.
It’s sad that we have re-appropriated parts of Mexican futbol — such as screaming “GOOOOOOOAAAAALLL!” like the Univision commentators — and yet even in the 21st century, we still haven’t been able to embrace a more expansive notion of American identity.
Love makes us do retarded things.
Mayor of San Angelo, Texas–J.W. Lown–has abruptly stepped down from his post earlier this week, declaring that he had moved to Mexico to be with his male lover, who had been living illegally in the United States for quite some time.
Scheduled to take the oath of office last Tuesday for his fourth term as mayor, Lown did not appear at the event. In a telephone call late Wednesday afternoon from Mexico the Mayor explained that because he was in personal relationship with a man who does not have legal residency in the United States, he didn’t see fit to take the oath of office knowing he was “aiding and assisting” someone who was not a legal citizen.
I suppose it’s alright if the President does it :cough: Aunt Zeituni :cough: …
Immigration law in this country has less to do with laws and more to do with whom we know. I have little doubt that Lown could have used his political connections to get temporary reprieve for his lover. People with less power do it all the time.
It’s honest, noble and certainly sweet. And just moronic with immigration reform on the table this year.
Lown, you got your partner a 10-year ban, assuming he was over 18 and accrued illegal presence.
The status of millions of undocumented workers from Mexico and Latin America in the United States poses a serious challenge to the country’s founding myth as an immigrant nation. They form an integral part of the US labour force, but exist on the margins of the nation’s political and social life. With a view to illuminating one aspect of subalternity and citizenship in the US, this essay examines significant shifts in twentieth century immigration law regarding Mexicans and others from south of the border and the shifting conceptions of American national identity on which these laws were based. Since the beginning of large-scale Mexican immigration to the US, they were positioned as cheap, temporary labour – accepted as hard workers, but not desired as permanent citizens. Mexican and other Latino immigrants have resisted their position as a disposable labour force by establishing families and communities and claiming membership in the places where they have settled. I examine the local struggles over immigrant membership in Atlanta, Georgia, a metropolitan area that has experienced a dramatic increase in Latino immigration in the last two decades and that has been at the centre of the political turmoil around illegal immigration.
Thanks to Kyle from Citizen Orange for the article.
Written by Mary Odem from Emory University, this article is one of the few that align the Gramscian word ‘subaltern’ to ‘illegal aliens’ or ‘undocumented immigrants.’ While ‘illegal alien’ is plain derogatory and ‘undocumented immigrant’ fails to capture the reality of many out-of-status immigrants who do possess documents and paperwork, ‘subaltern immigrant’ also fails to really capture the essence of ‘irregular immigrants.’
I do not have a discursive preference.
For those who are unfamiliar with what subaltern denotes, Wikipedia comes to the rescue:
There is much dispute whether the term should simply denote marginalized groups in society or whether it should be reserved for marginalized groups that do not speak the hegemonic discourse.
Gayatri Spivak, a Marxist deconstructionist, would state that establishing families, learning English and wanting to be a part of the mainstream is not subaltern. It is not a counter-hegemonic discourse. And DREAM Act students are certainly not subaltern since we abide by the same hegemonic discourses–border enforcement, nationalism, militarization, legal-illegal binaries–that oppress us.
Who would be a subaltern immigrant if we are to abide by Spivak’s reservations?
The No Borders networks come to mind.
Trouble seems to follow the border fence everywhere–they may be hedged together. After waiving environmental protections, trying to build the wall through a school campus, and causing flooding trouble, we hear from the DHS that the proposed border wall is over-budget and that the official in charge of the multibillion-dollar program, Greg Giddens, has been removed.
Sep. 22–The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has run out of money to build remaining segments of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in the Rio Grande Valley and elsewhere, and the project already is $400 million over budget.
Unexpected construction costs and legal holdups have paralyzed construction just weeks after DHS broke ground in the Valley.
A Sept. 10 Government Accountability Office report said the average cost of fencing has increased more than 40 percent this year.
Seems like it is bailout season all-round. Just say no! Congress is now bailing out DHS as well from going overbudget. How much? Not some thousands, not some millions, no, just about $4 billion. NB: How many children can that kind of money feed?
I cannot fathom how the most powerful country in the world goes over-budget and spends more than it has allocated for projects like building a border wall. Costs of materials increased? Please, when you are asking Congress for funding, don’t you account for inflation and annual cost increases? Or does the DHS have poor economists on staff, (much like poor IJs)?
Maybe they had hoped to get some ‘illegals’ to build the border wall and cut costs in that manner. At any time, the government is the largest employer of undocumented immigrants alas, the increased scrutiny probably dampened those plans.
Regardless, this is what the GAO said:
According to program officials, as of August 2008, fencing costs averaged $7.5 million per mile for pedestrian fencing and $2.8 million per mile for vehicle fencing, up from estimates in February 2008 of $4 million and $2 million per mile, respectively. Furthermore, the life-cycle cost is not yet known, in part because of increasing construction costs and because the program office has yet to determine maintenance costs and locations for fencing projects beyond December 2008. In addition, land acquisition issues present a challenge to completing fence construction.
Wait, you are telling me THESE fences are worth millions of dollars and supposed to ‘keep out’ illegal immigrants? I used to climb higher walls at age 7 !!