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CIR vs. RRR {Republican Right Racism): Which Will Prevail? By Roger Algase

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If immigration supporters ever hope to see comprehensive reform go into effect, they cannot continue to ignore or downplay the elephant in the room which is blocking reform now. That elephant has a name - Republican Right Racism ("RRR"). If this sounds unkind, impolite or politically incorrect, so be it. But that is the reality.

Immigration advocates would like to give House Republicans the benefit of the doubt - to pretend that their insistence on doing reform "piecemeal", their constant postponements of taking up reform on the House floor, their anxiety to avoid any conference with the Senate, are all merely different paths to the ultimate goal of reform. But how much longer can we continue to fool ourselves and pull the wool over our own eyes?

The battle over reform is not about process, tactics or strategy. It is about whether 11 million brown-skinned people will be allowed to stay legally in the United States, and to do so on terms which will put them on a path to eventual citizenship and full equality.

Accomplishing this would require confronting and overcoming a long history of racism and white supremacy going back to America's beginnings, as investigative reporter and author Robert Parry argues in his July 12 article in Ignoring the GOP's White Racism.

Parry describes how America's white slaveholding aristocracy was able to make Jeffersonian "small government" democracy the basis of the Constitution in order to preserve its privileges against a Federal government led by people who looked toward the eventual end of slavery. He also describes how, as we all know, this eventually led to secession from the Federal government followed by the Civil war, and then to the Southern "states rights" movement during the time of racial segregation and oppression lasting up the 1960's civil rights era.

He then describes how the Nixon "Southern strategy" ushered in the modern era of Republican support for white supremacy under the code words "small government conservatism", and how this undercurrent of racism is continuing today in the form of opposition to any kind of federal action which would benefit large numbers of non-whites, such as the Affordable Care Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

(One might even include the GOP's fanatic opposition to abortion in this category, as so many African-American and Latino women are served by the clinics which the Republicans are trying to close down in state after state.)

Parry writes:

"Yes, but the 'receding roar of a white America' [referring to a phrase used by New York Times columnist David Brooks] is, in a sense, what we have been hearing about for most of the nation's history, as whites have engaged in genocide against Native Americans and kept African-Americans first in bondage and then in a de facto second class citizenship. One could add to this ugly picture the discriminatory treatment toward Hispanics along the Southern border and against Asian-Americans, mostly in the West...

Yes, it may be true that today's demographic numbers are making it harder for racist whites to continue to impose their will on the country, but it could also be argued that white supremacy has never been as endangered as it is today. Which would explain why today's white anger is so white-hot...

So one should not assume that the Republican Right will not try to create a Second Jim Crow era by gerrymandering congressional districts, spending vast sums on propaganda, and suppressing minority votes through ID laws and other subterfuges."

Preventing millions of non-white people from remaining and working legally, and from ever becoming US citizens; militarizing the Southern border to stop new immigrants from arriving, forcing millions of Latino, Asian, African and Caribbean immigrants to "self-deport" by denying them legalization and work permits, and. above all keeping "D&D", the detention and deportation machine, running in high gear, are all part of the larger strategy of preserving Republican Right Racism.

RRR is the real reason why CIR may fail. RRR will also turn all its guns (no pun intended) on Plan B if the Obama administration tries to promote racial equality through legalization by executive action.

To be continued.

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Updated 08-18-2013 at 02:27 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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