Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Dos and Don'ts of Immigration Reform Rallys

If you’re a recent immigrant participating in an immigration reform march:

Do: Carry an American flag. It IS the flag of the country in which you wish to live, am I right?

Don’t: Carry a flag from any other country. I know you want to represent, but Americans have kind of a phobia about other country’s flags. We really don’t like them at all. Because their colors run, or something, I don’t know. Look, I’m not a psychiatrist, but it should be pretty obvious to, oh, everyone on the planet that the fastest way to our hearts is through our flag.

Do: Try to police the other marchers, and appeal to their better instincts to behave themselves.

Don’t: Throw bottles at the LAPD. I know they’re assholes, mostly, but they are the police, and part of what you’re trying to demonstrate is that you are valuable members of our society, not criminal members. Get it?

If you’re a member of the Los Angeles Police Department:

Do: Separate troublemakers from a large crowd and deal with them swiftly, without violence, if you can. Remain in contact with the march organizers and ask their advice on crowd control and communication.

Don’t: Get all medieval on thousands of poor Mexicans in a public park.

Do: Keep in mind that the vast majority of the protestors just want to march peacefully and go home safely. Try to help them in their goal. Firing rubber bullets on a crowd for not following directions that they can’t hear or understand will hardly improve your already troubled reputation.

Don’t: Beat journalists so severely that they must go to the hospital. Remember, journalists tend to be very influential members of the press.

If you’re a member of the press covering the march:

Do: Remember to carry your credentials, and wear them in a prominent place.

Don’t: Forget your helmet.

If you’re the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in a hundred years:

Do: Remember that you represent the entire city.

Don’t: Go out of town right before the march and then release a statement feigning shock the next day.


Anonymous said...

I get a very skeevy vibe from Antonio, what about you?

vikkitikkitavi said...

Yeah, and I started out liking him a lot. He's riding the subways! He's talking to people! Now, not so much. He needs to stop with the PR junkets and get to work.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

All excellent suggestions, but maybe one more:

Hold the rally in Mexico City, San Salvador, or Managua. Let these governments wonder why so many people risk everything to get the fuck outta their country.

Also- Antonio is awesome. Yes, he's shallow and slick, but he's perfect for LA.

Spooney said...

Don’t: Carry a flag from any other country.

also, maybe shy away from wearing the giant exaggerated straw sombrero that says "Viva Mexico"

icutgov - Word Verification

Skylers Dad said...

As Chris Rock said: Don't run from the police. If they have to run and chase you, they are bringin an ass-kickin with them!

Grant Miller said...

Wow. The mayor was out of town. Missed opportunity on his part.

Anon. Blogger said...

Thanks for that big dose of reality to a steaming subject.

If I hear one more Arizonan tell me about the big wall we need at the border I'm going to puke.

However... I don't understand when hispanic people don't try to give the situations a crying chance you pointed out.

I mean, when I was a little kid in Brazil I (my family) didn't dream that I (we) weren't supposed to learn the language. We didn't dream that we shouldn't respect their culture and values. It was a given that we were in Rome and we should do as (or at least respect what) the Romans do.

Influence comes from understanding and respect.

But hey, it's not like the wealthiest and most influencial in this country even get it, right?

Again, I say... oy.

dad said...

It seems that sitting down and defining the purpose for demostrating would be a good first step. If the purpose is to demostrate that you deserve to be a citizen and want to learn to think and act like an American, then your banners, flags, and conduct should reflect that. I'm one that agrees that the system is in need of reform, but I do get pissed off when I see a Mexican flag because it demostrates stupidity.

Johnny Yen said...

Nice balanced view, Vikki.

About ten years ago, I had to do a class project while in teachers school on a "port of entry" relative. I chose my great-grandfather, who was an ethnic German from Slovenia. I was shocked to discover that you could take what people said (and complained about) Germans in the 1800's and pretty much substitute "Mexicans" for "Germans" in the old articles and print them today. Same old stories, new bad guy.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Randy: Well, of course people everywhere should protest the crimes of their governments, but hey, easier said than done, eh?

Spooney: I agree that the giant cartoon sombrero makes me cringe. I understand about co-opting the symbols of the oppressors (see the illustration for "Ask a Mexican" in the OC weekly), but in this case, I think it might be more in their interest to appear more like, well, Republicans.

SkyDad: The LAPD carry a large can of kick ass with them at all times, whether you run or not.

Grant: Yeah, huh. Large immigrant rights rally, and the Latino mayor goes out of town. I can't quite figure out what the message is there....

AB: You know how many kids born in the U.S. to immigrant Latinos even speak Spanish? Um, not so many. And yet people keep insisting that they don't assimilate.

Dad: I saw a picture of some high school kids in CA who raised a Mexican flag on their school flagpole, and then raised the American flag, UPSIDE DOWN, underneath it. It was posted on wingnut websites all over the country, and you can imagine the reaction in those circles. The lesson: symbols are important in political action.

Johnny: Exactly. Although an important distinction is being made that many of these immigrants are here illegally.

I would like to reform our immigration policies, yes, absolutely, but I would also like to enforce immigration laws against companies that hire illegals. Because -
1) Illegal workers are abused, and because they cannot complain, worker abuses are proliferating in the US.
2) "Illegal workers do jobs Americans won't do" is the biggest crock of shit ever. It should be "Americans won't do for the wages you can pay illegals."
3) Enforce the laws and let the US economy take the hit. Then perhaps we will take a more sensible approach to immigration.

Anon. Blogger said...

I don't know the numbers or facts on language assimilation, that's true. But Corporate America finds it is worth changing labels to read in Spanish because it improves sales. I don't take exception to it personally, but life wasn't that simple for immigrants in previous generations or from other cultures and I think that it makes our culture less accepting - right or wrong. My point was that it is like carrying a Mexican flag during an immigration march - it flies in the face of the desire to be included.

But I don't take issue with Hispanic immigration in general at all. Living in AZ has really opened my eyes to the level of abuse toward hispanic labor. It happened on my property once and the contractor (white trash - not Hispanic) was asked to leave... ultimately by the sheriff.

My personal experience has been that the best value in terms of quality, speed of work and price for the manual labor I've hired from around here has not been from American born anyone. Hispanic laborers are willing to do hard work that american citizens won't do unless they are making a ton of money.

michael said...

The rally outcome was perfect for me. It had:

- Violence-prone police in LA, which I know yes is redundant. It's still my dream to go to some LAPD softball event and heckle "Darr-yl" from the bleachers, not far from my getaway bike of course.

- Angry protesters whose sense of entitlement leads to such bad judgment, like parading the Mexican flag in the land of RW&B. Grab a clue, idiotos!

- A slick, shallow mayor who knows how to get out of town when it's too hot.I would love to say "slick, shallow LA mayor" is also a redundancy, but then I'd risk dissing Tom Bradley, who was not. Speaking of which, the relatively modest Bradley was also originally from Texas. Talk about an anomaly!

kiki said...

haha, this post was gold!

Johnny Yen said...

Actually, most of the Germans were too, but it was overlooked because they were helping fuel the economy. Sound familiar?