You wouldn’t think that a group that often complains of being racially profiled would support a law that many say does that. But alas, recent polls show that’s exactly what’s happening. A recent Public policy poll a majority of blacks, 58%, support the controversial Arizona immigration law SB 1070. A separate YouGov poll shows 40% of Blacks supporting it.
The contested law, which is being considered by the US Supreme Court, would have permitted the police to request verification of the legal residence or citizenship status of motorists they stop for routine traffic violations. Immigration and Hispanic advocacy groups say the law would encourage police to single out and unfairly inconvenience Hispanic Americans and Latino lawful citizens and residents more than other groups.
Could it be that Blacks just don’t identify with the plight of their fellow minorities?
Similar stats show that some African Americans did not mind increased racial profiling of Arabs post 9-11 … and, similarly, some did not necessarily support the DREAM Act, either.
The argument among some is that if DREAM became law, it would provide a benefit to foreigners of Hispanic origin. And it would essentially enable those perceived “outsiders” to leap frog over Blacks who have been here for centuries. Of course the natural comeback to that proposition is that if Blacks are not willing and able to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them – a free education, the right to work, access to Pell grants, the military, community colleges and other support programs – what’s the deal with trying to stop another group from taking advantage of benefits they take for granted?
It could be that no one wants to be at the bottom, even if the fighting is over scraps and mediocrity.
During a 2011 sit-down with Civil Rights icon Angela Davis, blogger Derek Washington noted that there is somewhat of a disconnect between the Black struggle for equality and that of Latinos, saying that a lot of Black people feel like: “That’s not my fight.”
LA Weekly cited a black elected official running for Long Beach City Council Robert Wideman calling the Latino influx an “invasion.”
“While Americans are suffering from this invasion, Blacks are suffering the most. It’s an atrocity. … Take a 22-year-old going into college, trying to get an education for himself. He’s trying to get a job at McDonalds, at Burger King, and there are more Latinos working there than anyone else. The Latinos are taking over the job market.”
Again, the fight is over minimum wage jobs. Table scraps.
The metaphor of crabs in a barrel going out of their way to pull down other crabs on the rise, working their way up and out of captivity and oppression comes to mind.