Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alabama's HB56 Shows Racism Still Part of State Culture

Last week, a federal court's decision allowed parts of a law to go into effect that essentially requires police to racially profile people while criminalizing undocumented migrants for being without immigration documents. The law and the decision upholding it shows that Alabama -- in passing the harshest anti-immigration law in the nation -- is still mired in its racist, segregationist past. The message Alabama sent to brown people by passing this law -- especially those thought to be migrants -- is a simple one: Get out of Alabama. We don't want your kind here. After years of people putting their lives on the line and going to jail and the help of federal civil rights legislation, Alabama ended legalized oppression of African Americans that barred them from voting, from attending better resourced all-white schools and from many jobs that had been reserved for whites. But a cursory look at the state's history shows how Alabama was dragged kicking and screaming into accepting desegregation. It took enormous courage, self-sacrifice and the power of the federal government to force change. But by passing Alabama's harshest anti-immigration law, the state has shown that while Jim Crow laws may not exist anymore, the spirit of Jim Crow, which is defined by white supremacy, is alive and well. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-rushing/alabamas-immigration-law_b_992801.html

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