Are we Americans in the midst of a Second Civil War, or did the first war never conclude?
It seems I have lived my entire life in the midst of the battles of the War Between the States. In 1950, on the playground of my grammar school in Baltimore we had to choose sides. “Are you a Reb, or a (spit, groan) Yankee?” I now live in Northern Virginia where one cannot drive ten miles without passing through a once bloody battlefield. “Are you a Reb or a Yankee” has become “Are you a right-wing conservative Nazi, or a loving, compassionate (spit, groan) Commie Lib?”
Last Friday the state of Arizona passed a law requiring local police to report undocumented workers (illegal aliens) to the Federal government. Although much of the Arizona law was crafted word for word from Federal law governing immigration, it is being condemned by other states as unconstitutional and racist. The people of Arizona support the law saying it is needed to curb crime in the border state, which is a key corridor for the smuggling of illegal drugs and humans from Mexico.
Minnesota is one state in opposition to Arizona’s act and is contemplating shunning the desert state. The mayor of the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota has already banned publicly funded travel to Arizona. The state law set a “dangerous example to the rest of the country by creating a culture that made racial profiling acceptable,” he said. A number of cities in the bankrupt state of California are threatening boycotts against Arizona for vowing to enforce the law. California’s San Francisco has practically cut off diplomatic relations with Arizona, as Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on all official city travel to anywhere in Arizona. Los Angeles is planning a boycott.
While other states are planning severe punishment for Arizona, Georgia and Texas and other State Legislatures across America are planning to propose similar state immigration enforcement laws. A Texas lawmaker plans to introduce a tough immigration measure similar to the new law in Arizona. Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball said she will push for the law in the January legislative session, according to Wednesday’s editions of the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle. “The first priority for any elected official is to make sure that the safety and security of Texans is well-established. If our federal government did their job, then Arizona wouldn’t have to take this action, and neither would Texas” said Rep. Riddle. Republican Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James has vowed that if elected, he will require English to be the only language of Alabama’s driver’s license exam. “This is Alabama; we speak English. If you want to live here, learn it” he says.
Then there are the looming shadows of the secretive militias all across the land who do believe that federal border laws should be enforced: The Militias.
According to the famous poem on the Statue of Liberty, America once opened her doors.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Now the cry is “MAY DAY, MAY DAY.” as Latinos plan massive May Day rallies in more than Seventy American cities. “The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been,” said Los Angeles rally organizer Juan Jose Gutierrez. Meanwhile, the federal government of the United States, formerly known as “The Union” is coming down against Arizona and other states following Arizona’s hubris in lawmaking. Is Arizona the second South Carolina? Time will tell.