Project 21 New Visions

Ted Hayes

Obama Immigration Policy Questions His Commitment to Making Black Lives Matter


by Ted Hayes (bio)

 

In a nation of immigrants, do black lives matter?

Apparently not, because black lives are effectively being ethno-racially cleansed from American society by an illegal alien invasion and a growing occupation of our neighborhoods.

How? Black America is being challenged by what's been dubbed by its supporters as "comprehensive immigration reform."

It is routinely suggested by U.S. presidents, other politicians and even leaders of the black establishment that America is a nation of immigrants.

Not all of us are truly immigrants!

That sentiment is misleading and wrong because it ignores the fact that so many blacks are not the successors of immigrants, but are instead the descendants of those who were brought here unwillingly as chattel slaves. They are also descended from the survivors of then-legal Jim Crow discrimination.

It is upon our ancestors' backs that much of this alleged nation of immigrants was built. Maybe other Americans can boast of their wonderful immigrant heritage, but they rarely seem to think of, much less acknowledge, the slavery factor.

Unlike other American experiences, ours in the black community consists of four consecutive race-harming calamities:

  • 246 years of chattel slavery;
  • 99 years of Jim Crow laws;
  • 50 years of failed modern government social programs;
  • Generations of mass immigration, both legal and illegal, into our neighborhoods.

Despite these problems, there are certain insensitive Americans who insist that blacks "get over it" and forget about past injustices altogether.

Tell Ashenazi Jews to get over it and forget the Nazi holocaust. Tell the Christians in the Middle East being tormented by ISIS to get over it. Ask any group of people bound by ethnic, racial, religious or regional bonds to ignore their own historical sufferings.  You won't be successful!

That's why it is immoral to equate the struggles of immigrants – legal, and especially illegal – with those of blacks.

Our experiences are not identical.

Therefore, if it's to be believed that black lives matter to Americans in general and President Obama in particular:  

  • Why grant around 5 million work visas to illegal aliens when black U.S. citizens, a mere 13 percent of the national population, are disproportionately unemployed?

  • Why award DREAM Act tuition advantages to young illegal aliens when our own students are in dire need of education?

  • Why assist with housing for foreign invaders when so many of our own people are homeless?

  • Why consider amnesty to lawbreakers who are essentially stealing the civil rights benefits our predecessors fought and died for?

It's not a partisan political issue!

Now is the time for blacks to unite and correct this injustice.

That is, if black lives matter to them.

# # #

Ted Hayes, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network's national advisory council, is a long-time Los Angeles-area activist known for his work on issues such as civil rights, homelessness and immigration. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.


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