Ruben Navarrete Jr. is an Uncle Tom

By I. Cruz

I. Cruz is an immigrants rights activist and community organizer in Mississippi. 
 
 
What did I think when I read Ruben Navarrette’s comments?

If he only spent enough time spreading that vitriol against the 1%, against Obama for not having a harsh enough stance against NDAA, if he focused that energy on Sallie Mae or on the GOP, Senator John Kyl, then such comments would be well-placed.

In many ways I’m glad he was sincere. Besides Marco Rubio and Kris Kobach, I can’t think of anyone who is as unafraid to spew idiotic comments against an oppressed group. Clearly he doesn’t understand this movement. He doesn’t understand that all movements grow and change, that they all make mistakes, sacrifices, and celebrate victories together. He doesn’t understand that this country has created the inhumane conditions that have caused DREAMers and others to stand up for humanity, respect, and a true democracy.

In the beginning I was angry that this man had spread such lies about the movement. I’ve gone from never paying attention to anything DREAM/immigration related, to being completely aware and almost protective ever since I got my U.S. Citizenship and realized the hard way that it would not be enough to protect me here in Mississippi, or while driving the long way to Atlanta and back (but that’s a story for another day).

Are there people who are in this movement for attention? Yes. Are there bad apples? Yes. Are there whiny people who will leave once their DACA is approved? Yes.

But that is probably a tiny number of people. I don’t believe anyone would sacrifice so much, do this much, and come this far just for attention or a piece of paper. The crux of the argument around immigration reform is that migrants’ rights are violated around the world. The value of a human life is mocked daily around the world. Our countries are colonized, and therefore we must leave them to the land of the colonizer so that we may forge a life we believe will allow us to achieve our dreams. Navarrette doesn’t take into account that the US screwed up our land, waged wars against us, created economic conditions that would have killed us, and that it is therefore responsible for alleviating the situation somehow, whether it’s getting the out (which is preferable) or granting an asylum that protects people from cruelty while here.

Navarrette reminded me that as a war refugee I was “privileged” enough to receive papers because some of my family members were shot, and we were lucky enough to get some piece of paper that granted us a vote.

But that piece of paper will not bring our family members back from the dead, nor will it erase the pain of war, post-traumatic stress disorder (which I had as a child) or the 15 years in which I was unable to see my family because I had to wait for some green card in the mail.

As if that’s bad enough, he actually thinks it’s ok for the rest of the population—those who remain undocumented—to never wait in the mail for some green piece of plastic that will change their lives. Yes, Navarrette thinks it’s totally okay for everyone else to go through their lives in fear, vulnerable to entering some CCA-owned Gulag, and to always feel that any family members left in your country are strangers. Yes.

Well, newsflash, Navarrette: your ancestors are as indigenous as mine, the borders crossed you, and you are an Uncle Tom. Being treated as a human being is not an entitlement, and you have been blinded by the 1% who has become so greedy that they now make us pay for water, exorbitant amounts for health care and education, and who are probably in some room trying to fabricate ways to market our humanity, take it away from us, and sell it back to us. Suddenly you’re going to unleash your moronic wrath against some harmless kids who just want to go to school and get a license when YOUR tax dollars from the past six generations have contributed to our migration and our country’s demise?

Start by tackling the root of the problem. If you’re going to be a U.S. Citizen then take responsibility for the wrongs this country has done to make immigration a “crisis” to begin with.

 

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