The Sanctuary
Home

RSS email feed TwitterFeed
Facebook Youtube digg
Google Group TwitterTalk

email


New America Media Award Winner

urgent action


SIGN PETITION TODAY


get this badge

Be the first on your block to sport one of our stylish new Sanctuary badges, designed by XOLAGRAFIK.

With two different slogans available, in three tasty color schemes, even the most discerning blogger should find a Sanctuary badge just right for their little patch of Blogtopia™

Here's just a little taste of what we're talking about:

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

To get one of these fine peices of graphic art to display with pride in your little corner of the blogosphere, simply go to:

Sanctuary badge page

and copy the little snippet of code provided.

Then paste it anywhere you want to display your solidarity with the cause and pride of being a member of the Pro-Migrant SanctuarySphere


tool box

Register to vote

Facts on Citizenship

Know your rights

Research Repository

Quick Facts

Contact Congress

Contact your Senators

Contact your State government

Contact the Media


how to help

National Immigrant Bond Fund
learn more

Legal Aid Foundation LA
Working for Justice in Our Communities Since 1929

Event Calendar
April 2014
(view month)
S M T W R F S
* * 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 * * *
<< (add event) >>


Stop the Hate
Code Words of Hate:
Code words of hate
Watch Video

Illegal is not a noun

Stop the hate

The year in hate



BreakthroughTV



9500LIBERTY

Check us out!

The Sanctuary

Words Do Matter Mr. Obama

by: Duke Reed

Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 01:06:12 AM EST


During the last ten minutes of President Obama's address to Congress on health care reform Wednesday, we witnessed perhaps one of the most stirring defenses of liberalism we've heard in years from any politician. Evoking the words and memory of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, Obama demonstrated once again the substantial oratory skills that helped put him in office. As a rhetorical exercise, his closing remarks were about as pitch perfect as it gets.  

I received one of those letters a few days ago.  It was from our beloved friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy.  He had written it back in May, shortly after he was told that his illness was terminal.  He asked that it be delivered upon his death.

In it, he spoke about what a happy time his last months were, thanks to the love and support of family and friends, his wife, Vicki, his amazing children, who are all here tonight.  And he expressed confidence that this would be the year that health care reform -- "that great unfinished business of our society," he called it -- would finally pass.  He repeated the truth that health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that "it concerns more than material things."  "What we face," he wrote, "is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country."

I've thought about that phrase quite a bit in recent days -- the character of our country.  One of the unique and wonderful things about America has always been our self-reliance, our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom and our healthy skepticism of government.  And figuring out the appropriate size and role of government has always been a source of rigorous and, yes, sometimes angry debate.  That's our history.  

For some of Ted Kennedy's critics, his brand of liberalism represented an affront to American liberty.  In their minds, his passion for universal health care was nothing more than a passion for big government.

But those of us who knew Teddy and worked with him here -- people of both parties -- know that what drove him was something more.  His friend Orrin Hatch -- he knows that.  They worked together to provide children with health insurance.  His friend John McCain knows that.  They worked together on a Patient's Bill of Rights.  His friend Chuck Grassley knows that.  They worked together to provide health care to children with disabilities.

On issues like these, Ted Kennedy's passion was born not of some rigid ideology, but of his own experience.  It was the experience of having two children stricken with cancer.  He never forgot the sheer terror and helplessness that any parent feels when a child is badly sick.  And he was able to imagine what it must be like for those without insurance, what it would be like to have to say to a wife or a child or an aging parent, there is something that could make you better, but I just can't afford it.

That large-heartedness -- that concern and regard for the plight of others -- is not a partisan feeling.  It's not a Republican or a Democratic feeling.  It, too, is part of the American character -- our ability to stand in other people's shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together, and when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand; a belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgment that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.

This has always been the history of our progress.  In 1935, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism, but the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it.  In 1965, when some argued that Medicare represented a government takeover of health care, members of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- did not back down.  They joined together so that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.  

You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem.  They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom.  But they also understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, the vulnerable can be exploited.  And they knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter -- that at that point we don't merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges.  We lose something essential about ourselves.

whitehouse.gov

On Thursday, Rachel Maddow replayed that section of the President's speech and asked a rhetorical question as to whether Obama's soaring rhetoric about Kennedy was merely an homage to another man's liberalism or the first revelation of his own

But Maddow needed only to rewind the tape back a few minutes, and listen carefully to the words the President chose, to get the answer to that question.

Duke Reed :: Words Do Matter Mr. Obama
Many involved in immigrants-rights and human-rights have fought for years to end the hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric that has dominated the debate over immigration reform. Rhetoric that demonizes immigrants and reinforces right-wing frames about inherent criminality, stealing jobs, abusing the social safety net, or not paying taxes.

Based far more on racism and a fear of cultural change than any factual evidence, the heated rhetoric of the extreme right has infiltrated the mainstream and become the norm. And with that mainstreaming of hate speech has come the inevitable violence that follows.  It has been well documented that violence against immigrants (and those who look or sound like they might be immigrants) has grown exponentially in the past few years. From Suffolk County, NY, to  Schuylkill County, PA the hate and violence unleashed upon immigrant communities is astounding.

Six boys were charged with severely beating a Guatemalan immigrant with bricks, bottles and rocks as he slept near railroad tracks, an attack that civil rights groups decried Tuesday as "hateful."

Police say six boys, ages 11 to 14, beat the 30-year-old Merida in July in Lynn, a city 10 miles northeast of Boston. Merida was hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital for a month with serious head injuries. Merida's brother said the attack caused brain damage.

In a statement, police said the Lynn boys targeted Merida because of his ethnicity. Police also said they were looking into the assault of another Guatemalan immigrant and "the possibility that the attack was not the first perpetrated by these youths.

AP

When children at such early age are filled with so much hate that they are compelled to beat a sleeping man nearly to death, leaving him with permanent brain damage, simply because if the color of his skin it seems we are light years way from the President's soaring rhetoric about a nation of character.

But then again, he too must share some responsibility for the culture of hate that has sprung up.

For all the flowery words and poignant remarks about race he's made throughout his campaign and presidency, when push comes to shove, he has been all too ready to embrace the rhetoric and policies of the right when it's politically expedient.

"There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants.  This, too, is false.  The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally".

And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

whitehouse.gov

The President is a man who chooses his words carefully, and his choice of the words "illegal immigrant" was purposeful and intentional.

He certainly didn't use that term back in the fall as he was courting the Latino vote and always called those without proper authorization, "undocumented immigrants".

In fact, the change was a a conscious decision made months ago by the President, Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Chuck Schumer when they first began to lay the groundwork for moving forward on immigration reform legislation and felt the need to look and act tough on immigration in hopes of winning over Republicans.

Some might argue that it's only a matter of semantics ....  But let me assure you, that for those on the receiving end of that de facto racial slur, it makes a difference. As it does for those who listen for the dog whistles of hate to justify their own warped beliefs and actions.


The President plays a very dangerous game when he flirts with the rhetoric of the right or embraces their policies like 287(g), E-verify, or increased detention and deportation, as a means to mollify the right in hopes that they might work with him on immigration reform in the future.

From a political perspective it seems that the lessons that should have been learned over the last few months of the health care debate about the willingness of the right to compromise have been lost on Mr. Obama. He willingly conceded on single-payer, wavers on the public option, and throws millions of immigrants and women under the bus, denying them any opportunity to access the health care we continually hear should be a right for all ...and for what? Has it gotten him a single extra Republican vote?

But more importantly, it is a matter of what Senator Kennedy would call "a moral issue, a fundamental principle of social justice and the character of our country." It's matter of simple human dignity, and the rights of all to live without fear or violence. Obama's willingness to dance with the devil has real-life consequences for millions and allows those who wish to push the debate to the extreme the opportunity to move the bar just one step further to the right. One step closer to the dark nether regions of their twisted souls.



My good friend Marisa Treviño over at Latina Lista has a good take on this

Tags: , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


about
- WELCOME
- ABOUT
- Contact Us
- Who We Are
- Human Rights Orgs
- rss feed Subscribe


community info
- Community Standards
- Quick FAQ
- Tags & Subjects
- About Hot Topics

translate / traducir

Arabic German Portuguese Chinese Italian Russian Japanese Spanish French Korean (About)


Search



Advanced Search
- All Tags


Receive information on the latest action items, media campaigns, and legislative initiatives from ProMigrant

No spam or press release dumps from DC advocacy groups, lobbyists, or politicos. No requests for donations, or re-directs to astroturf groups looking to harvest your e-mail information.

Just real action for real change from real grassroots activists.

email


community

active users
Currently 0 user(s) logged on.

Google Groups
Subscribe to ProMigrant.org
Email:
Visit this group


news


featured videos

Suspect Spokespeople
video Suspect Spokespeople


Hate Speech
video Hate Speech


Fear Politics
video fear politics


Janet Murguia vs Lou Dobbs:
video Murguia vs Dobbs 1
video Murguia vs Dobbs 2
video Murguia vs Dobbs 3




links

resources
- ACLU/Immigration

-ALIPAC.NET

- American Friends Service Committee

- American Immigration Lawyers Association

- American Immigration Law Foundation

- Arab-American Family Support Center

- Arizona Coalition for Immigrant Rights

- Border Action Network

- Border Angels

- Building Democracy Initiative

- Campaign for a United America

- Catholic Charities, Immigration & Refugee Services

- Catholic Legal Immigration Network

- CAUSA Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Coalition

- Center for Comparative Immigration Studies

- Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law

- Center for Immigrant Health (NYU)

- Center For New Community

- Christians for CIR

- City Bar, Immigrant Justice Project

- Civilrights.org

- Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

- Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

- Cornell Migrant Program

- Derechos Humanos AZ.

- Detention Watch Nework
- DREAM Act Portal

- Drum Major Institute

- Fair Immigration Reform Movement

- Florida Immigration Coalition (FLIC)

- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

- Humane Borders

- Human Rights First, Asylum Program

- Human Rights Watch

- Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)

- Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)

- Immigration Advocacy Services, Inc.

- Interfaith Refugee Ministry

Immigrant Solidarity Network

- International Rescue Committee

- Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

- Justice for Immigrants.org

- Long Island Wins

- Lutheran Family & Community Services

- Make the Road by Walking

- MALDEF

- Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

- Migration Information.org

- Migration Policy Institute

- National Council of La Raza

- National Immigration Law Center

- National Immigration Forum

- Nebraska Appleseed

- No More Deaths
- New Immigrant Community Empowerment

- New Jersey Immigration and Policy Network (NJIPN)

- New York Association for New Americans

- New York Civic Participation Project

- New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)

- New York Legal Assistance Group

- Northwest Federation of Community Organizations (NWFCO)

- Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN)

- Refugee Council USA

- Riverside Language Program

- Safe Horizon

- Sanctuary for Families

- Sunflower Community Action

- Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

- United Neighborhood Houses

- UNHCR

- Voces de la Frontera


pro-migrant blog roll
-Alama Mia
-Anti-BVBL
-American Taino
-Amnesty International Aliados
-Bender's Immigration Buletin
-Blog for Arizona
-Border Action Network
-Border Reporter
-Boycott Lou Dobbs
- breakthroughTV
-Brown Views

-CAUSA:blog
-Censored (Indigenous rights/border)
-Citizen Orange
-Codex History
- Cross Left
-Culture Kitchen
-Damn Mexicans
-Debitage
-Delete The Border
-Derechos Humanos
-DMI Blog
-Dos Centavos
-Dream Act - Texas

-Elenamary
-Eristic ragemail
-Fear No Migrant
-Floresiste's Weblog
-Galleons
-Generation 1.5
-Happening Here:
-Hatewatch (SPLC)
-Hispanic Nashville
-Hispanic News
-Hispanic Tips
-Hispanics Against Republicans

-I am a DREAMer
-I Am A Shadow
-Illegal is Illegal?
-Immigration Blog
-Immigrants and Politics
-Immigrants In USA Blog
-Immigration Equality
-Immigration Matters
-Immigration Prof Blog
-Immigration Talk w/ a Mexican American
-Immigration, Education and Globalization
-Irish Voices

-Just News Blog
-La Frontera Times
-La Mariposa en la Pared
-Latin America News Review
-Latina Lista
-Latino Blogger
-Latino Politico
-LatinoPoliticsBlog
-LatinoPundit
-Liberty Together
-Lorna Dee Cervantes
-Lucky White Girl

-Matt Ortega
- Migra Matters
-Narco News
-Nation of Immigrators
-NIJC
-No Walls
-Nuestra Voice
-Of America
-One Step Closer
-Open Borders Lobby
-Orcinus
-Para Justicia y Libertad!
-People Migrate
-Peruanista
-Political Salsa
-Pro Inmigrant
-Reasonable Republican

-Standing Firm
-T. Don Hutto
-Tancredo Watch
-Tejano Insider
-Texas Civil Rights Review
-The Cyber Hacienda
-The Latina(L)it Girl
-The Mex Files
-The State of Opportunity
-The Unapologetic Mexican

-U.S. Immigration Weblog
-Underground Country
-Vivirlatino
-War on Racism
-Wild Chihuahuas
-workingimmigrants
-Ya Basta
-Yave Begnet
-zuky


progressive blog roll
Community Blogs

-Booman Tribune
-Daily Kos
-Docudharma
-ePluribus Media
-myDD
-My Left Wing
-Open Left
-Political Cortex
-Talk Left

Blog Roll

-A Capitol Blog (Texas)
-The Agonist
-AmericaBlog
-Anti Sam Brownback
-Atrios/Eschaton

-Baghdad Burning
-Billmon
-Brad DeLong
-Burnt Orange
-Calitics:California Progressives
-ColoradoPols.com
-Colorado Media Matters
-Coloradolib
-Crooks and Liars
-Daily Howler
-DC Media Girl
-Digby
-Dobbs Watch
-Donkey Rising

-eat4today
-Empires Fall
-European Tribune
-firedoglake
-Flogging the Simian
-Frederick Clarkson
-Gadflyer
-Grits For Breakfast (Texas)
-Huffington Post
-Human Beams
-In Flight
-I-NTER-FACE
-Jaded Reality
-James Wolcott
-Juan Cole
-Jon Swift
-KCET: Life and Times
-Kid Oakland

-LeanLeft
-Left in the West
-Liberal Catnip
-Liberal Oasis
-Liberal Street Fighter
-Living in Exile
-Mahatma X Files
-Majikthise
-MinuteKlan News
-Narco News
-NCADC (UK)
-NYbri
-Next Hurrah
-Off the Kuff
-One Step Closer
-On the Left Tip
-One Flew East
-Open Veins
-Our Hispanic Voices

-Rude Pundit
-Sappho Manifesto
-Skippy
-Steve Clemons
-Steve Gillard (RIP)
-Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
-SquareState (CO)
-Swing State Project
-The last polka
-The Tejano Insider
-Talk Left
-Talking Points Memo
-The Red State (Texas)
-Thisfuckingwar
-Too Extreme for Colorado
-topdog08
-Voice for Change

-Tancredo Watch - CO-6
-Peter King Watch - NY-3


meta

Enter a long URL to make tiny:

This site Optimized for FireFox:
Firefox 2

Powered by FeedBurner


View blog authority

home
promigrant

Free PageRank Checker


All original content ©2008-2010 - The Sanctuary/ProMigrant.Org
Original content may be used for non-commercial / non-profit purposes without explicit permission. Proper attribution required.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Some materials on this site are used under "Fair Use" license and are not the property of "The Sanctuary". Additional use of these materials for other purposes might require permission from the original copyright holder.

All member comments and community submissions are the sole property of their authors and as such do not constitute the official views or opinions of "The Sanctuary," it's Editorial Board, or it's Affiliate Members, who take no responsibility for their content.



Powered by: SoapBlox