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Archive for the ‘war on brown people’ Category

So we had:

  • The MAGAbomber, sending letter bombs to prominent Democrats,
  • A shooting at Kroger where a white supremacist apparently decided to start shooting black people,
  • and a shooting at a Jewish synagogue where a white supremacist killed eleven people.

All within a week.

So I’ll drop this quote here:

“[These deaths] say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 18 September 1963
Birmingham, Ala.

What is the commonality between them all? All three murderers (or wanna be in the case of the MAGAbomber) subscribed to various right-wing conspiracy theories about Jews, Democrats, and black people.

Who is spreading these conspiracy theories? Is it a few nuts and cranks on the Internet? No, it is prominent Republicans, including top cabinet members and officers in our Federal government — including, of course, the President himself.

At which point we’re back to MLK Jr., who was responding to a church bombing that killed four little girls. The bombers were prominent KKK members who were also top officials in local law enforcement. MLK’s point was that if it was not these particular people, it would have been someone else who murdered civil rights workers, because the whole system of white supremacy was based upon violence against black people and their supporters.

At this point, I think we can say that the whole system of Republican supremacy is based upon violence against black people, Hispanic people, Democrats, Jews, and their supporters.

That is all.

– Badtux the Waiting-for-Kristallnacht Penguin

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Opposition to birthright citizenship by Republicans is often claimed to be about immigration.

It isn’t. This is good ole’ fashioned neo-Confederate pining for the return of slavery.

Birthright citizenship as created by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution exists for a reason, which is to both eliminate the slave class that existed at that time, and to prevent the emergence of a new slave class that can be exploited because its members are not citizens. Granted, we’re doing that to Mexicans right now… but only one generation’s worth. Their children are Americans with full rights, meaning that we’re not generating a perpetual slave class.

The authors of the 14th Amendment were clear: They wanted to not only eliminate the current slave class of the time, but to also prevent the creation of a new slave class based upon stripping or denying citizenship to people born in America. Opponents of birthright citizenship may claim they are not proponents of slavery, just as readers of Playboy may claim that they read it only for the stories and don’t actually support pornography. But that argument doesn’t hold water. If you’re paying for Playboy, you’re supporting pornography. If you’re eliminating the 14th Amendment, you’re supporting slavery. The fact that you claim you’re doing it for some other reason is irrelevant.

That is all.

– Badtux the Constitutional Penguin

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Bigots are always saying “but *my* ancestors were *legal* immigrants, unlike these brown people who just walked across the border!”.

Yeah? Really? So, how’d those ancestors become legal immigrants?

Hint: It was the same fucking way that my own ancestors became legal immigrants: they just walked across the fucking border.

Deal being, until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1882, there wasn’t a law anywhere on the books that kept you from entering the United States and becoming a citizen. You entered the United States, found a judge or magistrate somewhere to stamp your passport with an entry stamp, and five years later you took that passport to a judge or magistrate and turned it in for citizenship papers. That’s all there was to it. You just fucking walked across the goddamn border, and that was it. There was no such thing as a “legal” immigrant or “illegal” immigrant. There were just immigrants, who, five years later, became citizens.

You get these inbred redneck racist cretins who excuse their racist rantings with “well, *my* ancestors were *legal* immigrants” when their ancestors did the exact same fucking thing as the current immigrants — i.e., they just fucking walked across the goddamn border — and you know it ain’t about legality at that point. It was impossible to be an illegal immigrant back when their ancestors entered the country. There was no such thing as an illegal immigrant back then. All you had to fucking do was walk across the goddamn border and presto, you were a goddamn legal immigrant.

Nowadays, it’s pretty much goddamn impossible to legally immigrate to here from Latin American countries. For example, Mexico. A few years ago, 1.38 million Mexican citizens were waiting in line for a United States work visa or an immigration visa through a family member. But there were only 26,000 visas made available for Mexico that year. That’s a 53 year waiting list. Most of the people on that list are going to be dead before they actually get an immigration visa. The other Latin American countries have similar waiting lists, all of which basically boil down to, “we don’t want your kind here”.

To say that this is different from the way my ancestors came to America is an understatement. My ancestors from England and Scotland stepped off a boat, stepped across the border, and they were fucking legal. They did the exact same goddamn thing that all these recent refugees did — they stepped across a border — and that was all it fucking took, people. There wasn’t any such thing as an “illegal” immigrant back then. It was literally impossible to be an illegal immigrant back then. There was no such thing.

So saying your ancestor was a legal immigrant, when your ancestor came here before 1882, is ridiculous. There was no such as a “legal” immigrant back then, just as there was no such thing as an “illegal” immigrant back then. There was just immigrants, who, five years after stepping across the border, became citizens. That’s all it took — stepping across the border. Well, before 1882, anyhow. That was before racists took over our immigration policy, but that’s another story for another day.

– Badtux the Legal Penguin

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A former ICE chief counsel is facing prison time for stealing immigrants’ identities.

ICE defends America from the Singing Children of Mass Cuteness.

ICE commits 1,600 violations of the Constitution of the United States of America.

ICE has been violating its own policy as well as a court order and the Constitution by failing to exercise individual due process and instead doing mass incarceration. Turns out that due process requires that you make individual determinations, not a blanket “all of group X will be incarcerated”. Who coulda figured?!

Am I saying that a massive paramilitary organization with almost no oversight has ended up being a huge problem, overstepped its authority wildly, and turned into a terrifying force that threatens to permanently damage our democracy by trampling on our most fundamental rights at every opportunity? No way. Surely nobody in Congress could have seen that coming. It’s so unexpected. SNRK.

It’s built into the agency’s genome, people. By creating an agency that has only a single purpose — deporting as many people as possible — the Homeland Security Act created an agency that has an incentive to trample people’s rights in a lawless rush to deport as many people as possible (like, duh?). ICE is irredeemably corrupt. The agency should be abolished and re-established as a new combined entity with USCIS as INS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, with a director who is as committed to naturalizing new citizens as he is to deporting wannabe-citizens. Having an entire department that is only about deporting immigrants — and not at all about naturalizing immigrants — gives them an incentive to trample on rights in order to deport as many people as possible, whereas a more balanced agency’s incentives work differently.

But hey, as long as it’s brown people having their rights trampled on, who cares, right? Right?!

– Badtux the Sadly Snarky Penguin

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Stalin’s Soviet Union was a vicious place, where at any moment the secret police could arrest you and send you off to the gulag concentration camps. Children under the age of 2 got sent with their families, while children above the age of 2 went to relatives or state-run orphanages. One thing that was *not* done was to rip children away from their families and send them to separate concentration camps just for children. Granted, the orphanages weren’t exactly cushy places. But they weren’t concentration camps. Unlike this:

This is a detention center for unaccompanied children. It is set up in an abandoned Walmart store. But this is a cushy detention center. Why, they’re given mattresses to sleep on, instead of being required to sleep on the raw concrete! That at least makes it better than the detention cages on the border:

The cages on the border are where the children are kept for one to three days before they can be shipped off to the “cushy” detention center. They’re not given food during that time, and are not given a mattress or blankets. Because it is a “temporary” holding facility, Homeland Security claims they don’t need to provide any of that.

Note that this photograph dates to 2014, during the Obama regime. Which shows that the Republican lie of Obama not being “tough on immigration” was utterly false. Obama was no friend of immigrants, just as the black community, as a whole, is no friend of immigrants, who they view as having come into America and taken “their” jobs. And so the cycle of viciousness towards our fellow man goes on, despite everything that God says:

Hell, even the Southern Baptists, who are as regressive as you can get without being a total Bircher, are rather queasy about the whole be-mean-to-immigrants thing:

God commands His people to treat immigrants with the same respect and dignity as those native born … we desire to see immigration reform include an emphasis on securing our borders and providing a pathway to legal status with appropriate restitutionary measures, maintaining the priority of family unity, resulting in an efficient immigration system that honors the value and dignity of those seeking a better life for themselves and their families … any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is especially hypocritical is people like Vice President Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions who claim to be Christian advocating treating immigrants badly, even to the point of wanting to send migrant kids to tent cities in the fierce Texas summer heat, something would have made Stalin chortle with delight since he did the same thing with adults when he sent them to the frozen Siberian north. But Stalin never claimed to be Christian. I mean, if you claim to be Christian, shouldn’t you, like, obey the word of Christ? Isn’t that, like, the whole point of being Christian? But I guess their Christianity stops when they exit the churchyard door.

And so we continue treating children in ways that would make Stalin envious in their utter cruelty….

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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Hamas is a terrorist organization.

There, I said it. They’re a terrorist organization.

What makes them a terrorist organization? Simple: They target unarmed civilians. That is what makes them a terrorist organization.

So a friend of mine posted a photograph on her Facebook page of Razan al-Najjar, the 21 year old paramedic who was targeted and killed by an Israeli sniper from close to 300 yards away while helping people who had been injured. And an Israel defender said: “Why don’t you post Israeli victims of Hamas?” I.e., the Israeli government isn’t doing anything that Hamas doesn’t do.

So he was saying that a terrorist organization targeting civilians is exactly equivalent to the Israeli government targeting civilians so we should post photos of both?

Well, I suppose we could. But the tens of thousands of unarmed civilians killed by Israel far outnumber the hundreds of unarmed civilians killed by Hamas, so we’d mostly be posting photos of Palestinian civilian faces anyhow.

Besides, I thought the Israeli government wasn’t supposed to be a terrorist organization. Even though they’re killing unarmed civilians, unarmed medical personnel even, which is exactly what terrorist organizations do.

But this person apparently believes that because Hamas is a terrorist organization, the fact that Israel’s government is behaving like a terrorist organization is fine and dandy.

So there you have it, straight from an Israel defender: Israel’s government is a terrorist organization. Hey, he said it first — though he apparently didn’t realize what it was that he was saying!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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An administrative offense is something like a OHSA violation, where you are violating rules and regulations. When you are cited for an administrative offense and are penalized with a fine or other administrative action, you appear before a hearing officer and argue your case that you should not have to pay the fine or comply with the administrative action. You are never convicted of a crime as part of this, and you never have a criminal record as a result of this.

Immigration removal of those without a valid visa, here in the United States, is an administrative action. Those who have overstayed their visas or entered without a visa appear before an administrative law judge, who then either orders them to be released, or orders them to be administratively removed. These people are not convicted of a crime as part of this administrative action, and do not have a criminal record as a result of this administrative action. Because, as I’ve previously pointed out, if it were charged as a crime, then the Constitution requires a grand jury to indict, requires providing a lawyer, and requires a jury for conviction. Thus ICE deliberately does not charge immigrants slated for deportation with any crime, because that would trigger civil rights protections that they don’t want triggered.

So anyhow: In 2016 the NYPD received 80 “administrative detainer” requests from ICE of prisoners slated for release who they claimed had criminal records. The NYPD investigated those claims, and in those cases where prisoners had a felony record, released the prisoners into ICE custody. This was done as a favor to ICE, which in turn has done favors in the past for the NYPD such as deporting a felon they really don’t want released back to the streets. It is not the job of the NYPD to spend significant resources dealing with administrative actions associated with another agency altogether and they have no obligation under the Constitution or under New York law to do so.

In 2017, however, after Trump unleashed them for an overall war on immigrants, ICE sent a whopping 1,526 detainer requests to the NYPD claiming that immigrants were felons who needed to be deported upon release — or basically one for every single immigrant slated for release. After the first few dozen didn’t pan out as being felons, the NYPD basically started waste-binning these requests. The NYPD investigated the first few, and after a few dozen proved to not have criminal records the NYPD started returning the detainer requests wholesale rubber stamped “Unable to verify criminal record.” Because really, if ICE lies to you a dozen times, why bother validating that they lied to you the other 1,500 times?!

Police officers are not immigration agents. Their job is to maintain public order and arrest people who commit crimes in order to prosecute them as criminals in a court of law. Note that undocumented immigrant are never prosecuted for being undocumented. That would give them rights, such as the right to an attorney and trial by jury. Instead, they are removed from the United States via an administrative action that requires only an administrative hearing with far fewer rights. This administrative action does not result in a criminal record for the immigrant, because it is an administrative action, not a criminal action. Requiring police officers to treat people as criminals who have never been convicted of any crime in the United States and never *will* be convicted of any crime in the United States is un-American and utterly ridiculous, and attempting to use police officers in order to enforce administrative actions rather than to enforce criminal law is a complete and total waste of their resources.

In short, it is not surprising to me that the NYPD started wholesale refusing these detainer requests. Once you want them to be enforcing administrative actions rather than enforcing criminal law, you’re no longer an ally — you’re the enemy. Because their sole reason for existing is to enforce criminal law. End of story. Asking them to do something outside their reason for existing is okay for a few times a year as a favor, but if you’re demanding massive use of their resources that they should be using to chase and prosecute criminals, you are their enemy.

– Badtux the Law Penguin

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