Queer. Black. Plural & Contradictory. 24 yrs. (Cis)Woman. Prone to depression. Soulful. Impatient. Some sort of Agnostic. Certainly Womanist. In love with Love. Defiant. Unsatisfied. Yearning. & Quite Possibly Angry.

Posts tagged with immigration.

broken english

when my mother struggles to spell a word in english
I want to break the entire language
into little pieces
so the edges of these letters
will stop cutting her

— aysha via Diaspora Defiance
(via decolonizehistory)

(via plantaplanta)


how can we talk and write about being immigrant child and/or being the children of immigrants and the emotional complexities of it without painting our relationships with our parent/s as one-dimensional and as us always being the ones with their dreams and them being dreamless, vicariously living through us? how can we humanize the people in our lives who have experienced deep and complicated traumas instead of keeping them as the context for our immigrant guilt? how can we be gentle with ourselves and the people who have raised us?

i just have a lot of feelings about the immigrant parents have no feelings mentality and us being okay with leaving it at that 

(via ethiopienne)



By Prisco III

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

(via ethiopienne)

Now, President Obama is aiming to grant same-sex couples such as Oliveira and his American husband, Tim Coco, equal immigration rights as their heterosexual counterparts. The proposal could allow up to 40,000 foreign nationals in same-sex relationships to apply for legal residency and, potentially, U.S. citizenship.

But the measure has inspired fierce pushback from congressional Republicans and some religious groups, who say it could sink hopes for a comprehensive agreement aimed at providing a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The standoff may force Obama to choose between two key interest groups — Hispanics and gays — that helped power his reelection in the fall. The president must weigh how forcefully to push the bill, known as the Uniting American Families Act, while not endangering a long-sought deal to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are Latino.

The same-sex measure was not included in the immigration proposals issued last week by a bipartisan Senate working group, whose overall framework Obama largely embraced. Several key Christian groups that have supported the White House’s immigration push have objected to the measure on the grounds that it would erode traditional marriage.

The issue has prompted an intense lobbying effort on both sides, including a letter to the White House from a coalition of influential church organizations and a series of urgent conference calls between advocates, administration officials and lawmakers.

For Obama, the political sensitivity was evident in the public rollout of his immigration plans last Tuesday. Although the same-sex provision was included in documents distributed by the White House, the president did not mention it in his immigration speech in Las Vegas.

In immigration debate, same-sex marriage comes to the fore - The Washington Post (via dendroica)

(via bohemianarthouse)

Why is the birth rate in Israel's Ethiopian community declining? →


Women say that while waiting in transit camps in Ethiopia they were coaxed into agreeing to injections of long-acting birth control drugs.

Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say they were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired Saturday on the Israel Educational Television program “Vacuum.”

The women say that while waiting in transit camps in Ethiopia prior to immigration they were placed in family planning workshops where they were coaxed into agreeing to the injection - a charge denied by both the Joint Distribution Committe, which ran the clinics, and the Health Ministry.

“We said we won’t have the shot. They told us, if you don’t you won’t go to Israel And also you won’t be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won’t get aid or medical care. We were afraid… We didn’t have a choice. Without them and their aid we couldn’t leave there. So we accepted the injection. It was only with their permission that we were allowed to leave,” recounted Emawayish, who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago.

Emawayish was one of 35 women, whose stories were recorded by Sebba Reuven, that relate how they were coaxed and threatened into agreeing to receive the injectable birth control drug.

The birth rate among Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant population has dropped nearly 20 percent in 10 years.

Related: Israel is deporting Africans and also putting tens of thousands of them into detention camps


(Source: fajrarmy, via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

When the Lesser Of Two Evils Isn’t Enough


by Mia McKenzie

Yesterday, I wrote a post called Michelle Obama Looked Great Last Night! (Oh, By the Way, You Been Took). In it, I used a quote from Malcom X to illuminate the fact that the Obama Administration, and the democratic party in general, owes an incredible debt to the marginalized people who put them in office (particularly black and brown people), and yet, once they got there, they made most of the policies that would improve the lives of those very people their very last priority. Whenever I write anything like this, whenever I criticize President Obama and his administration, it is met with some version of, “Well, who do you propose? Romney? You want Romney as President?” Some people get hella mad.

Of course I don’t want Romney as President. I consider Mitt Romney an evil man, and the idea of a Romney presidency is a nightmare scenario in my mind. A Romney presidency would surely be worse even than the Bush presidency was. Bush took office during “good times” in this country, during low unemployment and a budget surplus. Romney would be coming into office under much more dire circumstances. The state of the economy still has people really afraid. And if history has taught us anything it has taught us that the more afraid people are the easier they are to control. The worst policies are enacted when people are too distracted by fear to notice, or too consumed by fear to see reason. No, a Romney presidency is certainly not what I want.

But the truth is, an Obama presidency is not what I want, either. I believe that war-mongering is just as bad when done by a black Democrat as it is when done by a white Republican. A well-delivered speech by a smart, pretty First Lady on her husband’s behalf doesn’t make up for the deportation of 1.4 million “illegal” immigrants during this administration (that’s 150% as many as Bush, by the way). “New black cool” does not erase the murder of innocent people, including children, by drone strikes in the Middle East. Not for me, it doesn’t. I am amazed that for so many of the people I know, many of whom are smart and good and thoughtful, it somehow does. Somehow, a smile and a new set of promises is all they need.

I need more than that. And yet, I’m told, these are my only choices. I am told that if I don’t vote for Obama, it’s like voting for Romney, which is worse (it’s really not that much worse). Obama may be the (very slightly) lesser of two evils (this from those who agree and are even willing to admit that Obama isn’t a great choice). The thing is, though, I’m sick and tired of having to choose between evil and slightly less evil. And it’s scary to see how content people are with such a “choice”.

It is the insidious evil brilliance of this corrupt system that gives us a “choice” between red and blue and encourages us to fight it out, year after year, decade after decade; that has us debating the merits of blue over red, and screaming at each other over the moral soundness of red over blue, all day every day, in churches and workplaces and at bars with our friends; that has us so passionately defending or attacking red or blue that we never stop and ask, What about yellow? What about purple? What about green with orange polka-dots?; that makes us forget (because it is in the best interest of both red and blue that we do forget) that this is really not much of a choice at all.

You want a shit sandwich or a crap-kebab? Choose! And remember that if you don’t choose a shit sandwich, then that’s just as good as choosing a crap-kebab. Is that what you want??!

This is how the two-party system is set up. It’s a trap and we’re stuck in it. If we don’t vote for Obama, we’ll get Romney, and it will be bad. If we vote for Obama, we’ll get Obama, and it will be bad. Maybe not quite as bad on the surface. Which, I guess, is enough for a lot of people, especially those who don’t look beneath the surface.

I wonder what it would be like to have a President who was more than not quite as bad on the surface. More than just the very slightly better of two extremely shitty options. I wonder what it would be like to feel genuine, critically-sound, eyes-wide-open approval of my country’s President and his or her or their practices. I can’t even imagine that, let alone what it would be like to have a President who was my ideal, my dream of a leader. If I were to fantasize about such a person, I might imagine this:

A person who wouldn’t drop bombs on helpless brown children under the guise of “fighting terror”, when in fact there are few things more terror-inducing than dropping bombs on children.

A person who wouldn’t ignore the specific reality of black poverty and unemployment because, politically, he can’t appear to care too much about black people (ironically, the same black people who support him no matter what).

A person who wouldn’t redefine war as being defined by the extent of U.S. casualties, no matter how many thousands of foreigners are killed.

A person who, instead of attending $10,000-a-plate dinners with wealthy, white, powerful gays where he pledges personal support for their right to marry each other, would know and say out loud the names of people like Cece McDonald and Brandi Martell.

Sigh. If only.

But no. My “choices” are Obama and Romney. Blue and red. And maybe some third-party candidate who doesn’t even have a shot. And if I don’t vote for Obama, if I let the fact that I am physically sickened by the idea of casting a vote for someone who perpetuates so much violence in the world deter me from casting that vote, then I am wrong because I “might as well be voting for Romney”.

Something is very, very wrong here.

I am tired, too, of the idea that unless I have a solution for these extremely complicated problems that I should stop “complaining”. That’s an argument of the oppressor. I’m not a political policy scholar. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to identify the wrong I see in the political system, and in the world around me, and to express my feelings about it. 

That said, here’s what I think we should be doing: dismantling the two-party system.

John Adams said of the two-party system:

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

Now, he and I disagree on what, precisely, should have been dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution. But still. His point is otherwise valid.

At the risk of sounding overly-intellectual, the two-party system is uber yucky. And, honestly, I don’t know any way to change it that doesn’t involve many years of serious political turmoil. What I do know is that the alternative to that is a system that continues to fail us, in perpetuity, forever and ever, a system in which we never get free of poverty and inequality and corporate personhood and the control of women’s bodies, in which we are still fighting these things twenty and thirty and forty years from now (if we don’t blow each other up or get eaten by zombies before then), and still demanding of each other that we cast a vote for the slightly less awful candidate who will do slightly less awful things in the world. The kind of change that is needed (desperately) to prevent this is a change that it would take a long time to affect, but we have to start in order to ever get there.

I think we have to start by changing our thinking around the “lesser of two evils” approach and by writing and talking about this much, much more. It’s unfortunate that these conversations only ever come up in election years, when people are so afraid of the “greater of two evils” ending up in the White House that they don’t even want to have this discussion. Because it needs to be had.

We need to, at the very least, not criticize people who dare to suggest that they don’t feel good about voting for either candidate. The reasons for such hesitation are good and sound and should be understandable to anyone who takes the time to educate themselves on the policies and practices of these two political parties, which are incredibly similar and in many cases incredibly scary. It makes sense for someone to not want to vote for either of these dudes, it really does. So instead of knee-jerk reactions, how about some careful thought and consideration of this issue? Because twenty-five years from now, when it’s Willow Palin vs. Tavis Smiley, Jr., with no alternative in sight, we’re gonna be salty as hell.


*Mia McKenzie dreams of a world without Presidents, but that world isn’t here yet.

Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She has a novel debuting in the fall and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. Her work has been published at, and recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Parts of Arizona Anti-Immigration Law - →


WASHINGTON – In a case watched closely by tribal observers concerned about their families who live on the United States-Mexico border, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down several controversial parts of an Arizona anti-immigration law.

The high court struck down most of the law, SB 1070, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010, and attempted to make it a crime for an immigrant to be in the state without carrying the required federal identification documents. It also called on state law enforcement officers to determine an individual’s immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest,” or during a “lawful contact” not specific to any activitywhen there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an illegal immigrant. It further banned state or local officials or agencies from restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracked down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting illegal immigrants.

The law has been widely called the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in the nation’s recent history.

The high court rejected three major parts of the law, including the portions that would make it a state crime for illegal immigrants not to possess their federal registration cards, as well as those that would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work, apply for work or solicit work. The court also ruled against the ability of state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant when probable cause exists that they committed “any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”

It did leave standing the “check your papers” portion of the law, but indicated that even that section could face further legal obstacles.

President Barack Obama previously called the Arizona law “misguided,” and the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state, claiming the entire law was unconstitutional.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he supports anti-immigration ideas similar to those in the law that were struck down.

(via rematiration-deactivated2013111)

Obama policy to grant immunity to young immigrants

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;

  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

  5. Are not above the age of thirty.

(via ethiopienne)

Alabama brings back slavery for Latinos →

So, here is how it goes. First, the state passes a harsh immigration law. Then, it detains large numbers of immigrants. Third, private prisons (LCS, CCA, GEO) receive fresh inmates. And finally, the artificially created labor shortage is supplied by the new inmates. Does this sound like modern-day slavery to anyone?

The rest of the country can only look in shock and dismay, as once again, Alabama, a state renowned for its historical role in racism, segregation and slavery, leads the nation into

(Source: azspot, via lover-root)

The triple consciousness of the 'other' person of color →


Something I find exasperating is how badly some Americans react to the suggestion that conversation about racism in the U.S. needs to exceed the traditional black-white dichotomy (because U.S. racism itself exceeds the traditional black-white dichotomy).

Saying the racial conversation needs to…


Toward the end of this, you touch on something that I think may be at the core of the disconnect: immigration. American Blacks are rarely immigrants and never so in the public consciousness, whereas non-Black PoC are still viewed as immigrants generations after they first came into the country.

Start with the ethnic Whites—there’s still a consciousness of Irish, Italian, Mittel- and Eastern European (not to mention Jewish) identity even though we’ve all pretty much been considered White since the sectarian hoohah of what-kind-of-Christian-are-you has died down. Jews are a bit different, of course, in that there’s so much overlap between White privilege and Christian privilege, but with Whiteness, we largely pass. 

Then you have Latinos, who no matter what are considered not just immigrants but illegal immigrants; add Spanish-speaking to brown and the popular conception is of maids and trucks packed with people secretly crossing the border.

Arabic peoples are, of course, the ultimate bogeyman at the moment; but even disregarding pervasive Islamophobia, that shade of brown is also considered permanently accented and first-generation. 

East Asians are a ‘model minority’ but are always, always asked where they come from, because their immigration status is, again, embedded in the American consciousness, even if they’re the descendents of the people who built the transcontinental rail system. 

South Asians fall somewhere between Arabic and East Asian in the public imagination, and fall firmly into the idea of ‘immigrant’ status.

Meanwhile, the number of Black immigrants—from African countries or the Caribbean—is either limited or very, very localized (i.e. NYC). Most Black people in this country have been here since before independence. So while Asians of all stripes, both Latino and Arabic Brown people, even a huge number of solidly White Europeans, all have immigration status in the popular subconscious, and ‘non-ethnic’ Whites are, of course, considered ‘native’ courtesy of making American history the history of themselves, Blacks are in their own category: PoC, but not immigrants; Americans, but permanently treated as less than full citizens due to their skin color.

The history of PoC in the U.S. as a whole really does have two different strands: those brought over as slaves, and those who came over as free individuals. U.S. Black history is so thoroughly embedded in the basic premise of slavery—everything in the oppression of Blacks here really does trace back to a systematic effort to fully exploit and ultimately *break* a particular race. This is very, very different from the racism experienced against groups who immigrated. It’s the difference between initial presence on the continent as forced or chosen, the difference between being treated with violence and bias once you get here and having been brought here *because* of violence and bias. One has the element of choice, one does not.

Absolutely, all PoC need to stand together, all anti-racists need to consider themselves part of a common cause. But it’s important to understand that Blacks in the U.S. have a fundamentally different origin as Americans than any other PoC ever will.

The country has a history of dualism, of regarding race as a Black/White issue, because that’s what it was founded on: White people creating a nation on the lives of Black people. My ancestors, and I myself, have endured bias, sometimes violence, and oppression as non-standard Whites; but ultimately, we chose to come to this country. We chose to be citizens. We chose this *knowing* that our features would make us targets of bias and therefore institutional oppression. This holds true for everyone who emigrated to the country. Blacks did not emigrate. Therefore, their oppression is not merely systematic violence but embedded in the DNA of the country’s history. This country would not exist without slavery, and only after Blacks made the nation possible were other groups interested in coming on over.

Any real tackling of race in the U.S. needs to accept that there is in fact a distinction between the oppression of Blacks and that of other PoC. The historical experiences simply are not equivalent. Laws existed to keep certain groups out, obvious historical bias—but it’s not oppression until you’re here, and whether being here or not was voluntary is something that no one except American Blacks have as collective memory. Latinos, Asians, Jews… we all have much more in common as Americans with the mid-19th century Irish immigrants than we do with American Blacks. 

Part of what I want to get at is a subtle distinction between the concepts of bias and oppression. In the U.S., the system of racial oppression is predicated on the 17th-century treatment of Blacks as less-than-human. Non-Black PoC who choose to immigrate here fall under that system, but it’s not based on their existence or status as humans. I’m not sure exactly how to translate this formulation, but I, as a Jew, have experienced bias personally; I have only experienced racial (as opposed to religious) oppression as a non-White. Because of this nation’s history, because of slavery, there is in fact an experiential difference between oppression for what you aren’t—White—and oppression for what you are—Black. Blacks are oppressed in this country because they are Black. Asians, Latinos, Arabs, etc., are oppressed not as Asians, Latinos, et al, but as non-Whites.

That is a crucial difference, and should be considered in any pan-U.S. racial discourse.


I think this commentary gets closer to the issue.  Also, OP seems to have a misunderstanding of what the Black/white binary, anti-Black racism, etc actually mean. They repeatedly describe it as “white racism against Blacks” which is just…incorrect. It’s a system built on the permanent inhumanity of Black people. As 14kgoldnyc mentions, it is the foundation of America’s existence. All non-Black people benefit from our permanent slaveability. To call it “white racism against Blacks” is completely missing the point.

(via blackraincloud)

Texas Sen. Chris Harris Tells Spanish Speaker He ‘Should Be Speaking English’ During Committee Hearing →

Antolin Aguirre has been a naturalized citizen since 2001, but as Spanish is his first language, he chose to speak through an interpreter to make sure his opinion was communicated as clearly as possible.


(Source: sociallyconstructed)



1) The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.

2) The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations - combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3) The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigration laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.

(via Immigrants For Sale)

(via brownroundboi)

Black Immigrants Join the Debate →

Some of the realest shit I’ve ever read.

Some of the realest shit I’ve ever read.

(Source: shitontherocks, via queerie)