Sunday, November 18, 2007

Commentary on the Wall or Fence by Dr. Roberto Calderon

Commentary on the Wall or Fence by Dr. Roberto Calderon. Check out the Youtube video that records a conversation on this below. -Dra. Valenzuela

Nota: What the video doesn't say is that Senator John Cornyn has been
about as against immigrant and Latino rights as any senator of the
100-member chamber can be. A full exposition of his voting record on
issues and bills favoring immigrant and Latino rights ought to precede
the content of this nearly 5-minute video. It would expose the
hypocrisy shown here for all to see wherein he pretends to be a friend
of the Mexican American officials appealing to him on camera. Here he
appears all powerful, at the peak of his game. But the truth is
otherwise.

Cornyn is currently highly unpopular is his home state of Texas. His
party has basically lost the state to the Democrats and the rising
Latino demographic and electoral majority of the next 15-20 years. By
next decade if not by the next general election, post-2010
redistricting, the Republicans will have lost their cherished and
criminally engineered congressional majority (remember Tom De Lay's
redistricting raid on the Texas Legislature in 2003?) in the state.

Cornyn has already amassed more than $6 million dollars for his
re-election campaign when in November 2008 he will be running against
State Representative Rick Noriega (D-Houston), who has a little more
than $500,000 in his campaign chest. For those who are counting, that's
already a 12-1 spending differential, as it stands. But Noriega is the
candidate who will win, or if not come closest thus far to unseating the
reactionary Cornyn, who has proven himself time and again to be an enemy
of immigrant and civil rights for the Mexicano/Latino community in
Tejas. The most unpopular and intellectually challenged president in
living memory and since polls have been taken, George W. Bush, whom it
is said will settle to live in the Dallas area once he is out of office,
will be fundraising for Cornyn in the weeks ahead. Blood money.

Noriega will achieve much more than his relatively smaller campaign
budget signals because the welling electoral/political hopes in the
Chicano/Latino community in Tejas rejects the politics of the right and
the Republican party that have been manifest for all to witness in the
past years. Latino Texans will judge for themselves. They will find
Cornyn and his cronies wanting. The preservation of a white,
conservative, Republican political voting majority in Texas is paramount
for these folks, who see in the near future the undermining of their
heretofore unchallenged majority voting bloc and once formidable
authority. No measure is too risky nor too shameless to try and
implement if it means waylaying this process from taking place a little
longer. Intimidating the Latino vote, terrorizing the Latino community,
and then turning right around and asking for their vote, is all part of
a day's work for the cynical ink-your-face policies of a Republican
party desperate and bankrupt of ideas. They do not respect the Latino
community's human and civil right to respect, dignity, security, labor,
health, education, equitable political representation and social
tranquility. They've done everything they've been capable of doing to
nullify all of these areas of concern. And they've accomplished it by
using the power and purse of the federal and state governments, but
especially that of the federal budget.

That's what this video is all about. Here's Cornyn taking off his coat
on some stretch of the border in the Rio Grande Valley, in Cameron
County presmumably, with some Hispanic representative of the
International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and the Hispanic
Cameron County judge, surrounded by an all-Anglo cast of federal
employees and staff, playing to the camera of the Rio Grande Guardian,
and shamelessly it appears pitching for the Mexican vote in Tejas.
Guess what? It's the unscripted and silent sub-text of the video. This
is pure campaign stuff. Genius? Not quite.

Cornyn is one of the leading promoters of a WALL not a FENCE on the
Tejas-Mexico border and the rest of the línea for that matter all the
way to Tijuana and San Isidro. Cornyn's not interested in compromise.


The people of the frontera, on both sides of it, all feel strongly that
there should be no wall, period. No fence, period. That's how GOD
intended it, NATURE designed it, and that's the way it's been since time
began. And this is far and away the sentiment too of the US Latino
population which at more than 45 million and more than 15 percent of the
nation's population, has an opinion that counts, regardless of what the
Republican party and John Cornyn think and do.

It is the right-wing that's synonymous with the Republican party and
the weak-willed liberal Democrats who play to the elections ahead on
this issue at the expense of the tens of millions of people who live on
either side of the US-Mexico border. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
both voted in the Senate for the construction of the WALL. They have no
shame on the issue either. Yet they too seek the Latino vote.

But it is national politicians like Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison,
both Republican senators of Texas, who have pushed the idea of the WALL
to its present stage. The WALL is being built. They cannot hide from
this responsibility. They both got quite emotional in their promotion
of the WALL during their interventions in the well of the Senate. They
both lost a historic opportunity as the senators from a border state to
stop the WALL. They failed in this utterly. Trying to parse the
reality of the tragedy by calling it a FENCE instead of a WALL, as some
are doing, is utter nonsense. Same difference.

For those who do not understand what's intended as the difference
between the two terms, is that the FENCE is supposed to be somehow less
than the WALL. Less WALL, it becomes a FENCE; more FENCE, it becomes a
WALL. It's a tautology. It doesn't really matter what they call it, a
WALL is a WALL.

Cornyn and Hutchison have both dismissed the sentiments and opinions of
the 40 percent of Texas's population and electorate that is comprised of
the Mexican and Latino community. To them our voice collectively and
otherwise does not matter. It doesn't count. It doesn't get them
elected in the end. As they lose the sixty to seventy percent majority
of the voters who are white who have elected them until now, they and
those candidates like them will lose the opportunity to routinely win
elections. They will have to re-negotiate their political lives with
the previously dismissible Latino community of voters. The days of
courting but then not delivering on the Chicano/Latino agenda by
politicians such as these are numbered. And they know it too.

I have not heard what Rick Noriega's position is on the WALL, but I
expect he is opposed to it.

Roberto R. Calderón
Historia Chicana

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