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Personally, I believe that the word “Illegals” is used as a way to dehumanize peoples of Mexican and indigena descent, just as the way “Insurgents” was used to classify the people of Iraq.
These words classify these groups as “other than human.” When the general U.S. hear about how so many Iraqi civilians have been exterminated or how so many of our folks are dying in the deserts when crossing (and a whole slew of other unfortunate events that result in numerous human rights violations) there are no emotions because they don’t identify with these terms as having anything to do with another human being.
(This is not meant to be hateful or offensive, but is meant to prove a point.)
If we want to get technical, we could call those who jaywalk or exceed the speed limit “illegals.” Or things could get ugly and other terms like “children of robber barons,” “offspring of Mexican land grant thiefs,” and the list goes on and on….(If any of these terms have struck you negatively, then just imagine the sentiment of the communities of fellow peoples who are labeled “insurgents” and “illegals.”)
But this horrible trend of name calling and labeling by corporate and mainstream media outlets, government officials, and others in power is ALL THE MORE REASON that we have to turn to ourselves and our grassroots, rasquacho styles and ways of disseminating news and information.
La Nueva Raza, IndyMedia, and other groups out there are tools for the community to use. Don’t wait for the media, BECOME the media.
I am one who believes that we need to start talking about these terms and labels more frequently in OUR media news outlets. Let us legitimize our own issues and concerns and make OUR OWN headlines.
What do you think? Let’s talk about the word “ILLEGALS”…