America's War on Mexicans Starts Now

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When law enforcement cordons off brown communities, the law, as applied, is apartheid.

Perhaps you can understand, after a wave of hateful legislation and a galling discussion by justices and attorneys in the nation's highest court, that there are those not content with jurisprudence.

You see, all of this legal eloquence comes after generations of families picked crops on their way to citizenship, only to encounter lawyers and lawmakers who are worse than any field boss.

Monica Alonzo's father crossed the border from Mexico. His family worked in the cotton fields. They earned less, picked more, and kept their mouths shut. Kids in school were slapped if they were overheard speaking Spanish.

"They mistreated the Mexicans the worst in El Mirage. Mexicans went straight to jail or were roughed up for minor offenses," Alonzo recalls.

"They were made to feel like worthless people. Many Mexicans instilled in their children the importance of speaking only English. Not in my house. For my father, the treatment created a lot of resentment toward whites. We weren't allowed to speak English at home for some time. We would get in trouble if he knew we were mixing with the Anglos."

There was a common warning in her home: "Beware of the blue-eyes."

Alonzo says her family and their friends feared deportation, even after they were living here legally.

"They didn't want to draw attention to themselves."

That's done and gone.

In Arizona, thousands have taken to the streets in protest against SB 1070. Abuelas are joined by kids without papers. Together they commit civil disobedience and force arrests.

The Supreme Court doesn't grasp that its decision is not the final word on the subject.

Media everywhere erupted with the recent news that whites now account for a minority of births in America for the first time. Latinos have the highest fertility rate and are already the largest minority.

"If [reform] doesn't happen as part of a revolution," Alonzo says, "the sheer numbers will eventually force change."

See that little roly-poly, hija rock 'n' rolly, wearing Pull-Ups, sporting earrings, and sitting on her mama's lap?

She is your future.

Michael Lacey is the executive editor of Village Voice Media.

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Michael Lacey