A day without an immigrant

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By Anthony Whitacre

By Anthony Whitacre

The crowd cheered on like a chorus of haunted screams.

It was a chant of “Si se puede!”

I was swept away by the mob of angry protestors as they raged down the streets of Riverside.

Shouts scorched my ear drums as the protestors wailed to be heard among the big city life. Large Mexican and American flags pierced the air overhead like rabid vultures looking for prey.

As the mob stood around downtown, I watched in silence as they chanted, “Si se puede!” or “Yes, we can!”

Exactly what could they do, I thought.

Cause a bunch of ruckus and mayhem against the country that has sheltered them for so many years?

Jeez, anyone could do that. But on May 1, I stood watching them fighting for their rights I thought these people were being misguided in their blind convictions.

The Mexican community has taken this immigration bill way too far. It sees it as a personal threat toward nationality and House Resolution 4437 does not just target the Mexican community. It targets every illegal immigrant in America.

Like Napoleon Dynamite says, “Guh-od!”

So America relies heavily on Mexican immigrants. America has always relied on immigrants to do work.

Hasn’t everyone once in their life asked someone to do their work for them?

“We have the right to demand this land back! To demand the land that is ours!” one speaker shouted passionately.

This got me thinking about the Native Americans, and how they have suffered and died because of “outsiders” stealing their land. If anyone is to demand the land back it should be them.

As I looked around the protest, I realized that there were plenty of people looking perplexed as if they had no clue what was going on.

It almost appeared as if these onlookers looked for an excuse to blow off work or school day and this “boycott” served as the perfect opportunity. It was as if these particular spectators were saying, “I’m not going to work today because I’m going to pretend to care about something I don’t, so that way I won’t get in trouble.”

The speaker talked about starting a revolution between America and Mexico. The crowd cheered “Viva la revolution!”

It was disturbing knowing that people I was standing next to, were even think about fighting against the country that they so longed to be a part of.

I was offended because this is my country they were threatening.

After so much chaos and destruction that American has suffered already these past years, this guy wants to start a war. Does he realize that this war will only add more destruction.

Dos he realize that he is not the only “victim?”

This issue does not just effect Mexicans immigrants in this country. In fact, it effects every immigrant regardless of what country they are from.

So how does this guy hook the children whose parents are so entwined by his words?

“I want to say to the young people that the future belongs to you. You are going to complete the job we started!” the speaker said.

As I backed slowly away from the crowd of protestors, I heard the speaker compare illegal immigrants of today to African slaves in the 1800s.

“They didn’t have papers!” He shouted, the crowd nodding in agreement.

I thought this was an invalid comparison because the Africans in the 1800’s were captured, inslaved and forced to come here from their native lands, and the Mexican people chose to immigrate here unforced and freely.

Mexican immigrants actually want to be here in this country that is the “home of the brave, and land of the free.” So why are you comparing yourselves to African slaves when you are illegal immigrants.

Does the Mexicans know that it is their own government that controls how many immigrants go into America?

Mexico doesn’t want their people to go. It would devastate the country if everyone just left. That’s like a king with no people to rule.

What would be the point?

I see how Mexicans are affected, and I sympathize because it is a little closer to home than France, Russia or Austria. They are our neighbors to the south who have a government that does not want to give them the same opportunities that America can offer them.

Yet the issue is illegal immigrants becoming legal citizens. That is what I think most people seem to overlook. They just see the word “immigrant” and automatically make assumptions that it is targeting them.

“Well my grandma is an immigrant who came to this country legally and she worked really hard to support her family,” someone once said to me.

‘Grandma’s ” issue is not the same because she became a legal citizen, and some people who keep yelling haven’t figured that part out yet. All they need to do to be treated the same as everyone else is become a legal citizen.

Become an American citizen, and all your shouting can be over.

America is everybody’s land. It is a mixture of different cultures. Not just white, black, brown or yellow. It’s a giant rainbow of all colors.

I guess that’s what the Mexican community is so afraid of.

Not being part of the rainbow.

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