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(en) US, Phoenix, Anarchist journal, Fires Never Extinguished - Immigrants Get One Camp, But Which One Is For You?

Date Wed, 02 Jun 2010 10:48:11 +0300


I want you to look at these two photos, especially if you're white. This one is from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The Nazis built the Sachsenhausen camp outside Berlin to hold primarily political prisoners. --- Generally, that meant anyone who didn't agree with the Nazi regime and had the nerve to say or do something about it, but not exclusively so. Sometimes just having the wrong associations was enough. Like being in a union, or in a particular political party. Or helping Jews. Further east lay the death camps, where Jewish prisoners, held for no other reason than their ethnicity and their convenience as a scapegoat for Germany's economic situation, and dressed almost the exact same way were murdered by the millions behind electrified fences.

The next photo is from the Arizona Republic and shows Mexican and other migrants
being transferred into segregated housing at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tent city, where they
will be housed behind electrified fences in a special section just for them. One camp
for brown-skinned workers from south of the border and another for everyone else.
The photos bear a striking
resemblance, don't they?
Indeed, the comparisons
couldn't be more clear.
Singled out by race and
ethnicity and marched
under armed guard to linger
behind fences in
concentration camps
awaiting an uncertain
future.
This is a point that I feel
must be particularly aimed
at white folks, so I want
them to listen up as I
address this to them in particular. If you think that you can support cameras on the
borders without them coming North and targeting you, you're wrong. If you think
that you can support eVerify and other government controls on work without it
coming back to regulate your work and whether you can have any, think again. If
you think that you can support a crackdown on immigrant or migrant workers
without setting yourself up for an attack on all other workers, you're wrong. And if
you think you can support putting one kind of people behind electrified fences
without making a reservation for yourself, think again.
Because the infrastructure for one is just as useful against the other. The police state
you have supported in exchange for the relative immunity of your white skin
privilege can just as easily take your rights away. Those SWAT teams that round up
immigrants can just as easily kick in your door. The camps you support for brown
folks can just as easily house you. Right now making its way through the Congress is
National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645. This bill will set up what are
euphemistically known as "Emergency Centers", otherwise known as concentration
camps to be used in the case of emergency.
Well, have you looked around lately? I think we're in a emergency. Who do you
think is going to be in those camps? You didn't complain about those billions going
to Bank of America, did you? I hope not! You didn't complain about the war in Iraq,
did you? I hope not! Otherwise those camps may be in your future, or the future of
someone you know and love.
Did you happen to catch the article in the Phoenix Business Journal in December
about how the Phoenix Police are getting ready to put down insurrections in the
Valley, in cooperation with the military. That's not for immigrants, my friend. That's
for in case you and your friends get sick of the banker bailout or the foreclosures or
whatever else the capitalist elite have in store for you. Maybe you think you deserve
something other than slave wages and decide to organize at work with some of your
fellow workers. Did you happen to see how the government has created NorthCom
and deployed veteran units from Iraq to put down similar uprisings across the
country? What do you think those riots are going to be about? What will those
insurrectionaries be demanding? Work?
Food? Respect? Might you be one of
them when the food runs out? Or when a
member of your family is unjustly
beaten or shot by the police?
You see, white people have made a
major mistake. They have operated
under the assumption that the privileges
that they receive, petty though they
might be in comparison to those enjoyed
by the wealthy capitalist elite, were
worth turning a blind eye to the
crackdown on people of color. In fact,
they've ignored it for a long time.
And for a long time they did get special
benefits. I know they don't like to hear
this, but it's true. White folks got higher
wages, less exposure to the police and
prisons, better schools and better job
security. And taking those benefits
created a relationship between the rich
and powerful and white folks in general.
A bastard cross-class alliance that has
stood in the way of true progress in this
country for quite some time. But now
the piper has to be paid and with the
economy crashing down all around us,
and with the government threatening
martial law over the banker bailout, and
with the infrastructure now in place to
execute it, their days of exemption and
special treatment may just be over. And
they let it happen.
No, they may not wind up having to
speak Spanish in one of Arpaio's
segregated immigrant concentration
camps. But they might wind up in
Sachsenhausen. And their fate will be
the same. It is in everyone's best interest
to prevent the construction of
concentration camps and the dry run for
a police state that they pre-figure. Don't
you see it? Arpaio is just doing the warm
up. Immigrants are the appetizer, my
friend, but you are the main course.

Picture:

Austrian prisoners, marked with
triangles and identifying patches,
in the Dachau concentration
camp. Germany, April 1938.
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