[Marxism] Re: Immigration.

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Wed Oct 5 09:09:29 MDT 2005

Barney Katz writes: "Whilst the Feldman et al. 'team' exhibited plenty
of 'heat' and bravado it demonstrated, on the whole, scant regard for
representing Mr. Godena's arguments accurately or honestly. Hence, its
collective assumption, that Mr. Godena is a racist, is completely
contrary to the available facts. Indeed, it was Mr. Bustelo who came
closest to making racist assertions, not Mr. Godena."

I have no objection to being lumped together with comrades like Fred
Feldman despite one or another occasional minor difference, nor even
with rrubinelli, with whom I have a broader series of political
disagreements but nevertheless have a great deal of respect for.

But Katz's lumping us together in *this* case misses what is going on

I'm the one who called Godena a racist. 

Fred, being having a more temperate soul than I, explained that, no,
Godena bears no particular animus towards Blacks or Mexicans and so on,
he's just adapted to the traditional positions of the labor officialdom
on this matter which (I think Fred will agree) are racist positions. But
whether the positions come from personal animus or through a mechanism
of adaptation to backwardness in the labor movement really isn't
something that seems like a relevant distinction to me in this case,
when so many people are dying every week.

As to the basis for my characterizing Godena in this way, Katz needs to
read my post "Mr. Louis Godena's racist, white supremacist provocation,"
from August 1. 

Here's a brief excerpt, since Katz is such a stickler for "full quotes
... in context":

*  *  *

Mr. Godena's constant use of racist terms like "Chinese-level wages,"
"illegal aliens," "floods of trespassers," "unbridled immigration," his
dismissal of white and male and citizen privilege as "artificial
'differences,'" his claims that immigrants "threaten to close hospitals,
bankrupt municipalities, and drive basic services into ruin," and the
lie that "many who come here are relatively well-off and arrive as
expectant capitalists, rather than as impoverished workers," is entirely
typical propaganda of the white supremacists.

The only kind of socialism this has any relation to is national

Mr. Godena doesn't even try to HIDE the fascist white-supremacist
inspiration for his racist rant. He links directly from his "Marxism
International" blog entry to the sites of unabashed white supremacists,
like vdare.com.

*  *  *

I go on for quite a while in that post documenting the racist white
supremacist inspiration of Godena's post, which HE makes quite
transparent through the links he provides to buttress his points.
Someone wrote me off-list saying it was unbecoming of me to make such an
unabashedly ad-hominem argument, but that was precisely my point:
Someone who associated himself with those forces and adopts their
arguments *ought not* to be tolerated here. I may be a minority of one
and, moreover, this is Louis's call, whose right to run this list I
respect even though I would have unsubbed Godena and he hasn't. But
that's my opinion.

Why do I feel so strongly about it? This is from UPI:

*  *  *

Record death toll at U.S.-Mexican border 

TUCSON: The number of illegal immigrants who died crossing the southern
border into the United States hit a record 460 last year, the U.S.
Border Patrol reports.

More than half -- 261 people -- died while crossing the Arizona deserts,
the busiest illegal immigrant corridor along the nation's 2,000-mile
southern border, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The total from Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 29, 2005, surpassed the
previous record of 383 deaths in 2000.

*  *  *

And this was posted this morning on cnn.com: 

Arrests made in brutal attacks on immigrants

MOULTRIE, Georgia (AP) -- Two men were arrested Tuesday in connection
with a string of brutal attacks in south Georgia that targeted immigrant
farm workers, authorities said.

The crime spree last week left six workers dead, either shot or
bludgeoned with baseball bats. Four other workers were injured and a
woman raped....

The pre-dawn attacks Friday sent a chill through south Georgia's large
Latino community, which includes thousands of workers who harvest
millions of dollars worth of crops, from peaches to Vidalia onions....

Authorities believe Sims and Underwood may have been part of an
armed-robbery gang that preyed on immigrant workers, who often carry
large sums of cash because they lack documents to open bank accounts....

Earlier Tuesday, GBI [Georgia Bureau of Investigations] Director Vernon
Keenan said there had been about 20 home invasions targeting Latinos in
Tift, Colquitt and Cook counties within the past three months.

*  *  *

Moultrie is the same place where a Mexican farm worker was lynched two
years ago in a death initially ruled a suicide until the coroner's
discovery of bullet wounds in the corpse made that claim untenable.

The ultraright is entirely unabashed that what they're waging is a WAR
on Latino immigrants. This is a war in which HUNDREDS of Latino
immigrants are dying every year, on the border and inside the country.
Those six deaths in Moultrie are the direct result of Democrats and
Republican politicians echoing the arguments of the racists, the same
thing that Godena does, and the resulting complete impunity enjoyed by
the perpetrators of previous attacks on immigrants.

Katz says my calling Godena a racist for aligning with the forces
responsible for this is "character assassination." It's very easy for
Katz and others to consider Godena's arguments with tremendous
equanimity. Latinos in this country today do not have that luxury.


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