The “Border Beat” (May 16, 2008)

Today’s offerings feature a veritable buffet of selections from the world’s presses!

  • Reporter rips McCain a new culo and it feels muuuuuuuuy bueno (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
  • Feinstein tries to derail the efforts of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as she does the bidding of her masters in agriculture (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • North Carolina bans illegal immigrants from going to Community College (Guardian-UK)
  • Tensions within African American and Latino Los Angeles are reaching a new high over Special Order 40 (New York Times)
  • The truth about Special Order 40 (Los Angeles Times)

The issues brewing in the final two articles are significant, troubling, and a long time coming. While most of the heat is being directed at Special Order 40–a policy within the LAPD that forbids officers from asking a person about their legal status if they are not being investigated for a crime–the issues are really bigger and broader than that.

African Americans and Latinos occupy some of the same space within Los Angeles, both right now and historically. African American “ghettos” were, generally, poorer neighborhoods in which whites chose not to live (and due to historic forms of segregation in housing restrictions, chose for African Americans to live). As waves of Latino migrants have made Los Angeles their home, they moved into many of the same neighborhoods, both a reflection of their affordability and the continued policies and practices of racial residential restrictions in the city.

Cohabitation need not breed any animosity, but that shared space has not always come with a sense of mutual community. Decades of differing political and social histories–including the ways in which each group was integrated in the economy and politics–framed more difference than commonality. Gangs, violence, poverty, and racism, have wrought more.

This is the current status of many of our working class, diverse communities of color in the United States. Unfortunately, it may get worse before it gets better.

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