"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Latino boycott sparks anger

Cracking down on illegal immigrants and those who hire them is a "slap in the face" 'to all immigrants?' - Teodoro Maus
Bob Griggs has the right idea, but maybe it should go beyond Monday and Cinco de Mayo? Check out his Nothing "Mexican" on Cinco de Mayo.
"I will not patronize my favorite Mexican restaurant nor any other Hispanic-owned or “Mexican-themed” business on May 5 or the week thereafter."
From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
As he slurped down a margarita at his favorite Mexican restaurant, Snellville political activist Bob Griggs glanced at TV images of protesting illegal immigrants and their supporters.

What gall, Griggs thought. And the TV reporter said there would be more: a national economic boycott on Monday. Griggs, whose activism is normally limited to Gwinnett politics and land-use issues, vowed to make illegal immigration his latest cause. "Something snapped," said Griggs, a Web design specialist. "This hasn't been a burning issue with me."

Inflaming negative reactions from the public is just one concern of Latino leaders debating whether to support the no-buy, no-work boycott on Monday, international labor day. Some participants might risk losing their jobs as employers lose patience with the third protest in Georgia since late March. And frustrated Hispanic students could once again skip school by the thousands --- against the pleas of Latino leaders --- in their desire to participate.

"There are dangers," said Teodoro Maus, one of the organizers of a march that drew an estimated 40,000 people to north DeKalb County earlier this month. "But I think they're dangers that we're willing to chance."

The U.S. House passed a bill that would make being in the country illegally a felony and would fund construction of a barrier along part of the Mexican border. Supporters say the legislation would make the United States safer and help cut the flow of illegal immigrants, whose numbers are estimated at more than 11 million nationally and between 250,000 and 800,000 in Georgia.

This month, Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law a crackdown on illegal immigrants and those who hire them in Georgia.

Maus, a former Mexican consul in Atlanta, called the measures a "slap in the face" to all immigrants. And while there hasn't been 100 percent agreement on what to do Monday, leaders of the March 17 Alliance of Georgia --- the group that has organized the last two protests in the state --- finalized a plan.

They are encouraging immigrants to participate in that national boycott so long as they don't endanger their jobs. School students should attend class, Maus said, and wear white shirts as a show of support.

Other groups are throwing their support behind protests after work and school hours. The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials will join a march and rally of high school and college students in Athens, said Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO's executive director. The 5 p.m. march will begin and end at First Christian Church at the corner of Pulaski and Dougherty streets in Athens.

What to do on Monday has been the question of the hour crackling on Spanish-language radio in Atlanta. "It's a decision of the individual," Flavia Jimenez of the National Council of La Raza told listeners last week on VIVA (105.7 FM). Skipping out on work comes with real dangers, counseled Jimenez, an immigration policy analyst with the Hispanic advocacy group. "In the United States, there isn't a right to just not work."

Hispanic leaders across the country have been split over Monday's boycott. Some call it an effective nonviolent protest in the mold of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Others warn that too much protesting could hurt their cause just as immigration reform talks return to the U.S. Senate, which is deeply divided over what to do with illegal immigrants.

About 61 percent of the nearly 8,000 likely voters surveyed in a Zogby Interactive poll earlier this month said recent protests have made them less sympathetic toward the plight of undocumented workers.

Griggs, for one, wrote a manifesto that called on Americans not to patronize "Hispanic-owned or Mexican-themed" businesses on Cinco de Mayo and the week after. Griggs said he personally would not be sipping those margaritas at his favorite Mexican restaurant on the May 5 holiday that celebrates the Mexican army's defeat of French invaders. "It angers me when the interlopers so brazenly demand the protection of the same law that they flaunted with their very first steps on American soil," Griggs wrote.

Then he posted the column on his Web site --- a community guide with a blog dedicated to politics. Atlanta radio personality Neal Boortz talked about it last week on his nationally syndicated show and chatted with Griggs. More than 20,000 people clicked on Griggs' column, which normally gets a few hundred hits in a week.

Griggs, who wants Congress to make halting immigration a top priority, said he's trying to send a message to Washington.

Then again, so is Jessica Zapata, a 19-year-old cashier at Monterrey Mexican Restaurant --- Griggs' favorite. Zapata, whose family left Mexico for the United States when she was a toddler, said she won't be working or spending come Monday.

Zapata said that unlike the hastily arranged boycott in Georgia last month, news of the latest protest has been circulating through Spanish-language TV and radio for weeks. "It'll be like that movie 'A Day Without a Mexican,'" Zapata said. "Everybody's talking about it now."

But the decision was easy for Zapata; Monday is her day off.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let us know at what level you would like to participate.**

tag: tag:


© blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks