6-21-12 Links Roundup

Many activists at the forefront of undocumented youth movement have come out as “undocuqueer”: queer and undocumented. For us, Obama’s recent announcements are more than a political tactic that could give him an increase in Latino or LGBT votes; it’s our life that is on the line.

But the victory is bittersweet. Just like Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, this announcement only goes so far.

Even as Obama’s new policy has brought much to rejoice over, it won’t grant undocumented youth a path to permanent residency or citizenship. As many undocumented activists across the nation continue to make their status visible, there are those less fortunate who have aged out and will not be able to enjoy the opportunities of this policy. Even for those who qualify, the change represents only a temporary two-year deferment of deportation. What will happen to these young people after the two years are up is unknown. We’re still left in limbo; we’re basically still in the same place that we were to begin with.

Unfortunately, while responsibly moving the guns, he found himself unable to shake his groggy feeling.  Realizing the terrible predicament he faced, he sought out a police officer, only to find himself under arrest and ultimately in jail.  While clearly a result of his Bipolar Disorder and his need to medicate, West would be punished by the criminal justice system (1-year house arrest), by the media (in terms of ridicule and a narrative that consistently imagined him as criminal), and with a 10-game suspension from the NBA. Named as a member of The Bleacher Report’s “all thug team” and also a member of a list of players who “could double as gang members,” and often described as a “thug” and a “gangsta” in comment sections, Delonte West highlights the ways the criminality and mental health becomes within the black body.

His difficulties and troubles are rarely linked to his disease, instead positioned as yet another criminal baller.  Moreover, even acknowledgment about his Bipolar Disorder provides little cover or context given the stigmas directed at black males. Knowledge of medical conditions, instead, are used as further evidence of his criminality and danger.  “West wouldn’t be the first person to be picked on for having a mental health condition, and certainly not the first to be picked up for the same,” notes Sam Eifling. “But it’s worth noting that, despite harming precisely no one, West likely became another example of the criminalization of mental illness in America. Now he’s stigmatized as not just sick, but criminal.” Ain’t that a truth known all too well by a disproportionate number of African Americans.

“Cien años de soledad” (“One Hundred Years Of Solitude”) took us to beautifully imaginary places where extraordinary things happened. In a tangled series of non-linear events, Gabriel Garcia Marquez chronicled the multi-generational story of the Buendia family, where each family member’s name was a tangled variation of another’s. There was Jose Arcadio Buendia, Jose Arcadio Segundo, Aureliano Buendia, Aureliano Buendia Segundo, Úrsula Iguarán, Amaranta Buendía, Amaranta Úrsula and the list went on. With each name came a more intricate prose to develop.

But now, in an interview in Kien&Ke.com, a Colombian digital magazine, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, a fellow novelist and journalist, and a close friend of Gabo — as Garcia Marquez is fondly called — describes how the 85 year-old author and master of magical realism has trouble recognizing his closest friends.

“Last time we spoke he would forget certain things,” said Mendoza in Spanish. “He would ask me ‘when did you get here? Where are you staying’ and he kept repeating things. Instead, we went out to lunch and we reminisced about events that happened 30 or 40 years ago and his memory was as sharp as ever.”

Last time they spoke to each other was five years ago. But Mendoza has kept in contact with Rodrigo, Garcia Marquez’s godson, who told him that Gabo “has to actually see you. He won’t be able to recognize you just through your voice.”

Well, apparently, the editors at National Review haven’t yet learned that racists and white nationalists leave long, nasty trails of incriminating material on the Internet, because today we find yet another vile racist prominently featured at NRO: David Yerushalmi, fear-mongering about the imaginary takeover of America by shariah law.

Yerushalmi is Pamela Geller’s associate, and of course he’s horribly bigoted against Muslims; on his own site, he advocates criminalizing Islam itself and imposing 20-year sentences on practicing Muslims, an un-American violation of the First Amendment.

But this is also the man who, in an infamous article titled “On Race: A Tentative Discussion, Part II,” advocated a return to a pre-Bill of Rights Constitution and the restriction of voting rights to white male land-owners. Yes, really.

At the time, anti-Japanese sentiment was high. Many blamed the decline of the U.S. auto industry on Japan – I remember the pressure to buy products with a “Made in America” sticker or patch on them, even though I was just a boy. Vincent Chin, a 27 year old Chinese American draftsman, was not Japanese, and had nothing to do with the auto industry.

After the altercation, Chin and his friends parted ways, but Ebens and Nitz weren’t done. They went looking for Chin, reportedly paying a friend $20 to help look for him. They found him at a McDonalds, dragged him outside, and one of them held Chin down while the other brutally beat him with a baseball bat. Four days later, Chin died – five days before his wedding.

Both Ebens and Nitz got three years’ probation, a $3,000 fine, and $780 in court costs. To this day, neither of them have spent a day in jail.

I will repeat that: Ebens and Nitz sought out an unarmed man, held him down, and beat him to death in front of witnesses, and to this day they haven’t spent a single day in jail.

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  • Anonymous

    Great job, linking the lack for justice for Vincent Chin with the continuing hiring of racists at the National Review.  People can say America is a democracy and the land of the free all they want, but they should read these articles, then click on over to Jonathon Wall’s experience in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The fact that I have to find out about this here, rather than in the MSM tells us a lot about how far we haven’t come.  Depressing, but needed.  Thanks as always for being here.