ARIZONA, Feb. 12 — The Giants-Patriots championship game was one of the most exciting Super Bowls in recent history. In the U.S, almost 100 million watched it on TV. But there’s another side to this game, almost ignored by everyone. It had a touch of the racism at the 1936 Berlin Olympics when in the middle of another sporting event attracting millions, Hitler put forward his racist “master race” garbage. But the black runner Jesse Owens upset Hitler’s applecart by winning four track events.
Somewhat similarly, while millions were enjoying the Super Bowl in Arizona, the same state’s politicians who were hosting the championship game were — along with their cops — in the forefront of pogroms against immigrants occurring nationwide. The NY Times (2/12) reports about the situation in Arizona: “The signs of flight among Latino immigrants here are multiple: Families moving out of apartment complexes, schools reporting enrollment drops, business owners complaining about fewer clients.”
The Sherrif’s Department runs ads asking people to report on undocumented immigrants. Local politicians are behaving like the Minutemen. “It’s like a panic here,” said Ms. León, a daycare worker. “This is all having an effect on the community, mostly emotional.”
But Arizona is not alone with these pogroms. Last week, there were protests in Danbury, Conn., because local cops can now legally behave like immigration agents. On February 7, ICE (Immigration cops) raided a plant near Salt Lake City, Utah, arresting 50 workers. Virtually simultaneously, ICE raided Micro Solutions Enterprises, a Van Nuys, California plant making parts for copier machines, and arrested 120 workers.
The ICE cops arrested over 7,000 immigrant workers last year just raiding workplaces, and they plan to arrest even more this year. It’s no coincidence that these fascist-like raids are occurring amid an economy meltdown and rising unemployment. The bosses, their politicians and cops want workers to blame other workers (undocumented immigrants) for the problems caused by capitalism itself.
Undocumented immigrants didn’t run scams like subprime mortgages, stealing billions from working-class families, and are not in charge of the endless wars spurring this capitalist meltdown. Workers who fall for these racist pogroms scapegoat undocumented immigrants are cutting their own throats. These Gestapo-type raids will also be used against any workers fighting cutbacks, layoffs, plant closings, etc.
We in PLP believe that a divided working class is the best weapon the bosses have to make ALL workers pay for their crisis and wars. Now more than ever, our slogan must be, “Same enemy, same fight, workers of the world, unite.