Friday, August 8, 2008

A Little Experiment with Your Imagination

Addendum: Sunday August 10, 2008
the author of the essay below is MARC MAZIQUE (see photo top).

The photo (below) originally posted is not of Mr. Mazique (who is African American), but of a 2007 Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, Gerhard Ertl (of Germany).

Now the question is: what kind of reaction did you have to the article below when you only saw Ertl's photo?

There has been lots of research on the premise that people take white males much more seriously and believe them more often than males of color, or women of any color.

A few days ago dreamacttexas undertook a small experiment. We are of the theory that you are more likely influenced by an opinion of someone you "idealize" or highly respect than someone who is not widely known for his/her credentials.

Below is an essay by a well educated, informed person, regarding the 14th amendment (U.S. law regarding birthright citizenship).

Tomorrow I will post the actual identity and background of that person (and the link for the photo). Since you have no actual information at this moment, just imagine it is a he-- and is an Ivy League graduate who is a close relation to a U.S. Senator


In late May, the state Republican Party held its 2008 convention in Spokane and adopted a platform for the upcoming election cycle. In one section, "Borders, Immigration and Homeland Security," the party staked out a position in clear opposition to a right protected under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that of birthright citizenship.

The text reads, "Legal immigration can best be facilitated by a transparent, traceable and enforceable guest worker program that does not include amnesty or birthright citizenship" (emphasis added).

This position should deeply trouble all fair-minded Americans, not just immigrants. It threatens to weaken 140 years of civil rights tradition in this country and institutionalize a regressive and racist policy under the guise of defending America.

The 14th Amendment ratified in July 1868 includes several clauses fundamental to the establishment of civil equality (due process, equal protection and citizenship). Enacted with the 13th and 15th amendments in the years following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment has served as the foundation for all manner of struggles for civil rights. Unfortunately, its history has also been one of continual challenge and outright subversion by those seeking to deny the equality and dignity of people of color.

African-Americans have a special understanding of how those enemies of equality operate. At every point they have suffered crimes, from denial of basic rights (such as the vote) to the very right to exist (in the form of lynchings and murder). Those attacks frequently have been justified and carried out through legal means (Jim Crow and other segregationist policies) and defended in the interests of maintaining law and order (racial profiling and police brutality). The message has been clear: an ongoing rejection of the equal status of blacks.

It is because of this special understanding, wrought out of a history of oppression, that African-Americans should be disturbed by the state GOP's push to redefine the current reading of the 14th Amendment. Birthright citizenship, as laid out in this amendment, was primarily intended to extend citizenship to former slaves and their descendants.

However, it has come to be legally understood as extending to all people born within the United States, and it has enabled the children of immigrants from many different places of origin and ethnicities to integrate into both the body politic and civil society....

However focused or narrow the efforts of the anti-immigrant movement and their allies appear, they have consequences for all Americans. But they bear a particular danger for the civil equality of people of color. African-Americans and all people of conscience need to recognize that when the civil rights of any are under attack, it is an attack on us all. We should stand together, both in defense of one another and of ourselves.

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