White Citizenship

Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report, August 4, 2010

After all is said and done, what much of the so-called Tea Party wants is a return to America as a White Man’s Country. There are a few obstacles in their way, including the U.S. Constitution, but that’s not insurmountable. “On a daily basis pundits and politicians rear their ugly heads to say that the children born of undocumented persons should no longer be given American citizenship.”

The founding fathers made one think perfectly clear when they ratified the constitution in 1787. Full citizenship rights were meant only for white men of property. {snip}

The pull of that early history is ever present for many white Americans. No matter the degree of progress made, the adherence to the evils of America’s early days are never far from the surface. Simply put, there are too many brown faces for the liking of a majority of white people. Even the president has a brown face. His very presence has been a shock to the country’s system and to the mythology which says that only white people are truly American.

{snip}

The guarantor of citizenship since 1868 has been the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the United States. That amendment and its guarantees are now under direct threat. On a daily basis pundits and politicians rear their ugly heads to say that the children born of undocumented persons should no longer be given American citizenship.

Arizona legislators, the go-to group for turning white supremacy into law, have proposed denying birth certificates to anyone who can’t prove legal residence. Flush with the nationwide popularity of SB1070, which turns Arizona into the “show me your papers” police state, they are now drunk with the possibility of keeping the dark skinned people in check and away from what they hope to make an oasis of whiteness.

All of these proposals are masks for a simple proposition. Citizenship rights should only be extended to white people, just as in the barbaric days of the golden age of whiteness. {snip}

Black Americans should be the first to denounce these bizarre schemes to undo constitutional protections. The 14th Amendment was a means of protecting the rights of the newly freed population and of over turning the infamous Dred Scott decision which nullified the very concept of black citizenship.

“We want our country back” is not just an anti-Obama call to action. It is a call to revive an idea which ought to have been firmly discredited by now, that America should belong only to white people and that they alone should have a voice in how it is run. It would be a terrible mistake to see these citizenship proposals only as anti-Latino based bigotry. They are surely that but they are also a means of keeping the non-white population under control and depriving them of any rights which a white person need respect.

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