Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Fugitive Slave Act, Part II

Arizona's new immigration law shares an important characteristic with 1850's Fugitive Slave Act: it provides incentives for sheriffs to kidnap dark-skinned American citizens and "deport" them back into slavery.

In the meantime, Mexico continues to melt down -- the violence is now starting to threaten the border maquiladoras. We are approaching the point where the tax base in Mexico has completely collapsed and the financial resources available to the Zetas and other drug thugs are greater than than those available to the Mexican army. All it will take is a few attacks on the oil infrastructure, and we're there -- Mexico will be a failed state akin to Somalia, with no functional government to maintain order or deal with piracy (*real* piracy, holding up seafarers at gunpoint and making cross-border armed raids to loot and pillage, not the lame violations of copyright that the copyright industry tries to claim is piracy).

At that point, we're likely to see a wave of refugees fleeing the violence. So what are we as a nation going to do about that? Wait, wait, I remember this film, we saw it in 1939 when the U.S. turned away refugees fleeing violence against Jews in Germany. Yessiree, just the United States being the United States again. Uhm, for a nation that prides itself on how "generous" it is, the USA sure seems to have a long history of racism against racial minority refugees, with a single exception in the late 1970's when a number of Vietnamese refugees were allowed into the country... but wait, I forget. The official American posture towards that long history of racism against refugees from violence is... "I see no-think! I hear no-think! You're anti-American to bring up those silly *fact* thingies!" Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. That is a scary crystal ball that you've got, there, Badtux! And regardless how badly and racist America is getting ready to act with regard to desperate refugees...we better get our Army home to protect against the bad guys setting it all in motion.

  2. I was about to sputter that the Mexican drug gangs would not attack oil infrastructure because there's no money in that. But then I thought of the ransom-seeking Nigerians in the Ogoni Delta. So yeah, that would make sense.

    As for pirates, I reckon that a few unemployed Gulf Coast fisherfolk will go that route. First they'll use the boats for drug smuggling, and then targets of opportunity. I know I shouldn't think this, but I'm looking forward to seeing rich people get jacked on their yachts.

    The dissolution of the United States continues apace. It's taking longer than I thought, and there are permutations that I had not anticipated, but it's ON.

    More's the pity. The country used to be so good, and it had SUCH future potential. I hope there will be parts that keep it together. Like the ones close to up here. Because I'm not looking forward to violence spilling across the (other) southern border.

  3. Yeah, form "Ship of Fools, " to "Nation of Fools."

  4. It's not even a matter of needing a crystal ball, Labrys ... it's a rear-view mirror. And no, I don't subscribe to the naive view that history repeats itself. I do think we should try our damnedest to learn from our collective mistakes.

    In a sad coincidence, I lectured about the voyage of the St. Louis just this afternoon in my Nazi Germany class. I'm really having to bite my tongue to avoid dragging the class into present-day comparisons.


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