Heard on the radio

As I was running errands today, I had my radio tuned to the local NPR station, listening to This American Life. Today’s program was about the new Alabama immigration laws and how they have, in addition to whatever else, increased the racism experienced by/targeted at the Latino population.

An instance mention by the reporter involved a group of Hispanic kids at a peprally who were all sitting on the front bleachers. Their peers, the other students, started yelling “Mexicans to the back!” until the Hispanic kids moved.  I was shocked, and wondered if the kids yelling had any sense of the historical echo of their words, of the history of racial segregation in this country (codified and/or cultural).  Whether they are or they are not aware of the history, the act is unsettlingly reminiscent of an era which I hope we are not about to repeat.

1 comment

  1. Wow. Just wow. Thanks for posting. I was reading an Economist article today about the law in Alabama, and the ramifications it has had. When the state government enacts such a policy, with thinly coded discrimination against an ethnic group, it’s not a surprise that such things would occur – while the students may not have known directly of the law, the fact of that law existing creates an atmosphere where such acts are tolerated. As you said, given this country’s history… How sad.

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