returning to "de jure" racism

I went to the INS Building this morning to be a part of the demonstration against "Special Registration."

What I really did was join about two hundred people who are willing to make at least a small fuss about the fact that our government is now practicing de jure racism, establishment of religion, and age and sex discrimination.

Most everyone there this morning and well into the afternoon were what some call "brown people." They were bright and beautiful people from proscribed muslim countries stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, and from North Korea [I don't think I could have pointed out anyone from North Korea today, but that is another story] whose boys and young men have been ordered to "register" with the federal immigration authorities.

If they don't show up they are subject to prosecution and deportation (if they are found). If they do show up to register it means that, after standing in the cold for hours, they are subject to being photographed, fingerprinted and interrogated. Hundreds have then been incarcerated (many flown out of their states for the lack of large enough detention facilities), some for various minor infractions, others for being a couple of days late in registering and many because of administrative errors or backlog within the INS itself. Many of those in these prisons who have been able to communicate with people outside have reported being strip searched, held in crowded and unheated quarters and denied food and medicines. Most have had no access to an attorney.

Their offense was and remains that of not being American citizens.

There were few "American citizens" among those protesting on lower Broadway on this, or on previous occasions, in front of the sad line of INS "clients" which winds around the corner on Federal Plaza every day. This is a terrible indictment of the city to whom the French nation made a gift of the Statue of Liberty.

If we all understood that there really is no such thing as "illegal people," and that there are no "aliens" anywhere on the planet, there would not even have been the need for a protest today.

All this should be especially important for Americans to remember today as our Constitution is being disassembled.

A young man handed a blue triangle emblem to me this morning. Seventy years ago the Nazis had designated a blue triangle as the identification of "stateless" people of all descriptions. My plain triangle bears the text,

ABDOU TAGELDIN
35 YEARS OLD
EGYPTIAN
DISAPPEARED
IN THE USA
There are many, many other identities on many, many of these triangles.

This monstrousness must be stopped.