Nezua Limon's blog
It was naïve to imagine the United States would elect its first African American president and move instantly into an enlightened, post-racial era. It was naïve, or perhaps unduly hopeful. This sentiment was strong among the college-age youth I interviewed while reporting for MTV’s Street Team in Oregon, in March of last year. “He’s gonna save America,” one young man said of then-candidate Barack Obama, his eyes ablaze and earnest. He spoke of more than simply escaping the long, dark years under George W. Bush. He was talking of stepping into a new day in the United States, where all people are valued for their character and not their skin hue.
Young or not, the student I interviewed gave voice to a shape of thought many Americans share on some level: that this man can save us. That a figure can step onto the world stage and usher us into an incredible new day we want so very much to live in.
Monday, August 10, saw the start of a two-day summit in Mexico attended by "the Three Amigos": US President Barack Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They juggled a handful of international and intra-national challenges—from drug war to economy to climate change—meeting for only one evening and half of the next day.
At the heart of the discussion rests, not so comfortably, an opportunity to flesh out a more progressive view of the US and her relationship with the Americas. The current – but out-dated–border-centric, fearful paradigms do not foster a healthy citizenry, but instead increasingly introduce violence and distress into society, against its natural tendencies.
On June 25, President Obama met with a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to discuss immigration reform. Before this meeting, the general sense among progressive factions had been a growing sense of unease that the White House might not address the issue promptly, as promised.
Stalling on this issue would not only be devastating to the immigrant populations at risk, but also to Latinos: according to FBI statistics, hate crimes against Latinos - regardless of immigration status - rose by almost 35% between 2003 and 2006. Concurrently, Right wing pundits profit by portraying immigrants as The Unclean, Leeching, Invader Within—and not without consequences. A recent report by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund connects the rise in hate crimes against the Latino community to the tone of the ongoing immigration debate.