today in black history

May 28, 2024

Educator and health advocate Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, was born on this date in 1936 in Detroit, Michigan.

Trump’s Ethnic Cleansing

POSTED: March 01, 2017, 2:00 pm

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Our nation’s immigration process has been subjective for some time. We have always made exceptions based on national self-interest, as we did after World War II when we excused the Nazi leanings of German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and allowed him and many of his fellow Nazis into the country to develop our own rocket technology. The practice of ‘exceptions’ continue to this day as our immigration policy tilts favorably to foreigners with science or technology backgrounds.

The issue of “illegal” immigration is not a new issue either. We’ve known for decades that millions of people enter our nation in violation of the law. Contrary to President Trump’s assertion though, they are overwhelmingly law abiding and come into this country seeking work and a better way of life for their families. And if any wage suppression occurs in the labor market, it is attributable to employers who hire undocumented immigrants and purposely pay them slave wages. Immigration has been a positive attribute to this nation, from the wave of Europeans who arrived in the 19th century to today’s entrants from Mexico, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It should also not be lost in this discussion that had it not been for the labor of enslaved Africans, those forcibly emigrated to this country, our nation’s economic superiority would likely be nonexistent.

In America, the “others” have always done the work to enrich the wealthy and advance the global economic position of elites.

The course on immigration that President Trump has pursued through his initial Executive Order has nothing to do with closing immigration loopholes, facilitating a legal path to citizenship or keeping the United States safe. The construction of a wall along our southern border, the targeting of nations with large Muslim populations, and unleashing ICE agents on a search for undocumented residents is an effort to forestall the browning of America. Under the cover of immigration, the Trump White House is engaging in ethnic cleansing to preserve whiteness in America as all reputable data points to our nation becoming majority black and brown in the next 30 years. It is clear this is the aim as the original Executive Order placed a ban on Muslims from nations from which there is little evidence of their citizens engaging in acts of terrorism in the United States.

The finger prints of white nationalist and Trump aide Steve Bannon is all over the president’s immigration policy. On face value, it makes no sense to strike such a hostile tone against immigrants. After all, were it not for the labor of immigrants, many of them undocumented, our farmland would go unattended and we would all feel the pain at our local supermarket. Immigrants play an important role in our economy and demonizing them is contrary to our national interest and not constructive to international relations.
While much of the focus has been on Mexico and those the president deems “bad hombres,” for African-Americans it is important to understand that this hammer will also fall upon immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. There should be no sense of security in our community because as the White House gazes south, it is no doubt gazing east as well. What the Trump administration is doing is setting in motion a larger strategy of closing the borders to people of color and those who profess Islam as their faith. By doing so, we are destined to remain a permanent minority and subject to the subordination of our humanity in a racially caste system.

This last point is what really needs to be understood by Blacks, meaning African-Americans and black African and Caribbean immigrants, and Latinos. We have a common stake in this battle and a common history that we ourselves have denied far too long. Though we are a “minority” in the United States, we are a global majority. If we can find common ground with the Asian-American community our political and economic strength is that much more enhanced. Our work has to be engaging all communities of color to build a consensus on how we operate as an emerging majority.

The projected demographics of America, and current trends, is not lost upon the west wing. The white supremacist tendencies that many in the media have incorrectly deemed “Alt Right,” is nothing more than white nationalism, and it represents an agenda that seeks to preserve disproportionate white power in our country. We should not get distracted by rhetoric or symbolism and understand that under the cover of immigration there is something much more sinister at play.

Walter Fields is Executive Editor of

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