You can’t spell Arizona without N-A-Z-I; Thoughts from PBS’s Undocumented

Watch Coming to Independent Lens: The Undocumented on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Probably one of the most overused analogies is to compare something or someone to Nazis or Hitler.

I think sometimes that is a bit extreme, but sometimes is may be more useful to compare a situation to the beginnings of the Third Reich; how did they go from being like us to being Nazis?

It wasn’t really the Nazis fault for what happened to the Jews, right? The Jews should have known the danger and left, right? This is the justification we use with Mexicans today. It’s not OUR fault… ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL and thus it is they the Mexicans that do this to themselves and their family.

As if OUR laws and policies really don’t bear any responsibility…

In Arizona over the past few years we’ve seen the implementation of a “Papers please” law and the legalization of racial profiling under the guise of “reasonably suspicious.”

We’ve seen the banning of history and literature and the official banning of books in Tucson.

We’ve seen the private-prison-pipeline progress, with schools getting funding cuts while private prisons increase.

The private prisons were built in parallel with SB1070; with the new law that made existence illegal for Mexicans, you would need some place to house all these human beings.

Then you take the migrants who work for a pittance each day as America’s cheap labor source, then throw them in jail where they now work as slave-prison labor. They pick your crops and prepare the processed foods that go to school kitchens, but now for pennies a day.

The comparison to a concentration camp was tempting. Just as the Germans turned these prison camps into labor powerhouses exploiting the Jewish people, now America is doing this with Mexicans.


Then my perspective changed while watching the latest PBS Independent Lens special “Undocumented.”

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It takes things a bit further than you are used to in the news. It doesn’t just show a cramped migrant camp, or prison labor, but shows people dying of dehydration… and human bodies decomposing outside of Tucson.

This is the hurdle our Mexican labor force that American’s demand with their dollars have to overcome.

Where is our humanity America?

Where is our humanity America?

Tons of skulls and bones and old tattered clothes are all that remains. It reminded me of only one thing; those mass graves from Nazi Germany.

And then it dawned on me.

The Arizona desert is the oven for the Mexican people. It is our policies that drive Mexicans out into these ovens, just as German policies led to human death.

All for an exploitation of human labor.

All for the dehumanization of human beings.

And then I remembered the geniuses in charge of the Final Solution. How to deal with the logistics of labor and bodies?

Republicans are more stupid than the hate against certain humans they have. What makes Democrats more dangerous is their intelligence. While Republicans fumble over nonsense and over racism and xenophobia, the Democrats master the oppression without any label of racism.

Consider the bodies in the Arizona oven.

All a result of NAFTA and Operation Gatekeeper. That was a Democrat President that brought that reality.

All the deportations today that the Democratic President and Democrat Janet Napolitano in charge enable.

Move aside Republicans, it takes a Democrat to do the true damage and getting awarded a Ben’s Bells in return. Ron Barber voting for drones in the Southern Arizona Desert, Pima County Sheriff detaining more Mexicans that Arpaio… but without all the ignorance and overt racism.

Is it a coincidence that you can’t spell Arizona without N-A-Z-I? What path are we headed towards with banning books, papers please laws, private prison pipelines and pushing humans into the Arizona ovens to die?

And wasn’t that Germany with the Berlin Wall? Republicans went from tear down this wall to build the dang fence.

But it’s all just a coincidence?

Coincidence or not, it’s a reality, a horrible shameful reality and it is happening right here, right now, in America.

In Arizona.

Right outside of Tucson.

This summer.


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