Susan B. Anthony Would Never Promote "Boycott The Vote"
A Lesson For TeaDREAMers
By DeeDee Garcia Blase
It is embarrassing for me to see the naive and politically under-educated TeaDREAMers promote a thinly veiled threat to boycott the vote that essentially affects millions of people living in the shadows of society when so many women, Civil Rights and Chicano Movement leaders fought for our right to vote. Particularly when pioneers like Susan B. Anthony along with 14 other women were charged and arrested for voting. It is even more embarrassing to discover how TeaDREAMers sold out in order to benefit themselves financially via "legal coyote" operations. Ultimately, the joke ends up backfiring on the TeaDREAMer because politicians already know they cannot vote anyway.
A border reporter shared a concern with me last year when we were discussing DREAMers who are on record for supporting the hijacking of the immigration rights movement. It struck a nerve with me but I tried to remain optimistic. The journalist told me she felt that it may have been a good idea for it to take 13 years for an immigrant to earn his/her citizenship after the other hurdles have been cleared in light of their naivete. I responded by saying citizenship ought to take place before the baby boomer Social Security benefits exhaust 100% of our federal tax revenues. I do not believe in going down the slippery slope of "taxation without representation" ideas and we know undocumented immigrants pay taxes.
Was the border reporter half right?
Obviously we want to ensure our American values are preserved. We want to continue to show progress and move forward -- not go backwards. But the unsophisticated methods used by these "Tea DREAMers" are not helping me alleviate the concerns my journalism friend had.
During frustrating times like these, proud Americans must go back to the basics of our American ideals that have shown us progress. I am an American first, but I am not ashamed of my Mexican heritage either. That said, I am also a woman who recognizes how much longer it took for women to become voters in our Nation. On Election Day in 1920, millions of American women exercised their right to vote for the first time. For almost 100 years, women (and men) had been fighting to win that right. It has been discouraging to see people with financial self interests attempt to derail the immigration rights movement, and now the upcoming voting process, but I have no other choice but to rely on American history that still provides me with the shred of hope I need to rely on in order to carry on. I have to tell myself that the women's rights movement also suffered set backs and derailments, albeit never to the degree we see within the immigrant rights movement. Even though women disagreed within the women's rights movement, at least each was committed to the enfranchisement of all American women.
So what happened?
Did naivete play a hand with regard to the TeaDREAMers who were influenced by Republicans who wish to see undocumented immigrants remain disenfranchised? These same TeaDREAmers quickly learned how they were duped when Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wanted to end DACA.
The TeaDREAMers who are supported and have been co-opted by Tea Party Republicans and Libertarians have revealed themselves as not being committed to enfranchisement of undocumented immigrants who wish to become proud citizens of our Nation. As such, I am willing to concede a little and reconsider the lengthy 13 years it will take for the "TeaDREAMer" immigrant to earn his/her citizenship in the legal immigration reform bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate over a year ago. Perhaps the border reporter was on to something as it relates to the naive TeaDREAMers who have been duped, and 13 years may give them time to mature and reflect upon what it took in order for American women, and other minority groups to see progress during suffrage movements.
Boycotting the vote is a moronic idea and clearly unAmerican. It is my prayer for American voters to overcome voter apathy and consider being a voice for those who have no voice by casting their votes for more immigrant-friendly politicians in the races involving the U.S. House of Representatives. The House of Representatives led by Republicans have done nothing to advance the immigration reform bill even though the bill was passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate over one year ago.
I am not an immigrant. I am an American-born woman who understands my indigenous roots long before the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock. And even though advocating for the immigrant rights movement will not affect whether I remain in our Nation or not, I continue to promote voting and legal immigration reform to help my fellow mankind. I consider Claudia Longo, a TNTweeter and dynamic undocumented woman who is committed to enfranchisement of undocumented citizens who continue to make positive contributions to our society (see below). As an American voter I choose to demonstrate my patriotism by casting my vote for her come Election Day on November 4, 2014, because she is a voice from the 11 million who cannot vote (and does not limit her advocacy to just the DREAM Act).
I think the time has come to speak for those who are here and dream of being American. Those here who are proud of the country that opened their arms and gave them a second chance. It’s time to fight for full rights not just a temporary relief that will keep us, still, as second class citizens and continue to keep us in fear because it could be revoked at anytime. I and we … the other millions of undocumented people would like to see the advocates who say they care for us and fight for our cause and humane treatment to listen to our voice and fight for comprehensive immigration reform. We don’t have time for half measures. -- Claudia Longo
Finally, if undocumented immigrants are given a piece meal option that does not put them on a path to citizenship, I will look back at the TeaDREAMers, their supporters and those who worked to help anti-immigrant Tea Party Republicans and blame them. They supported the Tea Party Republicans who do not support DACA to begin with and wish to see the undocumented pay taxes without representation and remain as second class citizens.
Photo Credit: Chicano Archives @ASUChicano Meet Hilda Reyes - a Chicana activist.