Thursday, June 13, 2013

Steve King and Little Sebastien

Someday I'm going to be able to stop writing about Steve King and immigration. Today's not that day.

But first I want to write about Sebastien de la Cruz.

Sebastien is 11 years old and had the honor of singing his country's national anthem Tuesday at the NBA finals for his hometown team, the San Antonio Spurs. And as you can hear, he earned that honor on sheer talent.

And Twitter reacted. But not in a good way. Hiding behind the safety of anonymity, people called little Sebastien "wetback" and "beaner." They said "9 out of 10 chance that kid is illegal," as if a human being could be "illegal."

Sebastien de la Cruz has talent beyond his years. He also has class beyond his years. "They don't know my life," he said. "My father was actually in the Navy for a pretty long time, and I salute him today for that. I'm not from Mexico, I'm from San Antonio."

Unfortunately after that inspirational young man, now I have to write about Steve King and immigration.

The sitter-inners were high school age "DREAMers," who were brought to America as very young children by their undocumented parents. They know no home but America. The DREAM Act, which has support of President Obama and most Democrats but was blocked by the Republican House of Representatives, would give the DREAMers legal status and maybe even, depending how the ongoing immigration fight ends, citizenship.

Steve King, and in the Senate Chuck Grassley, are not just fighting, but leading, a rear-guard Kulturkampf agaisnst not only the DREAMer, but against all-American kids like Sebastien de la Cruz. The racial fears are getting more and more explicit as the immigration bill moves forward. King:
“What they (Democrats) are seeking to do is convert the Hispanic vote into a monolithic voting bloc, very similar to that of African Americans. They know how to do it, they succeeded with the African-American vote.”
And every time Steve King opens his mouth, he makes that more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. King's latest move: attempting to force a “special conference” for House Republicans to discuss immigration. It's a rare move that's aimed at Speaker John Boehner, almost like a vote of confidence in a parliamentary system though King denies that's the end game.

The Republican Study Committee, a group of the most conservative House Republicans, had a recent closed door meeting:
Representative Raul Labrador asked for a show of hands.

“Who wants less legal immigration?” Labrador asked, according to the notes of a person who was in the room.

Of the roughly 100 conservative Republicans in the room, only King raised his hand.

Labrador then asked who wants “more legal and less illegal immigration?,” and dozens of hands rose.
Steve King has build his whole career on saying No. His only answer on immigration is "no amnesty." Anything that gives the undocumented any path to any documentation is "amnesty." I'm getting really tired of pointing this out, but the obvious conclusion is that Steve King wants the mass deportation of 11 million people, a human migration unparallelled since the twin tragedies of the 1940s, the end of World War II and the India-Pakistan partition.

The good news is, I won't have to write about Steve King and Immigration forever. New census numbers today show Iowa's Hispanic population growing. America is on the way to becoming a multi-cultural, multi-lingual country, and Steve King can't stop it.

The Spurs and the Miami Heat play again tonight in San Antonio.  It's America's seventh biggest city. It's also 63% Hispanic. After Arizona passed its harsh, partially unconstitutional Papers Please law, SB1070, the team wore "Los Spurs" on their jerseys, and the Spanish shirts are still sold.

And the Spurs have invited Sebastien de la Cruz back to sing the national anthem again tonight.

Steve King is 64 years old. Chuck Grassley is 79. They represent the past. America's future is Sebastien de la Cruz.

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