Sunday, August 19, 2007

Newark Slayings Fan Hysteria over Illegal Immigrant Crime Wave

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

When Newark Mayor Cory Booker learned that the alleged shooters in the execution killing of three black college students were illegal immigrants, he did the responsible thing. He did not finger point a porous border and lax law enforcement for allegedly letting so many supposed violent prone illegal immigrants slip into the country as the cause of the killings. Booker may have said and did the right thing as a responsible public official, and in this case a black elected official, who did not want to arouse public passions any more than they already were over the murders. He certainly did not want to inflame the always fragile tensions between blacks and Latinos any more than they already are.

But others have not exercised the same restraint. Some black talk show hosts and black writers have burned up Internet sites and sent of floods of emails ( this writer got several) with outlandish and reckless charges that the killings were part of a concerted plot by Latino gangs to target African-Americans for murder and mayhem. Leading immigration reform foes from the Center for Immigration Studies to Bill O’Reilly also claimed that state and federal officials are so cowered by the thought of being branded racist that they have turned a blind eye to waves of illegal immigrants who supposedly have unleashed a violent crime wave across the country. They gleefully added that Newark is a sanctuary city where police are forbidden to ask questions about a suspect’s citizenship status. With the arguable exception of the spate of violent clashes between black and Latino inmates in California’s prisons, and Los Angeles county jails last year, and the headline-grabbing murders of black teen Cheryl Green last December and three other young blacks in Los Angeles, there is no evidence that Latino gang members have embarked on a systematic campaign of ethnic cleaning against blacks.

The second claim about illegal immigrants uncorking a violent crime wave is easier to sell. The movie industry and TV series such as The Untouchables, The Godfather, Scarface, Miami Vice, and The Sopranos has long fed the popular image of violent prone immigrant reeking havoc in cities. Then there are the endless tales of crime cartels like the mafia, Cuban marielitos, Colombian cocaine cartels, Japanese yakuza and Chinese triads that also spread terror. The rumors were rife that the alleged shooters in Newark were connected with the Salvadoran Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). This gang has gotten a lot of press ink lately as a virtual immigrant’s drug and murder incorporated.

There is however no truth to the claim that illegal immigrants have unleashed a crime wave in the country. There are more immigrants than ever in the U.S. and crime rates in the country have plummeted. The plunge has been most notable in the big cities with the largest illegal immigrant populations. FBI figures show big drops in property crimes and violent crimes, particularly the homicide rates, during the past decade. The sole exception to this has been a spike up in black on black homicides. Few of the killers here are illegal immigrants.Illegal immigrants whether juvenile or adult are far less likely to be incarcerated than native born Americans. That includes native born Latinos.

But facts never got in the way of a good politically driven scare tactic to turn public opinion against any sort of meaningful immigration reform.
It’s heartbreaking to see the falsehood about an illegal immigrant crime wave masquerade as fact in the Newark slayings. Apart from the incidents of Latino on black violence cited earlier, and the Newark murders, black and Latino relations have not been marred by violence. Most of the violence in urban areas, and that includes Newark, have been black on black or Latino on Latino.

There is no evidence that the Newark killings were anything other than a random robbery attempt gone bad. Yet, the not so subtle inference that the killings are part of an ethnic sanitizing plan against blacks comes at a time when more blacks continue to voice fears that illegal immigrants are muscling them out of jobs, and competing for scare resources in health, public services and public schools. With 1930’s depression era levels of unemployment among young black males, and with blacks making up more than nearly half of America’s record 2 million plus jail population, this is a concern that can’t be ignored. The Newark slayings fuel fears among many blacks that they are losing ground to illegal immigrants and are under siege from violent street gangs such as the Mexican Mafia and MS-13. The relatives of the three students gunned down in Newark demanded to know how one of the suspected shooters was back on a Newark street even though he had two prior felony arrests. This is a legitimate question. They’re owed an answer.

But the victim’s relatives and Booker did the right thing by not blaming their deaths on bad illegal immigration policies, or worse feeding the myth that illegal immigrants are America’s new gangsters. The pity is that others haven’t done the same.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics (Middle Passage Press and Hispanic Economics New York) in English and Spanish will be out in October.


stifs said...

Republicans and Democrats have pushed Black America to the wayside in return for the new "brownies" who have numbers and votes that are up for grabs. Mr. Hutchingson, it is careless to dismiss that no conspiracy exists to minimize the Black Man. To be brutally honest, we as black men have been co-conspirators to our own demise. We don't graduate. We have let hip hop be our god. We father father-less children into the world. We lack ambition to the point where if it's not a government job, we're not interested. Our people need help and it must come from within. But who will it be?

Fige Bornu Essays said...

What a wannabe upper class position to take in attempting to downplay this government's continued campaign to harass, and kill African men in America (and women). It is people like you who hope and pray to hold on to your Leimert Park refuge by not "upsetting" the emerging so-called Latino crusaders who will with the help of the USA govt., corporate America and the Catholic Church can and will easily kick you, Lucy Florence, KJLH, and all the other "sissy" behaving passives out and into the desert or out of California.

It is one thing to try to be objective. But it is totallly cowardly to remain so-called "rational" by ignoring what is clearly yet another round of exeuctions against Africans in America.

And to call Newark's mayor anything but a sell-out is representative of someone who is also one.

Fige Bornu, Chairman
Positive African Image Institute

Anonymous said...

Lining someone up and shooting them in the head is just a robbery attempt gone bad? HMMM, sounds like you don't undertsnad the difference between murder in the 1st degree with malice, and 2nd degree murder. Your statement would make sense if one of the murdered kids had grabbed the gun and was shot during a struggle. However, you not only seem to be excusing sanctuary cities, you are almost arguing that this was not mass murder. I wonder where you got your statistics on the crime committed by our illegal populaton when no one keeps stats. I also wonder why you can't understand that if you have home grown murderers, you don't need to import more.

Mr. Joshua said...

Why is it that Bush is spending billions of our tax dollars to fight so-called terrorists in another country and he is letting the federal government harbor fascist Latino illegal alien terrorists that are running around killing Black Americans like they are skin head white boys? Your statistics are wrong also Dr. Hutchinson! Did you see the article in the LA Times about crime rates being higher among “HickSpanics”! Bush is using HickSpanics to commit genocide of Black Americans! Your Fascist propaganda might be a good way for you to earn some “Good Nigga” points with the Bush Family Regime but it is killing your people!

The Forgotten Americans Network

Get Up Stand Up said...

African Americans as a people must first find unity and love for one another before trying to unite with other ethnic groups. The system of racism white supremacy continues to oppress Blacks worldwide (more than other ethnic groups),therefore our focus should be on the advancement of our people. I haven't seen nor heard of this much effort (from the African American community)directed toward correcting the disparity in how Haitians trying to migrate to the U.S.are treated.Our civil rights gains were due to us standing up,not kissing up.We are sinking fast and we must get our heads out of our butts and pull ourselves out of this mess we're in and stop trying to help other races that could care less about us. This is a common sense issue,no PHD is needed (just common sense).A hand full of so called black leaders does not speak for all blacks however they do try to give the impression that the majority of blacks supports ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION which is not the case. Open your eyes and you will see that other races are for themselves and could care less about us. Get Up Stand Up.

Mr. Joshua said...

You statement about the anti illegal alien march on Crenshaw Blvd is a flat out lie Dr. Hutchinson!!
Most of the “good” Negroes in Los Angeles are totally opposed to the decimation of our communities by foreigners. Do you remember the LA riots? The LA riots was all about racism against Black Americans and illegal immigration. That was well stated when we burned all of these foreigners out of the city! As far as statistics are concerned here are some anti fascist propaganda stats that you will never forget!!!

From the L.A. Times
1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10.2 million people)are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.

2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal , whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.

6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.

7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.

8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.

9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.

10. In L.A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish.

(There are 10.2 million people in L.A. County .)

All 10 of the above are from the Los Angeles Times

Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare.

Over 70% of the United States' annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.

29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

We are a bunch of fools for letting this continue!


The Forgotten Americans Network