Sunday, August 5, 2012

The American Dream and the Nightmare of Manifest Destiny

Melendres  v. Arpaio

Sunday August 4, 2012
By Tupac Enrique Acosta
Daughter of Zeus
Last Thursday after US District Judge Murray Snow closed the trial portion the Melendres v. Arpaio case, attorney Stanley Young on behalf of the plaintiffs held a brief press conference outside of the Federal Court in Phoenix.  When questioned on the defense strategy to “disconnect” Mr. Arpaio from the operations of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, Attorney Young efficiently stated that it would not be correct to separate the reality of the testimony and evidence of the patterns of discriminatory police practices of the MCSO from the narrative of the policy maker at the top of the chain of command, Mr. Joseph Arpaio.

The Melendres v. Arpaio case is a civil prosecution against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office seeking court injunction and federal monitoring of the MCSO to bring an end to the practice of racial profiling and discriminatory policing by the sheriff’s department headed by Mr. Arpaio.  When asked whether the prosecution had failed to present any evidence or information regarding the Melendres case, Attorney Young stated: “No,…”

Four years ago I was called to attend a session of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, at a time when Mr. Arpaio was escalating his crime saturation sweeps across the valley, and after having made outrageous comments on the Lou Dobbs show contextualizing his activities with references to the KKK.   I recall that Mr. Arpaio was present in the hall as I spoke in denunciation then against the rising tide of discriminatory policing for which Mr. Arpaio has willingly come to serve as national “poster boy”.  In my testimony before the Board of Supervisors, I made connections with the fight of our fathers, grandfathers and uncles in the “Old World” against the war mongers of the Nazi Party of Germany and the need for the same courage and resolve now here in the “New World” of Arizona to fight the pogrom of persecution which has exploded across the country with AZ SB1070 as the fuse.
The design for pogrom, whether in Nazi Germany or “Secure Communities” America is identical, the differences being in frameworks of culture and economics, technologies of mass media, and of course the “ethnic profile” of the constituency targeted for genocide.  It begins with dehumanization, which must be accomplished simultaneously within the psyche of the perpetrator and in projection of stigma upon the social status of the victim.  The “eugenics” pogrom implemented in Nazi Germany was actually imported from the US by Hitler, along with the “Indian Reservation” military compound as a tactic of methodical extermination for unwanted populations, but now the systems are ever so much more advanced.  Now a “Fourth Reich” is not needed, we have the IMF and NAFTA.

Instead of  “eugenics”, thanks to the Tea Party ideologues like the Koch brothers we have “ECONOGENICS”, and the ethnic cleansing that is being normalized is directed not only against the physical presence of the Indigenous “earth skinned” Mexican populations but against our past, and our future as well as Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth.  The complicity runs deep, it runs broad, it runs long, it runs in and out of the US Federal Court system, it runs on both sides of the border, it’s bilingual, its right and left and on both sides of the “comprehensive” immigration reform movement.  This framework of dominion and pogrom of econogenics runs precisely along the same lines of the fanatical “religio-political” ideology of empire that invaded this hemisphere in 1492 with the Doctrine of Discovery, then during the War on Mexico in 1846 rode into the O’odham Territories now known as Maricopa County on the war horse of the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
The Nazis had their industrialists and the Nazi Party, now its ALEC and the Tea Party.  But both constituencies are extrusions of the same pathology, a pathology of cultural and ethnic supremacy legitimized even still today in Judge Snow’s courtroom.  We are speaking of the pathology of “White” privilege, and the institutionalization of that pathology as the norm for social discourse and the baseline of social membership and status in North American society.  The norm becomes the policy, the policy becomes the pattern, and then the pattern institutionalizes the practices, resulting in the insertion into position of the concept of “WHITE PERSONS” as LEGAL DETERMINANT for the rights and privileges of all US Citizens and Nationals.  This is where the analysis of racial profiling in Melendres falls short of being comprehensive, in that this baseline concept of  “white people” (AKA The Master’s Narrative) while serving as the intellectual motivator for all of the profiling policies, patterns, and practices that are violations of the Equal Protection principles of the 14th Amendment, also results in violations of the fundamental Universal Human Rights for all Arizonans, beginning with the European-Americans themselves.  Why should this public constituency allow their innocent children to continue to be racially profiled into the “white person” concept and social construct, and is this not also a fundamental Human Rights violation?
Profiling Schema: From the Arizona Department of Education Website
By ignoring the cumulative impact of the intellectual rationalization, the cultural, historical, and legal practices, patterns, and policies that have resulted in the officializing of white supremacy across all of Arizona, the courts shield the issue of patterns of systemic profiling within the entire US justice system itself (not just law enforcement agencies like MCSO).  The only systems of analysis and quantification are those that have been rigged to produce the NAFTA printout, which in the specific case of the US immigration policies is the known as the “Federal Scheme” referenced in the 2012 SCOTUS decision on AZ SB1070.   This is the script of the Divine Right of States, bastard relic of the defunct Divine Right of Kings.  But the fish don’t know they’re wet.
Abya Yala
Context Arizona:
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase 1853

During the Reconstruction Period after the US Civil War, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was made necessary because of the legal technique of affirmative action discriminating in favor of the constituencies of "white persons" of AMERICA as the ONLY legal category of eligibility until 1868 for US Citizenship and Nationality, two closely related but distinct political tiers of the US population.  The fundamental reason for this aberrant position of “racial profiling”, in this case to profile oneself as “melanin deprived” and then to proceed to constitute a political body of supremacy over the so called “people of color” - meaning of course everyone who was either “non-white” or “off white”, is rooted in the “Master’s Narrative” of the European American Doctrine of Christian Discovery of America. 

To this day, these memes of caste continue to be reinforced every time the phrase “white people” or “white” is used to describe the European American populations of the United States.

This goes for the Melendres case in Judge Snow’s court and the US Supreme Court as well.  That perpetuation of a caste based society would be completely antithetical to the precepts of the “American Experiment of Democracy”, yet remain embedded in the vernacular of public and private discourse regarding social relationships has roots in the Indo-European histories, but is codified in the US Civil Rights statutes as follows:

United States Code
Equal rights under the law

(a) Statement of equal rights
All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.

The term WHITE CITIZEN is contextualized further by the language of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution which states:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

Thus the connection is made institutionally and culturally via the jurisprudence of the Master's Narrative, between concepts of white citizen and WHITE PERSON, establishing legal personality within the US social construct as a function of relationship to the dominant “white” power structures of rights and obligations.  The anomaly being the Nican Tlacah Indigenous Peoples who supersede the US jurisdiction as sovereign confederations of nations holding treaty relationships with the US and other government states of the world.
La Familia by Joaquin Chiñas
In the Melendres case the issue of racial profiling is addressed, yet categorizations of patterns of discrimination presented as evidence during the case by experts for both sides have only referred to "Hispanic", "Latino", "Hispanic Surname" etc. in the statistical analysis of discriminatory patterns of police practices by the MCSO.  Here the significance to be noted is these categorizations are derived from US census definitions that subsume the indigenous identity of the members of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of territories colonized by the Spanish Empire (the first global empire) under a set of nomenclatures of caste, centuries in the making, that are dominated politically by “White” elites of the Americas.  In this case, Hispano-American “white” elites. 
Categories of Racial Profiling and Caste Designation in the Spanish Empire of Mexico
And further, none of these categories are specified in articles 8 and 9 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 with Mexico as the actual collective constituencies possessing international personality, including civil, political, and cultural rights and responsibilities in the territories ceded to the US, including Arizona.  Thus, no “corpus” - no “habeus”.
The cultural identity of Mexican communities and individuals north of the present US-Mexico border, whether either established or not established (i.e., with or without US Citizenship or Nationality) is denied as a specific category of legal identity for the purposes of categorizing analysis of racial profiling under the “Federal Scheme” of the SCOTUS decision on AZ SB1070 last month.  As Mexicans, as Nican Tlacah - we are never identified as a class of collective constituents possessing international personality and collective rights and protections under the International Instruments of Human Rights, with documented status of our millennial history in the territory since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (US-Mexico 1848).

As Indigenous Mexican Peoples, Nican Tlacah - we have been racially profiled into invisibility legally.  If we are invisible in the courts, can we ever hope for justice on the streets? 

We don’t have to go back to 1492 or look only into the streets of Maricopa County to answer this question.  Look to the streets of Mexico City right now, where some of the largest public demonstrations of protest in all of human history are ongoing, and realize the scope of the Manifest Sovereignty that is being reborn by the Prerogatives of the Peoples in challenge to the Divine Right of States across the hemisphere.  The New World is here, it is here-now Nican Tlacah, and it is a world of renewal based on Universal Human Rights and global systems of jurisprudence with respect for Mother Earth and the Natural World.
When I spoke at the Maricopa Count Board of Supervisors one of the Supervisors questioned me about the right of sovereign nations to have their borders respected.  I of course responded that mutual respect was fundamental to all legal rights and responsibilities, both individual and collective.  I quoted President George Washington who had the following opinion regarding the incursion of European American land grabbers into Indian Country:

He concurred when Knox insisted that “the independent tribes of Indians ought to be considered as foreign nations, not as subjects of any particular state.”  And that “Indians being the prior occupants possess the right of the Soil…..To dispossess them…..would be a gross violation of the Fundamental Laws of Nature and that of distributive Justice which is the glory of a Nation.”

Finally, Washington stated that:

“I believe scarcely anything short of a Chinese Wall,” he lamented, “will restrain Land jobbers and the encroachment of settlers upon the Indian Country.”

Washington was forced to approve a series of military operations into the Ohio Valley to put down uprisings by the Miami, Wyandot, and Shawnee, even though he believed that the chief culprits were white vigilante groups determined to provoke hostilities.
From: His Excellency – George Washington,  (p. 212-213)   Author: Joseph J. Ellis

After my presentation, I was told that Mr. Arpaio referred to my remarks as being close to “sedition”.  Perhaps he meant that my remarks sounded “American” in that the British colonists dressed up to LOOK LIKE members of the Indigenous Nations when they threw the TEA of the British East India Company into the harbor at Boston.  Definitely this was an act of SEDITION to protest against the Tyranny of Injustice perpetrated by the illegitimate authority of the British Crown in cahoots with the company whose banner serves as template for the US flag.   Well the British Crown is gone, but not the CORPSERVATIVES - and as far as we the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples, we will not be masquerading as colonists.  We don’t have to.  This is after all, the Land of the Braves and on September 13, 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Quoting Article 36:
1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.
2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

Dream or Nightmare : Mystery or Frontier
It is said that the historical biography of the United States in America began with the writings of Alexis De Tocqueville, a European aristocrat who described in glowing terms of appreciation the American traits of democracy.  In contrast to the stratified social castes of the elites of European society, De Tocqueville presented the case that the universal appreciation of Human Rights, a fundamental principle of any democratic society, would achieve its best hope of political expression as the European immigration streams entered, conquered and "civilized" the new continent.

To read De Touqueville's writings today, the stench of racism pervades the presentation, yet it is masked with a political perfume - the cultural bias of the worldview mythically termed the "Western World".  From an Indigenous Peoples perspectives, the concept of democracy was a principle which was delivered to the relatives of the 13 colonies, simultaneously with the understanding that this principle was not solely individual by nature, but collective in precept, and achieved international expression historically with the Treaty of Understanding known as the "Two Row Wampum".
The case of Melendres v. Arpaio sounds the alarm for a long overdue wake-up call from the nightmare of Manifest Destiny, and the frontier philosophy which as the Master’s Narrative frames the popularity of Arpaio’s dehumanizing policies and practices. 

De Tocqueville himself was said to have predicted this scenario, stating that the immigration of European-Americans from East to West would inevitably at some point meet the migration of native peoples coming north.  And so the legal question is not framed but encircled by the diverse, complementary and conflicting value systems of custom, colonization, and indigenous histories of self-determination.  The challenge is to awaken the Human Spirit and leave behind the nightmares that arise from the fear of frontier, emerging into the NEW WORLD of Ancient Roots in the Four Directions of the Great Mystery of Life itself.  This is the realm of justice for all beings, which in today’s global context must be coherent with international Human Rights law, fulfilling the mutual obligations of our common humanity.  This is our narrative as Peoples, equal to all other peoples and with all other peoples. This is the narrative that must be reconnected with the courage and resolve of our ancestors by our actions and community practices regardless of the decision by Judge Snow. This is the Covenant Chain that we must bring to brightness in the Silver Light of the currency that is our Mandate of Spirit, and that of our common humanity not only as citizens, nationals and subjects of states – but as children of Mother Earth and good relatives to each other.


Embassy of Indigenous Peoples

1 comment:

  1. “The issue is not the right to work. Everyone has the right to work. The Right to Work is an inherent Human Right, not a delegated privilege. The issue is the criminalization of migrant workers and their families by racist regimes of “lawful employment” that disguise ethnic cleansing. In terms of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Migrant Workers, it is an issue of colonization and self determination.”