For a party which purports to have the best interests of African-Americans at heart, and which lobbies tirelessly for their votes-when it’s convenient, it should be noted-the Democrats have a shocking lack of empathy for black Americans. At least, those in the working class who are seeking gainful employment while competing against millions of low-wage immigrants.
During last night’s Democratic presidential debate, every candidate studiously avoided tackling the elephant in the room. Namely, the continued decline in wages-and prolonged unemployment-for one of their party’s most loyal constituencies. Even as the men and woman on stage boasted of the amenities and privileges that illegal aliens-who aren’t even enfranchised-should receive, they refused to acknowledge the parlous economic condition of American workers, particularly workers of color.
This is not simply a right wing talking point parroted by anti-immigration activists. It’s an objective, ineluctable fact, bolstered by statistical, empirical evidence. The Obama recovery has left millions behind, as even the left-progressive, pro-Obama PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley has acknowledged. That is why on this Martin Luther King Day, we must remember the voices of those who spoke up on behalf of American citizens and American workers, even if their needs are being ignored by our current political class.
To that end, Jerry Kammer has written a marvelous piece remembering Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a woman who was not only a civil rights icon and indefatigable champion of the Constitution but also a courageous critic of our government’s disastrous immigration policies. It’s worth reading in full, if only to recall a time when the phrase immigration reformer meant truly that. Someone who wanted to reform and preserve an American-focused, patriotic system of immigration, not simply do the bidding of those seeking an endless supply of cheap labor and cheap votes.