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¡Todos somos Arizona!

3 May 2010

News One For Black America:

In protest of the recently passed immigration law in Arizona that many believe will lead to racial profiling, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has moved its annual convention out of the state. The fraternity’s leadership announced this decision through an email to members, saying:

” … the Board of Directors of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity voted unanimously to rescind the location of Phoenix, Arizona as our meeting location of the 104th Anniversary/ 90th General Convention in July, and to denounce the egregious immigration act signed recently by the governor of Arizona. It was the full opinion of the board that we could not host a meeting in a state that has sanctioned a law which we believe will lead to racial profiling and discrimination, and a law that could put the civil rights and the very dignity of our members at risk during their stay in Phoenix Arizona.”

Props to Alpha Phi Alpha. Though the only Greek inter-university organization I ever joined was Tappa Kegga Bud, and have never had any interest in these kind of organizations, nor spending my post-graduate life going to relive the follies of youth, Alpha Phi Alpha is not your average Animal House frat.

Since its founding in 1906 for African-American university students, Alpha Phi Alpha members have been groomed for leadership within both the African-American and larger U.S. communities. The history of the last hundred years would look very different if it hadn’t been for Alpha Phi Alpha members like W.E.B. Dubois, Thurgood Marshall, Duke Ellington, Jesse Owens, Paul Robson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and a long list of mayors, cabinet officers, generals, business executives, scholars and cultural figures.   These guys may not run the United States, but they sure have a lot of pull in saying how it’s run.

Photo from Atlanta by John Amis/AP

More important perhaps than any economic loss to the State of Arizona from this one  protest against S.B. 1070, the decision by Alpha Phi Alpha to boycott Arizona  helps drive a stake through the heart of the old meme that African-Americans and Latinos are competitors in the American dream, or are part of each others American nightmare.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Benito permalink
    3 May 2010 1:57 pm

    I will tell you what I have seen these last few days I saw our beloved Stars and Stripes flag, the flag from Mexico and some flags from other countries. I saw children, parents and grandparents together in solidarity, my people the working class, they may not be sophisticated but they got the message heard. From publish reports the demonstrations included both US citizens and undocumented workers. This brought me a smile because I always enjoy seeing brothers helping brothers.

    This reminds me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn’t stop to help him. Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.

    You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

    But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

    As I see it, we should stand-up against a law is passed in anger and is against our Constitution/ Bill of Rights/ Declaration of Independence and is targets a specific group.

    God bless all my brothers and sister that stood side by side with our brothers and sisters in need. When our judgment comes I know God will not discriminate by country of origin as men do.

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