Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can people really be "illegal"?

In the last blog post, Sean Thomas-Breitfeld asked what commons-based thinking would say about the racist immigration law (SB 1070) recently passed in Arizona. I believe that nationalism, jingoism and patriotism have no place in the commons. In a commons-based society, people would carry identification with them so that if they were in an accident, they could be identified. Otherwise their identity would be that of a living human being. The notion that someone is illegal---that their identity, their very being, is illegal is reminiscent of the connotation that “bastard” used to carry. I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s and at that time, some children were referred to as “illegitimate.” They were “not legitimate” because their mothers were not married to their fathers. But what was not legitimate about them? Were they not children? Where they not human? Fortunately, for the most part, we have left that idea behind. And we must leave behind the idea that someone can be “illegal.”

I thought readers might like the most recent production of the very talented Joshua Busch, attached here. The parody makes the point more clearly than pages of analysis.

Thanks, Josh, for sharing this.