Here’s a post I wrote re AZ immigration law and our rights

I like Charles’ comment here. This is not about illegals, as one poster
said, it’s about constitutional rights. I am trying to pull back from my
shock at the willingness of so many List members to docilely give up their
right to privacy and to freedom from persecution until they’ve been
convicted of a crime in a court of law. We already know the police can
question you ONLY if you are willing, as in an accident or crime situation,
OR if they have reasonable cause to suspect you. You can tell them to drop
dead, at which point they can arrest you. If they cannot prove to a judge
that they had reasonable cause, you can sue them. I would love to know if
that can happen in other countries. My guess it is only in countries sharing
in the Anglo-American legal system.

Please, please, please, as classroom teachers in the U.S., familiarize
yourelf with the historical background of our constitution; why are we so
sensitive to government officals interfering with our lives? Find out. It is
your duty. How can you blame teachers for sleeping through classes on
learning psychology or minority issues when you have slept through your U.S.
Constitution class?

Now, let me give you a highly emotional argument. Last night, after reading
so many of these posts, I mentioned them to my wife. She was incredulous. Do
you know what she remembered? Not 1776 but 1946, in Gilmer, Texas, when her
family and other Blacks would be having a party, playing music and dancing.
She remembered the khaki shirts, the big hats and the white faces of the
sheriffs storming in for no reason that her 5 year old mind could see,
beating people, kicking people.

I’ve been married to her for 45 years and had never heard that. Just about 3
years ago, we visited that site and I met a woman she had been girlfriends
with. Last night my wife remembered her as a little girl running into her
house in terror and that happened about 63 years ago. And that is why it is
important RIGHT NOW that you as a teacher defend the consitution of this
country, because it is the only thing standing between you and the
demagogues who would first come after the illegal Hispanics, then the legal
ones for “supporting the others”, then the teachers who don’t teach the
approved version of the constitution. That’s how it works. That’s how it has
worked in many of the countries mentioned in earlier posts on this thread
and it has happened in this country, as Charles pointed out, as my wife
remembers, and as is laid out in every book on American History or American
Government, not only leading up to the Revolution but in many other more
recent situations.

And it’s not just “kids these days” who don’t know this stuff. I remember a
survey taken in Florida in the fifties: the Bill of Rights was read without
identifying features to people and a majority of them guessed it to be a
Communist document.

Please defend your constitution and do not accept anything less just because
it didn’t inconvenience you when you encountered less in another country.
James Michener described in “Iberia” how the fascist Guardia Civil called on
him one day when his little daughter stayed home from school. They noticed.
It made him feel good, and then he thought about it….. and it chilled him.
How much freedom are you willing to give up for security?
Pat Barrett

p.s. read Slavery By Another Name for the origin and use of vagrancy laws to
continue slavery in the early part of the 20th century in the South. The
last slave was freed in 1944 as part of our counter-attack against Japanese
racial propaganda which pointed out to dark-skinned Asians how the U.S.
treated its own dark-skinned citizens.

—– Original Message —–
From: “Charles Subject: Re: Arizona teachers with accents

> Like it or not, there are in many places laws against vagrancy. (That
> means not having visible means of support, ie, being poor). When I was
> very poor in America, I was often stopped by police for no obvious reason,
> if I walked in a well off neighborhood (worse if I drove a nice car). And
> I am white. Poor people of color often report being stopped for no
> apparent reason. It is nice to have the fantasy that this only occurs in
> “third world” countries, but it is only a fantasy.
> Generally, because I am white and male. If I dress nice, I have more
> rights. Otherwise, forget about it. (based on experience, for reportage
> of police interactions and restrictions on movement… well…. they are
> to be found I thought everywhere…)

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