Saturday, October 23, 2010

FOX still claims Babies do not deserve citizenship in USA

http://www.masnet.org/main/MAS

Freedom Affirms the Integrity of the 14th Amendment While Condemning the Islamophobic Absurdity of the “Terror Babies” Slander
MAS Freedom today commented on the attempt of a group of Republican state legislators in the United States to mount a legal challenge to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

This amendment, among other laws, establishes the long-held legal principle that any children born in the United States are regarded as U.S. citizens with full constitutional protections and privileges, regardless of the legal immigration status of their parents at the time of birth. This law was upheld by a Supreme Court decision in 1898, and it is regarded as an integral part of the law that defines who is a citizen of the United States.

However, some Republican state legislators, led by State Senator Russell Pearce of Arizona and supported by Attorney Kris Kobach, are attempting to rally support for changing the 14th Amendment so that children born in the United States of undocumented immigrants would not be granted automatic citizenship. This attempt to nullify the 14th Amendment now involves Republican legislators in some 15 U.S. States, and they are apparently attempting to present this proposed nullification of the current law to the United States Supreme Court.

And to add anti-Muslim insult to this proposed constitutional injury, another Republican state legislator – State Representative Debbie Riddle of Texas – is now jumping on the national media circuit with the claim that Muslim women from outside the country are coming to the United States to give birth, and that these so-called “Terror babies” – now U.S. citizens by birth – are being whisked away to grow up as terrorists who will later re-infiltrate the country to attack the people of America. Ms. Riddle claims that she has evidence of this plot from confidential sources in the FBI, although she has been unwilling or unable to identify the source of her “information”, while the FBI has denied their knowledge of any such conspiracy against America.

MAS Freedom, along with many other national human and civil rights advocacy organizations and leaders, regards both the “anti-14th Amendment” and the bogus “terror babies” claims as exactly what they are: thinly disguised attempts to criminalize both immigrants and Muslims by seeking to challenge the very constitutional amendment that protects the freedoms of all persons born in the United States. MAS Freedom Executive Director Mahdi Bray commented that “We reject these attacks and join with other civil and human rights advocates – including political conservatives – who reject the idea that we must obey some parts of the Constitution while arbitrarily rejecting others. The rights and protections of citizenship cannot be altered because of political prejudice or outright fear and hatred of immigrants and Muslims”.

Ibrahim Ramey of MAS Freedom added that “It’s no riddle that anti-Muslim individuals and organizations are using fear and smear tactics to deepen the climate of mistrust and opposition that fuels their political objectives. But we continue to uplift the idea of faith over fear, combined with work and leadership for the political organizing and mobilization required to better empower and protect our community, and the values that we believe best represent what is good about this nation.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

CONTEXT MATTERS: In response to the uproar, Williams stood fast by his original comments. Speaking through Fox News, Williams insisted he was “fired for telling the truth,” which is, that “I have a moment of anxiety or fear” when “I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves as first and foremost as Muslims.” Williams says his intention was to combat O’Reilly’s sweeping generalizations “to make sure we don’t have an outbreak of bigotry” and that “one word, one line” were taken “completely out of context.” Williams’ intentions led many pundits to ignore the actual context of the exchange and draw comparisons between Williams and the firing of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod. But, as Media Matters states, “whether or not NPR was right to fire Williams, this comparison fails” because “the central fact of the Sherrod affair is that her comments were taken horribly out of context by professional smear merchant Andrew Breitbart. … [T]he context of Williams’ remarks is clear.” In the transcript of Monday’s exchange, Williams begins by telling O’Reilly he was “right” in his characterization of Muslims and that the resulting uproar stemmed from paralyzing “political correctness.” But, as Greenwald notes, when Williams candidly admits to anxiety over Muslims on airplanes — a recognizable though distorted prejudice — he fails to condemn his own reaction. Instead, he went on “to justify it by saying that people who wear ‘Muslim garb’ are ‘identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims,’ and that ‘the war with Muslims’ (quoting Faisal Shahzad) is one of those ‘facts we can’t get away from.’” Indeed, the only way Williams could have been taken out of context would be if he had said his fear of Muslims on an airplane is wrong, as anti-racist activist Tim Wise did in a comparable situation. In immediately contemplating his own prejudicial skepticism of two African-American pilots handling his flight, Wise recognized that, while he was “conditioned just like everyone else to have that response,” his reaction was still “preposterous” and “fundamentally racist.” Williams, who recognized and combated similar reactionary bigotry in Japan in the 1980s, failed to do the same. That failure, says the Washington Note’s Steve Clemons, is what is “so disheartening.”
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