(photo credit: Boston Herald)
Wow! I usually never notice the Boston Herald, but today as I walked by the newstand at my T (subway) stop, I did a double take when I saw the front page with the headline "Mass. Cracks Down on Illegals." It looks like Arizona's brand of anti-immigrant racism is trying to make its way across the country.
Let's do a quick break down of the image on this front page and all the racism that it carries with it.
-Black woman - "No Welfare" - This seems directly taken from Ronald Reagan's lie of a "welfare queen".
-Latino man - "No Tuition" - I'm assuming this is in reference to the fight for the DREAM Act, which would allow bright young immigrants the right to public education. Interestingly, the largest group of undocumented immigrant college students in the U.S. are actually Asian. But clearly, this issue is racialized as a Latino issue.
-Asian man - "No Medicaid" - This one's a little more deep, but I quickly made the link between the idea of public health and the historical stereotype of Asians as carriers of disease, which was one of the arguments made in the 1800s in favor of anti-Asian immigration laws. Even a few years ago, when SARS was big in the news, the image of diseased Asians came back in full force. If you want to get academic about it, you can read all about Asian Americans as "biopolitical" subjects in articles and books by Professor Aihwa Ong at Berkeley.
Two important things to point out about the racism exhibited on this front cover.
1. The Irish make up the largest number of "illegals" in the Northeast. Where's the picture of an Irish person?
2. What a slap in the face that on the top of the cover is an ad for the Boston Herald Workplace Diversity Job Fair!
Seems like with the Jan Brewer's signing of SB 1070 in Arizona, all the racist anti-immigrant powers that be feel safe to come out with crap like this!