The anti-Blackness of America’s line-jumping immigration policies shows America still favors its White-passing immigrants over its Black natives.
The Incivility of Line Jumping
I don’t know anyone who likes folks who jump the line. I hate it. If I’m standing in line waiting my turn for anything and someone cuts in front of me, my first reaction is to immediately redirect them to where the line ends. My fucking time is valuable and I don’t believe in cutting lines. It’s disrespectful. People bold enough and inconsiderate enough to jump lines are saying they don’t care about it. It’s the ultimate display of selfishness in front of strangers. People who jump lines are snatching unearned privilege at the expense of others.
I hate line jumpers, and I’m always disappointed in the people who tolerate and condone line jumpers. The folks allowing people to jump lines are co-conspirators to disorder. I view line jumping as a form of uncivil disobedience. It’s a form of disrespect to those of us waiting in line with no consideration given for our time.
In a civilized society, order is a must. Something as simple as staying in line waiting and your turn in a store, at a movie theatre, at the doctor’s office, or when receiving public assistance helps to maintain order and allows us to be served in the order in which we arrived. Now, I understand there are times order should be put aside, like when someone’s life is in danger, in real danger.
For example, if I’m in the emergency room and I’ve been waiting for hours with a belly ache and someone comes into an emergency room with their arm is hanging off because of a car accident or just had a heart attack, I expect the person to cut in the line. But I also expect to be served by the emergency room eventually and not just be kept waiting in the lobby.
Some folks cut the lines because they believe they are more important. Their emergency isn’t a real emergency, it’s self-prioritizing at the expense of others, and that ain’t right.
America’s Immigration System Encourages Line Jumping
America, the home of thieves, liars, and tax cheats, White founders created an entire system to give preferences to White immigrants back in the 1700s after they stole the land from America’s First Brown People, Native Americans. America gave naturalization opportunities to White Europeans before it gave opportunities to Native Americans and enslaved African Americans. We were here first, yet we are consistently the last to be served. Our White founders, the nation’s first politicians, always gave preferences to White people and Europeans at the expense of Black people and Native Americans.
Immigration is political and historically anti-Black, that’s why I’m diving into it. America has historically allowed immigrants to jump to the front of the line without addressing how the practice has harmed African American descendants of our enslaved and Native Americans. As African Americans reclaim their time back from an ungrateful America, I want folks to understand why. I also want African Americans to understand why we’re tired. We have a lot of folks and institutions actively working against us.
Before America freed slaves in 1866, America passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 which allowed any free white person of “good character,” who has been living in the United States for two years or longer to apply for citizenship. America’s first law about citizenship was to deny non-White people already here the same protections and rights White people got for just being born. All White citizens had to do is be here for two years and they could get rights we couldn’t get after being here for hundreds of years. Naturalization was unfair, and it was racist.
Eventually, the Immigration and Nationality Act overhauled America’s racist immigration system, doing away with our racist quota system favoring certain White groups over others. Overhauling the Act accelerated also the immigrant line jumping. America continued giving preferences to and making exceptions for everyone except for native African-American and Native American people. African-Americans and Native Americans are the only people who have had to fight for what others get freely because America makes exceptions for people with light skin and straight hair.
America’s immigration system allows the nation to forget its past, ignore its sins, and move on. Immigrants get the benefits, privileges, and rights without any of the pain and suffering required to have them. They get the benefits of our fights without having to fight. I am not implying these folks don’t experience racism, I’m simply illustrating how they have benefitted from racism.
Immigration in America, legal or otherwise, is line jumping. Many Europeans, Irish, and other light/White-skinned immigrants have jumped the line to get their head starts and then act like they don’t know it. Line jumping isn’t bootstrapping.
Our nation’s founders created the caste system Isabel Wilkinson writes about in her book “Caste,” the very system that continues to place Black people at the bottom of this nation’s concern. Castes, races, and classes are nothing more than systems created to allow people to jump lines.
Far too often immigrants are given passes for their line-cutting because we tend to look at immigration through the lenses of Whiteness. I’m choosing to view immigration through the lens of Blackness.
America Gives Preferences To Line Jumpers
Our past and current naturalization processes give preferences to certain immigrant groups based on factors like their wealth or their ability to contribute to our economy, income, race, education, and power. The system also gives preference to those desiring to further White Supremacy’s agenda.
It’s easy for immigrants to come to America and become White Supremacists when they don’t have the same shared social and historical experiences with racism that Blacks folks do, at least not in this country anyway.
Immigrants often aren’t interested in learning about our experiences or history. Most immigrants adopt the zero-sum, anti-Black ethos with the line-cutting preferences and the politics that comes with living in a predominantly White culture. This has always been bad for us Black people. What ends up happening is that we’re all fighting for a few resources allocated to Black and Brown people. African Americans have always been historically underserved. Immigrants getting our portion after we’ve fought so hard and stood in line waiting patiently is a kick in the gut.
Immigrants before and after the line cutting are also taught to distance themselves from African-Americans or be punished with the same social and economical sanctions we are punished with for being placed at the bottom of our racist social stratification system. There is a reward for not fighting with Black people, and immigrants learn this early.
Many immigrants help uphold White Supremacy when they pretend they didn’t jump the line and join in oppressing the oppressed. If certain preferred immigrant groups continue jumping the line, the line doesn’t move for anyone else.
(Check out the U.S. Immigrant Timeline.)
Black people are stuck in limbo because we’re competing with so many different systems, issues, and people. Those of us who aren’t favored and White standing in line, in order in the way orderly, civilized societies work, end up not getting served.
That’s what’s getting ready to happen in America to African-Americans again. Although African-Americans and Native-Americans have always been here in America, and we’ve always been excluded.
We’ve always been placed in America’s lowest class.
We’ve always been the most hated.
We’ve always been seated at the back of the bus.
Two things can be right at the same time. Immigrants can want to come to America, and they can be placed in the front of others waiting in line for America to rescue them. At what point does America stop and address our needs? America gives preferences and opportunities to immigrants and keeps in place barriers and infrastructures to take away opportunities from others, in particular African-Americans.
When America supports line jumping, it supports inequity and inequality. Immigrants come to America seeking equality but end up engaging in inequity. Ignoring the inequity created by our racist systems and institutions is also racist. It’s not blaming, it’s naming. It’s the only way to fix the problem.
It’s time to examine the politics of immigration, and how immigration helps White Supremacy remain intact. It’s no longer in African-American descendants of enslaved folks’ best interests to coalesce with other groups who are White America’s preferred groups. We’re on track to become powerless and destitute collectively in a few short years. Many African-American economists have been pointing out for decades how immigration (line-jumping) harms African-Americans. We’re at a point where the preferences for other minority groups are coming to a head.
African Americans will become first-rate saviors, 4th rate citizens.
America has shown us time and time again who she prefers. When will my people finally start believing her?
And for those of you who continue spouting we need to have more patience with America, we’ve run out of it. We don’t have anymore. America can move fast when it decides to make entire groups of immigrants United States citizens with a pen stroke. Asking African-Americans to be patient is an insult.
America Condones Line Jumping
America acts like the cashier in the store who allows people to cut the line all willy nilly with no regard or respect for those of us who were patiently waiting to be served, which brings me to reparations.
America upholds disorder and supports unfairness when it does not serve its constituents in the order they’ve been waiting in line to be served. African-Americans have been waiting a long time to get what we’re owed, to be compensated for our hardships and neglect, and to receive payment for centuries of exclusion from having rights, services, and citizenship.
Immigration is political, so are reparations. Line cutting puts reparations for African-Americans in jeopardy.
The Asian-Latino Anti-Black Alliance Coming Soon To The Democratic Party
Biden and the Democratic Party are betting on Brown immigrants in 2024, hoping the Asian-Latino coalition can come through for them to help them stay in power. In a few short years, America will be a majority-minority nation, and line-jumpers are clamoring to take our spot as the largest minority group, even if means Brown groups must work together to undermine African-Americans. The Asian-Latino coalition has existed for decades. They’ve socially and politically aligned against Black people for decades to secure their bag for their people.
It’s well known Biden has a certain disdain for Black people. He always has. Listen to how President Biden talks about reparations and immigrants during the debates when he was running from President. Biden made it loud and clear the priority of the Democratic Party will be the Hispanic/Latino coalition and DACA (the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals). For example, before Biden tackled Black Lives Matter issues, he created a cabinet to preserve DACA. The future is going to be Brown, and Black people are once again being placed at the back of the line. The preference for Brown is evident. Black people better recognize.
America never has the stomach to address Black people. Black people are always forced to share.
Immigrants have secured their bags and achieved the dream at the expense of African-Americans. Similar to White people, many immigrants are helping Whites roll up the welcome rugs after they get theirs. I liken it to the person who cut the line in the store and gets through the checkout before you. Line cutters hold their heads high carrying their bag at our expense. We hold the line and we’re left in line as they get into their cars, driving away to go on about their business, never giving us a second thought. We are not one nation. If anything, we’re far from it.
The American melting pot is a myth that I wished would die. America forces all of us to fight and compete for White Supremacy’s affection.
The Black and Brown coalition is also cheaper for America to maintain. America doesn’t have to pay immigrants reparations for hundreds of years of enslavement. They don’t have the history with America we do. They haven’t been oppressed as long. Immigrants will also gatekeep for Whiteness. It’s a two-for-one type of deal.
We answer the call like good Americans, but when we ask to be taken care of in the order in which we arrived. Time is running out.
The jig is up. The fix is in. Blacks have likely done their final act saving an ungrateful America. African Americans did most of the work, and the Democratic Party will reward People of Color with our flowers.
Just look at Biden’s cabinet. Black people saved America in 2020, White and Brown people are rewarded. This is in no way to steal the shine from other minority groups who came through in a clutch in 2020, but African-Americans carry America, consistently, like no other racial group. When will America reward Black folks the way it rewards immigrants for just “coming to America.” Haven’t we contributed enough?
Haven’t we waited long enough? Haven’t we allow enough people to jump the line?
A lot of us who are heavy into politics have been noticing a trend over the past 25 years or so. We’ve been sounding alarms and blowing whistles but have largely ignored by Blacks and dismissed by Whites. Black folks are busy playing representation politics trying to “look” like a melting pot while Asians and Latinos have allied to not only jump the line in politics but also keep us out of power locally. Even Black immigrants shun native Black citizens and work to keep us out of power.
Blacks need not apply.
America is about to become more divided because our racist White political structure will divide us. All we can do is prepare. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see concerted effort to be more inclusive of Brown folks and less inclusive of Black people. Our shelf life is up. We’re being casually disposed of again for the next up and coming immigrant group who are being formally being welcomed into Whiteness. We’re going to start hearing a lot of promises to Brown folks. African-America and Blacks will be barely used, and when it is used, it’s always going to be used in concert with Black and Brown or Hispanics and Asians. DACA will be passed, giving preference to the future White-passing workforce just like White folks always do. You’ll hear about racism in the Asian community.
It will be like the Black Lives Matter protests from last summer never happened.
What you won’t hear is anyone acknowledging the racism of immigrants.
Line-jumpers will be getting all the attention, and Black folks will be getting chastised like we did when civil rights leaders questioned Biden about his lack of policy specifically for Black people.
America has no plans to help us, and if it does, it will make us share with others. Black people are the only people who must share their assistance with other groups. America treats no other ethnic group in this way.
America Is Moving On From Black People
Asians, Latino/Hispanic, and Brown people will get top billing in the next few weeks and months as the Democratic Party prepares to win elections in 2022 and 2024. What the White party leaders have discounted in the Democratic Party are racism and anti-Blackness. Our nation’s inability to address racism will continue to create tension throughout society.
America prefers White immigrants. America condones line-jumping. American encourages inequity and creates inequality.
Black people must be prepared to be live with the fact we’re always going to be America’s booty call. We’re at the back of the line and on the back of the broken down Blackitty Black bus. America has no plans to fix what it broke in us, give back what it stole from us, or feed those it’s tried to starve.
America, White America, is going to move on the way it always does. Symbolic gestures are not enough to keep African American people alive and thriving in this country. We’re being phased out, relegated to savior duty, and it hurts like hell more Black folks aren’t seeing the big picture. White Supremacy has to stay alive, and the way it does is ruthless. Black people are America’s favorite sacrificial lamb.
Immigrant groups continue jumping the line pretending they don’t know what’s happening. I wanted to put it out on front street so no one is surprised at what’s about to happen. Brown people are making moves, and they aren’t including Black people. If Black folks are waiting on Biden Administration to have your back, you have him fucked up (see the video above). Biden and the Democratic Party’s priorities aren’t Black folks’ priorities. Take off your representation eyeglasses. The honeymoon is over. Vice-President Harris won’t do anything for Black people either. She’s not there for us, she’s there for White people and Brown people, the line-jumpers, the people who intersect with us and neglect us.
Democratic Party politicians have their marching orders. Regardless of the race of the politicians, Asian and Hispanic/Latino voter issues will be spewing from their mouths like fountains. The Party is doing what White people always do, giving preferences to people who jumped the line. All we Black folks can do is prepare.
Representation matters, but policy and substantive reparations matter more. America is skipping out on its bill again. She’s changing the subject. She’s got what she wanted from us. She’s gone.
America is moving on.
America may become a majority-minority nation, but the politics of it all will still be preferential, line-cutting, and White.
Line jumping is welcomed. Native Blacks and Native Americans need not apply. If you think America is about to change, you’re sadly mistaken. America gives preferences to line-jumpers.
Political anti-Blackness is being pitched right before our eyes, and we all sit back and dismiss it. The Democratic Party is demonstrating a continuation of America’s preference for White immigrants. My question to my readers is now that we see it, what do we do about it?
This is another problem White people created. They need to fix it. Anti-Blackness in immigration policy is an old colonial holdover that needs to die. If we’re going to address racism, we need to address it in our immigration practices too. Anything that hurts African Americans is bad for America, so White folks need to add this to the long laundry list of things in need of repair.
Breaking up with White Supremacy will require us all to delve into how we benefit from it, and how others are harmed by it. It’s time for immigrants to dive into their privilege, acknowledge their roles in upholding White Supremacy.
The onus is on all of us to reduce or racist footprints, including immigrants. It’s time we address the racism and inequity of immigrants and line-jumping. It’s not fair, and I hate it.
Marley K. 2021
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