Saturday, June 26, 2010


When I was very young, I was drafted in the army. I was stationed in Munich, Germany in 1954. I saw the concentration camps and the ovens. I was appalled at the extent of the cruelty. But what was more appalling was the history of silence. That silence, the denial and cowardice on the part of those who knew about the atrocities that killed six million Jews. Today, that cowardice prevails amongst the Black and Latino community regarding Latino immigrants.

Mexican immigrant, Alejandro Galindo was beaten so badly that he may lose the sight of one eye. And despite his beating, he wanted to go to work the next day but was persuaded against it by his daughter. He is now in critical condition. He was assaulted for being a Mexican drinking a beer after work on Staten Island. The lack of outrage from both Latino and Black politicians is deafening. Where are their "cojones"? Does Al Sharpton need a visa to visit Staten Island? Guillermo Linares, former commissioner of immigrant affairs is conspicuously silent although he campaigns for election as an assemblyman. And we have yet to hear from the righteous Catholic politicians of Staten Island such as James Oddo and Michael McMahon. They are all "pseudo men".

Alejandro Galindo is undocumented and without health insurance. He does not vote. He has no political value to the esteemed elected officials. But, he is a man who has raised four children. He is a man who exists to work and pay his bills as we all do. We do not have to evaluate his status. We have to evaluate the status of political figures who demand our allegiance and respect. Who demand our votes and our loyalty. Who swear to God on the bible to uphold the law. Who pray to the Virgin Mary on Sunday. My dear friends, they are liars. Alejandro Galindo may loose part of his eyesight. He too prays to God, unseen by the TV cameras. He prays to be able to see and to return to his construction jobs again. Such a simple request.

The danger of ignoring Alejandro Galindo merely fuels the anger in potential immigrants either legal or undocumented. The wave that washes across the border will not stop. And unless our so called leaders legislate to protect the undocumented, that wave will become an angry monsoon that will destroy not construct.

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