Editor,

Recent events in America have ignited some serious discussions around racism and placed our country at the crossroads of social and political divide. As a Christian, providentially called and ecclesiastically ordained minister and board-certified chaplain, I am impelled to pen my sentiments during this trying time in the history of these United States of America.

From my vantage point as an African-American of Cherokee and Blackfoot Indian descent, raised in the Jim Crow city of Birmingham, Alabama, I have always viewed racism as overt and covert; that there could be no reasonable rationale for this social stigma. Yet the remarks attributed to Donald Trump regarding Mexican immigrants led me to entertain the idea of “protective” racism, which can fall into either category cited above.



In stating that “Mexico sends its rapists, drug dealers, et. al., to the United States,” I contend that he was speaking out of the realization and concern that steps need to be taken to rein in runaway immigration practices by our neighbors to the south, who somehow feel that they have an entitlement to the services and benefits that we citizens have struggled for years to enjoy.

Here in the state of New Mexico, we have become a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, those seeking driver’s licenses and those who have systems set in place for them to receive Medicaid, Medicare and any other form of gratis allowances.

The tired, poor and humble masses who gathered here following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 invaded Indian territory, but began the process of building a great country, albeit with harsh contributions by indentured slaves.

Mr. Trump said only what most politicians, both Democrat and Republican, have been thinking all along. Since he was brave enough to speak out, I submit that he might well be our next president. We can no longer continue the mantra of “political correctness” until the social ills of our land, in the area of undocumented immigrants driving our economic future into destruction, are annihilated.

Because it is in close proximity to the United States, Mexico’s citizenry has a significant advantage over other countries in terms of being aided and abetted by the Catholic Church — legal aid, housing programs and access to benefits, as well as receiving aid for cost by local, state and federal workers. It should appear that the ecclesiastical body of the Catholic Church would be more inclined to clean up its own house of ill repute through the long history of sexual abuse of children by priests, than adding more criminal acts to its repertoire.

There is no doubt that someone in federal, state and county governments throughout this country are acutely aware of the corruption that exists toward providing illegal immigrants a safe haven here, when so many of us are denied the benefits that we so rightfully deserve. Falsified documents have generated food stamps, housing allotments, free health care, college scholarships, grants and loans for immigrants who don’t legally qualify for these awards. And they brag about their misdirected opportunities that are rightfully ours.

Yes, the criminal element is alive and well among these immigrants: aggravated robberies/burglaries; rapes of children, youth and adults; murders; improper receiving of government benefits; domestic violence; disobedience of the laws of this country and outright disrespect for many naturally/legally born U.S. citizens.

It is now time for the United States of America to stand up to this takeover of our country and penalize those who arbitrarily assist in the perpetration of criminal acts by undocumented immigrants, as well as those unscrupulous administrators who pass on and naturalize immigrants, knowing full well that a number of them are unqualified and cannot speak fluent English (or simply refuse to do so). Then we United States citizens are left with the burden of trying to communicate with them in certain businesses, health care and other public venues.

Donald Trump spoke the truth, whether we believe it was an overt racist statement or whether we accept it for what is was: an overt protective racist acknowledgment of the condition of these United States of America today.

Sincerely,

Rev. Mary E. Woods

UNM alumna