As all of my friends, relatives and acquaintances know, I have just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where I have been since January prepping and shooting a film called “Elephant White” with Djimon Hounsou and Kevin Bacon. On the whole, the experience was rewarding. Working with Prachya Pinkaew, the internationally acclaimed Director was both a treat and a learning experience. I know it will continue as such during the post-production period.
However, while in Thailand, I also was a student: A student of free speech and the right of assembly and tolerance. Three items that I used to believe we had here in America. Thailand, the country were a military coup took over control of the government a few years ago is now on the verge of a civil war. Even though it is a military run country, its people have more freedom of expression than we have here in the United States thanks to the PC movement, the ACLU and our friends on the Far Left.
The political situation in Thailand can be considered fragile at best. The two political parties are on the verge of what may be a violent and bloody civil war. When I left there about ten days ago, the Red Shirt Party had taken control of downtown Bangkok and, for all intents and purposes, had occupied it. The party in control, The Yellow Shirts, has allowed this to happen.
What started as a peaceful protest against the government is on the verge of becoming violent. Already, there have been minor skirmishes in which guns have been fired, grenades have been launched and a small group of people on both sides have been killed.
However, for the most part, the military and local police have exercised restraint and did not permit the situation to get out of control. They were ready to defend the populace by being fully armed and patrolling the streets, but they did not do anything to take away the rights of the protestors. Freedom of Speech and Assembly were respected by both sides.
Unfortunately, this is not what is happening in the United States. The Far Left, as stated in some of my prior articles, has been doing everything in its power to take away these freedoms in our country. In fact, Nancy Pelosi has actually called the Tea Party protestors the equivalent of Nazis. She has stated that she would like them to cease from all activities and simply does not want to give them the right to protest.
The same also seems to be true of a large portion of our country in response to the Arizona Immigration Law. In fact, the City of Los Angeles and other organizations are calling for a boycott of Arizona in response instead of recognizing that Arizona has a right to protect itself if the Federal Government refuses to do such. Arizona is merely exercising its Tenth Amendment Rights.
A careful reading of the Arizona Law shows that it is nothing more than a state codification of the current federal law; all legal immigrants and legal non-immigrants are required to show proof of their right to be in the country if requested by proper authorities. The law is not fascist nor a return to Nazi Germany as has been suggested by those who oppose it. And, it is not an affront on the Hispanic Community. It is simply an affront on illegal aliens. It is an affront on those who have no right to be in the United States, whether they be Hispanic, Eastern European or Asian. I am the grandchild of immigrants. My grandparents came through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century. They followed the law and became American in the proper manner. They did not hold onto the Old Country. In fact, my parents barely spoke any Italian at all. They were told to become American. They were no longer Italian.
Arizona is dealing with a problem that must be dealt with. In fact, the immigration statute is so popular that a number of other states, including Texas and Michigan, that’s right liberal Michigan, are considering similar statutes. A poll released today shows that 64% of the population approves the law.
The illegal immigration situation in Arizona and other states on the Border has reached crisis proportions. Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen explains the law and her reason for supporting it in her commentary on why she voted for the statute. You can find a full text of her commentary at: http://tucsoncitizen.com/the-cholla-jumps/2010/05/01/state-senator-sylvia-allen-responds-to-sb1070/. In that article, she explains the problems on the Border; the uncontrollable influx of illegals and, drug traffickers using the border in Arizona as the principle means of bringing drugs into the United States.
The facts are clear. Illegal immigrants are filling up both state and federal prisons; they are a drain on federal and state welfare; and, they are a drain on our education system. They are responsible for a large portion of the murders and other felonies throughout the country. In fact, the situation on the Arizona Border has gotten so bad that it can almost be considered a war zone. People are being murdered on both sides of the border daily. That’s right, daily. The Federal government is doing nothing to stop the situation and would grant illegals amnesty if permitted. The states must take the matter into their own hands. They are going bankrupt and must do whatever is necessary and legal to protect their citizens and budgets.
You may wonder why the Federal Government is not doing anything to curb the tide of illegal immigration. The answered is simple. The party in power sees illegal immigrants as a potential voting block that would support them. If the Democratic Party cannot get votes from naturally born and/or naturalized citizens, then it will get them from wherever it can, especially in Arizona and Texas which lean heavily to the right. Imagine giving illegal immigrants the right to vote in these two states. It could be just enough to tip them to the left.
Cinco de Mayo was celebrated a few days ago. This is a national holiday in Mexico. In some states with large Mexican populations including Arizona and California, it is becoming a day of celebration too. A group of students in a Southern California High School decided that they were going to celebrate America on Cinco de Mayo by wearing shirts with the American Flag on them. The administrators in the school decided that this was inappropriate behavior and demanded that the students change their shirts or turn them inside out. It must have been the administration’s viewpoint that the American Flag should not be displayed on Cinco de Mayo.
The students were then subjected to discipline by the school board when they refused to remove their shirts. When the parents of these students found out what was happening, they went to Fox News with the story. Fox News chose to air it. It was later picked up by both NBC, CBS and @ yahoo. In my opinion, the school district is clearly violating these students Right to Assembly and Free Speech. To date, the school district has not apologized for its actions. However, they have ceased the disciplinary proceedings against the students.
Since when did it become bad to love the United States? Since when did it become in bad taste to be a dissenter? Don’t the Federalist Papers and the Equal Protection Clause state that protection of the minority is one of the guarantees of the Constitution? Apparently, in this school district the non-Mexicans are the minority and they are being disciplined for exercising their Constitutional Rights and showing love for their country.
In similar story, a grammar school student in another part of the country was stopped from drawing an American Flag with the words God Bless America on it by her teacher. The teacher felt that this drawing was inappropriate content. I guess the teacher felt that God shouldn’t bless America or that the American Flag, a symbol that millions have fought and died for, was not a proper art project for a student at the elementary school level.
It appears that the Administrators in the Sout
hern California school district and the grammar school teacher have less tolerance than the military controlled government and people of Thailand. This also appears to be unfortunately true for most of the left leaning people in this country, including our current President. We all need to remember this in November when we cast our votes to take our country back.
© 2010 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to copy will be granted freely upon request.