Tonight, my husband and I went to the casino. My husband plays poker and I play slots. As I was playing slots, a nice man sat next to me and we started high fiving each other as each of us won. For those who go to a casino, this is typical behavior among enthusiasts.
We started chatting about our families. He said he was from Texas, like I was, so I decided to ask him about the immigration debate. I figured he was an ANTI and I was right. I asked him if he was familiar with sb1070 and if he supported it. He said he supported it. I said, "How can you support a bill that racially profiles American Latinos like me." He responded, "Well we have to do something to curb illegal immigration and protect the border." I agreed with him. I said, "CIR addresses that. We need the Feds to pass CIR. I agree with secure borders and employer sanctions, but we cannot have a bill that targets American Latinos like me." I proceeded to tell him that my family lived in TX for hundreds of years. Countless Latino families were like mine and this bill racially profiles and targets all of us. He said, "Well we have to do something to control our borders." I asked, "Why is it ok to target me and my family and not yours." He couldn't answer. He mentioned, "We have so many coming over..." I repeated, "My family has been here much longer than yours. I am a good American. So is my family. I too support secure borders, but I do not condone racial profiling. Why do you?" I could tell he was getting uncomfortable, but he proceeded to tell me that he could trace his family back to the Mayflower. Then I said, "But not in Texas. My family was here before yours arrived." He didn't know what to say. I told him I realized he was a loyal American like I was, but it was important for him to understand the truth about these racial profiling bills and the impact on families like mine. We ended the discussion with him promising to look up my blog and to study the issue.
I really don't think he will and he was just placating me, but it will be interesting to see if he does. Regardless, it was an interesting discussion and I think he gained new insights. I think more of us need to engage each other and have similar discussions about Immigration and Racial issue. That is the only way we will hear each other and gain each other's perspective.