Every day, thousands of employers take advantage of undocumented immigrants who often work grueling hours for very little pay. Many of these immigrants feel they cannot speak up against ‘the man’ for fear of retaliation, or worse – being turned in to authorities and getting deported.
The video above tests the waters with several patrons at a restaurant over this dividing issue. We couldn’t help but cringe as we gingerly pressed the ‘play’ button. What would people say? Would they stand their ground and defend an unknown person’s basic human rights, or would they turn the other way?
What happens might surprise you. Let’s just say, we were giving virtual high-fives and holding back some major waterworks.
With the wrap-up of Comic-Con 2019, we’ve still got comics and all things fandom on our minds. We’re, of course, big fans of comic giant Marvel. The company has long been the innovator in its industry and artists like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sana Amanat, and Scott Lobdell have created art and stories that push their narratives towards real-life issues. Racism, sexism, ableism and general bigotry have been addressed in the pages of their comics. They’ve made readers stop and look at the similarities between these fictional worlds and our real one.
“The X-Men,” especially, is one title that explores these concepts. At its core, “X-Men” is about taking the outcasts of society and making them superheroes via what makes them different. Still, despite their roles as heroes, the mutants of X-Men are seen as dangerous outsiders who need to hide who they are or risk being targeted by radicalized and violent bigots. Sound familiar?
This Twitter user noticed the similarities in themes between old “X-Men” cartoons from 25 years ago and our current society.
Twitter / @tyewang
Twitter user Tye Wang noticed these signs while watching “X-men: The Animated Series.” They read “Go Home!” and “Mutant Go Back To Where You Came From.” He pointed out that the observations from the cartoon — especially concerning race relations — reflect our current world.
Wang shared the dialogue that went along with the images:
“The assassin was Gambit, but ALL mutants get blamed. People are afraid, they want action, they want to protect, they want revenge.”
The scene goes on to discuss mutant laws being passed to “protect” non-mutants from “dangerous and criminal mutants.” It’s clearly an allegory for how society reacts to both migrants looking for sanctuary in our country and those who have immigrated here legally and have become citizens.
We’ve recently seen this racist trope used by the American president.
Twitter / @nowthisnews
On July 14, 2019, Donald Trump went on a racially charged Twitter rant aimed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow congresswomen. In the rant, the president asked of the women, “Why don’t they go back.” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Tlaib, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Omar are all women of color and are American citizens. However, since they have been vocal on many social issues that they hope to see changed, the president attacked the group — quickly latching on to a phrase that racists have long used against Black and Brown people.
During the major immigration period of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, America had open borders.
In this time, migrants came from Europe in mass quantities. The president’s own mother and father are members of this major immigration. Some of these migrants were persecuted for their mother country. Some received the same threats that today’s migrants face.
However, the focus for racist hate soon turned towards Latinx people, Black people and other brown members of society. Despite their own exodus, white Americans told Black and brown folks to go back home. Never mind that the border crossed over into native land. Never mind that Black people were brought over in chains. It was just another excuse to accuse “outsiders” for the world’s problems.
These issues are the same ones that members of the X-Men faced in their adventures.
Twitter / @SlimJim2123
It wasn’t just fighting Magneto and the Evil Brotherhood of Mutants. The X-Men also took on societal issues. Creator Stan Lee imagined the mutants to be a stand-in for minorities so it was natural that the heroes faced issues that marginalized groups experience.
Raised in Harlem and Cairo, weather-themed superhero, Storm, experienced the intersections of social injustice as a Black mutant woman. She faced prejudice from those who saw her as a dangerous mutant as well as those who saw her as someone who didn’t belong in America.
She also faced discrimination as a woman. The topic of wage equality came into the original ’70s and ’80s run of “The X-Men.” Forty or so years later and wage equality between the sexes and the races continues to be an issue; proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The hate that we see in today’s anti-immigrant mentality is the same that the X-men experienced back in their origins.
Twitter / @tertiarymap
During the original run of “X-Men: The Animated Series,” the mutant Jubilee faced an unfortunately familiar sentiment. While trapped by anti-mutant extremists, the hero asked, “Why do you hate us? What did we ever do to you?” The response she got was that she was hated for being born a mutant, something she has no control over.
This is the same hate that racists aim at Black and brown people. They are not judged by their character or their actions, but on the fact that they were born different. Whether born in a different place or born a different race, just like the bigots in “X-Men,” racists only care about what makes us different. Some things never change.
A Fox News headline published on Saturday, July 20th, read “Border agents use tear gas to stop nearly 50 undocumented migrants who stormed Rio Grande bridge.” But the last time a report was published about tear gas used on migrants at the border was January 3, 2019, and it made international news. Here’s Fox’s story:
According to Fox, 47 migrants “rushed” the Pharr International Bridge, and assaulted officers.
“A CBP official told Fox News the group attempted to rush across the bridge in three waves,” the article states. FOX quotes the alleged CBP official, “Ignoring commands to stop, the group suddenly rushed the temporary barricades, bent metal poles and disabled the concertina wire affixed to the barrier.”
Fox reports the group strategically rushed the bridge in three waves around 4 a.m. Allegedly, the bridge’s reopening, typically at 6 a.m., was delayed by two hours because CBP had to construct temporary barriers in the middle of the night.
Fox says the violence and destruction were so bad, Pharr Police were called to the scene.
This “official” tells Fox that “CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, Pharr police and members of the Texas Department of Public Safety were called upon to prevent the group’s entry.”
CBP and Pharr police have not mentioned this at all, though, by the time the bridge reopened, the Twitter account linked to Pharr PD’s website shared about their morning golf course clean up.
Fox links alleged migrants to the drug cartel.
In a Fox and Friends news clip, the hosts attempt to draw a connection between the migrants and the drug cartel, saying, “The cartel controls that area, so if those people are trying to [cross there], they’re not doing it without at least the knowledge of the cartel which means that something is going on.”
They also want to make the point that it’s incidents like these that Democrats use to “vilify” Border Patrol but what else were they supposed to do?
We called Pharr International Bridge’s offices and they were “not aware” of use of force or of the bridge’s closing.
The person who answered said that we should call back tomorrow to speak with his manager for an official statement. We asked if he was aware of Border Patrol using tear gas on migrants, resulting in the bridge temporarily closing, and he said, “I’m not aware of anything like that.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection had no published statement regarding use of force by its agents by the time of this publication.
Typically, there would at least be traffic reports of the bridge closure, as it would affect an innumerable amount of businesses who rely on the bridge for commerce. At least one outlet, CBS Valley Central references “a [media] release from Customs and Border Protection” that seemingly does not exist.
The single image used by Fox was published days earlier by other outlets.
There was no footage of the alleged July 20th incident and a reverse image search found that the single image used by Fox was published on other outlets beginning as early as July 17, 2019.
The “official” specifically told Fox that the alleged victims of tear gas were “several males in the group [who] disregarded commands to stop and physically pushed through the barriers.” Sixteen individuals were either federally charged or pending charges for “interference.”
The misinformation has since spread to the likes of New York Post, The Blaze, and more, all referencing Fox News.
Biz Pac Review even used this headline, “Horde of violent migrants storm Texas bridge punching, kicking and rushing border patrol officers.” More and more alt-right outlets are picking up the piece as it’s gone viral for the conservative online community.
Fox’s article has inspired calls for more violence against migrants.
It’s nearly impossible to find a public comment on Fox News’ initial reporting of the tear gas attack without finding threats of more violence. This user enthusiastically, in all caps, says, “GOOD, STOP THEM. MAY HAVE TO USE BASE BALL BATS, BUT STOP THEM.”
Tear gas is so abrasive that, in 1993, the U.S. outlawed the use of tear gas in war.
It’s something that nations across the world have definitely outlawed as a weapon they wouldn’t inflict on their own worst enemies. The inhalation of tear gas causes victims’ eyes to swell, throats to tighten, uncontrollable gagging and often vomiting for a full hour before the agent leaves the system.
Tear gas is legal for U.S. federal and local law enforcement to use as a method of riot control.
Still, some think tear gas isn’t enough.
Twitter user @RogerMcEntyre shared Fox’s news report with the caption, “Finally! Machine guns with rubber bullets work too.”
Extreme right conservatives are using the gap in reporting from credible outlets as fuel for the fire.
Andrew Pollack’s tweet has been liked and retweeted over 11,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!