It’s the cynicism and ignorance in politician’s statements when it becomes apparent that the motivation behind their actions is not out of concern for the people they represent, but rather out of a personal bias they hold within themselves. Such is the case with Sen. Bill Cowsert who recently stated the following to members of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce in response to the possible impact of a boycott against the state of Georgia.
“Who’s going to boycott us, illegal aliens? Are they going to turn themselves in and raise their hand that they’re opposed to it? I don’t see that hurting our business here.”
-Sen. Bill Cowsert
Obviously someone wasn’t paying attention when the boycott in Arizona happened after Gov. Jan Brewer signed the controversial and discriminatory SB1070. Arizona lost over $250 million dollars within 7 months of the passage of the law, and was predicted to reach $388 million according to a study for the Center for American Progress. The situation gets trickier for Georgia however since it’s largest industry, agriculture, is estimated to include 40-50% undocumented workers.
So to answer the Senator’s question, um, yeah, the undocumented community, or as you like to call them, “illegal aliens” will boycott you and so will everyone else who supports our hard working people.
Let’s stop playing dumb and pretend like this has to do with national security or jobs. It just so happens that Georgia has other motivations in passing this law since private prison corporations have high stakes in the state, just like they did in Arizona, and are desperately waiting to cash in on their profits once undocumented people start filling up their cells.
To be more specific, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which happens to be the largest private prison company in the country, including a few in Georgia, also funded GA Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign in 2010 with a few thousand bucks. This Friday, May 13th, 2011, we will watch as Gov. Deal will most likely sign HB 87 into law. For an added twist in the story, Kris Kobach, a lawyer for FAIR’s legal arm who was credited as the main person to craft SB 1070 has also played a big part in drafting Georgia’s HB 87. FAIR by the way is considered to be an anti-immigrant hate group by the SPLC.
How convenient that the same players keep popping up in both the Arizona and Georgia anti-immigration efforts don’t you think?
Let’s not buy into the lies and deception coming from these politicians who are deep in the pockets of lobbyists and people with ties to racist and hateful groups or organizations. We cannot let their orchestrated and well rehearsed speeches about their so called best intentions diffuse the fact that in their effort to profit from the mistreatment of other human beings, they in fact discriminate and racially profile, separate families, and destroy the trust of Latinos and other minorities for their would be leaders and protectors.
We must show Sen. Cowsert that we stand behind justice and respect, and that contrary to his beliefs, we can definitely have a significant impact on his state’s economy by boycotting their products. This is not to say that we want to jeopardize individual business owners who may also not agree with this law, which is why we’ve provided a list of corporations who have contributed funds to GA Gov. Nathan Deal, the one who will ultimately decide whether to pick up the pen and sign the bill or do the right thing and veto it. These corporations also have their headquarters in the state of Georgia. A simple call expressing your stance and a conscious choice to not buy their products can make a huge impact if we all stand together behind this effort. The safety of our communities depends on us, and we each have a responsibility to protect them. Join us in boycotting Georgia until the bill is vetoed @ MyCuentame.org/BoycottGeorgia.
-Ofelia Yanez, Cuéntame Co-creator
List of companies:
-Home Depot - 770-433-8211
-Delta Airlines - 404-715-2600
-AFLAC - 706-323-3431
-Southern Co. - 404-506-5000
-Coca-Cola - 404-676-2121
When I posted a request for people in Arizona interested in doing short interviews about their opinions on SB 1070, I expected a few angry or frustrated responses on the subject matter. I got one response which I must admit I read with skepticism. It read:
"I am interested in your interview project, and, as a police officer in Arizona, I have perspectives that might interest you."
I responded expecting never to hear back from Paul Dobson, but I was pleasantly surprised when he wrote back shortly thereafter. I mentioned the lead to my executive producer/director Robert Greenwald who was very excited about the possibility of getting an opinion from someone who may not only share his frustration, but who would also be expected to enforce the law directly.
I spoke with Mr. Dobson over the phone a couple of times before our Skype interview, and I was convinced that this police officer was unlike any cop I would have imagined from the state of Arizona right now. Full of emotion and disbelief over SB 1070, and working tirelessly on the "Do I look 'ILLEGAL?'" campaign on Cuéntame, I was honored that Paul Dobson had contacted me directly to let the world know how this law would make him, "feel like a Nazi."
Just weeks ago the staff here at Brave New Foundation, including Mr. Robert Greenwald, marched through downtown LA wearing "Do I look 'ILLEGAL?'" t-shirts at the immigration rally on May 1st. There, we felt the intense energy of the many people who were not only frustrated at the setbacks on immigration reform, but also incensed about the racist law in Arizona that, in addition to violating basic civil rights, is also obviously directed at Latinos, and at brown Latinos at that.
Now we have a true ally: a brave man speaking such powerful words that we could not have written a better testimony ourselves. Throughout my interview with Paul, I held back tears and felt an incredible urge to reach out and hug this man in gratitude for speaking out and defending my community. If only there were more people like Paul Dobson denouncing this law. I also asked him multiple times if he would like me to change his name, blur his face, or alter his voice in concern of his safety back home. Every time he thanked me for my offer and re-assured me that he didn't need me to protect him. He admitted to being afraid of a backlash, but not surprisingly he then said one simple sentence that gave me chills. "Bring it on."
With that, I encourage you to please take the time to watch this powerful video and join Paul Dobson, Robert Greenwald, and myself in this fight for people's human rights and dignity. I'll take Paul's words and fight until something changes, and I myself would like to say, BRING IT ON!