One year after being swiftly kicked off campus by hundreds of students and community members, ex-Congressperson Tom Tancredo (R-CO) returns on April 26, 2010 to speak at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The University not only publicly apologized last year to the bigot who supports vigilante groups such as the Militiamen on the US-Mexico border, but also paid the one-person student “group” Youth for Western Civilization $3,000 to bring him back to campus.

The actions of the University and the police last year revealed to the nation that the school’s loyalties lie in preserving the hegemonic right of rich power brokers to spew anti-immigrant, anti-woman, racist ideology anywhere they please.

The Militiamen are an extreme link on the chain of the ultra-right heavily funded Tea Party movement that seeks to take advantage of this economy, the deepest recession in the US since the 1930s, to divide the working class, including immigrant workers.

By terrorizing communities and forcing immigrants underground, laws such as the new SB 1070 in Arizona, which creates the equivalent of an apartheid state or ICE measures such as 287g or Secure Communities which criminalizes immigrants, put workers in the position of working without the slightest of human rights. Women workers face an added burden. Those who are survivors of domestic violence often do not report abuse and gain access to resources and healthcare for fear that they or their partner could be deported.

Additionally, since capitalism thrives off of a large unemployed working class as it increases competition among workers and drives down wages and benefits, women who are not able to find a job, or are not making a living wage due to discrimination and the wage gap, must find alternative ways to support their families. These circumstances, and the availability of sex work and domestic labor primarily push women into super-exploitative work unprotected by legal labor standards.

Women and girls from Latin America also face the reality that thousands are coerced or forced into sexual slavery and trafficked into the United States creating a $7 billion[1] industry for US traffickers.

Finally, when families are ripped apart through policies such as 287g, in which local law enforcement is granted the federal authority to process, detain and deport people for infractions as minor as a traffic ticket, or driving to pick children up from school without a license, often it is women who must scrape to save the remaining family structure. With grueling low-wage jobs, restricted access to higher education and healthcare, living a comfortable life as every person should be able to, especially in the richest country in the world, becomes near impossible.

Feminist Students United stands in solidarity with the women, men and children in Arizona who are currently becoming the targets of extreme anti-immigrant policies that effectively turn the region into an apartheid state; the day laborers, farm workers, domestic workers and trafficked immigrants on whose work the economy and people of North Carolina rely; and the thousands of families torn asunder slashing social safety nets and terrorizing immigrant communities, we must continue to oppose the Tea Party and all of their tentacles that generously fund incessant attacks against women, immigrants and workers in general.

We must continue to bring to the surface the hidden and overt racism that is a fundamental tenet of Tom Tancredo’s words, the Tea Party and the vigilante groups they support. Supporters of Tancredo’s right to speak on a public campus lack an understanding of power and history’s lessons that show us that hateful discourse amplified by money and access to media create the foundation upon which Militiamen and the KKK operate. It is all connected and by invoking Voltaire at every turn, supporters of Tancredo are “defend[ing] to the death” not only his right to speak but also his support of xenophobic policies, vigilante groups and the overall attack on working people immigrant and native-born in the US.

Feminist Students United stands behind the courageous actions taken by students and community members at last year’s speech by Tancredo, on April 16, 2009, which declared to the nation that anti-immigrant words and actions would not be tolerated, and supports all the efforts by students, immigrants’ rights organizations, anti-racists and community members to oppose, any way they see fit, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – sponsored speech by ex-Congressperson Tom Tancredo (R-CO) on Monday, April 26,2010.

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL!


[1] http://www.libertadlatina.org/LL_LatAm_US_Slavery_Report_01_2003.htm

Hundreds of students from UNC-CH's Hispanic Student Association, Black Student Movement, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc., Feminist Students United, Student for a Democratic Society, Coalition for College Access and Reform Immigration for America and NC State walked out of Tancredo's talk after shouting "No human is illegal" and attended a rally and speak out in the Pit

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