So-called Illegal Aliens are Human, Too

When I do general diversity and inclusion training, I often include a section on diversity of language and communications. I provide lists of the appropriate and respectful terms and words that people should use when referring to different groups of people. One example is using the term “sexual orientation” instead of “sexual preference,” which is insulting to gay people.

In a recent training session with a city police department, I got pushback when I shared that the respectful term to refer to immigrants who are here without proper documentation as “undocumented immigrants” instead of “illegal aliens.” I explained that all humans are created equally by God or whatever higher power you may or may not believe in and should be treated with respect. I do not believe God sees any person as “illegal.”

Some in the audience continued to argue that these are illegal bad people. I did try to have them separate a person’s actions from their humanity, and asked them, “If you do something bad from time to time, does that make you a bad person?” Yes, you can say that someone’s actions are illegal or bad, but that does not mean the person is illegal.

They still were not buying it. Then one person in the back of the room gave that old age argument, “they should come into this country legally like our ancestors did,” to which I replied, “I wonder what the Native Americans who were here before us think about that argument. Our forefathers stole their land from them and pushed them out.”
After the training, I then realized how I could further the discussion by asking them to have some empathy and put themselves in someone else’s shows.

EXAMPLE 1 – As Hitler was leading millions of Jews to the gas chamber, do you think the Jews may have the human right to get out of there any way they could, even if by illegal means? Or should they just stand by passively and get killed instead of illegally entering some other country?

EXAMPLE 2 – A good policeman just like you in Mexico is trying to fight the powerful drug cartels that are sending their drugs into the USA. The drug lords have already killed one police officer and their family, and have communicated to you that you, your wife and children are next on their hit list. Would you just stand by and let your family be executed, or would illegal escape to the USA to preserve you and your family’s life?

As a country and as individuals, let’s show some empathy and kindness toward everyone, including illegal aliens … WHOOPS … I mean undocumented immigrants.

Divided We Stand – Racism in America from Jamestown to Trump – A book review

David R. Morse, author and President / CEO of New American Dimensions

As a diversity consultant with a deep expertise in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) diversity, about half my clients do engage me for all areas of diversity and inclusion, which includes race. Even though the diversity discipline has evolved from the initial areas of gender and race to now include LGBT, generational, cognitive, the differently-abled, and more; racial issues certainly need to continue to be front and center. (see my blog “The Various Growing Types of Diversity.”)

Though a good number of white people believe that the racial discrimination of the past is eradicated, the black community for the most part, as well as statistical realities, would indicate otherwise. And racial tensions continue to rage as we have seen in the disproportionate number of black men and boys killed by police, the black lives matter movement, and the increased number of race related hate groups becoming active in the United States. (see my blog “Facing the Truth – Racism Still Persists in the USA.”)

I have recently read a most fascinating book which places racism in the United States in a much broader historical perspective since the very beginnings of our nation’s founding. In “Divided We Stand,” David R. Morse provides a full historical account of the many forms of racism that has been a part of our country’s history. It is important to own this part of our history, and by understanding history, we can all work together to build a more just society.

The sections of this fascinating book full of interesting accounts and data include:

“Divided We Stand” is a fascinating book detailing various types of racism throughout the USA’s history.

• The early struggles within white mostly Anglo-Saxon America in terms of integrating waves of immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy and Jews.

• The long African-American history from the days of slavery until today, including the doctrine of the “superior” Caucasian Race and the Jim Crow laws of the early 20th century.

• The history of Hispanic Americans starting with the treatment of the population already in the areas of the Southwest “conquered” by the USA up through the debate that continues to rage about illegal immigration.

• The history of Asian-Americans, their treatment and oppression during the gold rush days of California and the building of the western railroads, our government’s agreements with Japan, up to many who view Asians as the “model minority.”

• Scholarly discussion on the science around genetics and race, and then closing with the landscape of race relations in the USA today.

This book certainly made me aware of so much more of the history and dynamics behind the multiplicity of racial issues in our diverse country from its very beginning. And hopefully by understanding this history, we can all unite more rigorously to build a stronger country from our profound and unique blend of diversity.

I highly recommend this book!

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Direct LINK to order:

Author David R. Morse is President and CEO of New American Dimensions (link), a market research company focused on Hispanic, African American, Asian American and LGBTQ Americans.