The following is going viral in a big way on the facebook/twitter rounds. Activists at Net Roots (where our own Mamita Mala is!) conducted ICE checkpoints to check for “illegal European immigrants” throughout the conference as a way to demonstrate how the immigration debate is a specifically race based one, how ICE is used to terrify specifically racialized communities, how you could be *doing nothing wrong* and still considered suspect.
I don’t know, I think it’s a good idea–but I also think that I saw too many white people smiling, thinking isn’t this so funny/cute! Here! Here’s my ID! Haha!
It’s a lot different being asked by activists trying to prove a point for your ID than it is being asked by official government agents with their machine guns drawn for your ID. It sorta makes me think of Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez Pena’s series of museum tours where they imprisoned themselves in a cage and posed as “exotic Indians” from a fake country. Some people got it, other people thought it was cute. I wonder how many Native peoples or Latin@s are laughing and smirking their way through ICE checkpoints?
When there is no power in the work to terrify–you are relying as “artists” on irony to make your point, and some people will get irony others won’t. Hopefully in the whitened halls of Netroots, more people got it than didn’t.
What do you think?