Saturday, May 24, 2008


HOPE: Davidson County clerk John Arriola has reversed 10 years of a discriminatory policy and will allow undocumented couples to get marriage licenses.

Nashville will no longer fight love.

Arriola was convinced by a state AG's opinion that sided with a federal lawsuit plaintiff, Vanessa Saenz. She claimed she was being denied full protection under the law. The Nashville attorney said she and her fiance were denied a license because he had no hope of getting a Social Security number. Gov. Phil Bredesen, a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) and a dinosaur when it comes to progressive public policy, tried to get the lawsuit dismissed.

A lot of people deserve credit in this victory for human rights and love. Saenz, her attorney George Barrett and Father Joe Pat Breen, the greatest man I have ever known.

Arriola said in the article in today's Tennessean that Breen, a friend of his, had been pressuring him for years to reverse the policy. Father Breen has been a staunch advocate for Hispanic immigrants in Nashville, fighting discriminatory and abusive local and state government policies against our undocumented neighbors. He even rented a bus last year to transport immigrants to Kentucky to get licenses, then he performed the marriages here. Courageous and compassionate man.

Barrett is a noted civil rights attorney and advocate. Unlike so many non-Hispanic, liberal, civil rights stalwarts in Nashville, he has not stayed on the sidelines during the ongoing human rights outrages here like the 287(g) deportation program.

Tennessean reporters also deserve credit in trying to cover all these outrages -- from the 287(g) program to rising reports of abuses against Hispanics to today's story on licenses. The newspaper's editorial board, however, remains disturbingly quiet on the human rights outrages here and washes its hands in claiming wrongs like 287(g) are tied to failed federal immigration policy. That way, The Tennessean doesn't have to criticize anyone locally. And there are plenty of people locally to blame for 287(g) if you read this blog.

Still, Barrett, Saenz, Breen and Arriola can feel satisfied that right has prevailed. (And let's hear it for love and marriage, which are supposed to be family values.) Their courage hopefully will move more non-Hispanic, liberal, civil rights stalwarts to get off their hands and get into this human rights fight.

OUTRAGE: Federal officials with the nation's Border Patrol were in Nashville the past week trying to recruit African-Americans to join their policing ranks. The Feds were here under the rationale that these good folks could then send their earnings back to their good parents in Nashville.

Wait a minute! Isn't that all that many undocumented workers are doing in this country? They're working hard here to send money back home so they can return to a better life. I guess if you can't beat them, then join them, under this federal government's thinking. And yes, "I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help."

Thankfully, a lot of African-Americans saw through this sham and didn't show up. Besides, who wants to work in the miserable heat and choking dust of the border -- except maybe, undocumented workers? Wake up, America!

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