11:47 pm - 06/28/2012

Bieber, Gomez on the House floor

Teen celebrity couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez made a surprise appearance on the House floor Wednesday morning.

Granted, they were there in the form of a prop used by Rep. Luis Gutierrez to help demonstrate the congressman’s opposition to a controversial provision of the Arizona immigration law that was upheld by the Supreme Court this week.

“This is for our young C-SPAN [viewers]: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez,” the Illinois Democrat said as he pointed to a poster of the stars’ faces. “These young people have overcome their very different national origins and become apparently a happy couple. I’m sure Justin helped Gomez learn all about American customs and feel more at home in her adopted country.”

“Oh, wait a minute. I'm sorry. Because I'm not a trained Arizona official, I somehow got that backwards,” the congressman continued. “Actually, Ms. Gomez of Texas has helped Mr. Bieber of Canada learn about his adopted country. Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers.”

Gutierrez, whose parents were born in Puerto Rico, used other familiar faces from the media and pop culture to make his case that it’s difficult even for trained law-enforcement officials to determine — simply through a person’s looks or speech — his or her immigration status.

His remarks came days after the high court announced its decision to uphold what is widely known as the “show me your papers” measure of Arizona’s SB 1070, which mandates that police officers check the immigration status of an individual who has been stopped for questioning if there is reason to believe that they are in the country illegally. Critics of the law argue that it promotes racial profiling.

Other celebrity pairings Gutierrez presented on the floor Wednesday included journalists Geraldo Rivera and Ted Koppel (“At a traffic stop, to the untrained eye, we might guess that Geraldo Rivera, for some reason that clearly has nothing to do with the way he looks, might not be from America. ... They would know that Geraldo was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and that Ted Koppel was born in Europe”) and NBA stars Jeremy Lin and Tony Parker (“Clearly Lin sounds kind of foreign, while Tony Parker sounds American to me. But I'm not an Arizona police officer who would know that Jeremy Lin was born in Los Angeles and Tony Parker, oops, you're up. Belgium.”)

The congressman argued that the idea that a government official could determine who belongs in America simply by looking at them is “completely ridiculous, unfair and un-American.”

“And yet this absurdity is the law of Arizona,” he said. “The court signaled that it would be watching this law closely, and it should. Because we count on the court to protect our liberties, not restrict them, and because in America, people should always be judged by their actions. No person, not one, should be judged by the way they look, the sound of their voice or their pronunciation of their last name. Not in Arizona, not anywhere, not ever.”

source/ ontd_political

haha idk i thought this was awesome.. that they were used as an example. and this guy rulez
pseudovirus 29th-Jun-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
It's only Selena's last name that might make you question her citizenship (and only if you're irrational / xenophobic enough to do so in the first place)

people are racist as fuck about names too tho. soo many people have been denied jobs because their names sound 'foreign', or 'too black', or whatever the fuck excuse racist people like to make up. like so many first-generation american kids are named specifically to sound more american/english specifically for the job thing, and for 'assimilating' in general, especially with first names. b/c in reality...... sooo many people are xenophobic/racist af but it's so ingrained that they don't think about it, and it's way more common for that sort of "subtle" racism to take place in present-day america than the blatant-in-your-face racism that arizona is demonstrating w/ this bill.
pseudovirus 29th-Jun-2012 05:58 am (UTC)
yeah, sorry, i know you understood why he made that point, i guess i was trying to elaborate more idk. and yeah, that law is just.. so incredibly obviously racist and idg how it's allowed, at all. would your brother have been stopped if he was white? no, it's b/c he's latino, which is fucking ridiculous. millions of latinos were born and raised in america, it really really bugs me how arizona seems to think that latino people only come from mexico, and these people seem to be forgetting that their grandparents or great-grandparents were freaking immigrants too; they dont have any more right to this country/land than any latino who wants immigrate here does. unless you're native american, you rly have no right to bitch about immigration/omggggg ~foreign aliens~ invading. and it sure as hell ain't the native american people making these laws.

i'm sorry your brother got profiled like that :( so, so fucking dumb.
pseudovirus 29th-Jun-2012 06:40 am (UTC)
With roots in Puerto Rico, which is actually a U.S. territory & not a city in Mexico.

lol irl, i don't get how so many people don't know this. i get not knowing we own some random territory in the pacific, but come on! puerto rico is like, not that far from florida even! but i've met puerto ricans who didn't know they were an american citizen, soooooo idek lol i guess there's decades-old issues at hand there on both sides

and the whole 'alien' term is just so... ridiculous. like it brings up to EVERYONE'S minds UFOs, and they basically use that term to dehumanize people. and america's omg!~ moral outrage about everything foreign is just..... so frustratingly hypocritical

i hope this guy's speech does something too, at the very least make people think. and it's being posted on sites like this that reach a young audience-- maybe it'll make them re-think some of the positions they hold based on what they hear their parents ranting about (those goddamn illegal mexican are takin' our JOBS!11). young people are the future~

Edited at 2012-06-29 06:41 am (UTC)
pseudovirus 29th-Jun-2012 07:03 am (UTC)
me too! i voted in 2010 for the mid-term elections, but i was a year too young back in '08 so this will be my first presidential election. i'm stoked!
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