FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Soccer, Baseball and Immigration

Fifteen of the twenty-three players on the French team which just won the World Cup are immigrants. They are a small part of the worldwide army of migrants on the move inside countries or traveling over mountains, oceans, and deserts, across borders, from country to country.

According to the 2015 World Migration Report, “There are an estimated 232 million international migrants and 740 million internal migrants in the world.”  Every one of them is looking for a place to lay their head in peace, looking for a way to take care of their families.

For example:

Joe Maddon is the manager of the Chicago Cubs. In 2016, he led them to their first World Series title in a century. A century ago also marked a high point of European immigration into Hazleton, Pennsylvania, including the Italian grandparents of Joe Maddon.

It’s happening again in Hazleton. In 1990, 4 percent of the city’s population was Latino. In 2010, it was 37 percent. Today it’s half.

“Over a decade ago, in 2006, Hazleton found itself at the center of the national debate about immigration and America’s relationship with Mexico. Faced with a new influx of immigrants, many from Mexico, it became the first city to pass local ordinances that banned hiring or renting to unauthorized immigrants. The city became ground zero for protesters against immigration and national news cameras camped out in the city for weeks to follow the debate…

“Since 2010 Joe Maddon has been on a crusade to bring the older and newer residents of his hometown together. That year he spent Christmas in Hazelton and was shocked to find the city he had grown up in so angry and divided. The next night he joined his cousin, Elaine Curry, a local community leader, for dinner with one of the Spanish-speaking families in town. He remembers thinking that his experience that night was just like what he remembered from family dinners when he was a child, where there always three or four generations present, children running around, and two languages spoken. ‘My god, this is exactly what my house used to look like in the fifties and sixties,’ Maddon has said. And he realized that night that history was repeating itself–that the immigrants who had come to his hometown were there to revitalize it in the same way his grandparents’ generation had done a century ago when they arrived from Europe.”

From Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together by Andrew Selee.

Joe Maddon was a co-founder of and today serves as honorary chairman of the Hazleton Integration Project (HIP). HIP operates under the principle that “We are a country of different cultures that are continually evolving into a single people.”

HIP has a multiracial board of directors and runs a variety of youth and other community programs that are indeed breaking down barriers between people in this rural Pennsylvania city. For more information, check out: hazletonintegrationproject.com.

 

More articles by:

Lee Ballinger, CounterPunch’s music columnist, is co-editor of Rock and Rap Confidential author of the forthcoming book Love and War: My First Thirty Years of Writing, interviewed Honkala for CounterPunch. RRRC is now available for free by emailing Ballinger at: rockrap@aol.com.

August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
Fred Gardner
Exploiting Styron’s Ghost
Dean Baker
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker on Medicare-for-All
Weekend Edition
August 10, 2018
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Militarizing Space: Starship Troopers, Same As It Ever Was
Andrew Levine
No Attack on Iran, Yet
Melvin Goodman
The CIA’s Double Standard Revisited
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Grifter’s Lament
Aidan O'Brien
In Italy, There are 12,000 American Soldiers and 500,000 African Refugees: Connect the Dots 
Robert Fantina
Pity the Democrats and Republicans
Ishmael Reed
Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?
Kristine Mattis
Dying of Consumption While Guzzling Snake Oil: a Realist’s Perspective on the Environmental Crisis
James Munson
The Upside of Defeat
Brian Cloughley
Pentagon Spending Funds the Politicians
Pavel Kozhevnikov
Cold War in the Sauna: Notes From a Russian American
Marilyn Garson
If the Gaza Blockade is Bad, Does That Make Hamas Good?
Sean Posey
Declinism Rising: An Interview with Morris Berman  
Jack Dresser
America’s Secret War on Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Use and Misuse of Charity: the Luck of the Draw in a Predatory System
Louis Proyect
In the Spirit of the Departed Munsees
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Alex Jones and Infowars
Mundher Al Adhami
On the Iraqi Protests, Now in Their Second Month 
Jeff Mackler
Nicaragua: Dynamics of an Interrupted Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Peter Wadhams, Professor Emeritus, Ocean Physics
David Macaray
Missouri Stands Tall on the Labor Front
Thomas Knapp
I Didn’t Join Facebook to “Feel Safe”
John Carroll Md
Are Haitian Doctors Burned Out?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail