The Double Standard of Intention

By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton, the nominee for the Democratic party, was given a pass by the FBI concerning the use of her email as the Secretary of State where she may or may not have leaked classified information.  FBI Director James Comey issued a statement saying, specifically, that Hillary could have been hacked AND that “there was no direct evidence that Clinton had ‘intended to violate laws.’”

Hillary got off from facing some serious consequences that could have potentially gotten her fired from her current position, but, also banned from her political dreams of world domination (or as we lovingly have come to call it: the President of the United States). Hillary was considered free of guilt based on INTENTION.  Let me say that one more time for those of you in  back who may have missed it: Hillary was given a free pass from her illegal activities, based on the fact that they did not believe that Hillary “INTENDED to violate [any] laws.”

So here I was, on Tuesday morning, listening to this statement and my jaw dropped.  I have no idea how people argue against white supremacy and racism, when clearly the color of Hillary’s skin had everything to do with this free pass.  Since when does intent have anything to do with any ruling against our raza.  

Specifically, migration is something that is primarily a necessity. NEWS FLASH: Migration is not something that a lot of our gente wants to do.  When your entire family and your friends and everything you know and hold close to you, is back in the country that birthed you and made you the human you are today: most people want to stay near those circles.  So when does migration happen..?  Migration happens when you’re LGBTQIA and facing persecution and your life depends on your migration.  Migration happens when your child or yourself is born with some disease or sickness or something that needs the type of medical care that is inaccessible in our countries.  Migration happens when you’re fleeing an abusive partner and you run and leave it all behind. Migration happens when maquiladoras have taken over your town and good and safe employment is near impossible to find.  Migration happens when you live in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere due to wars caused by American governments.  Migration happens because of a million different reasons.

So when a person needs to migrate to the USA, because of one or more of the reasons stated above, they may or may not have to migrate illegally. And when they are caught, NOBODY asks: did you intend on migrating here illegally? What they do is funnel everyone through a streamline process where hundred of undocumented folks are told the consequences of coming back and sent back.  

But if they bothered to ask: did you intend on migrating here illegally? Every single one of them would say: No. Nobody wants to make their life more difficult by coming into a country without documents. Living here without documents means living in fear of deportation, where traffic infractions can mean the difference between seeing your family that night or not. Living here without documents means employment, where you are treated like a human being, is hard to come by. Nobody wants their wages stolen by greedy bosses. Nobody wants their babies to be born with deformities due to the chemicals found in migrant fields. Nobody wants to work for less than minimum wage.  

But, because of the color of our skin, nobody cares about our intention. They care that we broke the law by coming into this country illegally. Because of the color of our skin, nobody cares about our intention.  Alton Sterling was considered guilty without any foul intention behind his actions. He paid with his life. But Hillary fucking Clinton gets a slap on her wrist and is given a pardon because she did not INTEND to break the law.  This could be our next president.  Think about it…

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is a chonga Mujerista from Managua, Nicaragua currently living in Miami, FL. She recently graduated with her Masters from Vanderbilt University, and is looking to take some much needed time off to refresh. She is also the founder of Latina Rebels, a blogger for HuffPo Latino Voices, and a columnist/editor at Chica Magazine. Her interests are within biopolitics as it relates to Latina embodiment, specifically concerning models of conquerable flesh around narratives of naturalization for women of color. Thus her work is around reclaiming and upholding embodied resistance, particularly within chonga and chola subcultures. Que viva la mujer!

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