FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

The Race Issue

Immigrant Crossing

When you walk down a deserted Ukrainian beach and see a tiny sand crab with a Coca Cola cap for a shell, you can't help but think to yourself "holy shit." The crab, though not a genius himself, has just made a profound comment about the ubiquity of...
December 1, 2002, 12:00am

When you walk down a deserted Ukrainian beach and see a tiny sand crab with a Coca Cola cap for a shell, you can’t help but think to yourself “holy shit.” The crab, though not a genius himself, has just made a profound comment about the ubiquity of commercialization. He’s been branded. That’s how we felt when we went to New York hipster gay bar The Cock and noticed everyone was wearing T-shirts about immigration. Some said “Anonymous” and had the “Illegal Immigrant Crossing” sign used in California. Others had a billboard about population sprawl silk-screened to their asses. These 20-year-olds were making their own clothes with a DIY silk-screening press and had chosen this imagery as their iconic backdrop.

When the conspiracy theorists and the pundits talk about racial tension and immigration it doesn’t mean anything. That’s what they’re supposed to do. But when design students and fashionistas start adopting mottos like “save our borders,” you know the problem has trickled down to every American. “I’m not going to say if illegal immigration is good or bad,” said one of the designers who wished to remain anonymous because she’s into this whole big thing about how people should stop worrying about getting their names out there and just do stuff. “I just want to get a discourse going on the topic.” Sofia (oops) grew up in California, where illegal immigration was so common that about half of her fellow classmates were there illegally. “You knew who was and who wasn’t, but reporting on anyone was totally out of the question. I wanted so badly to get out of there and move to a place where everyone could relax and just hang out.”

When she moved to New York, however, she noticed that not only were the whites segregated from the Spanish, but the Jews were separated from the blacks who were separated from the Indians who were separated from the Chinese who were separated from the Japanese. “It’s the first topic that came into my head when I started making clothes for my friends,” she adds. “Race is something worth talking about and people shouldn’t be too scared to discuss it.”

In the 1950s all students cared about was fitting into a telephone booth. The economy was booming and that was as profitable a goal as any. Today, however, the first thing that pops into a student’s head is population sprawl and open borders and that is as good a gauge of the country’s mentality than any episode of 60 Minutes.