Saturday, July 09, 2005

Watching the Watchers

Yesterday, I read about the Minutemen Militia organization coming to Houston to witness HPD's hands-off policy regarding immigrants. This organization has decided that they can do a better job than border patrol agents at patrolling the US's border with Mexico. I don't trust the leaders of this organization. They claim to be worried about security and terrorism, but I think they are more worried about the increasing number of Hispanics in the US. I think it's about the majority becoming a minority in this country. I have to admit that all I know about them is from what I've read in the newspapers and seen on the television news. This group just really worries me--any time someone outside the law decides to organize and try to do the job that the law is supposed to do, I get worried. Someone is going to get hurt eventually, and that someone will probably be an innocent person.

The group is now setting it's sites on Houson's day laborers. They are going to videotape the day laborers waiting for people to drive by and hire them. They are also going to videotape the contractors who hire them. All of the day laborers are not illegal immigrants, and I have no idea what percentage are estimated to be illegal. I haven't seen or heard evidence that these people cause any big problems in Houston, so I'm not really concerned about them in a negative way. The police do not ask about their immigration status if/when they speak to the day laborers. They were taking photos of them, but stopped last week when a local immigrant rights organization questioned the use of the photos. All of this photographing and videotaping, got me to thinking about watching and watchers.

Last night on the way downtown to watch the Astros win, I told Valerie that I would like to go take pictures of the militia taking pictures of the day laborers. I thought it would be interesting to watch the watchers. I knew the media would be out watching the watchers, but I still thought it would be interesting to photograph people photographing other people--seems kind of postmodern and interesting to me. Valerie pointed out that I would have to get up very early to go do this. She knows the likelihood of me rising early on a summer day, unless I have no choice, is pretty close to zero. So, sadly, I gave up my idea of watching the watchers.

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see this article in the Chronicle: Minutemen headed here warned they, too, will be watched. I don't have to worry about watching the watchers because someone else is going to do it. I really think this idea of watching the watchers is a great idea, and I may have to use it in a story or something at a later date. With all of our concerns about security not likely to lessen in the near future, this idea will be timely for a long time. I'm sure it's not an original idea either, but I can't think of any books or movies that use this idea. If you can think of one, let me know. I would like to check it out.

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