THE alliance between blacks and the vigilante group the Minutemen is very similar to the alliance between black Christian evangelicals and white Christian evangelicals on the issue of gay civil rights. Suspect. The Minutemen have made a concerted effort to reach out to blacks on the issue of illegal immigration, playing into the fears and hysteria of many in the community. At a rally and press conference for the kickoff of the Minutemen’s D.C. caravan held in Leimert Park one of the few primarily black neighborhoods left in Los Angeles tensions were high as many blacks joined their white counterparts in denouncing illegal immigrants. Similar to the 2004 presidential election debacle in which some blacks were persuaded to vote for President George W. Bush because he opposed civil rights for gays, blacks are being used by the Minutemen to support their illegal-immigration agenda. By and large, blacks have little in common with the Minutemen. As with white conservatives, on any other issue important to blacks, we would probably be on opposing sides. But at the same time, immigrant- rights supporters have done virtually nothing to counteract the appeals to blacks by the likes of the Minutemen. The Latino leadership has done very little in the effort of real coalition-building with blacks on common issues. For the most part, it does not include blacks in its planned protests and marches, except for the occasional token speaker. The Minutemen, love them or hate them, have done what the immigrant-rights supporters have not done with blacks, and that’s talk to them. What we are seeing happen in the immigration debate is not new. We saw it in 2004 with gay marriage and Bush’s Faith Based Initiative program that brought black megachurch pastors to the White House for photo ops and press conferences denouncing lesbians and gays. This is a deliberate attempt to divide the black community. We are expected to either side with the vigilantes or the illegal immigrants, neither of which have blacks’ best interests at heart. It’s time that blacks start to care about their own interests and stop being bamboozled by groups like the Minutemen. Siding with the Minutemen makes little more sense than siding with the KKK. Illegal immigrants aren’t the cause of the apathy found in black communities around the country. Blacks are. The Minutemen are here today in our communities and will be gone tomorrow, but we will still be here living in the same conditions as before. America does need immigration reform. I think both sides will agree on that, but blacks cannot fault the illegal immigrants for doing what blacks should have done years ago, and that’s unite. The last time masses of blacks gathered in Los Angeles, it was for the funeral of Stanley Tookie Williams. And the irony of that is not once in Los Angeles did the number of activists trying to save his life ever get anywhere close to the thousands of people who showed up for his funeral. While illegal immigration has affected the black community, it’s black people who are to blame for the current crisis in black America. Siding with the Minutemen is not going to change that. It’s time for black people to wake up and start handling business in our community. Los Angeles-based writer Jasmyne A. Cannick writes political and social commentary. Contact her via her Web site, www.jasmynecannick.com. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!