Monday, June 2, 2008

Retailing Hate: The Mis-informed Missives of Juanell Garrett


I admit that when I scan the newspapers for the latest news I don’t generally turn to the Kansas City Star for insight on current events. Not that I have a bias against non-national newspapers, after all, the Des Moines Register (a sister newspaper of the Star) and the Sacramento Bee manage to turn out very well-informed newspapers despite their location as second-tier cities. But the recent anti-immigrant screeds of Kansas City Star columnist, Juanell Garrett caught my attention. Ms. Garrett has clearly succumbed to Lou Dobbs disease. This malady is characterized by an irrational urge to spout outrageous claims against “illegal immigrants” and a desire to make league with neo-Nazis like Patrick Buchanan and Peter Brimelow (host the nativist VDare website). The prognosis for Lou Dobbs disease is usually grim: slow deterioration of rational faculties and a need to rant incoherently about “illegals.” Let’s examine the findings.

In a post on June 2, 2008, entitled, “Illegal Immigration Notes,” Garrett begins her posting, as most Nativists do, by claiming entitlement based on ancestral lineage as an immigrant of long-standing. This, of course, has nothing to do with a rational discussion of immigration, but everything to do with her bona-fides as a “true native American.” Unlike, second-generation nativists, Michelle Malkin and Tom Tancredo, Garrett’s ancestors, she alleges, go back to the American Revolution and are the product of “legal immigration,” the latter claim being hard to verify given that pretty much any bumpkin from Europe could hop a vessel to the former English colony and set up a land claim. (Let us note that Garrett would never accord the same level of legitimacy to the Spanish and Mexicans who were inhabiting the better part of what is now the Western United States long before the Mayflower set sail.) Having established that he is not illegal, Garret proceeds to rant on, what is to any astute observer, the tired claims of the nativist crowd. Maybe these stale claims are new to Mr. Garrett, but they have been floating around the web and cable “news shows” for years and have been repeatedly debunked. Were it not for the nutwing network on the web and cable “news,” these nativist canards would have died on the vine of the poison plant that generated them.

Among the familiar, and discredited canards, advanced by Garrett, are: 1) this generation of immigrants are different than previous immigrants; 2) “alien blood” is threating “our vitality”; 3) immigrants are taxing our “welfare system”; 4) Mexican immigrants refuse to assimilate (presumably unlike previous immigrants); 5) “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants only invites more immigrants. Finally, Garret posts a great deal of nonsense by such well known nativists such as Tom Tancredo and Patrick Buchanan.

All of these claims have been discredited and discussed on Eristic Ragemail (http://eristic-ragemail.blogspot.com). I invite readers to peruse the relevant postings and the supporting documentation. Unlike Garrett, the posts reference neutral and or primary sources. Garrett’s column relies entirely on anti-immigrant advocates. Worse, most of his sources are certified nutwings which have been identified as hate groups by such venerable institutions as the Southern Poverty Law Center’s, Hatewatch and the Anti-Defamation League. The sources cited by Garrett would not pass muster on a high school freshman’s report, much less in any credible newspaper.

To cite just a couple of examples, Garrett cites Jim Corsi, who according to SPLC’s Hate Watch Intelligence report:

Insult-mongerer Jerome Corsi has made a career of peddling conspiracy theories in far-right publications and his own books, variously attacking 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry, undocumented immigrants, and alleged secret plans to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into a so-called "North American Union."

Corsi also is a bigot. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Media Matters for America compiled comments Corsi made on the far-right Free Republic website. There, Corsi described Islam as "a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion," described Muslims as "boy bumpers" and "women haters," and suggested that "boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press." And he mocked Kerry's supposed Jewish ancestry. The comments set off an uproar, with Unfit for Command co-author O'Neill falsely claiming to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that Corsi was merely "an editor" of the book, not the co-author, in an attempt to put distance between himself and Corsi.

Garrett relies entirely on extreme Nativists who have been discredited as proponents of a hate agenda. Other extremist nutwings cited by Garrett are Tom Tancredo, Patrick Buchanan and Jim Gilchrist. The VDare website, referenced by Garrett, is very forthright in its racist and anti-Semitic agenda and has been identified as a hate group by both the SPLC and the ADL. The ADL has stated that “VDare, [is] a Website that publishes racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant articles authored by extremists…” In fact, not a singe source cited by Garrett could be described as informed, mainstream or neutral. Without exception all of the sources relied upon by Garrett to make her anti-immigrant arguments come from Nativists, hate-groups or extremists.

I invite readers to analyse the network of hate-groups that make up the Nativist fringe on Eristic ragemail. (http://eristic-ragemail.blogspot.com) It is quite unfortunate that a legitimate newspaper like the Kansas City Star should give a forum for the rantings of these hate groups under the guise of discussing illegal immigration.


Sources:

List of groups identified by the Anti-Defamation League and Hatewatch as hate groups, Wikipeadia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_purported_hate_groups. List of Nativist groups identified as hate groups:

“The Nativists,” Southern Policy Law Center, Intelligence Report, http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=1518.

Where Anti-Immigrant Zealots Like Lou Dobbs Get Their 'Facts'

By Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Report. Posted December 17, 2007, http://www.alternet.org/story/70489/.

The Paranoid Style: Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Explored

By Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Report. Posted July 19, 2007, http://www.alternet.org/story/57156/.

“Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream Groups: The Dustin Inman Society - Georgia” Anti-Defamation League, http://www.adl.org/Civil_Rights/anti_immigrant/da_king.asp



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6 comments:

Bartman said...

I'm not sure what your point is: that Garrett gets information from groups that are allegedly racist?

And why are they racist? Just because they happen to look after (or claim to look after) the political interests of whites?

Take a look at the some of the groups that make up the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (cirnow.org):

Asian American Justice Center
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR)
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC)
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS)
El Pueblo, Inc.

So organizing to pursue the political interests of your race or ethnic group is fine - unless you happen to be a white American. In which case you deserve less political say - in your own country - than non-Americans or non-white Americans.

And I'm not even sure what the hell you mean when you claim that all of his sources are racists. The National Immigration Law Center? The GAO? Time Magazine?

Even the partial organizations he quotes are well-respected: The Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR, & NumbersUSA - all mainstream and very respected organizations that have testified before Congress on the issue.

Bartman said...
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Bartman said...
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ragemail said...

Thank you Bart for doing an excellent job of illustrating my point. As for why organizations like VDare and FAIR are racist, you can start by reading their sites which claim that blacks, Jews and Mexicans are genetically inferior to "whites." That is racism at its most simple level. (You can also read my posts detailing their agenda of hate.) As for what distinguishes hate groups from civil rights groups, the former advocate against the rights of others (non-whites) whereas the latter are simply advocating for equality of opportunity and treatment, something enshrined in our Bill of Rights. You might want to take a look at it sometime, it's the patriotic thing to do.

Bartman said...
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Bartman said...
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