Saturday, May 31, 2008

Remembering Mexico 1968: What Has Changed?







Mexico has never functioned as a true democracy. For close to a hundred years, Mexico was the domain of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), an autocratic regime marked by co-optation of dissidents and the rule of the iron fist for those who refused to bend. Given the highly stratified nature of Mexican society, these autocracies protected the plutocracy that hoards the country’s wealth. The wealthy, ruling elites are educated in the best universities of the United States and Europe and they closely identify with the upper classes of First World countries. Consequently, the overwhelming majority of Mexicans scrape a living on meager wages. No wonder that so many Mexicans make the trip north to the U.S. where they hope to earn a living wage. These social inequities lead to eruptions which are invariably brutally repressed. One such eruption marked a milestone in Mexican history, the student uprising and massacre during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.


BBC Report: Mexico City Massacre 1968



1968: Student riots threaten Mexico Olympics

More than 25 people have been killed during a vicious gun battle in Mexico City just days before the Olympic Games are due to begin.

Thousands of students had gathered for a meeting organised by the National Strike Council in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco to protest against the military occupation of the National Polytechnic Institute.

The protesters, many of whom were women and children, had been planning to march through a working-class suburb of the city, but by early evening military personnel in armoured vehicles had surrounded the square.

The Mexican government say "agitator groups" among the students began shooting at the crowds from buildings, which resulted in a 90-minute gun fight.

'Self-defence'

General Marcelino Garcia Barragan, Mexico's defence minister said the army began firing into the crowd in self-defence after they found themselves targets of sniper fire from buildings in the square.

But several eye-witnesses claim the army entered the square in seven or eight armoured tanks and began shooting first.

After the fighting had subsided dozens of bodies lay strewn across the square, many more were injured.

More than 500 people have been arrested.

The violence follows weeks of demonstrations by students demanding democratic reform and social justice. They have used the international focus on Mexico City because of the Olympics to promote their message.

In September, President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, in a bid to suppress the protests and cause minimum disruption to the Olympics, ordered the military occupation of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City.

At this stage it is not clear whether the 7,000 athletes, currently preparing for the Games 11 miles away from Tlatelolco in the Olympic Village, are in danger. It is the first time the Olympics have been held in a Latin American country.

Lord Exeter, British vice-president of the International Olympic Committee told the Times: "The riots have nothing to do with the Olympic Games. The students are not protesting against the games but against the Mexican government."

In Context

Following the massacre the Mexican government, facing one of its worst crises ever, launched a huge cover-up operation.

The death-toll still remains uncertain. Some say it runs into thousands although it is thought to be between 200 and 300. Eye-witnesses say bodies were removed from the scene throughout the night of 2 October in dustbin lorries.

The following day, Avery Brundage, president of the International Olympic Committee, said the Olympics would go ahead, saying none of the violence had ever been directed towards the Olympics.

In October 2003 it emerged that America had played a key role in the massacre.

Amidst fears the riots would disrupt the Olympic Games the CIA had been monitoring the student actions in Mexico daily. As a result they sent military radios, weapons, ammunition and riot control training material to Mexico before and during the crisis.


BBC Report: 1968: Black athletes make silent protest


Two black American athletes have made history at the Mexico Olympics by staging a silent protest against racial discrimination.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists in the 200m, stood with their heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as the American National Anthem played during the victory ceremony.

The pair both wore black socks and no shoes and Smith wore a black scarf around his neck. They were demonstrating against continuing racial discrimination of black people in the United States.

As they left the podium at the end of the ceremony they were booed by many in the crowd.

'Black America will understand'

At a press conference after the event Tommie Smith, who holds seven world records, said: "If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say 'a Negro'. We are black and we are proud of being black.

"Black America will understand what we did tonight."

Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent black power in America, while Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.

He said the black scarf represented black pride and the black socks with no shoes stood for black poverty in racist America.

Within a couple of hours the actions of the two Americans were being condemned by the International Olympic Committee.

A spokesperson for the organisation said it was "a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit."

It is widely expected the two will be expelled from the Olympic village and sent back to the US.

In September last year Tommie Smith, a student at San Jose State university in California, told reporters that black members of the American Olympic team were considering a total boycott of the 1968 games.

'Dirty negro'

He said: "It is very discouraging to be in a team with white athletes. On the track you are Tommie Smith, the fastest man in the world, but once you are in the dressing rooms you are nothing more than a dirty Negro."

The boycott had been the idea of professor of sociology at San Jose State university, and friend of Tommie Smith, Harry Edwards.

Professor Edwards set up the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) and appealed to all black American athletes to boycott the games to demonstrate to the world that the civil rights movement in the US had not gone far enough.

He told black Americans they should refuse "to be utilised as 'performing animals' in the games."

Although the boycott never materialised the OPHR gained much support from black athletes around the world.

That evening, the silver medallist in the 200m event, Peter Norman of Australia, who was white, wore an OPHR badge in support of Smith and Carlos' protest.

But two days later the two athletes were suspended from their national team, expelled from the Olympic village and sent home to America.

Many felt they had violated the Olympic spirit by drawing politics into the games.

On their return both men were welcomed as heroes by the African-American community but others regarded them as trouble-makers. Both received death threats.

Thirty years after their protest, the two men, who went on to become high school athletics coaches, were honoured for their part in furthering the civil rights movement in America.


If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Friday, May 30, 2008

In North Carolina, Dole Uses Tired Anti-Immigrant Cant in Desperate Move to Rescue Sagging Poll Numbers


As you may recall, Barack Obama kicked A** in North Carolina and Democratic Senatorial Candidate, Kay Hagen, is closing in on incumbent GOP Senator Elizabeth Dole. The latest polling shows Hagen within 5 points of Dole, which for a red state like North Carolina is pretty damned good. In a move to shore up her support, Dole has resorted to a ploy from the tired old Republican playbook of the politics of hate. Dole has started catterwalling about "illegal immigration" with an expensive ad campaign. Unfortunately for Dole, the illegal immigrant canard does not have the traction as a wedge issue that gay marriage and abortion once did. Look for a major fizzle on this issue, but if Dole wants to spend big bucks on ineffective and tired wedge issues all the better for Hagen.

If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Prime Time: Media Matters Action Network Dissects the Cable Anti-immigrant Hate-Mongers

The folks at Media Matters Action Network have taken a scalpel to Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck to dissect the bramble of anti-immigrant lies regularly peddled on the cable “news” shows. Media Matters soberly analyses these commentators’ rhetoric and gives truth to the lies, buzzwords, half-truths, innuendos and hateful claims regularly spewed by the gaggle of screamers that populate the cable “news” networks. No surprise to their findings.

There are many problems facing the United States today: a faltering economy, a health-care crisis, and the continuing war in Iraq, to name a few. But viewers of some of the most prominent cable news programs are presented a different reality, one in which one issue stands above all others: illegal immigration.

Media Matters Action Network undertook this study in order to document the rhetoric surrounding immigration that is heard on cable news. When it comes to this issue, cable news overflows not just with vitriol, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers' resentment and fears, seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria.

The study painstakingly details the use of buzzwords, loaded phrases and propagandistic methods employed by Dobbs and his cable cronies. As well, the study notes, as we have in prior postings, the links between “mainstream” commentators on cable and extremist groups. While the extremist links are far more extensive than the ones highlighted in this study, this should serve as an antidote to those who want a rational and reasonable debate on the issue of immigration. As we have stated before, the nutwing web is completely intertwined with hate groups that congregate on sites such as VDare.com. On this issue, we will defer to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, both of which have done outstanding jobs highlighting these connections.

Fear and Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News

Media Matters Action Network

http://mediamattersaction.org/reports/fearandloathing/online_version

Joe Klein has an excellent piece on the Lou Dobbs and the Media Matters Report in Time Magazine (May 25, 2008), entitled Lou Demagogue. Herein a sample:

Given the amount of serious journalism going on at CNN--the reporters risking their lives on battlefields all over the world, fine journalists like John King and Candy Crowley working to report the presidential campaign accurately, the excellent fact-checking that Wolf Blitzer did earlier this year on the Obama Madrasa smear--given all that and a nearly thirty year history of really trying to present the facts straight...I've got to wonder why the network allows Lou Dobbs to continue spewing false, inflammatory nonsense under the guise of objective journalism.


http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/05/lou_demagogue.html

If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Where Nativism meets Anti-Semitism



The Iowa meat-packing plant raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, May 12, 2008, has attracted considerable attention, not the least for the fact that a plant that employs 400 undocumented workers must have some knowledge regarding their undocumented status. It is a given that enforcement by ICE is heavily weighted against the workers and in favor of employers. So what makes this case different? One difference is the number of immigrants. How could the owners be blind to so many undocumented workers. Another reason for media attention are allegations that the employer actively colluded with the employees to circumvent the law. Never mind that agricultural employers have been doing this for as long as Mexicans have been harvesting crops in this country. Then there is the issue of the plant’s ownership.

Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant, in Postville, Iowa, is a Kosher meat-packing plant owned by Aaron Rubashkin and managed by his family. The Rubashkin are orthodox Lubavitcher Jews and were conspicuous in the largely Lutheran community of Postville. Reporters in the Des Moines Register, an excellent newspaper, indicate that the owners may face criminal charges as a result of the ICE raid on the Postville plant. More on this aspect of the story later.

As is usual in this kind of story, the comment sections of the newspapers and blogs have been filled with the usual vitriol against the “illegal” workers caught up in the ICE raid. The nativist community may not enjoy broad support but as a pack of hyenas they certainly yap louder than any other group. This was to be anticipated. What is interesting is what this tells us about the high priests of nativism.

The website VDare.com is mission central for nativists. The VDare website publishes all manner of racist and nativist vitriol by such well known racists as Steve Sailer, Jared Taylor, Patrick Buchanan, Peter Brimelow, amongst others. The site is quite proud of its racist diatribes. VDare regularly trumpets the fact that it is the “true conservative” voice and that the faux establishment conservatives have caved in to political correctness by refusing to entertain the idea that blacks may genetically inferior and less intelligent than “whites.” Despite this far right orientation, the site hosts FOX commentators, Patrick Buchanan and Michelle Malkin. FOX continues to feature Buchanan, despite his association with such an avowedly radical and racist hate organization. So what was VDare’s take on the ICE raid at Postville?

VDare featured a piece by the notorious racist, Steve Sailer that trotted out all of the old anti-Semitic stereotypes. (Sailer gathers most of his material from secondary sources but quotes it as gospel.) The Lubavitch Jews were “rich,” they engage in “sharp elbowed business practices” typical of the “mercantile minorities” and, just like the Mexicans that they hired, they “had no interest in integrating into Postville,” insisting on segregating themselves. The Jews, “stomp up the street hunched over, talking in a foreign language and looking straight through them when greeted.” “[T]hey screw the gentiles and the Jews.” Postville, Iowa, is, according to Sailer, “a town that has been taken over by a Hasidic Jewish sect, the Lubavitchers, and the third world illegal workers from Mexico and Eastern Europe that they have imported to work at their meat processing plant and are dumping on the community.”

The Hasidim kept to themselves, did things their own way, and basically had no interest in integrating into Postville. And why would they? Their laws are strict, their mission clear, their community defined by race and religion. They are not interested in watermelon socials or coffee klatches at the diner. Their little boys do not swim with their little girls, are not educated together, and do not go on play dates with goyim. Small-town Iowans, on the other hand, are very friendly. They know each other’s news, they support each other’s businesses, they wish each other Merry Christmas, they want you to feel at home. They don’t like that the new townspeople stomp up the street hunched over, talking in a foreign language and looking straight through them when greeted. They really don’t like it when one of the newcomers drives around town with a 10-foot candelabra strapped to his car playing music at full volume for eight consecutive winter nights.”

Contrast this to the “American-style society” that existed before the Hasidic invasion. The good Lutheran folk of Postville were humble, friendly, small town, “goyim” who engaged in watermelon socials or coffee klatches at the diner. “Small-town Iowans, on the other hand, are very friendly. They know each other’s news, they support each other’s businesses, they wish each other Merry Christmas, they want you to feel at home.”

Reports that contradict Sailer’s and VDare’s anti-Semitic point of view are “Jewish media pimping.” For the nativist camp the Postville raid could not be a happier confluence of events: exploitative Jews, “illegal third world workers,” and good hard working Lutheran small-townspeople. Everything a racist could hope for in one nice package delivered by the good folks at ICE.

From news reports, it appears that the owners were engaged in illegal and fraudulent practices. But why attribute this to their religious and ethnic status? No such group blame is forthcoming to the good anglo farmers who have engaged in the very same practices for decades. For the nativist it is important to stoke hatred against scapegoat minorities; this is what animates their movement. What is more perplexing is why the mainstream media continues to give these nutwings any credence? Perhaps, deep in their collective psyche they share some of the racist notions espoused by VDare and its stable of racists.

VDare, Steve Sailer Blog, (May 15, 2008).

http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/05/15/postville-iowa/#more-4654

“Experts see charges for plant's managers,” By Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register (May 15, 2008).

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080515/NEWS10/805150406

f you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Detainee Death in Federal Custody


The Seattle Times is reporting that prominent renowned Asian-antiquities expert, Roxanna Brown has died while in detention at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington. The circumstances regarding her death remained unclear as do most detainee deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) detention. According to a story in today’s Seattle Times:

A renowned Asian-antiquities expert, indicted in Los Angeles in connection with a federal investigation into illegal trafficking of pilfered Southeast Asian art, died early Wednesday morning in the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.

Roxanna Brown, 62, the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum at Bangkok University in Thailand, was found dead about 2:30 a.m., said Federal Detention Center spokeswoman Maggie Ogden. She was arrested last week in Seattle, where she was scheduled to speak at the University of Washington.

An autopsy was performed by the King County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday, although the results were not immediately available. Brown's brother, Fred Brown, of Chicago, told The Associated Press that her death was due to an apparent heart attack.

Fred Brown said his sister maintained she was innocent, and he blamed the stress of her arrest for her death. "She wasn't in good health to begin with, but they definitely brought on the heart attack," he said.

A profile of Professor Brown is available at the web site for the UCLA Center for Southeastern Studies. Roxanna Brown was described by UCLA art historian Robert Brown as "one of the two or three people who created the field of Southeast Asian ceramics." Roxanna Brown's special interest is the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, high points of Asian plate and vase making arts. Already well-known for her 1977 book The Ceramics of South-East Asia, Their Dating and Identification, she described how she became interested in the cargoes of ship wrecks.

Chalk up another death in Federal detention. Her family asserts that the death was due to a lack of appropriate medical care. Let’s see if the Feds provide enough information to ferret out the truth.



If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Truth Behind the ICE Raid at Iowa Meat Packing Plant


On the surface, the News reports read like any other Immigration Raid. ICE officials crowed that it was the biggest raids in years. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Nearly 400 people were arrested Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a raid on a meat-packing plant in Iowa. The raid was apparently one of the biggest of its kind and came after months of planning, according to this release from Immigration and Customs enforcement. Of the 390 detainees, 290 were Guatemalans and 93 were Mexicans, as well as a handful of Israelis and Ukrainians, officials said …” But the story behind the story reveals a far more sordid affair involving chummy relations between the plant’s owners and Republican office-holders as well as claims of employee abuse, rampant fraud by the employer and easy treatment for the employer while the employees face the full hammer of the law.

Check out Dee’s report at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American. According to Dee’s research,the plant, Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville Iwoa, is the world's largest kosher meatpacking plant. Digging further you will find one of the most unscrupulous employers in the country. In 1987, Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin purchased an unused meat-rendering plant in Postville and turned it into a state-of-the-art facility for producing Glatt kosher meat. Today, AgriProcessors provides 60 percent of the kosher retail meat and 40 percent of the kosher poultry nationally, and most retail chains depend on it for supply. The company was also the sole American packing plant whose products are accepted in Israel. Rubashkin Family Members are Large Republican Campaign Contributors. As set out by Dee:

Because there is an ongoing Iowa and federal labor law violations investigation of Agriprocessors and the union fears Rubashkin will use the raid to intimidate workers and throw the next unionization vote.
Mark Lauritsen, International Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers, wrote a May 2 letter to ICE: ICE action could result in employees leaving the plant, interfering with a government investigation that would “ultimately uncover unscrupulous employer acts,” he said.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE ICE RAID IS PROTECTING THE EMPLOYER FROM FURTHER LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST THEM!


This harkens back to the days when farmers would exploit laborers and then call INS just before payday or when union activity was threatened. Clearly, ICE cares more about protecting the employers who hire undocumented workers than they do about the abuse of the workers by these unscrupulous employers. As well, nothing like the PR from a “historic ICE raid.” Propaganda.

Find Dee’s post at:

http://immigrationmexicanamerican.blogspot.com/2008/05/gop-pal-employer-going-scot-free-as.html



If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Study Undermines Nativist Canard that New Immigrants Refuse to Assimilate




A new study by the Manhattan Institute undermines the nativist canard that recent immigrants are resistant to assimilation. Nativists have long ranted that the current crop of immigrants, especially Latin Americans, are not assimilating as fast as previous generations of immigrants. The Report, by Jacob Vigdor, Associate Professor of Public Policy Studies and Economics at Duke University, demonstrates that the latest wave of immigrants is actually assimilating at a faster rate than previous generations of immigrants. When you factor in legal status, Latin Americans assimilate at rate equal to or higher than Asian immigrants. Nativists have long held that Latin Americans held on to their language and culture and resisted efforts to assimilate. The Manhattan Institute report decisively puts an end to this nativist canard.

"This is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."

As reported in the Washington Post on May 13, 2008:

Immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations, according to a study released today. …

The study, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, used census and other data to devise an assimilation index to measure the degree of similarity between the United States' foreign-born and native-born populations. These included civic factors, such as rates of U.S. citizenship and service in the military; economic factors, such as earnings and rates of homeownership; and cultural factors, such as English ability and degree of intermarriage with U.S. citizens. The higher the number on a 100-point index, the more an immigrant resembled a U.S. citizen.

In general, the longer an immigrant lives in the United States, the more characteristics of native citizens he or she tends to take on, said Jacob L. Vigdor, a professor at Duke University and author of the study. During periods of intense immigration, such as from 1870 to 1920, or during the immigration wave that began in the 1970s, new arrivals tend to drag down the average assimilation index of the foreign-born population as a whole.

The report found, however, that the speed with which new arrivals take on native-born traits has increased since the 1990s. As a result, even though the foreign population doubled during that period, the newcomers did not drive down the overall assimilation index of the foreign-born population. Instead, it held relatively steady from 1990 to 2006.

"This is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."

The study points out that even factoring in previous waves of immigration from English-speaking countries, today’s assimilation index is much higher than previous periods of high immigration. Of note, is the finding that the more opportunities an immigrant is given – jobs, legal rights, legalization – the faster he or she will assimilate. Contrary, to nativist cant, the solution to the immigration problem is not to create barriers but to open up avenues for integration into the larger society.

Manhattan Institue Civic Report 53, "Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in the United States," Jacob L. Vigdor, http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_53.htm

"Study Says Foreigners In U.S. Adapt Quickly," By N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post Staff Writer,Tuesday, May 13, 2008; Page A02, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051202575.html?hpid=topnews

If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can

get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why is the Congressional Latino Leadership so Mediocre?


Quick! Name a single member of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus. Better still, name a single piece of legislation put forward by any member of this group. What more likely comes to mind is the recent piece on the Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report where Steven Colbert makes light of Hispanic Representative Joe Baca allegedly calling fellow California Representative, Loretta Sanchez a “whore.” Baca denied the charge but it did not stem the fury of Rep. Loretta Sanchez and her sister and fellow Representative, Linda Sanchez. The most damning thing about the incident is that such a charge would even be taken seriously by the public. But apparently it was. So much so that Baca felt that he needed to issue a denial.

Of more pressing concern is the charge that Joe Baca improperly funneled Hispanic Caucus money to the state legislature campaigns of his two sons. This incident caused a split in the Caucus in February of 2006. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza of California, Jim Costa of California, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Hilda L. Solis of California withdrew from the group's political action committee after Baca authorized political contributions to his family members.

Subsequently, following the election of Joe Baca to the chairmanship of the Hispanic Caucus, the Sanchez sisters protested that the vote had been improper and that balloting should have been done by secret ballot. Both sisters then broke off all ties to the Hispanic Caucus. Baca has characterized the dispute as “personal.”

As a Latino, it is hard for me not to get disheartened by such self-defeating antics. When Representative Loretta Sanchez, defeated the Republican nutwing, Bob Dornan, many had hopes that she would usher in a new generation of Latino leaders. She was young, smart and politically savvy. Although she has generally voted with the party, she has rarely been the leading voice in Congress that many Hispanics had hoped she would be.

More perplexing is the presence of five Hispanic congressional representatives in the conservative, 37-member, “Blue Dog Coalition.” The Blue Dog coalition describes itself as conservative democrats who wish to inject a conservative or “moderate” point of view in Congress. The Blue Dog coalition not only opposes most legislation of concern to the Latino community but includes nativists such as Heath Schuler, who has made common cause with former Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo in pushing anti-immigrant (and anti-Latino) legislation. Whatever leverage these Latino members may have gained from their membership in the Blue Dog Coalition, it has been lost by their legitimization of the most right-wing elements of the coalition. The Hispanic representatives’ membership in the Blue Dog Coalition indicates clearly that these representatives do not have the interests of the Latino community foremost in mind.

So why are the few Latino members of Congress such a mediocre representation of the community? There are clearly many bright, articulate, young Latinos out there: Latinos who would surely measure up to the Congressional Black Caucus’s shining member, Barack Obama. I believe the problem is a generational disconnect. The current leadership matured as the pioneer generation of Latino representatives to Congress. They thrive on the politics of personality and as such engage in petty politics. Whatever grand vision they may have for Hispanics, it is completely lost on Hispanics themselves.

Finally, Hispanic members of Congress have few established, ethnically-based institutions – such as blacks have in the NAACP – to ground them. Old line organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens are largely made up of veterans from World War II and are more animated by the struggle to achieve parity for Hispanic veterans than they are by issues like immigration. In any case, these are not people who rattle cages.

There are further reasons for the lack of visionary Latino leadership but this discussion will be continued. Unfortunately, this group of leaders will do little to uplift the Hispanic community. Please post a comment if you agree or disagree.


If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Immigratio and Border Conference Dialogues Conference - May 15th - 18th in Olympia, Washington


Immigration and Border Dialogues Conference

At The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA

May 15th-18th 2008

Organized by Bridges Not Walls

The Immigration and Border Dialogues Conference is organized by Bridges Not Walls, a group of concerned community members from the South Sound area and beyond who have united in solidarity, and are building a human rights movement in order to realize a sustainable future for all. The goals of Bridges Not Walls are various: to create bridges between communities; celebrate our shared humanity; build awareness about the importance of human rights in the immigration debate; change the conversation about immigration in our country and community; and support immigrants by acting in solidarity in the face of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) detentions and deportations.

The Immigration and Border Dialogues Conference is a free conference that will be held at The Evergreen State College from May 15th-18th. This conference examines barriers, real or perceived, that divide our communities. Together we will examine current realities faced by immigrants, explore inclusive approaches to immigration, and create space for the emergence of a more just and humane future.


If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

North Carolina Bars the Entrance to Children of Undocumented Workers


North Carolina has determined that it is better to create an underclass of young Latinos than provide them with an opportunity to get a college education and make a meaningful contribution to society. I invite you to read Henry Fernandez excellent blog on this issue and post a positive comment. Although North Carolina many times elected segregationist Jesse Helms, it also gave Barack Obama an overwhelming majority of its votes. As well, the northern college towns are creative class centers and would support a more tolerant and humanitarian view. Visit Fernandez blog at: http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/05/08/north-carolina-immigration-decision/ and also check out the Dream Act Texas blog which is quite comprehensive on this issue at: http://dreamacttexas.blogspot.com/.

If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Heads Up! Immigration is Unexpectedly Percolating in Congress

Greg Heineman, president of the National Council of Social Security predicted that making E-Verify mandatory for all U.S. employees would result in an "onslaught" of more than 10 million more visits to SSA field offices.

With the Republicans pushing for enforcement-related immigration legislation to the House floor, immigration has re-surfaced as a hot issue in the current Congressional session. On Tuesday, May 6th, the House of Representatives held hearings on immigration. According to Congressional Quarterly, "The hearings that began Tuesday reflect a careful attempt by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., to maintain some semblance of control and keep the peace with two crucial constituencies — “Blue Dog” Democrats interested in get-tough immigration legislation and Hispanic Caucus members who want no immigration enforcement legislation to move unless it also advances a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living and working in the United States. But it was apparent from testimony and remarks by various members that her goal would be difficult to achieve." North Carolina DINO ("Democrat in Name Only"), Heath Schuler has paired up with Tom Tancredo to push the SAVE legislation which would require all employers to verify every new employee's documentation via the Social Security Administration's E-Verify system. Currently, less than 1% of employers use the system although various states have made it mandatory. The legislation is opposed by employers and civil rights groups because of its burdensome and anti-civil liberties provisions. An article, in the, May 7th business section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, succinctly sets out the flaws in the legislation's provisions.

Forcing companies to use a government system to verify the legal status of workers would cause thousands of citizens and legal residents to be initially rejected for work and cripple the Social Security Administration, critics told Congress on Tuesday. The system, known as E-Verify, is currently voluntary, but several proposals in Congress — including an immigration enforcement measure known as the SAVE Act — would make it mandatory.

John Trasvina, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that the E-Verify system relies on faulty Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases and would therefore create an official "no-work" list requiring millions of U.S. citizens and legal workers to bear the burden of proving their legal status. Forcing a deeply flawed system upon an unstable economy is not the answer," he told a Ways and Means subcommittee.

Greg Heineman, president of the National Council of Social Security Management Associations Inc., which represents 3,400 SSA managers and supervisors, predicted that making E-Verify mandatory for all U.S. employees would result in an "onslaught" of more than 10 million more visits to SSA field offices.

Rep. Joe Baca, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and other proponents of a comprehensive immigration bill have lambasted the Democratic leadership over their failure to act more aggressively on immigration reform. Baca proposed an alternative to SAVE called, Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act, also known as STRIVE. The STRIVE bill calls for increased enforcement of laws against employing illegal immigrants, but would also create a guest-worker program to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States and eventually become citizens. With the national election looming, and the Latino vote coalescing as an important part of the Democratic strategy to retake the executive branch and augment their numbers in Congress, it appears that the Democratic leadership is listening as witnessed by Tuesday's impromptu hearing. Although the chances of passing any kind of comprehensive immigration reform remain slim it appears that the winds may have shifted in favor of some form of legislation that provides a path to citizenship to the the estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the United States. The danger is that a combination of DINOs and Repubs could advance anti-immigrant legislation in its stead. Stay tuned as things will continue to get interesting as the focus shifts to the general election with the Democrats trying to exact the loyalties of Latinos and blue collar voters. Expect piece-meal legislation intended to mollify both sides of the immigration debate.

We have previously published the list of DINOs who signed on to the Tancredo-Schuler bill. I am again reposting the information.

Help Defeat Save and Promote Comprehensive Immigration Reform

MigraMatters has an excellent comprehensive view of the Act, as well as legislative updates. (http://migramatters.blogspot.com/2008/03/best-have-your-papers-in-order-new.html). It is imperative that the progressive community mobilize against this odious and underhanded breach of civil liberties. To get updates and information, check out the following websites:

· Church World Service http://www.congress.org/churchworld/issues/alert/?alertid=10899656

· The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/action.html

· National Immigrant Justice Center http://www.immigrantjustice.org/blog/uspolicyblog/save-act-update---more-calls-are-needed.html

· GENERATION 1.5 http://generationonepointfive.blogspot.com/2008/03/hr-4408-must-be-stopped-call-to-action.html

· Dream Act – Texas http://dreamacttexas.blogspot.com/2008/03/urgent-please-help-stop-hr-4088.html

· Find out if your representative has signed the Bill http://clerk.house.gov/110/lrc/pd/petitions/Dis5.htm

Here are some numbers to call and help defeat this rapacious legislation:

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SAY:

PLEASE DECLINE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO DISCHARGE

H.R. 4088 THE SHULER-TANCREDO BILL

(ALSO KNOWN AS THE "SAVE" ACT)

AND, IF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IS A CO-SPONSOR OF H.R. 4088

PLEASE WITHDRAW YOUR NAME AS A CO-SPONSOR OF

H.R. 4088, THE SHULER-TANCREDO BILL

See if your Rep. is a Sponsor Here:

http://clerk.house.gov/110/lrc/pd/petitions/Dis5.htm

Your Representatives' phone number is online here:

http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html

OR

CALL THE HOUSE SWITCHBOARD AT:

202-225-3121

Blue Dog Dems


(Ala.) - Rep. Cramer
(Ala.) - Rep. Davis
(Ark.) - Rep. Berry
(Ark.) - Rep. Ross
(Calif.) - Rep. McNerny
(Colo.) - Rep. Perlmutter
(Colo.) - Rep. Udall
(Fla.) - Rep. Boyd
(Fla.) - Rep. Klein
(Ga.) - Rep. Barrow
(Ga.) - Rep. Bishop
(Ga.) - Rep. Marshall
(Ill.) - Rep. Bean
(Ind.) - Rep. Donnelly
(Ind.) - Rep. Ellsworth
(Ind.) - Rep. Hill
(Ind.) - Rep. Visclosky
(Iowa) - Rep. Boswell
(Kan.) - Rep. Boyda
(La.) - Rep. Melancon
(Mich.) - Rep. Stupak
(Miss.) - Rep. Taylor
(N.H.) - Rep. Hodes
(N.Y.) - Rep. Arcuri
(N.Y.) - Rep. Gillibrand
(N.Y.) - Rep. Higgins
(N.C.) - Rep. McIntyre
(N.C.) - Rep. Shuler *
(Ohio) - Rep. Ryan
(Ohio) - Rep. Space
(Okla.) - Rep. Boren
(Pa.) - Rep. Altmire
(Pa.) - Rep. Carney
(Pa.) - Rep. Holden
(Pa.) - Rep. Kanjorski
(Pa.) - Rep. Murphy
(Pa.) - Rep. Murtha
(Pa.) - Rep. Sestak
(Tenn.) - Rep. Cohen
(Tenn.) - Rep. Cooper
(Tenn.) - Rep. Davis
(Tenn.) - Rep. Gordon
(Tenn.) - Rep. Tanner
(Texas) - Rep. Lampson
(Texas) - Rep. Rodriguez
(Utah) - Rep. Matheson
(Va.) - Rep. Boucher

(Wash.) - Rep. Baird
(Wis.) - Rep. Kagen



If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Follow up on ICE Death by Detention


Many detainees may have a valid defense — and at any rate have committed only administrative violations such as overstaying a visa or entering the country without authorization. Yet their cases are handled with a toxic mixture of secrecy and inattention to basic rights.

We posted two days ago on the deaths of detainees in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We highlighted a New York Times article which described the horrible death of Boubacar Bah, who was incarcerated for an administrative violation. According to The New York Times, the head of a Congressional subcommittee looking into complaints of inadequate medical care in immigration detention announced that she had introduced legislation to set mandatory standards for care and to require that all deaths be reported to the Justice Department and Congress.

“This should not be part of the debate about illegal immigration,” the chairwoman, Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, said of the bill, which she introduced late last week. “This is about whether the government is conducting itself according to the basic minimum standards of civilization.”

Representative Lofgren cited the case of the case of Francisco Castaneda, a Salvadoran who testified at the hearing last fall that he was denied a biopsy for a painful lesion on his penis for 11 months while he was in detention as an illegal immigrant, despite his pleas and doctors’ recommendations. By the time he received the treatment he had been seeking, in February 2007, he was found to have metastasized penile cancer, records show; his penis had to be amputated.

He was released from detention after a diagnosis of terminal cancer, and died on Feb. 16 this year at age 36, leaving behind a 14-year-old daughter.

In March, a federal judge ruled that the government could be held liable in a lawsuit his family is pursuing. The federal government admitted medical negligence in the case last month.

On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, The New York Times published an editorial which accurately portrayed the Kafquaesque nature of the ICE detentions.

NY Times Editorial Death by Detention May 6, 2008

It is shameful, though hardly a surprise, that they remain in the dark. There is no public system for tracking deaths in immigration custody, no requirement for independent investigations. Relatives and lawyers who want to unearth details of such tragedies have found the bureaucracy unresponsive and hostile. In the case of Mr. Bah, records were marked “proprietary information — not for distribution” by the Corrections Corporation of America, a private company that runs the Elizabeth Detention Center and many others under contract with the federal government.


Secrecy and shockingly inadequate medical care are hardly the only problems with immigration detention. Immigrants taken into federal custody enter a world where many of the rights taken for granted by people charged with real crimes do not exist. Detainees have no right to legal representation. Many are unable to defend or explain themselves, or even to understand the charges against them, because they don’t speak English and lack access to lawyers or telephones.

As authorities at the federal and local level continue rounding up illegal immigrants in these harsh days of ever-stricter enforcement, the potential for abuse will continue to grow — largely out of sight. Although immigration law is every bit as complex as tax law — and the consequences for violators more dire — the detention system seems designed to sacrifice thoughtful deliberation and justice to expediency and swift deportation.

Many detainees may have a valid defense — and at any rate have committed only administrative violations such as overstaying a visa or entering the country without authorization. Yet their cases are handled with a toxic mixture of secrecy and inattention to basic rights. This mistreatment of a vulnerable population, which advocates for immigrants trace to the roundups of Muslims after 9/11 and the subsequent clamor for tougher immigration laws, is hostile to American values and disproportionate to the threat that these immigrants pose.

Congress has failed repeatedly to enact meaningful immigration reform, and the prospects in the next year or so are slim. It can act on this. The government urgently needs to bring the detention system up to basic standards of decency and fairness. That means lifting the veil on detention centers — particularly the private jails and the state prisons and county jails that take detainees under federal contracts — and holding them to the same enforceable standards that apply to prisons. It also means designing a system that is not a vast holding pen for ordinary people who pose no threat to public safety, like the 52-year-old tailor, Boubacar Bah.






If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Deaths of Immigrants in Federal Custody Shrouded in Secrecy


A detainee had fallen, injured his head and become incoherent. Guards had put him in solitary confinement.

The New York Times has received a list of detainee deaths of immigrants under custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the three year period from 2004 to 2007. During that period there were 66 confirmed deaths, according to ICE’s data, which the Times notes is considerably sketchy. The title of the article, penned by Nina Bernstein, aptly describes the circumstances surrounding those deaths: Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in Custody.” Left unanswered is how many more detainees were harmed by inadequate or non-existent medical care, never mind those harmed by physical abuse at the hands of guards.

Let this point be absolutely crystal clear: these people are not in detention because they are criminals or because they committed a criminal offense. Many of these detainees, merely over-stayed their visas, were denied entry or are seeking political asylum. As such, this is not a “dangerous” population. Quite the contrary, many of the inmates were leading productive lives with families and communities to support them. Given the current climate, however, the government sees fit to waste taxpayer money incarcerating people who have no business behind bars. As if the insult of incarcerating low-risk people were not enough, these detainees get shoddier treatment than hardened criminals and have less legal rights. Herein are some excerpts from The Times, excellent article:

Word spread quickly inside the windowless walls of the Elizabeth Detention Center, an immigration jail in New Jersey: A detainee had fallen, injured his head and become incoherent. Guards had put him in solitary confinement, and late that night, an ambulance had taken him away more dead than alive.

But outside, for five days, no official notified the family of the detainee, Boubacar Bah, a 52-year-old tailor from Guinea who had overstayed a tourist visa. When frantic relatives located him at University Hospital in Newark on Feb. 5, 2007, he was in a coma after emergency surgery for a skull fracture and multiple brain hemorrhages. He died there four months later without ever waking up, leaving family members on two continents trying to find out why.

Boubacar Bah, had overstayed a tourist visa… shackled and pinned …as he moaned and vomited, then left in a disciplinary cell for more than 13 hours

Mr. Bah’s name is one of 66 on a government list of deaths that occurred in immigration custody from January 2004 to November 2007, when nearly a million people passed through.

The list, compiled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after Congress demanded the information, and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, is the fullest accounting to date of deaths in immigration detention, a patchwork of federal centers, county jails and privately run prisons that has become the nation’s fastest-growing form of incarceration.

The list has few details, and they are often unreliable, but it serves as a rough road map to previously unreported cases like Mr. Bah’s. And it reflects a reality that haunts grieving families like his: the difficulty of getting information about the fate of people taken into immigration custody, even when they die.

Mr. Bah’s relatives never saw the internal records labeled “proprietary information — not for distribution” by the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the New Jersey detention center for the federal government. The documents detail how he was treated by guards and government employees: shackled and pinned to the floor of the medical unit as he moaned and vomited, then left in a disciplinary cell for more than 13 hours, despite repeated notations that he was unresponsive and intermittently foaming at the mouth.

Mr. Bah had lived in New York for a decade, surrounded by a large circle of friends and relatives. The extravagant gowns he sewed to support his wife and children in West Africa were on display in a Manhattan boutique.

Mr. Bah collapse near a toilet, hitting the back of his head on the floor… Physicians consulted later by The Times called this a textbook symptom of intracranial bleeding… He was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints on the floor with medical approval.

But he died in a sequestered system where questions about what had happened to him, or even his whereabouts, were met with silence.

….Some have no valid visa; some are legal residents, but have past criminal convictions; others are seeking asylum from persecution.

Death is a reality in any jail, and the medical neglect of inmates is a perennial issue. But far more than in the criminal justice system, immigration detainees and their families lack basic ways to get answers when things go wrong.

No government body is required to keep track of deaths and publicly report them. No independent inquiry is mandated. And often relatives who try to investigate the treatment of those who died say they are stymied by fear of immigration authorities, lack of access to lawyers, or sheer distance….

Lingering Questions

The Times, through an immigration lawyer who had received separate calls from two detainees; they were upset about a badly injured man — named “something like Aboubakar” — left in an isolation cell and later found near death.

But advocacy groups said they were unaware of the case. And Michael Gilhooly, the spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that without the man’s full name and eight-digit alien registration number, he could not check the information.

“Everybody liked Boubacar,” said Sadio Diallo, 48, who has a tailor shop in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where he and Mr. Bah had shared an apartment with fellow immigrants since arriving in 1998. “He’s a very, very, very good man.”

For six years, Mr. Bah had worked for L’Impasse, a clothing store in the West Village,

Mr. Bah died on May 30, 2007, after four months in a coma….

There are 57 pages of documents, some neatly typed by medics, some scrawled by guards. Some quote detainees who said Mr. Bah was ailing for two days before his fall on Feb. 1, and asked in vain to see a doctor.

The records ... leave no doubt that guards, supervisors, government medical employees and federal immigration officers played a role in leaving him untreated, hour after hour, as he lapsed into a stupor.

It began about 8 a.m., according to the earliest report. Guards called a medical emergency after a detainee saw Mr. Bah collapse near a toilet, hitting the back of his head on the floor.

He kept crying out, then “began to regurgitate on the floor of medical,” the report said. So Mr. Bah was written up for disobeying orders.

When he regained consciousness, Mr. Bah was taken to the medical unit, which is run by the federal Public Health Service. He became incoherent and agitated, reports said, pulling away from the doctor and grabbing at the unit staff. Physicians consulted later by The Times called this a textbook symptom of intracranial bleeding, but apparently no one recognized that at the time.

He was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints on the floor with medical approval, “to prevent injury,” a guard reported. “While on the floor the detainee began to yell in a foreign language and turn from side to side,” the guard wrote, and the medical staff deemed that “the screaming and resisting is behavior problems.”

With the approval of a physician assistant, Michael Chuley,.. was taken in shackles to a solitary confinement cell.

Mr. Bah was ordered to calm down. Instead, he kept crying out, then “began to regurgitate on the floor of medical,” the report said. So Mr. Bah was written up for disobeying orders. And with the approval of a physician assistant, Michael Chuley, who wrote that Mr. Bah’s fall was unwitnessed and “questionable,” the tailor was taken in shackles to a solitary confinement cell with instructions that he be monitored.

Under detention protocols, an officer videotaped Mr. Bah as he lay vomiting in the medical unit, but the camera’s battery failed, guards wrote, when they tried to tape his trip to cell No. 7.

A supervisor removed Mr. Bah’s restraints. He was unresponsive ...a report said, adding: “The detainee set up in his bed and moan and he fell to his left side and hit his head on the bed rail.”

Inside the cell, a supervisor removed Mr. Bah’s restraints. He was unresponsive to questions asked by the Public Health Service officer on duty, a report said, adding: “The detainee set up in his bed and moan and he fell to his left side and hit his head on the bed rail.”

About 9 a.m., with the approval of the health officer and a federal immigration agent, the cell was locked.

About 10:30 p.m., more than 14 hours after Mr. Bah’s fall, the same nurse, on rounds, recognized the gravity of his condition: “unresponsive on the floor incontinent with foamy brown vomitus noted around mouth.”

The watching began. As guards checked hourly, Mr. Bah appeared to be asleep on the concrete floor, snoring. But he could not be roused to eat lunch or dinner, and at 7:10 p.m., “he began to breathe heavily and started foaming slightly at the mouth,” a guard wrote. “I notified medical at this time.”

However, the nurse on duty rejected the guard’s request to come check, according to reports. And at 8 p.m., when the warden went to the medical unit to describe Mr. Bah’s condition, the nurse, Raymund Dela Pena, was not alarmed. “Detainee is likely exhibiting the same behavior as earlier in the day,” he wrote, adding that Mr. Bah would get a mental health exam in the morning.

About 10:30 p.m., more than 14 hours after Mr. Bah’s fall, the same nurse, on rounds, recognized the gravity of his condition: “unresponsive on the floor incontinent with foamy brown vomitus noted around mouth.” Smelling salts were tried. Mr. Bah was carried back to the medical unit on a stretcher.

Just before 11, someone at the jail called 911.

When an ambulance left Mr. Bah at the hospital, brain scans showed he had a fractured skull and hemorrhages at all sides of his swelling brain.

When an ambulance left Mr. Bah at the hospital, brain scans showed he had a fractured skull and hemorrhages at all sides of his swelling brain. He was rushed to surgery, and the detention center was informed of the findings.

But in a report to their supervisors the next day, immigration officials at the center described Mr. Bah’s ailment as “brain aneurysms” — a diagnosis they corrected a week later to “hemorrhages,” without mentioning the skull fracture. After Mr. Bah’s death, they wrote that his hospitalization was “subsequent to a fall in the shower.”

Had this happened to an inmate doing time for a violent crime an inquest could be called for and guards and staff could be disciplined, even charged criminally. But because these people are mere detainees they merit little attention and enjoy few rights. How many more have suffered at the hands of incompetent or sadistic guards? You can be assured that the Federal Government will not give us an answer to that question.



If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Conservative Republicans Outraged by Radical Nativist Element Taking over Party


Eristic Ragemail has written extensively on the racist roots of nativist and anti-immigrant groups such as VDARE and FAIR. We make no bones about the fact that our agenda is pro-immigrant and in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. There is, however, an interesting web site that is hosted by concerned conservative Republicans. (http://subwaycanaries.blogharbor.com/blog) Their concern stems from the fact that the party is being hijacked by radical right interests. Their mission statement pretty straightforwardly set out their concerns.

MISSION STATEMENT OF THE SUBWAY CANARIES

by SJ Reidhead on Wed 21 Jun 2006 10:24 PM MDT

The purpose of The Subway Canaries is to expose intellectually dishonest conservative ideological hypocrisy.

The Subway Canaries are stalwart Republicans who are dismayed at the direction subversively extreme conservative ideologues are taking the GOP.

The Subway Canaries feel if the true agenda of these individuals and organizations are not exposed to the light of day, the Republican Party will either become the party of Extreme Right Wing Hate and Racism or be forever relegated to a minority party.

This is our only agenda. It is an agenda of truth and intellectual honesty - Truth, Justice and the American Way!

The Subway Canaries are Republican First and conservative second. Any other way is a betrayal of the Republican Party.

Their posts very forthrightly set out some out the roots of many supposedly “mainstream” nativist groups and their loathsome tactics. Herein are some excerpts.

THESE ARE THE MINUTEMEN

NOTE: I was planning to a piece on the FLDS (I have some new information) but was side-tracked by this story. I think this is something that needs to be told. I know I am telling it one-sided, against the Minutemen in California. But what I have found is so repulsive and so vile it needs to be exposed to the light of day. It is obvious someone is going to cross the line one of these days and shots are going to be fired. I have a feeling it will be a Minuteman or one of their supporter who will do the shooting. When this happens and a defense is made, naturally the Hispanic is going to be the evil one.

I think these videos are terribly important. They show how abjectly evil these people are.

Do you have the courage to watch these videos? There are a number of them at Minutemen Unvarnished – and take nearly an hour to watch. Watch the video “Do You Believe in Jesus” as the San Diego Minutemen harass parishioners at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Fallbrook. This is in Fallbrook, CA. . . .

If this is what Sheriff Joe is allowing in Maricopa County, then he is as vile as are these individuals. I don’t care what side of the immigration argument you are on. If you think this is good, decent, and patriotic, then you are seriously disturbed and as evil as are these individuals. When you start harassing people attending church, and mace people as they are going into church as this video shows you are as bad as they are.

ANTI CATHOLIC A TREND?
After watching these videos, it appears to me that there is an anti-Catholic. I’ve been covering the anti-immigration crowd’s anti-Catholic bigotry for several days. Yesterday mentioned that Harold Hutchinson at Called As Seen had picked up on the anti-Catholic bigotry of Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs. Harold references a WSJ piece about how they “insulted the Pope”. l The Opinionated Catholic has more. JJ mentions an editorial at Modern Commentaries about Michelle Malkin and her anti-Catholic rants. It is obvious there is a strong anti-Catholic bias in the whole anti-immigration movement, promoted by John Tanton and his dislike of anyone who is not lily white. Why?
LA Times

“…t's not too surprising that one of the pontiff's most vocal critics was the poor man's Howard Beale, CNN personality Lou Dobbs. He's made something of a specialty of bashing the Catholic hierarchy in recent years, as part of his pseudo-populist campaign for ratings. Dobbs charged Benedict with "mixing religion and politics ... in many ways insulting our country, talking about the need to be welcoming. ... I really don't appreciate the bad manners of a guest telling me in this country and my fellow citizens what to do." Well, there you go, though the pope got off easy compared with L.A. civic leaders, whom Dobbs blasted after an earlier -- and totally misleading -- report on Special Order 40 and the case of Jamiel Shaw II, a young man allegedly shot to death by an illegal immigrant who is a gang member. Dobbs called city officials "liars" and singled out Police Chief Bill Bratton, whose defense of Special Order 40 -- which puts certain restrictions on when police can inquire about a suspect's immigration status -- the broadcaster called "irresponsible" and "disgusting politics." "And I think every one of you in the city of Los Angeles, running that city, supporting a sanctuary city and trying to excuse what happened to that family, I think it is contemptible," said Dobbs….”


THE VIDEOS
(WARNING: These videos feature profanity and obscene gestures)

(MigraMatters) If this is an example of those who are anti-illegal and are “Minutemen” in
San Diego, then I’d rather be castigated for being against them. These people are filthy, vile, nasty trash. This is a link to a video. I am not doing an inbed, because of the filthy language. From Minutemen Unvarnished comes a ‘best of’ collection of videos about the Minutemen. Maybe you might want to ask for your money back (if they can account for it). You might want to watch “I’m Allowed to Threaten People”. The jerk is wearing a minuteman cap. Look at the people who are with the Minutemen. I wouldn’t let them in my driveway, let alone associate with them. The one “Keep Your Hands to Yourselves” features San Diego Minuteman Founder Jeff Schwilk. Try watching the one “Are You Legal?”

How about this Minuteman waving his flag? He’s nothing but a thug. Watch “Remember after the
Alamo” to see what these people look like. They are scary. Watch “No Talking Chickens”. “Hello Witches” features the leader of the San Diego Minutemen harassing two activists. Watch as the Minutemen follow the women, attempting to terrorize them. Do you really think these are nice people? If I were those women, I would have been terrified. The San Diego Minutemen were founded by Jim Gilchrist.

In “If You Love Mexicans” Jeff Schwilk accosts a Home Depot customer. A minuteman then spits at the camera person. “Get out of here” Jeff Schwilk goes after a Home Depot customer. “Morning Wetbacks” shows how gentile the Minutemen are.

In “Vermin of
VistaJeff Schwilk harasses and intimidates another activist. This man is seriously disturbed. I can’t believe people actually believe the you know what these people spout. In “Bring It On” he tries to mace someone who disagrees with him. In “He’s Trying to Scare Her” our boy Jeff finally gets picked up by a cop for harassing women.

Can you watch these videos and not call them evil? Do you really want to have sympathy for them and for their cause? These people think nothing of interrupting a church service because the people inside are Hispanic. “Can I Get Your Name” is the video. Then in “The Church is Nothing but Pimps” just shows how vile they are, using a loud speaker to blast a church service. Obviously Sheriff Joe isn’t the only one who doesn’t give a rip about disrupting church services. They call the Catholic Church nothing but pimps. Too bad these people can’t be arrested for disturbing a worship service.

Why don’t decent people realize how nasty these individuals are? “I gotta be Freakin’ Rank” shows this same bunch disrupting a funeral so they can harass people near-by. Obviously they have no morality or decency. In this one, a Minuteman did not wear deodorant, and then fans his nasty body in front of Hispanics. A woman is speaking Spanish. They keep yelling at her to shut up. (http://subwaycanaries.blogharbor.com/blog)

The site is comprehensive and includes research on the whole community of nativists with links to their own material exposing the hatred and racism espoused by the groups that find their way on Fox News and to Lou Dobbs mouth. Read it and weep.





If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.