Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hate Groups and the Anti-Immigrant Brigade

The College Republicans are up to their dirty tricks again.
A Boise State University group has angered Latino leaders and other organizations by promoting a speech with a "food stamp drawing" that requires climbing through a hole in a fence and offering fake identification for a chance to win a dinner at a Mexican restaurant.


The flyer on the College Republicans' Web site is headlined "America's Illegal Alien Invasion" and has a picture of Vasquez as well as examples of a resident alien card, a Texas Health and Human Services Medicaid Card, Idaho driver's license and Social Security card.

It also contains an image of a highway caution sign that has a couple running while dragging a young child.

Above the sign at a slanted angle is "Celebrate Cesar Chavez Week."

The flyer also contains the dinner drawing information: "Win dinner for two at a local Mexican Restaurant! Climb through the hole in the fence and enter your false ID documents into the food stamp drawing!"

Jonathan Sawmiller, president of the College Republicans, defended the flyer as "It's more of an attention-getting device," Sawmiller said. The group's Web site calls the dinner drawing "humorous."

This is not the first time that Anglo-dominated groups have co-opted holidays that are important to minority/marginalized communities. This year during Martin Luther King weekend, several blackface parties were sponsored by college campus groups.

This particular one happened here in Tucson:
An off-campus Martin Luther King Day party that featured guests in blackface and "gangsta" dress continued to receive heavy criticism Thursday, with students at a UA forum decrying racial stereotypes and ignorance that persist on campus.

The two-hour forum drew about 100 people, mostly a black audience, and many said that while they were upset, they weren't surprised that such incidents could still occur in 2007.


The party, similar to others around the country, had students using the King holiday as motivation for a "black" themed party. While hosts and guests have defended their actions by saying it was harmless fun with no intention to be offensive, the negative stereotypes invoked have drawn widespread complaints of racism.

At the forum, many said it's easy for negative racial stereotypes to exist on a predominantly white campus like the University of Arizona, where white students are 64 percent of the student body and black students just less than 3 percent.

Several questioned what effect the forum could have when those in attendance were uniformly critical of the party.

You'll notice the pattern emerging: "Humorous" - "Harmless fun"
The Texas Klan agrees

What about this incident in Santa Clara, California:
Janitors, female gangsters and pregnant women.

These were some of the costumes worn by students, including student-athletes, portraying Latino stereotypes at an off-campus birthday party on Jan. 29.

Photographs from the "south of the border" party were discovered by a member of the Multicultural Center, who then passed them on to Bernice Aguas, director of the MCC. They had been posted on Facebook, a social networking site that is popular among Santa Clara students.

Aguas said she was shocked when she saw the photos.

"I was speechless. I didn't even know what to think, feel or say," she said.

Among the students at the party were at least five members of the women's volleyball team, at least one member of the men's basketball team and at least one member of the men's golf team, according to pictures from the party. The party's host, also an athlete, is half-Mexican.

Basketball coach Dick Davey said he had discussed the party with his players, but he didn't think they should be "condemned."

"Surely, actions were inappropriate," Davey said, "but I don't think my basketball players endorsed that kind of action."
Riiiiiiight. Dog forbid that any star athletes be held accountable for their actions. Wouldn't want to send a winning season down the crapper, right coach? Plus, it's such a shame that pictures were taken. Reminds me of something else that would've been completely forgotten had there not been hard evidence.

But Man Eegee! How dare you suggest that these types of social gatherings are on par with torture! It's not like anyone has been sodomized while bleach was poured on them! I refuse to take you seriously until concentration camps start being filled with nothing but brown folk.

There is a growing group of humanity that finds itself at the bottom of the slippery slope of hate that has risen in this country. The line between the Official Hate Groups™ in the U.S. and the anti-immigrant forces is blurring, and still the situation is met with thumb-twiddling of the highest degree among the media and political classes. In fact, there are some instances where it is directly enabled.

FREEHOLD — A borough councilman's comments that some segments of the Hispanic population are promiscuous and expect society "to subsidize their mistakes" have outraged some civil rights groups, who are calling for him to apologize and resign.

Councilman Marc LeVine posted the comments on a Web site run by a group called PEOPLE, an acronym for Pressing Elected Officials to Preserve our Living Environment. The group was formed by several Freehold residents in September 2003 as tensions mounted over the growing immigrant population and the day laborers' muster zone.

"There is definitely a very promiscuous flavor in — at least — parts of Hispanic culture," LeVine wrote in the Nov. 14, 2006 post. "All of this is highly problematic in a society in which these people often expect to subsidize their mistakes in growing large families that they cannot afford to support on their own.

"It does seem to be true, in my own experience, that a little less of this promiscuous behavior is seen among Mexicans, while much more is found among Dominicans, as one example," LeVine wrote.


Despicable. But not surprising given the rhetorical flow of mierda that makes its way in the direction of the marginalized everyday.

Do me and every other minority a favor today. Speak out against this type of hate-mongering if it happens in your community. Send letters to your local newspapers and elected officials denouncing their actions. You'll probably be met with indignation, but remember that the threat of hate crimes is alive and well. It is now being born from the double-pronged roots of anti-immigrant rhetoric and apathy among the supporters of human rights.

We can remain silent no longer.

Crossposted at Booman Tribune, Daily Kos, and Diatribune

No comments: