Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Piñata Pr0n Extraordinaire Jon Justice

There is no greater promoter of human rights and advocate for migrant families in Baja Arizona than Isabel Garcia. She was a recipient of the 2006 Premio Naciónal de Derechos Humanos, presented by the Mexican government for the first time to someone who wasn't born there, in order to get an idea of the scope of work she's done. Rather than accept the award, however, she took the opportunity to call a press conference and demand that the affluent and elite south of border do more to promote economic justice among the working classes. It was a perfect example of Isabel's work to keep the focus on the underlying roots of human migration and exploitation, rather than on herself.

Isabel is one of the major driving forces behind the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, headquartered in Tucson, and that's just when she's wearing her organizer hat. She also serves as one of Pima County's leading Legal Defenders, which has Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pink underwear in a snit since apparently the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America does not apply to those who serve in government.

You see, Sheriff Joe came to town recently to sign copies of his new book that blames all the ills of society on "illegals". Well, that type of thing isn't received the same way in Tucson as it is north of the Gila, so a protest was organized in conjunction with Sheriff Joe's appearance. A piñata created in Arpaio's likeness, wearing his trademark pink boxers, was...well, it was a piñata, so you can imagine.

In response to the whole thing, Arpaio and his friends in the racist right's media empire took to the airwaves in the ironically named radio station 104.1 The Truth in an effort to get Isabel fired from Pima County. The station's radio personalities spend a majority of their time and advertising money on equating undocumented workers with terrorists, drug dealers, disease carriers, and invaders of the Homeland™ - pretty standard fare for a radio channel that also features Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, etc etc etc.

One of the local gasbags on 104.1, Jon Justice, filmed a "webisode" of his show where he carressed and fondled a piñata intended to be the likeness of Isabel Garcia. Members of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos released the following statement:
Since last Friday, our office has received numerous hate calls, and Jon Justice has posted a YouTube video of himself with a piñata with Isabel's likeness, caressing it and making comments about "wanting to take it home with me," among a few other comments about "chorizo" and "viva la raza." You can see this video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk8pa5GYraQ

We ask you, as community allies, to step up with us in defending Isabel Garcia, demand accountability from 104.1FM and KGUN 9, and that hate speech not be given a platform in our communities.

It is our First Amendment Right, and our duty as members of this society, to denounce anything that goes against the basic human and civil rights that ALL posess. To try to silence those that would condemn torture and raciscm is contrary to the rights of us all!
The YouTube video has since been removed of Jon Justice's sexual escapades with the piñata, the message says that "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Journal Broadcast Group" - pretty ridiculous when you consider that it was filmed and distributed as a "webisode" from Jon Justice and his staff. Apparently they realized that they crossed the line where their money flow could be endangered.

Speaking of money, here is the list of advertisers for 104.1 The Truth. There is a massive letter-writing and phone call campaign underway to call these businesses to withdraw their support to these racist and xenophobic messages being broadcast on the airwaves of Baja Arizona:
So far, the following previously listed sponsors have informed us of their intention to immediately withdraw their support of 104.1 FM:
  • Main Gate Square
  • Patio Pools & Spa
  • The Auto Body Shop
  • Advanced Recon
  • Aung Foot Health Clinics
  • Sol Cars
Interestingly, many of them were not even aware that their "package" deal with Journal Broadcasting Group meant advertising on 104.1 FM, and most were not aware of what they were supporting, and would not choose to support intolerance.

In addition, the following companies have expressed concern about this issue, and have assured us that they will be looking into the matter immediately:
  • El Parador
  • Allstate Insurance
  • State Farm Insurance
  • The Wildcat House
  • Maloney's Tavern
  • Progressive Plumbing
  • Axiom Drafting and Design
  • Integrity Automotive
More information at Derechos Humanos, including sample letters.
Enough is Enough. Please take the time to contact local Pima County officials in support of Isabel Garcia, as well as call on the advertisers of 104.1 "The Truth" to end their support for racism and hate. Gracias.

[UPDATE] The Wildcat House has pulled their ad sponsorship

[UPDATE the 2nd] Here's the infamous Piñata Pr0n Webisode:

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