But remember, this is about immigration, not race
The only Mexican-American the GOP
Know Nothing base likes
Schwarzenegger: Villaraigosa Received Death Threat
SACRAMENTO, April 24, 2006 - L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, both Hispanic Democrats, have received death threats amid a national debate over immigration policy, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday.
Schwarzenegger told reporters about the threats against Villaraigosa and Bustamante during a news conference in his office Monday.
Other elected officials of Mexican heritage have also received threats, Schwarzenegger said, but he did not name them.
Bustamante spokesman Steve Green said the lieutenant governor appeared at some immigration rallies with Villaraigosa in March and received "nasty e-mails" afterward. The death threat - "The only good Mexican is a dead Mexican" - came about three weeks ago on a postcard, he said.
The California Highway Patrol, which investigates threats against public officials, declined to comment.
Janelle Erickson, a spokeswoman for Villaraigosa, said she didn't know whether the mayor had received threats related to the immigration debate.
Bustamante and Villaraigosa have opposed the criminalization of illegal immigrants and have said they support legal pathways to helping undocumented workers become citizens.
Schwarzenegger said he also was disturbed that vandals had spray-painted ethnic insults on and torched a Mexican-owned restaurant in San Diego County this month. Officials ruled the April 10th attack a hate crime.
Can someone explain to me why American politicians are being threatened with death over immigration issues. Oddly enough, it seems to only affect Mexican-Americans. No one is threatening Chuck Schumer over his pro-immigration stands.The fact that Ken Salazaar's family has been in the US for over 400 years, seems to be irrelevant.
You cannot play with this issue. Instead of talking about real issues on immigration, this is about brown people. I know some liberals like to deny this, but look at the debate and the hostility. Once you open the doors to this, the racists appear like mice in a corn field. We aren't talking about jobs or security, but brown people. If you doubt this, why are Americans like Salazaar and Villaraigosa being attacked, why are people burning down Mexican restaurants? What does this have to do with illegals? Not much.
You can talk about Ceasar Chavez opposing illegal immigration all day long , but this debate has been seized by the Know Nothing bigots, from CNN to Congress. When you don't discuss how they've seized this debate, you play right into their hands.
This isn't about jobs. It should be, but it isn't. Liberals who fall into the job trap are lending aid and comfort to the Know Nothing base of the GOP. It should be about jobs, but for many people, it's about excluding immigrants from the wider society. A wall is just part of that Know Nothing response, and every time you blather on about jobs and Chavez, you miss the point.
The people who are driving this debate do not want to protect jobs, they do not want to raise wages. They want to drive brown people from the US. If they didn't, they wouldn't say things like people's green cards should be checked at protests and worry about the Mexican flag. They wouldn't recycle right wing talking points about the reconquista.
Most importantly, Latino politicians wouldn't be getting racist hate mail.
But they are, and if you have to wonder why, then you need to pay closer attention.
FAIR has noted how CNN has slanted this debate towards Know Nothing racism
CNN's Immigration Problem
Is Dobbs the exception—or the rule?
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has been a high-profile voice in the immigration debate, using his show to rail against the country's "broken borders" virtually every evening on Lou Dobbs Tonight. His openly crusading advocacy journalism has raised eyebrows and put CNN president Jonathan Klein on the defensive; as Klein told the New York Times (3/29/06), "Lou's show is not a harbinger of things to come at CNN. He is sui generis, one of a kind." But a closer look at CNN programming indicates that Dobbs' slanted journalism is not as unusual at the network as Klein suggests.
As FAIR has noted in the past, Dobbs' tone on immigration is consistently alarmist; he warns his viewers (3/31/06) of Mexican immigrants who see themselves as an "army of invaders" intent upon reannexing parts of the Southwestern U.S. to Mexico, announces (11/19/03) that "illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures," and declares (4/14/05) that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like leprosy and malaria. And Dobbs makes no effort to provide a nuanced or balanced picture of the issue; as he told CNN Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz (4/2/06): "I'm not interested—are you interested in six or seven views, or are you interested in the truth? Because that's what I'm interested in; that's what my viewers are interested in."
But Dobbs isn't the only CNN personality uninterested in nuance or immigrants' rights perspectives. Longtime CNN anchor Jack Cafferty provides daily commentary on the afternoon show The Situation Room, where he has attacked and belittled immigrants' rights protesters while ignoring or dismissing their concerns several times in recent weeks. The day of the massive immigrants' rights rallies across the country, he launched into a scornful tirade that seemed to even threaten violence against the peaceful protesters (4/10/06):
"Once again, the streets of our country were taken over today by people who don't belong here…. Taxpayers who have surrendered highways, parks, sidewalks and a lot of television news time on all these cable news networks to mobs of illegal aliens are not happy about it…. America's illegal aliens are becoming ever bolder. March through our streets and demand your rights. Excuse me? You have no rights here, and that includes the right to tie up our towns and cities and block our streets. At some point this could all turn very violent as Americans become fed up with the failure of their government to address the most pressing domestic issue of our time."
Cafferty went on to suggest that the government "pull the buses up and start asking these people to show their green cards.... And the ones that don't have them, put them on the buses and send them home." It's troubling that Cafferty seems entirely ignorant of the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, everyone in this country, whether documented or not, does indeed have rights—or that illegal immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year. (When the Wall Street Journal—4/13/06—surveyed economists on whether illegal immigration provided a net gain to the U.S. economy, 44 of 46 said that it did.)
In another commentary on immigration (3/31/06), Cafferty chastised students who missed school to attend a pro-immigrant protest: "Maybe it would be a good idea if they went back into the classrooms and tried to get that diploma instead of, you know, spending their day out and marching around, jumping up and down and being silly." He similarly ridiculed (4/10/06) a D.C.-area school district's policy of giving students community service credit for attending rallies: "What service are you doing for your community by running around through the streets carrying Mexican flags and advocating on behalf of people who are breaking this nation's laws?"
Recent CNN Headline News hire Glenn Beck promises to add another xenophobic voice to the CNN family's chorus when he begins hosting his own program in May. As Media Matters for America documented (3/27/06), Beck recently slurred Mexican immigrants on his radio show (3/27/06), saying Mexico "is a country that has been overtaken by lawbreakers from the bottom to the top. And now, what you're protesting for is to have lawbreakers come here."
So are we debating jobs or race? It doesn't seem like this is about jobs to me.
posted by Steve @ 7:50:00 AM