Across the country, the overheated immigration debate fuels
racist extremism and violent, anti-Hispanic hate crimes.
by Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse
The other day, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County
voiced what many on the left were thinking, but hadn't
yet said; he blamed the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle
Giffords (D-Ariz.) on an atmosphere of hate and bigotry
that has been bubbling to the surface over the past few
years in Arizona. Specifically, the sheriff said:
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
"Let me say one thing, because people tend to pooh-pooh
this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming
the American public by people who make a living off
of doing that. That may be free speech, but it's not
Dupnik, 73, supported Giffords during her campaigns
for congress and attracted headlines last spring as one
of the most prominent opponents of the state's controversial
immigration law, S.B. 1070, which was signed by GOP Gov.
Jan Brewer. Though the policy has been blocked from implementation
by a federal court order, Dupnik vowed that he wouldn't
enforce the "racist" law.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called Dupnik's word "extraordinary"
in a special Saturday night edition of "Countdown," and
highlighted the sheriff's media criticism on Twitter.
In a special comment later in the program, Olbermann
linked the incident to Giffords being identified last
year as one of former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin's 20
"targets" for the November election, identified by a website
showing crosshairs around 20 Democratic districts.
Sarah Palin and her Christian cohorts targeting
Democratic candidates across the country. Giffords
was one of the Democrats targeted.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) echoed Dupnik's sentiments
in an interview with the Huffington Post.
"The climate has gotten so toxic in our political
discourse, setting up for this kind of reaction for
Sadly, however, most Christians dismiss Dupnik's remarks.
For example, one Right-Wing website closely associated
with the Christian nexus supporting Sarah Palin says of
"How disgusting and low must one be than to co-opt
a tragedy for your own political gain?"
The report continued:
"During tonight's police press conference regarding
the shooting of U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, Pima County
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik made a simply rotten comment:
by refusing to blame the shooting on a crazed lone gunman,
Dupnik blamed Arizona's "prejudice, bigotry and vitriol"
for the shooting.
"Isn't this something. These comment come
from the same individual, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who
called the Arizona Immigration law unwise, stupid and
racist and said he would not enforce it. No agenda here,
is there by Sheriff Dupnik rather than focusing on
those killed and wounded by the gunman."
And so it goes - the creation of an "ACTION-REACTION
SPIRAL" of one racial group raging against another; the
kind of spiral which produces fascism; and it's out of
the fascist nexus that Antichrist will emerge.
The raging national debate over immigration is stoking the
fires of racist extremism across the country. Neo-Nazis and
other white supremacists are ratcheting up the intensity of
their bloodthirsty "race war" rhetoric as the tempo
of the symbiotic dance between hate groups and the anti-immigration
movement continues to increase, and violent hate crimes against
Hispanics, regardless of their immigration status, appear to
be on the rise.
In recent events:
- On May 6, the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held
an anti-immigration rally in Russellville, Ala., that drew
more than 300 Klansmen and Klan supporters, including members
of the neo-Nazi hate group Aryan Nations. At the rally, robed
Klansmen burned a 22-foot-high cross and yelled, "Let's
get rid of the Mexicans!"
- On April 29, a neo-Nazi in East Hampton, N.Y., was arrested
for threatening two Hispanic teenagers he and several friends
imprisoned for 90 minutes in a shed painted with swastikas.
The skinhead reportedly held the blade of the machete to the
throat of one while threatening to kill him, and chased another
around with a running chainsaw yelling, "This is how
you run across the border!"
- On April 22, a 17-year-old Hispanic high school football
player was dragged from a suburban house party in Texas and
savagely attacked by two white assailants, one of them a neo-Nazi
skinhead. Police said the attackers were apparently enraged
because the victim tried to kiss a young girl they believed
to be Caucasian. After forcing the Hispanic youth into a backyard,
they burned his neck with cigarettes, stomped his head with
steel-toed boots, and slashed his chest with a knife, all
while shouting racial slurs. They then stripped him naked
and sodomized him with a patio umbrella pole.
The skinhead kicked the pole repeatedly.
"I don't mean just a little bit," said Harris County
prosecutor Mike Trent. "He kicked it in and shoved it so
far in that he has caused major organ damage. It looks like
they were really trying to kill him and torture him anyway they
At press time, the victim remained in critical condition.
On March 27, New Jersey-based neo-Nazi radio host Hal Turner
called for the mass murder of Hispanics and the assassination
of U.S. senators who support guest worker programs. "All
of you who think there's a peaceful solution to these invaders
are wrong. We're going to have to start killing these people,"
Turner said. "I advocate using extreme violence against
illegal aliens. Clean your guns. Have plenty of ammunition.
Find out where the largest gathering of illegal aliens will
be near you. Go to the area well in advance, scope out several
places to position yourself and then do what has to be done."
Turner directed his listeners to a website that provides detailed
instructions on constructing pipe bombs, ammonium nitrate
"fertilizer bombs," car bombs, chlorine gas bombs,
and other homemade explosive devices.
We're going to have to start killing these people," Turner said. "I advocate using extreme violence against illegal aliens.
As the volatile issue of immigration has taken center stage
in political debates, it's become clear that hate groups believe
they've found a deeply resonant issue with racial overtones
they can exploit to generate a hostile social climate that fosters
bigotry and violence toward all Hispanics, whether they're in
the country illegally or not.
When Hispanic families in Tucson, Ariz., gathered in a park
to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, anti-immigration extremist
Roy Warden arrived, strapped with a pistol, and led a demonstration.
"Listen up, Mexican invaders," Warden said. "We
will not permit you, the ignorant, the savage, the unwashed,
to overrun us, as happened in Rome. ... Land must be paid for
in blood. If any invader tries to take this land from us, we
will wash this land and nurture our soil with oceans of their
blood!" Warden later E-mailed a death threat to Isabel
Garcia, a Tucson public defender who co-chairs the human rights
group Derechos Humanos. The E-mail was titled, "Warden
to Isabel Garcia: I will blow your freaking head off!"
Also in Tucson, anti-immigration leader and close Warden ally
Laine Lawless secretly contacted the nation's largest neo-Nazi
organization to urge its leaders to launch a campaign of violence
and harassment against undocumented immigrants.
Elsewhere in Arizona, when 100,000 people marched through Phoenix
in support of immigrants in April, the largest public demonstration
in the city's history drew a litany of disturbing reactions
from the media, elected officials, and radical extremists. State
Rep. Russell Pearce continued to stereotype illegal immigrants
as ruthless criminals by falsely claiming that 80% of violent
crimes involve illegal immigrants, a statistic he was unable
to defend when questioned. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
organized a 250-member citizens' posse to patrol the desert
for illegal immigrants, and Phoenix radio talk show host Brian
James urged his listeners to pick a night and "kill whoever
crosses the border," prompting federal and state prosecutors
to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.
Phoenix radio talk show host Brian James urged his listeners to pick a night and "kill whoever crosses the border."
In California, the leader of the hate group Save Our State,
Joe Turner, obtained enough signatures from residents of San
Bernardino to get an immigrant-bashing initiative he authored
on the upcoming ballot. Turner's "City of San Bernardino
Illegal Immigration Relief Act" would prohibit city funding
of day laborer centers, allow police to seize the vehicles of
anyone hiring an undocumented day laborer, and make it a crime
for landlords to rent to illegal immigrants.
Turner's stated goal is to prevent immigrants from turning
California into a "Third World Cesspool." Racist skinheads
frequently attend Save Our State rallies, and several of the
group's members have recently advocated far more extreme measures
than the San Bernardino ballot initiative. "I see people
with vans driving by, gunning them down on street corners, and
leaving them to feed the buzzards and worms," wrote Save
Our State activist "Cazamigrante" ("Migrant
hunter") as part of an online discussion of the heavily
Latino street protests across the country.
Another Save Our State activist, "Bryan," recommended
archery as an effective tactic against Mexicans. "Just
a friendly reminder: There is no Brady Bill on bow and arrow.
There is also no report or muzzle flash to give away position."
Also in California, Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist
set off on a cross-country Minuteman Caravan making stops in
several states to help fight the "illegal alien invasion
crisis." On May 8, Gilchrist was a guest on Tennessee radio
show produced by the hate radio show Political Cesspool. It
was Gilchrist's second appearance on the Cesspool. He was interviewed
by Bill Rolen, a board member of the white supremacist Council
of Conservative Citizens who readily agreed with Gilchrist's
characterization of illegal aliens as people whose "intentions
are to just squat here and plunder whatever social benefits
our programs provide them." (However, Rolen, a staunch
neo-Confederate, was less inclined to go along with Gilchrist's
assessment of illegal aliens as the "21st Century slave
The following morning, at a rally at a Birmingham, Ala., truck
stop, a Gilchrist supporter passed out copies of First Freedom,
a newspaper featuring a column by white supremacist David Duke
and articles praising incarcerated Holocaust deniers David Irving
and Ernst Zundel.
Gilchrist wasn't the only nativist talking about an "illegal
alien invasion." On the Internet, violent rhetoric against
Hispanics continued to fester, with extremists posting warnings
that Mexican flags on American soil constituted an "invasion"
of the United States, which for many anti-immigration activists
and white supremacists would mark the long-awaited beginning
of the race war. As one poster on the white supremacist Stormfront
website put it, "It will be grand. More exciting than the
zombie flicks. If you have a good defense line and lots of ammo,
the carnage will be orgasmic."
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