The Subtitle of the Immigration Debate: All Latinos are the Same

LatinaLista — Anti-Latino rhetoric has become so rampant in the last few days that it rivals the speed and ferocity of the San Diego fires.
Speaking of which, for some inexplicable reason, San Diego has become Ground Zero in the rhetoric.
From accusing a Latino family of stealing supplies from Qualcomm Stadium to laying the blame for the start of the fire on Latinos, the unfounded stories making their way across the media illustrate how the argument has shifted from undocumented Latino immigrants to the general population of Latinos.


A story that first surfaced over the weekend was how a CNN look-alike site had posted a story blaming the group MEChA (“Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan”) for the fires.
As a Huffington Post columnist noted, It wasn’t long before every anti-immigrant blog picked up the story and ran with it.
And even after it was revealed as a hoax, several anti-immigrant blogs have still not put up a correction.

Fake CNN news story
(Source: Huffington Post)

Yet, the main organization that the creator of the site is claiming to represent, ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration) are incensed that someone would create such a site to discredit them.
A quick review of their forum reveals that its members seem sincere in believing that it was a “stupid stunt.”
Yet, what this reveals is very scary — that now people, who may not necessarily be associated with any particular anti-illegal immigrant group, are now assuming that it’s okay to challenge all Latinos because groups like ALIPAC don’t really make the distinction that not all Latinos are here illegally.
In another sign that it seems to be open-season on Latinos is a very sad Letter to the Editor by a woman in Florida who evidently doesn’t like subtitles.

I have to agree with a writer’s statement, “Latinos should adapt to the majority’s culture.”
I was looking forward to watching one of my favorites: Jimmie Smits in the new series “Cane,” when, to my horror, I had to contend with subtitles. Then, another one of my favorites came on which is “CSI Miami”. Lo and behold, subtitles again, which are more than annoying.
If Hispanics want to watch an American production subtitled, let them return to their own country.
We are clamoring to have Hispanics learn our language by hiring special teachers, both in our classrooms and for adult education, etc., and then comply to their demands to have our English-speaking programs subtitled.
Little by little they are asserting their ideas. I am so afraid for the future, especially in the Southern states, both East Coast and West Coast, to a complete takeover. There must be something we can do.
Instead of all moving here, why don’t they make a concentrated effort to improve their own country so that they can enjoy their origins and cultures in peace?
Bernadette Francis
Fort Pierce

Unfortunately, Ms. Francis’ feelings are becoming more commonplace among people who believe Lou Dobbs and trust CNN and fake CNN sites.
As a nation we’ve reached the point where it’s no longer enough to just ask why people feel this way, but — what can be done about it before more damage and harm is done?

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18 Comments

  1. Frank said:

    There are some Latino sites that are claiming that the MM set the fires. There is no evidence of that. However, there were some Hispanics that were arrested because they were caught setting fires at that time. I would gladly post the links to those stories if you would like. There were also two or three anglos arrested and one shot dead. So there is guilt on both sides.
    If the family of illegals caught loading emergency supplies unto a truck were given those supplies rather than them being stolen, the truth will come out. So no need for melodramatics here or claiming that the whole Latino population is being targetd.

  2. Liquidmicro said:

    Whats the difference between the MeCHA article and this article from Craigslist dated 10/24/2007 @6:17 PM calling Rund a MM and WS?
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/pol/458817778.html
    Also, if later removed, the text can be found at this site as well, where the proprietor is claiming this as fact.
    http://immigrationmexicanamerican.blogspot.com/2007/10/minutemen-start-california-fir
    The Latino family accused admitted to being in the country ‘Illegally’, get your facts straight, they may be a Latino family, however they are here ‘Illegally’, thus equating to ‘Illegal Immigrants’ not all of the Latino community.
    One of the fires is reported to have been started by a Guatemalan Man native to Guatemala.
    “Yet, the main organization that the creator of the site is claiming to represent, ALIPAC”
    Reaching here aren’t you? Where at all is it stated on that site that ALIPAC is being represented? Posters that advocate all Latino’s on ALIPAC are discredited and ran off rather quickly, they make it very clear it is only the ‘Illegals’ they are against, don’t feed the fire with more rhetoric. You are doing the exact same thing, as you are condemning all by saying the few bad apples are the same as the entire barrel.

  3. Liquidmicro said:

    The fake CNN site (created 10/25/2007 @7:34 AM) appears to have been made after the Craigslist Ad (10/24/2007 @ 6:17 PM).
    Where is your condemning of the Craigslist Ad?

  4. TaraTC said:

    I have noticed this lately as well, particularly in online forums and in comments following news stories. When one of the subjects’ names happens to be or look Hispanic or one of the subjects is not American, even when the story has nothing to do with immigration, within a few comments the thread becomes anti-immigrant and/or hateful against Latinos. How much stock should we put in these comment sections, though? It seems they are often inhabited by a few crazies spouting their hate, but it is being increasingly difficult to tell how much they represent the attitudes of people in the “real world.” And do we respond to as many as possible to try and push back the wave of hate, or does that dignify their statements too much? It is overwhelming.

  5. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    The threads have nothing to do with legal immigrants, Latino-Americans or American citizens of any ethnic origin. It has everything to do with ILLEGAL ALIENS AND UNSECURE BORDERS.

  6. Frank said:

    EOT, the pro-illegals choose to ignore that because it is the only way they can demonize the anti-illegals is to claim their views are based on racism, being anti-immigrant or anti-latino. They blur the line being legal and illegal and make it an ethnic issue, when it is not!

  7. Antonio Gonzalez said:

    No latinos, somos hispanos y
    debemos hablar en nuestro idioma y por nuestra verdad.
    Todo sobre inmigracion es un
    timo, algo falso , un juego
    macabro con nuestra gente.
    La realidad,es discriminacion,
    es racismo y desprecio por la
    raza de nuestra gente.
    Habla claro Latina Lista, di
    la verdad a la gente, que se
    sepa que no pueden esperar
    nada sino hacer su propia
    lucha.
    Saludos

  8. Crock said:

    The threads have nothing to do with legal immigrants, Latino-Americans or American citizens of any ethnic origin. It has everything to do with ILLEGAL ALIENS AND UNSECURE BORDERS.
    Nop it’s not about any of those groups it’s about Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans

  9. Frank said:

    Crock, no it isn’t about Mexican-Americans nor Puerto Ricans. They are legal U.S. citizens. It is about illegal immigration by any ethnic group in this country.

  10. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    If I knew where to send them, I’d mail these folks a new deck of race cards. They have to be running pretty low on them, since they throw them out so often. My ex-wife of twenty years is an American born Mexican-American and my son and daughter are 50-50 mix. My foster son that we got when he was 6 months old is full blood Mexican born in the states. That surely mades me as unracist as any one person can get. And to top it off my past girl friend was Korean and the current one is Vietnamese. Several years ago I was dating a black woman and we were starting to talk about marriage, but due to her job moving her to Chicago we had to split up. Now, tell me again how racist I am and this time you’ll see how stupid you sound.

  11. coach diesel said:

    Just because you routinely associate with or are sexually attracted to persons of a different race than your own, does not automatically preclude you of racism. Much of the population growth of the americas came from miscegenation. Hence the terms ‘mestizo’, ‘mulatta’ and ‘costeño’.The perpetrators of forced miscegenation had absolutely no interest in the uplift of the indigineous and imported populations. Getting your own DNA checked can reveal to us great surprises.

  12. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    So, now in order to be non-racist I have to want to uplift the indigineous and imported populations? I fail to see the correlation between the two. Standing up for the preservation of my borders, language and culture has nothing to do with being racist. None of my relationships are forced and my DNA check will only reveal that I’m American; red, white and blue, through and through.

  13. laura said:

    2 things always strike me about the anti-”illegal aliens” anti-”illegal immigrants” crowd, e.g. “Frank”:
    1.why pick on people with so much less power than you ? Why not pick on someone your own size ?
    2. do you get as worked up about illegal behavior of people more powerful than you ? The executives of Enron, who stole retirement money of tens of thousands ? Embezzlers of millions and billions of dollars in Iraq ?
    I get a taste of cowardice in my mouth when I read your writings. But maybe your grade school bully was your hero.

  14. Frank said:

    laura, your remarks don’t make any sense. Pick on someone my own size? It doesn’t matter what size a law breaker is, they are still a law breaker and we as Americans should be opposed to that.
    Absolutely I get just as worked up about the elite law breakers too. The scandal at Enron caused a lot of Americans to lose their life savings. it sickens me also all the money being spent on this useless war in Iraq when that money should have been used to secure ow OWN borders and so many other domestic needs.
    No need to throw insults around in here and resort to personal attacks. If you don’t like my opinions thats ok but only someone who has no valid arguments for their opinions has to resort to those kinds of tactics. Lets debate like adults here.

  15. Horace said:

    Laura, why should illegal aliens have power equal to that of the citizens of the country that they invade? That’s like complaining that the convicted felon in this country should have a say in his sentence equal to that of the state which prosecuted him. The alien will never have consideration equal to the citizen. Your argument is immature at best, silly at worst.

  16. e said:

    Hey haven’t been in your website in a while and see that you have the same people (read Frank, etc) trolling around. These self described red, white and blue “Americans” (never mind that their ancestors might have come from someplace fleeing famine, bad reputations, etc) with their bad spelling and horrible grammar telling everyone to go back to their countries and to learn English… ja ja
    Don’t this people (read Frank, Eyes of Texas, etc) have a life? jobs? I see your website and there is comment after comment from them.
    To all of you that say “oh, it’s not about you being Latino/Hispanic… its about you being illegal or not… I’m not a racist”
    1. How can you tell a legal vs. undocumented apart? Its not like we have “Legal Permanent Resident” or “Citizen” stamped in our foreheads…
    2. How would you recommend people who treat Latinos/Hispanics like sh*t (ex. me, I look very Indian Latina… yes, I do wear hoop earrings, my fault) because they are thought to be “illegal” to tell them apart?
    TA.. TA.. that’s all, I won’t comment for a while because I do have a life and a job… Just wanted to give my two “centavos”(ohh my.. a word in Spanish?… I just destroyed a bit of our American, red, white and blue integrity right there.. I should go to my nearest library and sign up for ESL and civics classes right now, eat a big piece of apple pie).
    E

  17. Frank said:

    Blogs are used to express differening opinions. It isn’t trolling. Those who say that just can’t stand an opinion different than their own, especially when they know their own opinion lacks credibility.
    I am retired so I have the luxury of surfing the net all day if I wish. The illegal immigration issue is very important to me because I know the negative impacts on this country and how it will affect the future of this country. It is out of control and needs to stop.
    I can’t tell who here is legally or illegally by just looking at them. Did I or anyone else say that? No, we didn’t. I am opposed to illegal immigration no matter what their skin color, ethnicity or country of origin is. Is this another attempt at the famous race card pulling that the pro-illegals always pull? Its getting old you know.

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