LatinaLista -- Last week, when Kansas legislator Virgil Peck joked that one way to control illegal immigration was to model an approach used to regulate the feral hog population -- shooting them from helicopters -- he didn't think twice about what he said.
He now wishes he had.
Ever since he made the insulting comment, he has been the target of some pretty mad people. Not just the expected Latino organizations and politicians, who have been so mad as to demand his ouster from chairing legislative committees to demanding a new apology -- one that sounds like he really means he's sorry -- but from non-Latino Kansans who were so disgusted that an elected state official would make it seem like the whole southeast portion of the state believes like he does.
Chances are Peck's comments would have been barely noticed by the mainstream media had not one group brought it to the attention of the nation. Arizona's Somos Republicans is establishing a strong track record in making their fellow Republicans accountable for saying bonehead, racist remarks when it comes to Latinos.
Under the leadership of Dee Dee Blase and state directors of an organization that is quickly going national, Somos Republicans is keeping Latino constituents informed so they can act and react to what happens within state legislatures.
Yet, they're not the only group that is reaching out to empower Latinos. Rumors are that in Illinois and Texas new groups will be launched to reach out to Latinos to strengthen the Latino voter base. It's already happening, coincidentally or not, in Kansas of all places.
It's called Latino Informational Network of Kansas or L.I.N.K. for short. According to their website:
L.I.N.K. was created out of a need to ensure that Latinos across Kansas are informed about the numerous issues which will come up in the 2011 legislature. Many of these issues such as health care, education, immigration, racial profiling among others will have a huge impact on our communities and its up to us to make sure we are informed.
What will L.I.N.K. provide me? L.I.N.K. will provide regular emails as well as information through our blogs regarding: * Issues impacting Latinos at the Kansas Legislature. * Regular updates on proposed bills that affect our community and where they stand. *
Links to important news stories you should know about * Suggestions on how you can organize Latinos in your area * Tips on how to write, call and email your legislator * Guides to become an effective activist * National news affecting Latinos and much more!
Yeah, it's a safe bet to say that this giant is wide awake now.