LatinaLista — Last week’s vile comment by Kansas legislator Virgil Peck — that shooting undocumented immigrants from helicopters could be another way to control illegal immigration — sparked a huge outcry from across the nation.
Unfortunately, it’s not an isolated incident.
Other examples of biased politicians, who think their positions shield them from exercising common sense and decency, have also been reported lately in the news for making comments that at the least deserve immediate reprimands and at the most automatic enrollment into diversity sensitivity and Latino 101 classes.
For example, just across the border from Peck’s home state, Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey thinks he knows it all when it comes to Latino immigrants. He has been making inappropriate comments and sweeping generalizations about undocumented immigrants.
Chicanísima blogger, Teresa Puente, recounts her exchange with Shortey while attending a recent journalism conference in Oklahoma.
In that exchange, Shortey comes across as being an ignorant politician (“If they’re here and they can’t speak (English) it’s a pretty good indication they’re illegal,”)
Yet his greatest sign of ignorance came later. Oklahoma’s business newspaper The Journal Record ran a poll asking their readers if they agreed with what Shortey said about undocumented immigrants — that an undocumented immigrant was equivalent to being a drug dealer.
Next to Arizona, Oklahoma is the next most punitive state in persecuting undocumented immigrants and so expectations were high that most Oklahomans would agree with Shortey. However, the latest check on the poll show that 80 percent disagreed with him.
Unfortunately, more stories are surfacing of the Latino bias too many elected officials aren’t afraid to exhibit.
In rural Nevada, Assessor Shirley Matson is facing an uncertain future over what she said about Latino workers.
She used a county computer network to accuse Latino workers of being undocumented and declared that “filthy” Mexicans steal Social Security numbers.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Matson asked Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo to verify earlier this month that construction workers building a new county jail were legal residents.
The jail contractor provided evidence this week confirming the workers’ legal status.
Matson also sent emails calling pregnant Latinas the nation’s “greatest enemies.”
The fact that so many elected officials feel that making on-the-record derogatory comments about Latino immigrants is fair game is disturbing, frightening and underscores a class difference that is coming more and more to the forefront.