Arrest of 63-year-old anti-Hispanic cyber-stalker underscores disturbing trend

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LatinaLista — The 63-yearold man’s real name is Vincent P. Johnson. Yet, this New Jersey resident is more comfortable going by the pseudonym Devilfish579, especially when he’s emailing a number of his favorite Hispanic advocacy targets with threats and cyberstalking them.

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Johnson, or Devilfish579, was arrested and indicted on charges he threatened employees of five Hispanic civil rights groups between November 2006 and February 2009.

His favorite targets were the: LatinoJustice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders.

Johnson thought it a hoot or clever, to write such things as:

“do you have a last will and testament? If not, better get one real soon.”

 

or

“our guns are loaded and we will take you out as well whether by the courts or by true fire power” and “if the idiots in the organizations which this e-mail is being copied to can’t fathom the serious nature of their actions, then they will be on the hit list just like any illegal alien . . . actually, they are already on the list.”

and

“I am giving you fair warning that your presence and position is being tracked . . . you are dead meat . . . along with anyone else in your organization.”

In fact, at one time Latina Lista was one of Devilfish579’s targets but I was able to block him. Never really thought about him again until I saw that this time he bit off more than he could chew.

I wish I could say Johnson was an anomaly when it comes to cyber-critics of Hispanic advocacy groups and activists but he’s not. Unfortunately, he’s the norm.

While popular characterization of members of White Supremacist groups and those with an abnormal intolerance of Spanish-speaking immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, has been young and white, it is also true that there is a sizable over-50 crowd.

Though it’s only anecdotal on my part, through my experience I have found that the majority of Latina Lista’s critics over the years have been retirement age. It’s not that they so easily regurgitate misinformation gleaned from conservative talk radio or anti-immigrant enthusiasts with no desire to compare the facts, the young do that as well, it’s that there’s a stubbornness about them that has vanquished all doubt from their reasoning.

At times, even the younger critics will concede a doubt, though not for long but older critics don’t . They feel justified in condemning those whom they were led to believe are their enemies. They wag the argument of patriotism like their own battle flag and fail to understand that patriotism is a non-issue in this debate.

They believe the misinformation and spout it as truth.

For example, one of the biggest examples of misinformation that is constantly fed to get these people riled up over “Hispanics” is how undocumented immigrants are a drain on public services.

No matter how often it’s refuted, there is a steadfast insistence to believe it not true.

For example, a new study by the Missouri Food Bank Association (MFBA) and Feeding America shows one in eight Missourians needs help getting food. According to the study, “about 66 percent of people getting food help are non-Hispanic white, 27 percent are non-Hispanic black, and 4 percent are Hispanic.”

Now, if Hispanics were the drain on society, assuming undocumented are also included in this tally, regardless of their number in the population, they should comprise if not the same as blacks, even more.

But they don’t.

They only comprise 4% of those people looking for help with their food needs.

Of course, every state, county and city are different but the overall characteristic of undocumented Hispanic immigrants is that they don’t go looking for hand-outs and pride themselves on their self-efficiency.

They have to be. To earn less than a minimum wage and still be able to live in this country and send remittances home is a big accomplishment.

Unfortunately, this kind of information is readily dismissed by critics like Devilfish579 because it upsets how they see the world and they would rather see the world as they believe it to be than see the reality of how it really exists.