LatinaLista — Yesterday’s Holocaust Museum shooting by a white supremacist that killed a museum security guard wasn’t just sad news — it was scary.
Holocaust Museum murder suspect James W. von Brunn.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are more people like this shooter running around the nation thinking that they can decide who lives, who dies and who gets to call the United States home.
As a site dedicated to promoting the humanitarian treatment of undocumented immigrants, any regular reader of Latina Lista will know that there have been some who comment on this site under the guise of lambasting undocumented immigrants for not getting at the end of the imaginary visa line, but who in reality are more bothered that there are so many people with brown skin and accents now living in the country.
These types have blended well with those citizens who are truly bothered that undocumented immigrants don’t have the proper paperwork, and so it makes it difficult to see which ones are sincere in wanting the rule of law to be obeyed and which ones have a more sinister agenda.
The director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report attributes this rise in hate to several factors: the recession, the election of Obama and — the immigration debate.
It was the same conclusions presented earlier this year in the Department of Homeland Security’s brief entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment
Of the three factors cited for fueling this latest increase in hate groups/individuals, nothing immediately can be done about the recession or the election’s outcome but much can be done regarding the immigration debate.
It goes beyond getting immigration reform passed and right to the heart of what may be fueling and empowering the hate festering in this nation.
As Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler wrote in an online column:
While the vast majority of Americans see the various hate groups in this country as the fringe of the fringe, i.e., budding sociopaths or simple losers who seek their identity through the hatred of others, there are those in law enforcement who know that the combination of hatred, frustration and weapons can easily spell murder.
Whether these people are sociopaths or searching for a place to belong, either way spells out that these people are very vulnerable and easily influenced. It doesn’t matter that compared to the larger US population their numbers are small, they are still potent threats because, as von Brunn demonstrated, a person with weapons on a mission of ethnic cleansing is a deadly force to stop.
Whereas in the past, these people really only had the support of like-minded individuals who lived in their local communities or regions, their ethnic outrage is today fueled and empowered by internet sites and such media personalities as Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Jay Severin, Rush Limbaugh and every other person privileged to have a consistent media platform by which they foster hatred and resentment towards immigrant/non-white groups through their daily programming.
Though no media personality would admit that they foster hatred — after all, they’re just presenting the news or their viewpoint — the fact remains that to people who are especially vulnerable to this kind of “outrage” media it’s all the encouragement they need to embark on a deadly path.
Given the Department of Homeland Security’s report that only sees this situation worsening, it is time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) takes a more proactive approach in monitoring these programs.
Does that mean censoring these programs?
As much as shows are already censored for the use of foul language, it’s time to recognize that in these times there exists another kind of foul language.
It’s negative language directed at a specific ethnic or gender meant to disparage that group or person, which in turn incites negative public outrage.
As of now, individual radio/TV stations are having to undertake this monitoring role themselves — and seem to only do it when forced by listeners’ complaints. The latest example was in April when Boston’s WTKK-FM suspended radio talk show host Jay Severin for his derogatory comments about Mexicans during the swine flu outbreak.
Some of his “language” was calling Mexican immigrants “criminaliens,” “primitives,” “leeches,” and “women with mustaches and VD.”
Is this not hate practiced under the guise of responsible media?
It is an irresponsible media company that allows such operators to use the airwaves for such a hateful agenda, and it’s a negligent department of the federal government that turns a blind eye when this happens.
Does this mean these people should be taken off the airwaves? Not at first.
The FCC should establish new guidelines that outline limits to what language cannot be used to identify or describe any ethnic group or gender. Those shows that commit more than a determined percentage of their programming towards topics identified as those that incite hate in these hate groups — immigration reform, Muslims, etc. — must be monitored for use of language and conduct. If found to violate the guidelines, a suspension of three weeks — if not totally taken off the air.
Paying fines doesn’t make a direct impression on the host if it’s his station that’s paying the fine. Depriving him/her of their audience would make a much bigger impact.
Before now, these cable and radio talk show hosts have operated like kings over their own courts where they call the shots and people bow to their ratings.
But this is a new age where we know, that more than ever, words do influence and it should matter more to media companies to be responsible businesses rather than enablers to groups, who after hearing hate talk on their radios and televisions, feel all the more justified and empowered to carry out their deranged agendas because no one, the FCC or the stations, are saying that there is anything wrong with what is being broadcast.