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

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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?