Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > New video shows the link between commonly used media sources on immigration and anti-immigrant organizations

New video shows the link between commonly used media sources on immigration and anti-immigrant organizations

LatinaLista — A popular caution that is always issued to people surfing the Internet is to consider the source before believing in the validity of the information.
It’s a statement that is true for every facet of media that distributes information to the public. It’s also a statement that lends itself very well to the immigration debate.
Long a sore spot among us all who seriously write about the topic, is the propensity of the mainstream media to use as counter sources that are funded, however indirectly, by organizations with an anti-immigrant agenda — not just anti undocumented but anti-immigrant. In other words, pro-white (read white supremacy) agendas.
Well, an interesting video has been produced that shows these exact links between these counter media sources and these anti-immigrant groups. Unfortunately, though the information is excellent and factual, the chances that it will be taken as seriously as it should lies in limbo.
Because it is being released by the National Council of La Raza’s “We Can Stop the Hate” campaign in association with the The Southern Poverty Law Center.
Two organizations known for advocating compassion and fairness on behalf of undocumented migrants.
Some will easily dismiss this video as “propaganda” of the “other” side but this is where human intellect has to kick into high gear and people truly have to make their own decisions on the validity of the content.
It is the hope of Latina Lista that viewers will take the information presented in this video and determine through their own research that the facts presented in the video are factual and do expose the link that is never acknowledged in the media. Because these facts are, for the most part, easily traceable over the Internet, it will just require a little time and effort.
The argument will always be made that either side of the issue will present videos such as these to bolster their criticisms. However, there’s a big difference between manufacturing facts to fit the argument and passing those facts along to create a more informed citizenry.
In the end, it’s the people who have to decide.

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  • Grandma
    June 25, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I think it’s interesting that the woman in this video only talks of “immigrants” without distinguishing legal immigrants from illegal immigrants. I had no idea the organizations of which she speaks even existed until I saw the protest in LA on TV. What I saw was Mexican flags, signs that told the Americans to go back to Europe, derogatory remarks and derogatory signs. I have no problem with immigrants. There are millions who have done it legally. I have a problem with people, no matter where they come from, sneaking into this country, bankrupting hospitals while American citizens can’t even afford health care and don’t get the same treatment because American citizens have to pay for their emergency room visits, who demand rights they are not entitled to, who don’t take responsibility for their actions and demand that America changes it’s laws for their benefit. I also have a problem with illegal immigrants who come here and refuse to assimilate and learn English but demand that we accept their culture. You want to talk about racist. La Raza (The Race) is the biggest racist organization in the US and guess who funds it. Yep, the US Government,iem legal tax paying citizens.

  • Evelyn
    June 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    For those who said the money I donated to ACLU was wasted.
    ACLU Sues Department of Homeland Security For Information on Deaths in Immigration Detention Centers
    Lawsuit Comes After Repeated Refusals by DHS to Provide Expedient Access to Public Information
    WASHINGTON – June 25 – The American Civil Liberties Union today sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for refusing to turn over thousands of public documents in their possession detailing the deaths of immigration detainees held in U.S. custody. more at

  • Frank
    June 25, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    So it is being claimed that anyone who is againt more massive immigration (legal or illegal) is a white supremacist? So equating whites who are concerned for their own interests are “white supremacists?” This double standard really needs to be called out for what it is. Hispanics or other minorities have no problem looking out after THEIR best interests. This entire blog is all about Latinos looking out after their own interests! How many times have we heard about whether or not this or that politician will respond to the “interests” of Latinos?? And yet if you are white and you are concerned with YOUR life and that of YOUR children and grandchildren, that makes you a racist??
    The notion that we have to take in unlimited numbers of immigrants in perpetuity is ridiculous! Who made up THAT rule? We can decide at any time that 300,000,000 people is quite enough, thank you. Many countries have strict limitations on immigration. Why not us?? The claims of racism and being bullied by these third worlders with their ethnocentric tribal mentality gets very tiring after awhile.
    Would Mexico or any other Latino country welcome unlimited numbers of anglos or other non-latinos into their countries? I don’t think so!

  • Evelyn
    June 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Hardliners Try to White-Wash Their Own Immigrant Pasts by Redefining ‘Immigration’
    By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted June 2, 2008.
    Redefining the word “immigrant” is an attempt to differentiate between those they hate and their own grandparents.
    I’ve encountered a new argument in my travels, both in the comments here on AlterNet and around the internet. It’s perhaps best captured by the motto of the “Illegal Invasion News” blog: “IT’S NOT ‘IMMIGRATION’ AND THEY’RE NOT ‘IMMIGRANTS.'” (This claim is often articulated in that ALL CAPS style so popular with small children and lunatics who are off their meds.)
    The word “immigrant” has nothing at all to do with legal status. It means, simply, to move from one place to another for the purpose of settling down. Papers, no papers — it’s all irrelevant to the act of migrating.
    The claim can be dispatched easily enough with a little elementary etymology. The word “migration” first appears in the English language in reference to humans in 1611, some 37 years before the modern nation state, with its discrete borders, came into existence. The Latin root of the verb “to immigrate,” immigrare, predates that by more than a thousand years. Human migration is a phenomenon that dates back to before homo sapiens even existed — pre-modern humans migrated wily-nilly. So, clearly, the word “immigrant” has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s paperwork being in order; its roots predate the existence of contemporary legal systems.
    An interesting question is why they bother making the argument at all? Surely, it’s not relevant to the larger issue.
    Or so it seems. But it is relevant, in that it is a response to a major problem for real immigration hardliners: the United States is, indisputably, a nation of immigrants and our heterogeneity, contra the howls of many a right-winger, is a big part of what makes America what it is. You can gorge on Bratwursts in Michigan, drink way too much vodka and mingle with decked-out Russian gliteratti in Brighton Beach, still read local Deutsche Zeitungen in small towns in Minnesota, eat Ethiopian food with your hands in L.A., sing weepy Irish ballads over your Guinness in dozens of Boston bars, wander the docks as the Vietnamese fishermen come in for a Texas evening and get the best roast pork in Little Havana. And thank god for all of that — I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    But consider how awkward that simple reality is for a nice Irish boy like Bill O’Reilly, or someone like Tom Tancredo, whose grandparents — all four of them — immigrated to the U.S. from Italy in the first decades of the 20th century. There are a lot of immigration restrictionists of European descent — people with names like O’Malley, Kowolski or Schmitt — who are incensed about the current generation of immigrants to America, and to avoid charges of hypocrisy — or simple cognitive dissonance — they have an almost obsessive need to distinguish between their forebearers — “good immigrants” every one — and these scoundrels coming here today.
    Usually, they’re content to hang onto the fact that their great-grandparents immigrated legally, but I guess some need to go a step further and deny that those who bypass the system are immigrants at all.
    Even the former distinction is weak. Consider the similarities between, say, the wave of European immigration that arrived in the 1880s and 1890s and those who have come over the past decade, and they dwarf the differences. Descendants of the huge waves of European immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries make much of the fact that their great grandparents came here “legally,” but they rest their case on a technicality: the only reason they were legal was that there was no law in effect restricting European immigration until the 1920s. In fact, European immigrants didn’t even need to identify themselves to get in — the derogatory word for Italians, “WOP,” was an acronym stamped on entry documents that meant the person was arriving “With Out Papers.”
    It’s true those earlier immigrants hadn’t violated any law, but they never asked American citizens for permission to come and, while they contributed much to the growth of the American economy they, like their modern counterparts today, were not embraced with open arms by all of American society. In the mid-19th century, gangs would pepper arriving German immigrants with stones; walk into any Irish bar in New York City and you’ll find the ubiquitous sign reading, “Irish Need Not Apply.” Now those signs are a kitschy testament to Irish integration into American society, but back then they were anything but.
    When one listens to the arguments put forth by people like Lou Dobbs today, they’re virtually indistinguishable from what was said of those earlier European immigrants: they’re invading in huge numbers; they won’t assimilate like earlier immigrants have; they won’t learn the language like earlier immigrants did; they vote in mindless blocs; they’re unclean; their religions are backwards, and etc. Consider Benjamin Franklin’s concerns expressed in a letter written in 1753:
    Measures of great Temper are necessary with the Germans … Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation … I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties; Few of their children in the Country learn English; they import many Books from Germany; and of the six printing houses in the Province, two are entirely German, two half German half English, and but two entirely English; They have one German News-paper, and one half German. Advertisements intended to be general are now printed in Dutch and English; the Signs in our Streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only German … In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies … they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious.
    That hearty German stock that had Ben Franklin so concerned would produce such esteemed Americans as Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the infamous “Sensenbrenner Bill” that would have made it a felony to even offer humanitarian aid to an undocumented immigrant, among other provisions. Sensenbrenner is just as concerned with the large numbers of Latin Americans coming in to the country today, and his rhetoric is very similar to old Ben Franklin’s. One of the key differences is that in Franklin’s era — and through the middle of the 20th century — immigration restrictionists spoke of the innate inferiority of other human “races”; in modern times, that’s impolitic, so Sensenbrenner and his contemporaries make a big show of distinguishing between “legal” and “illegal” immigration.
    In every generation, the gloom and doom predictions about how those newer immigrants would ultimately lead to the nation’s destruction have proven overwrought and inaccurate. By the third generation, the Irish, Poles, Italians and all the rest of Europe’s immigrants had all become Americans. And so it will be with today’s new immigrants. According to a recent study cited in The Washington Post, immigrants today are no different; in fact, the study noted that “immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations.”
    The similarities don’t end with the consistent hostility some Americans have for newer arrivals. Individuals have all sorts of reasons for emigrating, but throughout our history, when large numbers migrate from a single country or region, it’s always been in response to some kind of shock in their country of origin, be it civil strife or pestilence or drought or war or economic collapse or natural disaster. Today we have a large number of immigrants from Mexico — slightly more than half of all new migrants — which followed the peso crisis, which was aggravated by job displacement resulting from NAFTA’s liberalization of agriculture. Again, this is consistent, whether we’re talking about the Irish fleeing the Great Potato Famine, Russian Jews fleeing the pogroms or Vietnamese boat people fleeing war in South-East Asia. The Wikipedia entry for Swedish emigration to America explains that their numbers peaked just after the Civil War:
    There was widespread resentment against the religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church and the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy. Population growth and crop failures made conditions in the Swedish countryside increasingly bleak.
    Aside from the obvious demographic differences between today’s immigrants and those of earlier eras, there was another difference. Relative to the native population, the wave of elevated immigration hitting our shores today is nothing compared to previous ones. During the 1980s and 1990s, about 16.4 million immigrants came to America — a number equaling 7.1 percent of the 1981 population; during the period between 1901and 1920, about 14.5 million new arrivals came to America, but that number represented 18.9 percent of the population in 1901.
    Those who like to throw around rhetoric about some huge “invasion” would do well to read some history — what we’re seeing now is a drop in the bucket compared to earlier periods of American history.
    Of all posters on this forum I would expect YOU more than anyone else to understand the phrase La Raza. You claim to be Hispanic, do you understand any spanish at all? You might want to ask one of your spanish speaking relatives to explain how the two words together La Raza mean The People.
    It concerns me that you work so close to the American public and are not very educated and also show blatent racism of Hispanics.
    This is from La Raza website, maybe it will help you understand better.
    What is the National Council of La Raza?
    The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations (CBOs), NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1968, NCLR is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCLR serves all Hispanic subgroups in all regions of the country and has operations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
    What does the term “La Raza” mean?
    The term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people,” or, according to some scholars, “the Hispanic people of the New World.” The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world’s races, cultures, and religions. Some people have mistranslated “La Raza” to mean “The Race,” implying that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that
    all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.
    It is a shame that an educated Hispanic could be so misinformed about Hispanic immigrants and have such negative views (without credible proof) about them.

  • Evelyn
    June 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Educate Yourselves
    Stop the Hate
    MYTH: America has “uncontrolled” and “unprecedented” immigration.
    While the immigrant population is the highest it’s ever been in absolute numbers, it isn’t so when compared to the equally increasing total U.S. population. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the percentage of immigrants has fluctuated within 5-15% of the U.S. population. As of 2006, immigrants are 12% of the U.S. population. (U.S. Census Bureau, “Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-born Population of the United States: 1850-1990.” February 1999, and Pew Hispanic Center, “A Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population at Mid-Decade.” October 2006)
    MYTH: Most undocumented immigrants are Mexican adult males illegally crossing the border.
    There are between 11.5 and 12 million unauthorized migrants in 2006. The calculations reported suggest that roughly 4.5 to 6 million (or 40 to 50% of the total) entered the country legally through ports of entry. (Pew Hispanic Center, May 2006)
    There were 5.4 million adult males in the unauthorized population in 2005, accounting for 49% of the total. There were 3.9 million adult females accounting for 35% of the population. In addition, there were 1.8 million children in the unauthorized population, or 16% of the total. Among adults, males make up 58% of the unauthorized population while females make up 42%. (Pew Hispanic Center, March 2006)
    About 56 percent of the unauthorized population was from Mexico, and another 22 percent from elsewhere in Latin America. The rest come from Asia, Europe, Canada, Africa, and elsewhere. (Immigration Policy Center, Spring 2007)
    MYTH: Illegal immigrants are “by definition” criminals.
    “Being illegally present in the U.S. has always been a civil, not criminal, violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and subsequent deportation and associated administrative processes are civil proceedings.” (Congressional Research Service, “Immigration Enforcement Within the United States.” April 2006)
    In Sept. 2007, former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said on The Glenn Beck Program, “Glenn, it’s not a crime. I know that’s very hard for people to understand, but it’s not a federal crime…In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it’s not a criminal proceeding. It’s a civil proceeding.”
    MYTH: Today’s immigrants are different than those 100 years ago: they “refuse” to assimilate.
    According to a recent United Way of Salt Lake survey, more than 80 percent of immigrants and refugees say they have formally tried to learn English. Many more say they’ve tried by speaking English to friends or by listening to English-language radio and television. (United Way of Salt Lake, June 2007)
    Learning a second language can be difficult for any adult, but top barriers to English acquisition for immigrants (who often work 2 or 3 separate jobs) include lack of time, lack of child care, and difficultly of task. (United Way of Salt Lake, June 2007)
    All social science data points to the fact that immigrants are assimilating as fast as previous generations of immigrants. While immigrant parents may struggle with learning a new language, 91% of second-generation Hispanics can speak English well, as can 97% of third-generation Hispanics. (Pew Hispanic Center, Nov 2007)
    MYTH: Immigrants are violent criminals “overflowing” our prisons.
    In 2000, 3 percent of the 45.2 million males age 18 to 39 in the United States were in federal or state prisons or local jails at the time of the census. The incarceration rate of native-born men in this age group was 5 times higher than the incarceration rate of foreign-born men. (Immigration Policy Center, Spring 2007)
    Among the U.S.-born, 9.8 percent of all male high-school dropouts were in jail or prison in 2000. Only 1.3 percent of immigrant men who were high-school dropouts were incarcerated. (Immigration Policy Center, Spring 2007)
    MYTH: The majority of Americans are for deportation-only solutions.
    Despite increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric, in most recent national polls, only 25-35% favored “enforcement-only” or “mass deportation.” A moderate to strong majority (51%-83%) favored comprehensive immigration reform that included legalization of undocumented immigrants. (NIF survey of 2007 polls from Washington Post/ABC News, FOX News, NY Times/CBS News, Miami Herald/Zogby, LA Times/Bloomberg, Gallup/USA Today, Pew Research Center, and several university studies)
    MYTH: Immigrants are a financial burden on taxpayers.
    While the myth that undocumented immigrants are an economic drain is widespread, “Every empirical study of illegals’ economic impact demonstrates the opposite…; undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services.” (Peter L. Reich, “Public Benefits for Undocumented Aliens: State Law Into the Breach Once More,” 21 N.M. L. Rev. 219, 241–42. 1991)
    Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most federally funded benefits including cash assistance, food stamps, and SSI. (Office of Human Services Policy, Department of Health and Human Services)
    A study by economists Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore found that states with relatively high immigration actually experience low unemployment. The economists believed that it is likely immigration opens up many job opportunities for natives. (Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore, “Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence,” Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, VA. Mar. 1994.)

  • Thomas
    June 26, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I have a question. Why play the victim card all the time when right now today. There is news of a mexican drug cartel who dress up as Arizona sheriffs murdered a man in his home? Are you not upset about the imported crimes across the border? Is this future we will leave our children. Be warn that the signs are there that this country is headed towards civil war. The supreme court is on thin ice right now. You better pick a side because I see it. Your just blind not to.

  • Liquidmicro
    June 26, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    As usual, it’s attack the character vs attacking the argument, LaRaza has as much credibility as what they are portraying simply by not arguing the points.
    Some believe everything that is printed and deem it as fact, others call it myth. Both have arguments for and against, as it is now, neither side will give.
    As for our Government, less is always better, therefor control should be regulated.
    The behavior and expectations of those who violated our immigration laws should not even be considered, as for their family members, they were told in ’86, ’94, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’00. There have been 7 Amnesties after being told no more.
    1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
    2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
    3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
    4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
    5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
    6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
    7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.
    Our Government is to blame for this, some where and at sometime it must end. Now is that time.

  • Evelyn
    June 26, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I predicted a while back the “Ignorant Breeds Racism” crowd would go out with a bang. They will end up like the Alabama Militia. You guys are delusional.
    Alabama Militia Accused of Plotting to Attack Mexican Immigrants
    In Alabama, federal authorities have revealed they have broken up a militia plot to attack a group of Mexicans living in a small town north of Birmingham. Last week six members of the Alabama Free Militia were arrested in a series of raids. The Birmingham News reported police uncovered truckloads of explosives and weapons, including 130 grenades, an improvised rocket launcher and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. The six men appeared in court on Tuesday. Despite the violent plot, police did not accuse the men of terrorism. Instead police charged them with conspiracy to make a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Anti-Defamation League said the weapons seizure was the largest in the South in years.

  • Evelyn
    June 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Thats how it is when a country imports 75% of all the illegal drugs in the world. The crime that is involved in illegal drug dealing is also imported. You know, birds of a feather….

  • Evelyn
    June 27, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    When you start that ‘illegal shooting’ your trying to scare us with, dont count on some of your buddies. It looks like they are backpedalling, booed off of every campus, having just 24 people show up at a rally, scolded by the FBI, and thinking how bad it could get having to spend a few years in prison with members of the MM I’d be distancing myself from people like you who have illusions of civil war.
    Minutemen leader laments path of anti-illegal immigration groups
    Founder of Minuteman Project said he worries about people instigating violence in connection with his group’s name.
    The Orange County Register
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008
    When Jim Gilchrist headed to the U.S.-Mexico border three years ago to press for tougher immigration enforcement, he carried binoculars.
    Today, Gilchrist is worried that a few self-proclaimed patriots might be carrying a gun.
    After seeing online videos that encouraged border violence amid calls to crack down on illegal immigration, the 59-year-old Aliso Viejo resident said he feels responsible for what started out as a publicity campaign and has since fallen prey to internal divisions and to influence by people he believed had “Saddam Hussein mentalities.”
    “In retrospect, had I seen this, had I had a crystal ball to see what is going to happen… Am I happy? No,” Gilchrist said in a phone conversation late last week. “Am I happy at the outcome of this whole movement? I am very, very sad, very disappointed.”
    A retired accountant, Gilchrist rose to the national scene when he led civilians on a border-watching mission in 2005. He appeared on countless TV interviews and news programs and took the issue of illegal immigration one step further when, several months later, he ran and lost a race against Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine, to represent California’s 48th Congressional district.
    Last year, Gilchrist had a falling out with several of his former Minuteman Project collaborators, who accuse him of mismanaging the organization’s funds. The dispute landed the group in court and splintered the anti-illegal immigration movement, which had been gathering steam amid several attempts in Congress to pass an overhaul of the immigration system.
    Looking back, Gilchrist said he wished he had done more to root out troublemakers in the organization – both those who opposed him politically and those who instigate violence.
    “There’s all kinds of organizations that have spawned from the Minuteman Project and I have to say, some of the people who have gotten into this movement have sinister intentions,” he said.
    “It’s an ‘invasion’,” Gilchrist said of illegal immigration across the border between the United States and Mexico, “but it’s not a war. It is a covert ‘Trojan Horse invasion’.”
    That’s a marked difference from the Gilchrist who led supporters on a caravan across the country two years ago to President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, TX, shouting at critics before leaving from Los Angeles: “Minutemen, stand your ground!… If it’s a war he wants, then let it begin here.”
    The year before, just back from the border trip, he told a group of 150 supporters at an anti-illegal immigration group meeting: “I’m damned proud to be a vigilante.”
    Last year, a coalition of human rights and labor groups labeled Gilchrist a “voice of intolerance” in the debate over immigration reform. In 2005, the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center reported that neo-Nazis had joined the border-watching event led by Gilchrist.
    The Minuteman Project was successful at tapping into core concerns among moderate Republicans and galvanizing them on the issue of immigration reform, said Louis DeSipio, a UC Irvine political science professor. But over the last year, immigration reform has slipped from the top of the national agenda, displaced by economic woes such as gas prices and the housing slump.
    “At its peak, the group had a range of people,” DeSipio said. “The sort of core of the movement was always people who took the metaphor of an invasion seriously and it’s those (people) who have the potential to violence and are willing to use the web at least as a way of seeing if they can stir something up.”
    “As public opinion has moved away from immigration as being a highly salient issue and other things have come to the fore, the suburban patriot has moved in other directions,” he said.
    Now, Gilchrist continues to run his group with a web site that carries his name. He has adopted a two-mile stretch of Route 133 under California’s Adopt-A-Highway program, planning to pick up litter and keep the roadway clean in exchange for the right to a promotional sign.
    His former collaborators, including Barbara Coe of the California Coalition of Immigration Reform, continue to lobby for immigration enforcement on their own. Coe said she hasn’t seen Gilchrist at rallies or on the border for some time.
    Coe, an anti-illegal immigration activist since 1991, said she hasn’t come across any instigators in her group. “Because that is rule number 1,” she said. “You do not use inflammatory language and you never, never get violent – obviously, unless it is in the case of self-defense.”
    Gilchrist readily admits the movement has splintered over the last year. He said he still has ties to about 20 Minuteman Project chapters around the country – but used to have more.
    Sometimes, Gilchrist said he thinks about leaving the debate over illegal immigration and taking on a new issue like urban blight or tax reform. For now, he said he will continue to lobby for more border patrol agents but not from a perch on the border, watching for people trying to cross.
    “I have found, after four years in this movement (…) I very well may have been fighting for people with less character and less integrity than the ‘open border fanatics’ I have been fighting against,” he said. “And that is a phenomenal indictment of something I have created.”

  • Alex
    June 28, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Thomas, we pick the right side, the side of the law. We all want these drug traffickers to be found and punished. The problem is that many people in the U.S. like and enjoy their product. As long as there is demmand for this illicit product, there are going to be suppliers, no matter where they can from. I am sure that stopping them is in the best inteterest of the Mexican and U.S. Governments. Mexican policemen are risking their lives trying to catch them. There were some Mexican Police Officers who sought asylum in the U.S. because they see their lifes, as well as their families in danger. This has nothing to do with the undocummented people here who just came looking for a better life and to be able to feed and provide for their families. I am sure that they are very much against their activities as we all are.

  • Grandma
    June 28, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Evelyn said: It concerns me that you work so close to the American public and are not very educated and also show blatent racism of Hispanics.
    Apparently, Evelyn, you are not informed as you pretend to be. I don’t work closely with the American public. I work closely with agencies such as Border Patrol, ICE, FBI, you know those agents that try to enforce our law? I really don’t care whether you think I’m educated or not. I’m really concerned that you as an American, (I assume you’re a legal citizen?)are more concerned with promoting criminal activity (yes it is illegal to sneak across our border) than you are with the enforcing the laws of this country. You’re a bully and a bitch.

  • Evelyn
    June 29, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Grandma said, “You’re a bully and a bitch.”
    WOW, Hit a nerve, did I?
    Apparently the truth got to you enough to make you show your true colors.
    I always knew you were not the professional you claim to be and you just proved it.
    When faced with the truth educated people admit they are wrong, instead of using language fitted to women who practice the oldest profession known to man.
    I could use profanity and join you in your bar room cat brawl, but I choose not to lower myself to your level.

  • Thomas
    June 29, 2008 at 4:24 am

    I could not say it better than myself grandma. The woman never posts the crims the crimes from our unguarded borders. Not a post of drug cartels Crossing the border killing Americans and our law enforcements. She wants a one sided argument.
    (Edited by Latina Lista administrator)

  • Frank
    June 29, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Grandma, I haven’t read in any of your posts that you show blatant racism towards Hispanics. This is how the pro-illegals operate though. If you are opposed to illegal immigration, they lie and say you are racist against all Hispanics when you aren’t even racist towards the illegal kind. It is all about respecting our immigration laws and it doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are.

  • Alex
    June 29, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Granma, you work close with law enforcement agencies and still do not knopw that being here without proper documentation is not a crime? At most is a felony. Working and trying to bring food, clothing, a roof for your family is not a crime, not even a venial sin in the eyes of God. But, what you, and all those other xenophobes promoting hate and antagonism towards these persons are commiting a grave sin. Remember what you were taught at sunday school or at a Church service,- I hope you have participated -, that Jesus said, I was hungry and you feed me, naked and you clothed me, in jail and visited me. You are trying to prevent them from feeding, and providing for their families. That itsel is a grave offense to God. He said, whatever you do to them, you are doing it to me. This is not an exact quote from the New Testament, but you can read it to understand better what Our Lord wants our behavior to be. You are a Grandma, You might be closer to meeting him personally when you die. Do you think that your actions against undocumented workers, who just want a chance to provide a decent and better life for their families and could not afford to do it legally, and could not do it where they came from, will give you a pass to heaven. Your actions might be pulling you down to a very hot place.

  • Horace
    June 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I second your last statement, Grandma. This is one ugly personality, probably brainwashed in her Hispanic studies class, essentially a self-affirmation crutch spiced with hate the white man propaganda.
    Evelyn, all those alleged technological accomplishments that you attribute to Central American peoples were all for nought, as those civilizations died out with little but a few pictoral records surviving. Few, if any were transferred to the rest of the world. All those same things we use today originate from the work of Europeans.

  • laura
    June 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you for posting this video, Marisa, which provides important information regarding the provenance and funding of groups that claim to only want to”study” immigration and “inform” the American public.
    I am not surprised they have very few people at their core. But some of their moneymen are very rich, like Richard Mellon Scaife.
    This makes me think maybe I should donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and to La Raza. I want to support their effort to shed light on the dark and ugly roots of groups like FAIR and Center for Immigration Studies.
    Who was it that said “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”?

  • Evelyn
    June 30, 2008 at 3:49 am

    The following statement is from ADL.
    As the public debate over immigration reform has taken center-stage in American politics and public life, white supremacists, and other racists have declared “open season” on immigrants and attempted to co-opt and exploit the controversy by focusing their efforts — and their anger — on the minority group at the center of the controversy: Hispanics.
    As a result, to a level unprecedented in recent years, America’s Latino immigrant population has become the primary focus of hateful and racist rhetoric and extreme violence — aided, abetted and encouraged by America’s white supremacist and racist haters.

  • Evelyn
    June 30, 2008 at 7:04 am

    For those who find it difficult to comprehend what they read.

  • Challis
    June 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    well said, Alex.
    I do firmly believe that drug trafficing (sp?) is an entirely seperate issue from immigration and illegal immigration.

  • Liquidmicro
    June 30, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Well Evelyn, since you tend to believe your Blog source, here it is directly from the US Department of Justice, a much better source of recognized factual information:
    Criminal Resource Manual 1918 Arrest of Illegal Aliens by State and Local Officers
    Subsection 1324(c) of Title 8 specifically authorizes state and local officers “whose duty it is to enforce criminal laws” to make arrests for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324. There is also a general federal statute which authorizes certain local officials to make arrests for violations of federal statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 3041. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that 18 U.S.C. § 3041 authorizes those local officials to issue process for the arrest, to be executed by law enforcement officers. See United States v. Bowdach, 561 F.2d 1160, 1168 (5th Cir. 1977).
    Rule 4(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that an arrest warrant “shall be executed by a marshal or by some other officer authorized by law.” The phrase, “some other officer,” includes state and local officers. Bowdach, supra.
    Section 439 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 added a new 8 U.S.C. § 1252c which provides that notwithstanding any other provision of law, to the extent permitted by relevant State and local law, State and local law enforcement officials are authorized to arrest and detain an individual who (1) is an alien illegally present in the United States; and (2) has previously been convicted of a felony in the United States and deported and left the United States after such conviction, but only after the State or local law enforcement officials obtain appropriate confirmation from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the status of such individual and only for such period of time as may be required for the Service to take the individual into federal custody for purposes of deporting or removing the alien from the United States.
    In the absence of a specific federal statute, the validity of an arrest without a warrant for violation of federal law by local peace officers is to be determined by reference to local law. See Miller v. United States, 357 U.S. 301, 305 (1958); United States v. Di Re, 332 U.S. 581, 589 (1948).
    In approving a state trooper’s arrest of persons who appeared to be illegal aliens, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held, simply, as follows: “A state trooper has general investigative authority to inquire into possible immigration violations.” See United States v. Salinas-Calderon, 728 F.2d 1298, 1301, n. 3 (10th Cir. 1984).
    The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held, in Gonzales v. City of Peoria, 722 F.2d 468 (9th Cir. 1983), that the structure of the Immigration and Nationality Act does not evidence an intent to preclude local enforcement of the act’s criminal provisions. Id. at 474. Based on the pertinent legislative history, the court of appeals rejected the argument that since 8 U.S.C. § 1324(c) specifically authorizes local officers to make arrests for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a), and 8 U.S.C. §§ 1325(a) and 1326 contain no comparable provision, Congress must have intended that local officers be precluded from making arrests for violations of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1325(a) and 1326. Id. at 475. The decision warns, however, that the first violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a) is a misdemeanor, and that if applicable state law authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest for misdemeanors only if committed in their presence, they would not be authorized to arrest aliens for illegal entry (unless the officers should happen to know that the alien had previously been convicted of illegal entry) unless they saw him/her cross the border.
    The disappointing aspect of Gonzales is the statement that an alien’s “inability to produce documentation does not in itself provide probable cause (to arrest).” See Gonzales v. City of Peoria, supra, at 16. Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e), aliens are issued registration cards and must carry such cards with them at all times. Aliens who gain entry without the requisite inspection, and who therefore are not issued such cards, violate 8 U.S.C. § 1325. Consequently, a law enforcement officer confronting an alien who is unable to produce documentation arguably has probable cause to believe that a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e) (failure to possess documents or 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a) (entry without inspection) has occurred. (If the alien is undocumented and has been in the United States for longer than 30 days, he or she has also violated 8 U.S.C. § 1306(a)).
    I see something about not carrying an I-94 form with them at all times a problem along with failure to register and entry without inspection.
    A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a “lesser” criminal act. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as regulatory offenses). Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines. Usually only repeat misdemeanor offenders are punished by actual jail time.
    In the United States, the federal government generally considers a crime punishable by a year or less in prison to be a misdemeanor.[1] All other crimes are felonies.

    In the United States, misdemeanors are crimes with a maximum punishment of 12 months of incarceration, typically in a local jail (again, as contrasted with felons, who are typically incarcerated in a prison). Those people who are convicted of misdemeanors are often punished with probation, community service or part-time imprisonment, served on the weekends.
    Something about that “misdemeanors are crimes” that makes them “criminals” and thusly named “Illegal Immigrants”.

  • Evelyn
    July 1, 2008 at 4:36 am

    I have had a wonderful day.
    This was sent to me and I wanted to share with all the wonderful people who are fighting those who want to mock our constution and bill of rights. This is a list of organizations who are also supporting justice and equality for all.
    “FBI Statistics Show Anti-Latino Hate Crimes on the Rise
    New FBI statistics suggest anti-Latino hate crimes have risen by almost 35 percent since 2003. In California—the state with the largest number of Latinos—the number of hate crimes against Latinos have almost doubled. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the violence engulfing Latinos is part of a backlash over the immigration debate in this country.”
    ”FBI Statistics Show Anti-Latino Hate Crimes on the RiseNew FBI statistics suggest anti-Latino hate crimes have risen by almost 35 percent since 2003. In California—the state with the largest number of Latinos—the number of hate crimes against Latinos have almost doubled. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the violence engulfing Latinos is part of a backlash over the immigration debate in this country.“
    Yes, fear and ignorance breed stupidity, anger and scapegoating.
    Is it any wonder that the anti-immigrant rhetoric has fueled violence and racism? One only need to look at how the conversation is framed. The term “illegal alien “is in and of itself a justification for violence and vigilantism.
    News like this can overwhelm us, or be a call to action.
    So, be sad…
    be angry…
    and then be active.
    The good news is there are lots of groups doing good work to make a change. Here are just a few:
    AFL-CIO (Opposes guest worker programs that deny equal rights. Actively and openly organizes both documented & undocumented immigrants.)
    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Provides legal advice and action alerts for immigrant rights, concerned with U.S. stereotypes of Arabs and the effects on immigrants’ First Amendment rights.)
    American Civil Liberties Union—Immigrants’ Rights Freedom Network (Supports immigrants through advocacy, education and litigation.)
    American Friends Service Committee (A Quaker organization -Local offices house a variety of programs dealing with immigrant rights.)
    Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law (A nonprofit, public interest legal foundation dedicated to furthering and protecting the civil, constitutional, and human rights of immigrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, children, and the poor.)
    Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (Provides legal and nonlegal support though its legal immigration program.)
    Equal Rights Advocates (A feminist organization that specializes in legal and advocacy work.)Farmworker Justice Fund (legislative, advocacy and legal work to protect the rights of seasonal and migrant farmworkers)
    The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (Both a social movement and a labor union. The FLOC vision emphasizes human rights as the standard and self-determination as the process for achieving these rights.)
    Immigrant Legal Resource Center (consultation, training workshops and seminars, and educational curricula on immigration issues to pro-bono attorneys and nonprofit agencies serving immigrants)
    Immigrants Support Network (Represents foreign workers, primarily on high-tech (H1-B) visas, attempting to gain permanent residency through their employment.)
    Institute for Policy Studies Multi-issue progressive policy think tank. Sponsors the Campaign for Migrant Domestic Worker Rights—a coalition supporting domestic workers employed under special service worker visas. )
    International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (Manages an Asylum Program that provides documentation and legal support services to asylum seekers and their advocates.)
    Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (International network that protects the rights of workers and asylum seekers in the United States and abroad.)
    Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Taskforce (Supports gay, lesbian, bisexual asylum seekers, binational same-sex couples, and immigrants with HIV.)
    Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (Has programs in resettling unaccompanied refugee children and advocating for the rights of detained asylum seekers.)
    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Seeks to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of Latinos.)
    National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (Works to advance the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans through litigation, public education and public policy.)
    The National Association for Bilingual Education (Devoted to representing the interests of language-minority students and bilingual education professionals.)
    National Center for Farmworker Health (Dedicated to improving the health of the farmworkers.)
    National Center for Human Rights Education (Advocates for the effectiveness of using a human rights model for social, racial and economic justice.)
    National Coalition for Dignity and Amnesty of Undocumented Immigrants (A coalition of 300 organizations from 25 states working for legalization of undocumented immigrants.)
    The National Farm Worker Ministry (A church-based movement to support farmworkers as they organize to achieve equality, freedom, and justice. Operates one of the only emergency assistance programs for migrants who have lost jobs and living spaces due to natural disasters. )
    National Immigration Forum (Provides information to policy makers, media and the public about the benefits of immigration and multiculturalism.)
    National Immigration Law Center (Serves low-income immigrants and their families through impact litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, coalition building, and community support.)
    National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild Seeks to ensure political, social and economic equality for immigrants.)
    National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (Envisions and promotes a broader notion of social justice based on racial equality, economic justice, and human rights).
    Service Employees International Union (Representing many immigrants, among others with campaigns defending the labor rights of janitors, nursing home workers, and hospital workers.)
    Sweatshop Watch (Seeking to eliminate sweatshop conditions in the global garment industry. Advocates for a living wage along with safe and decent working conditions. )
    Unite Union! (Supports legalization of all undocumented workers Opposes immigrant welfare restrictions, criminal deportation laws and employer sanctions.)
    United Farm Workers (Supports the legalization of all undocumented immigrants and petitions for the rights of all farmworkers, regardless of citizenship status.)

  • Frank
    July 1, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Amazing isn’t it, Horace? The one who claims won’t stoop as low as some others in here, uses the words racist, bigot and other viles names against other members of this blog sometimes a half dozen times in one post.
    She has yet to prove any of her accusations by anything posted by them. It is the pro-illegals who have stooped lower than dirt accusing their fellow Americans who just want our laws enforced of such hateful things. They stoop so low that they even claim racism against a particular ethnic group whether they be legal or illegal and then claim it is a “white race” thing. Really disgusting!

  • Grandma
    July 1, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    “Alex :
    Granma, you work close with law enforcement agencies and still do not knopw that being here without proper documentation is not a crime? At most is a felony.”
    LOL. I’m waiting for you to say that CA, AZ, NM and TX still belong to Mexico.

  • Grandma
    July 1, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    From Evelyn: “You might want to ask one of your spanish speaking relatives to explain how the two words together La Raza mean The People.”
    I took your advice Evelyn, but I didn’t go to my spanish speaking relatives because they don’t come from Mexico. So I went to a couple of co-workers, both of whom, by the way, immigrated LEGALLY to the US and are US Citizens. One is a certified translator in both the Mexican language and Portugese. This is her response to my question, what does La Raza mean?
    “La Raza” is an expression used by Mexicans to identify themselves, meaning that they are
    Mexican nationals. Some Chicanos use it with a lot of pride. Some Mexicans think is disparaging. It all depends who is using the term, and to whom he is referring. “Raza” means race, belonging to the same genetic group, or having the same biological characteristics.
    The other co-worker, who still has relatives in Mexico and visits them frequently, told me that La Raza is not a term used in Mexico. It’s a term used only in the US by Mexicans used to separate themselves from American citizens.

  • laura
    July 1, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you , Evelyn, for that list. I also find it heartening, especially since it’s just a fraction of the groups that are working hard to protect the human rights and civil rights of all people residing in the US.
    There are thousands of locally-based groups working against the hate and violence perpetrated against undocumented people.
    Thank you for your informative postings Evelyn, where you often provide sources and information I had never heard of.

  • Evelyn
    July 1, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    “Amazing isn’t it, Horace? The one who claims won’t stoop as low as some others in here, uses the words racist, bigot and other viles names against other members of this blog sometimes a half dozen times in one post.”
    Whining again I see. Cant take the heat stay out of the kitchen.
    You have called me trash and racist numerous times and other names also. It never fazes me because I know I am not those things.
    Your conscious bothers you because you know you are racist. When you defend hate and bigotry you will have to face consequences.
    She has yet to prove any of her accusations by anything posted by them. It is the pro-illegals who have stooped lower than dirt accusing their fellow Americans who just want our laws enforced of such hateful things. They stoop so low that they even claim racism against a particular ethnic group whether they be legal or illegal and then claim it is a “white race” thing. Really disgusting!
    It is because I prove you wrong at every turn that you say this. I think I will just leave it up to the American public that has abandon you and those of your ilk to decide.
    Oh. you never did get back to me on which of the presidential canidates will be speaking at your KLAN rallies that you claim “most law abiding Americans” attend, and support. LOL!

  • Frank
    July 2, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Whining? Well guess that makes you a whiner also as you were the one complaining about someone else in here “stooping so low” first!
    I don’t consider asking for civility in this blog as being a whiner or defending oneself from someone’s constant personal attacks in here as being a “whiner.” Is this a cultural thing to insult others and then when they complain it is called “whining”?
    Doesn’t that make one a hypocrite when they attack other’s constantly and then complain when others fight back in the same way? Oh, that’s right if you defend yourself you are a whiner.

  • Evelyn
    July 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    . One is a certified translator in both the Mexican language and Portugese.
    This is her response to my question, what does La Raza mean?
    “La Raza” is an expression used by Mexicans to identify themselves, meaning that they are
    Mexican nationals. Some Chicanos use it with a lot of pride. Some Mexicans think is disparaging. It all depends who is using the term, and to whom he is referring.
    “Raza” means race, belonging to the same genetic group, or having the same biological characteristics.
    (Spanish is not a Mexican Language, so unless she knows Spanish, she is disqualified.
    There are many Mexican dialects, and it is nice to know she can translate one.
    Raza does mean race, but putting La (the) before it, changes the meaning to “the people,” because the people they are refering to (Hispanics) come from many races.
    The other co-worker, who still has relatives in Mexico and visits them frequently, told me that La Raza is not a term used in Mexico. It’s a term used only in the US by Mexicans used to separate themselves from American citizens.
    (I guess she has forgotten about “El dia de La Raza” which is celebrated on the 12th of October in Mexico
    It is also celebrated on October 12 in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Uruguay and Venezuela.)
    In Mexico, October 12th is a national holiday known as Día de la Raza or Day of the Race. This date is honored in other countries as Columbus Day and under other names; but the event it commemorates and the way in which it is observed have become quite controversial.
    In the fifteenth century, an obscure Italian seafarer named Christopher Columbus became convinced that it was possible to reach the East from Europe by sailing westward across the Atlantic and that this route would be shorter than traveling around Africa; he underestimated the size of the Earth and overestimated the size and eastward extension of Asia. After eight years of negotiations, he convinced Queen Isabella of Spain to support his enterprise. He finally set out in three small ships and, on October 12th, 1492, he landed on an island in the Bahamas inhabited by the Taino or Arawak tribe, thinking that it was India.
    Although Christopher Columbus was perhaps not the first to discover America, as has so often been claimed, he was the one to bring about the first real contact and interaction between Renaissance Europe and the American continent with its various civilizations; and that has shaped and changed world history in countless ways. Over 500 years later, this date is still celebrated, lamented, and debated.
    One of the main consequences of this contact, was the imminent conquest of the new world by the old. In writing of his discovery, Columbus noted how he and his men were greeted with gifts and said: “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts”. And, generally speaking, this was to characterize relations between the old world and the new: Europeans sought wealth and to impart (or impose) their culture. The indigenous people befriended them and were dominated by armies from abroad.
    Less than 30 years later, in 1521, Hernán Cortés landed on the shores of Mexico. He too was received with gifts, and he proceeded to conquer the vast Mexica empire which is Mexico today. Relations between the indigenous population and the conquerors of Mexico during the 300 year colonial period were complex. Spain sought riches in the new land, but also converts for Catholicism. Missionaries traveled with the soldiers. Some of them were greatly impressed by native cultures and are responsible for the preservation of many codices and documents regarding the period.
    In 1918, philosopher Antonio Caso took October 12th as an opportunity to praise the “Mexican mestizo race”, La Raza, the rich mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures which characterizes us. He was perhaps the first to coin the term La Raza, which has now been adopted by Latinos from all across the continent. Ten years later, the Día de la Raza was declared an official national holiday by Congress, after only minor debate.
    Is The Phrase “La Raza” Racist?
    Dateline: 03/12/00
    Colonial governments in the New World needed ethnic and racial identities so they could manage the citizens, indentured servants, slaves, and indigenous people. Statistics, politics, and advertisements are still determined by labels. It has only been forty years since the U.S. stopped using the idea of race to forcibly segregate people, but the checkboxes on forms persist.
    While the government and various agencies depend on ethnic categories, individuals must use them cautiously. If you use ethnic labels to refer to yourself, you may be accused of encouraging separatism, misplacing loyalty, and even being racist. The easiest target for this accusation is “La Raza”. Translated literally, it means “The Race”. Sounds isolating, right? The advocacy groups, bands, tattoos, and slogans use La Raza to carry a message that uplifts people and promotes community. The phrase is sprinkled throughout the Americas, wherever you can find a Latino wanting to show pride. It’s hard to be isolating in such a diverse culture
    La Raza is associated with, and perhaps used most by, Mexican-Americans. José Vasconcelos first coined the term in the early 1900s. He was a politician, educator, and philosopher born in Mexico. The term he actually used was “La Raza Cósmica” (The Cosmic Race). While stuck in the theology, philosophy and the pseudo-science that defined race in that era, Vasconcelos put in writing his vision of the future in La Raza Cósmica (1925). He talked of mythical notions dividing races based in science. Moreover, he spoke of how they finally arrived together again in the New World to become one.
    “In any case, the most optimistic conclusion that one may derive from the observed facts is that even the most contradictory mix among the races can be resolved most beneficially as long as the spiritual factor contributes to enhance them. In fact, the decadence of the Asian peoples is attributable to their isolation, but also mainly and without a doubt to the fact that they have not been Christianized. A religion like Christianity advanced the American Indians, in a few centuries, from cannibalism to a relative civilization.”
    –La Raza Cósmica
    The images many people have of La Raza are of brown skinned, ethnocentric separatists. La Raza is seldom associated with the same mentality that justified the genocide and general oppression that is a legacy of the New World experience, and the heritage of La Raza. I will admit to enthocentricism any day. The fact is that having a conceit for La Raza today fulfills the mantra of those who condemn labels: We are all one. The phrase has been borrowed by various shades of brown people who celebrate their African, Asian, Native, and European blood with varying equality. There is no one I could marry who would make my children anything other than Raza. Having pride in La Raza means having pride in every continent. The dishes I make in my home have Spanish, Native, and African origins. La Raza is a melting pot of cosmology.
    A motley spiritual presence has brought people together from separate worlds to make families. Regardless of the scorn and legal penalties they and their children faced, people came together all over the Americas to build the Cosmic Race. If La Raza was racist in its origin because of its Christian European deference, it certainly isn’t now. It never seemed to be the type of racism people attach to it. Any term can be misused by zealots, and there are some movements within the Latino community that do carry a strict tone of separatism. Many of these are still focused more on creating a cohesive community than preaching superiority. When La Raza is mentioned, it speaks of the fact that my children can have blue or brown eyes, thin or wide eyes, pale skin or the darkest skin. The hair may vary from kinky to straight. We dance to the rhythms of many nations. La Raza is the first unique creation of the colonial Americas. It is about inclusion, not exclusion.

  • Evelyn
    July 3, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Frank :
    Whining? Well guess that makes you a whiner also as you were the one complaining about someone else in here “stooping so low” first!
    Evelyn responds:
    Show me where I was “complaining about someone else in here “stooping so low” first!”
    Eu contraire, I hope they stoop even lower. It exposes the ignorance that breeds the racism. LMAO!
    I don’t consider asking for civility in this blog as being a whiner or defending oneself from someone’s constant personal attacks in here as being a “whiner.”
    Evelyn responds:
    Well then be a leader and step up to the podium.
    Ask for civility when the racists start demonizing Hispanic Immigrants using lies, misinformation and hate speech.
    Dont sit there and be an accomplice by emphasizing how much you agree with them.
    Is this a cultural thing to insult others and then when they complain it is called “whining”?
    Doesn’t that make one a hypocrite when they attack other’s constantly and then complain when others fight back in the same way? Oh, that’s right if you defend yourself you are a whiner.
    Evelyn responds:
    When you attack Mexicans in general and Hispanic immigrants using lies, hate speech, misinformation and demonize them instead of being fair… have no defence. In essence you are guilty of inciting the crazies out there to commit violent acts.
    As long as you keep showing your racism and hate of Hispanic immigrants while hiding behind the ‘rule of law,’ using broken immigration laws that cant be inforced effectively the way they stand, many people, me included, will defend the Hispanic immigrants.
    Justice and equality must prevail for this country to survive.
    I see right through you. I will call it like it is. Racism and Hypocrisy at it’s best.

  • Frank
    July 4, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Quote Evelyn to Grandma:
    “I could use profanity and join you in your bar room cat brawl, but I choose not to LOWER myself to your level.”
    You may not use profanity but the names you call law abiding Americans in here over and over is just as vile.
    Are you saying that when it is mentioned that “some or many” but not all Mexican/Latino illegal aliens commit I.D. fraud, rape, murder, theft, depress wages, steal jobs from Americans, use our medical facilities without paying, etc. are lies? I don’t know of anyone who has said that they ALL do those things!
    I don’t hate Mexicans per se. I object to illegal immigration and feel our immigration laws need to be enforced. So that is a lie on YOUR part. I have never called you trash either. I do feel that you and those who think like you are ethnocentric racists, however. You say I hide behind the rule of law to conceal my racism? There is no proof of that and it isn’t true. You and yours say that about every American (particularly the white variety) who wants our immigration laws enforced. We aren’t the ones advocating rewards for those who are racially like ourselves hiding under some so-called compassion reserved for them but not your fellow Americans.
    What hypocricy? I view all illegals the same no matter what their nationality or ethnic makeup is. They ALL need to be deported!

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