Hillary Blasts Anti-Latino Rhetoric

September 15, 2007

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate on Hispanic Channel, UnivisionWhile we’re not normally a big fan of Hillary Clinton, we have to give her credit: at last, a politician has called the likes of Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly et al. on their breathtakingly mean-spirited comments and constant diarrhea of the mouth when it comes to Hispanics. In 20 years, the language used to inflame the American public about a border fence and immigration will sound just like racist comments against blacks sounded in earlier times: ignorant.

Michelle MalkinNot a day goes by that Dobbs and O’Reilly aren’t foaming at the mouth about “illegal immigration.” They’re in their glory when a Latino commits a felony (as if no Anglo ever does). Neo-con Michelle Malkin, of the appropriately named “Hot Air” website, gets her licks in, too. On one recent occasion when guest hosting O’Reilly’s show and in a discussion about crimes committed by Hispanics, she made it a point to state that she wasn’t referring to “innocent lettuce pickers.”

Apparently, some people’s prejudice is so deeply ingrained that they don’t even realize they’re making racist remarks. Sad. But then what can we expect from someone who wrote In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror, a horrendous tome which defended the internment of Japanese-Americans by the government during World War II which then ambitiously attempts to segue that shameful exercise in bigotry (which the United States government ultimately formally apologized for) into a corollary theme about the modern “War on Terror”?

Senator Clinton’s comments came last Sunday, in a Democratic Presidential debate televised by the Hispanic Univision channel. Regarding the current anti-Hispanic rhetoric which is so popular, Clinton said: “There are many in the political world and, frankly, in the broadcast world today that take a particular aim at the Latino population. . .I think it is very destructive. It undermines our unity as a country.”

Governor Bill Richardson, Heading President Clinton's Department of EnergyAll of the Democratic candidates except for Joe Biden (D-Del.) appeared for the debate, with some of the more interesting comments coming from someone who should know: the Spanish-speaking Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, who said that building a fence along the Mexican border was “a terrible example of Washington’s misguided policy. . .If you are going to build a 12-foot wall, you know what is going to happen? A lot of 13-foot ladders. This is a terrible symbol of America.” Interestingly, Governor Richardson has a track record of being able to work with minorities and indigenous peoples: In 1998, he created the Director for Native American Affairs position in President Clinton’s Department of Energy (DOE) and then oversaw the largest return of federal lands (84,000 acres) to the Northern Ute tribe of Utah in January 2000. He also overhauled the DOE’s consultation policies with Native American tribes and created the Tribal Energy Program. Thus far, he seems to be the only candidate with a positive track record of working well with indigenous peoples.

Senator John McCainWhile Univision also offered Republican candidates a debate platform, the plans were canceled when only one of the nine GOP candidates — Senator John McCain (R-Az.) — agreed to appear. That should send an interesting message to the growing ranks of Hispanic voters: You don’t matter. Among Republican presidential nitwits candidates, McCain has been the only one to support the immigration bill which failed in the Senate earlier this year. It’s really hard not to admire this man, who spent over five years as a POW at the Hoa Lo prison (the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”) afer his plane was shot down near Hanoi in 1967 during the Vietnam War. When the North Vietnamese learned that his father was the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command, (CINCPAC), commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, he was given a chance to return home. But McCain turned it down and spent an extra five years in prison because of his belief in the “first in, first out“ military principle. He would only accept the offer if everyone captured before him was released as well. Now comes the sticking point: He is firmly committed to our disastrous war in Iraq. Sigh.

Enjoy an immigration fairy tale.

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