"Shoot Illegal Immigrants Like Pigs"

March 20, 2011

Last week State Rep. Peck (R) declared that the best way to deal with illegal immigration "may be the same way the state deals with feral hogs ––by shooting them from a helicopter." The remark was made in a committee meeting where the discussion focused on how to control 500 feral pigs in Kansas.

Apparently, the despicable remark was an attempt at a joke. It is not funny at all, but it does serve as one more example that shows the mindset of too many ignorant lawmakers or candidates.

Previously, congressional candidate Pat Bertroche, a Republican who was running for Iowa's 3rd District Congressional primary, suggested that microchip tracking devices be planted in illegal aliens so they could be tracked like animals. As quoted in the Huffington Post:
"I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going," said Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician. "I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?
Another candidate, Republican Tom Mullins who was running for a New Mexico seat, suggested placing land mines along the Mexico border. Yes, he suggested killing those who dare to cross the border illegally with land mines.

All of the remarks are examples of racist hate speech. Hate speech that is promoted not just by a few ignorant candidates and elected officials, but by racist, anti-immigrant groups, like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Hate speech is not free speech.

Hate speech incites hate crimes. In Suffolk County New York, County Executive Steve Levy is a well followed anti-immigrant basher who has held office since 2004. The official co-founded Mayors and Executives for Immigration Reform, a national group that promotes immigrant-cleansing ordinances. The SPLC reports that he described critics of the organization as "Communists" and "anarchists."

In November 2008 a Suffolk County teen stabbed and killed Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant. The New York Times reported:
Mr. Lucero's death exposed racial tensions on eastern Long Island and caused a number of Hispanic residents to come forward saying they were the victims of harassment and assaults. Advocates for immigrants criticized the Suffolk County Police Department for failing to fully investigate complaints of assaults on Latinos, and also criticized some county leaders and politicians for fueling the hostility with anti-immigrant statements. Federal authorities began an investigation of the department's handling of reports of racially motivated attacks on Hispanics.

Prosecutors said Mr. Lucero, 37, who worked at a dry cleaning shop, was surrounded and attacked by Mr. Conroy and six others in a parking lot of the Patchogue train station shortly before midnight on Nov. 8, 2008. Mr. Lucero and a friend were walking to another friend's house as the group approached. The two men were taunted before Mr. Lucero was stabbed.

The U.S. Civil rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into discriminatory policing of Latinos in Suffolk County a month after Mr. Lucero's death.  The investigation includes whether the county properly handled hate crime investigations.  (Such an investigation should be instituted in the CNMI especially concerning the recent beating of an innocent  Chinese worker by a Saipan police officer and no arrest.)

In February, two Pennsylvania teens were convicted of beating and killing 25-year-old Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez. The jury determined that he died as a result of his race and ethnicity. During the trial it was revealed that the teens felt that Ramirez was “somehow worthy of being beaten like a dog in the streets” because of his ethnicity. 

Where do youth get these ideas? From parents, peers, and yes, our elected 'leaders'. Any elected official who engages in hate speech should be removed from office.

The Southern Law Poverty Center recently released its annual Intelligence Report that investigates and exposes hate groups in the United States. The SPLC identified 1,002 active hate, anti-government and anti-immigrant groups in 2010. That is 1,002 too many.

The report found three strands in  the 'radical right' ––"hatemongers, the nativists and the antigovernment zealots." From their report:
What may be most remarkable is that this growth of right-wing extremism came even as politicians around the country, blown by gusts from the Tea Parties and other conservative formations, tacked hard to the right, co-opting many of the issues important to extremists. Last April, for instance, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070, the harshest anti-immigrant law in memory, setting off a tsunami of proposals for similar laws across the country. Continuing growth of the radical right could be curtailed as a result of this shift, especially since Republicans, many of them highly conservative, recaptured the U.S. House last fall.

But despite those historic Republican gains, the early signs suggest that even as the more mainstream political right strengthens, the radical right has remained highly energized. In an 11-day period this January, a neo-Nazi was arrested headed for the Arizona border with a dozen homemade grenades; a terrorist bomb attack on a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, Wash., was averted after police dismantled a sophisticated anti-personnel weapon; and a man who officials said had a long history of antigovernment activities was arrested outside a packed mosque in Dearborn, Mich., and charged with possessing explosives with unlawful intent. That’s in addition, the same month, to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, an attack that left six dead and may have had a political dimension.

...There also are new attempts by nativist forces to roll back birthright citizenship, which makes all children born in the U.S. citizens. Such laws have been introduced this year in Congress, and a coalition of state legislators is promising to do the same in their states. And then there’s Oklahoma, where 70% of voters last November approved a measure to forbid judges to consider Islamic law in the state’s courtrooms — a completely groundless fear, but one pushed nonetheless by Islamophobes. Since then, lawmakers have promised to pass similar laws in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll this January captured the atmosphere well. It found that 82% of Americans saw their country’s political discourse as “negative.” Even more remarkably, the poll determined that 49% thought that negative tone could or already had encouraged political violence.
(Read the report here; support SLPC here.)


Anonymous said...

Anyone care to start a campaign to have his license taken away for that microchipping comment? While what he said is perfectly legal, medical licensing boards hold physicians to a higher standard, and have have pulled licenses for lesser offenses. Iowa Board of Medicine http://medicalboard.iowa.gov/ licensee Bertroche, J Patrick license# 03220

Anonymous said...

SPLC is a fine organization, but could you also put in a plug for the ACLU, which has been working on behalf of immigrants on a larger scale and for a longer time than SPLC has? http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights

Wendy said...

Anonymous 2:38

The SLPC and ACLU are two of the 5 organizations that I donate to every year. I have been a member of the ACLU since I was 17 and yes, they support immigrants' rights. Both organizations have taken cases on behalf of immigrants, gays and lesbians, the homeless and others who are victims of abuses and discrimination. I started the first ACLU Club ever established in a Florida high school. When the administration at the school said it was "subversive" and we had to disband the club, we got the ACLU to sue. We won! Oh the stories I could tell about the ACLU and how they have helped people that I know. They are a great organization.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 7:31. ACLU protects everyone's freedoms.

Anonymous said...

Interesting fact on this Illegal immigrant thing, that was just recently brought to my attention, that I did not know nor had heard of before..

NOTE;This is a FACT not my personal opinions.

During the Great Depression, president Hoover deported all Illegals in the U.S. to allow the Citizens to occupy the available jobs.

After WWII, President Truman deported 2 million Illegals to make jobs for the returning Vets.

In 1954 President Eisenhower deported 13Mil. Mexicans (the number depending on which recorded account)
That was named "Operation Wet Back"
This was to allow jobs for the returning Korean war vets.
Many of those deported included American immigrant children.
(search operation wetback)

And what did President Reagan do?

Anonymous said...

3:59 and your point is?????????

Anonymous said...

Reagan gave amnesty.
Those are all past actions with an ongoing problem.
What action will this present Admin. take? If any. Deportation? Amnesty or all talk for many more years and then pass it on to the next Admin.
Besides this is more like trivia, I do not remember anything about 'deportations' during Eisenhower time, nor had ever heard about the others actions. It was not in my history books.