TOPICS Immigration Right-wing extremism
Arizona's immigration battle becomes a major nexus for white supremacists and the 'mainstream'
By David Neiwert
Thursday Jun 10, 2010 12:00pm
Referenced video can be found here:
Videographer Dennis Gilman attended last weekend's "Phoenix Rising" rally in Phoenix last weekend and made this amazing video. You really have to watch it to believe it.
My favorite moment is the woman who believes there is a "radical Islamic Mexican Catholic movement" that "has been taking over our nation and getting rid of and killing American citizens".
But notice: There are a number of familiar faces here, most notably Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce. These are guys who show up on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC as spokesmen for SB1070, presented nominally as the "mainstream conservatives" who championed the law that they're all defending as having garnered so much popular support, etc. etc.
Of course, as we've noted previously, both Arpaio and Pearce have long histories of playing footsie with neo-Nazis and various other white supremacists and flaming hatemongers.
So it really is not a surprise to see them cavorting about and rubbing shoulders in a perfectly comfortable way with such folks at this rally.
But then, consider that the "Phoenix Rising" rally was actually organized by Barbara Coe, leader of the nativist group California Coalition for Immigration Reform, which led the fight to pass the anti-immigrant Prop 187 back in 1994. You see, CCIR has a sordid history that led to their being designated a "hate group" by the SPLC:
Vitriolic, conspiracy-minded and just plain mean, Coe routinely refers to Mexicans as "savages." She claims to have exposed a secret Mexican plan (the "Plan de Aztlan") to reconquer the American Southwest. Last May, at a "Unite to Fight" anti-immigration summit in Las Vegas, she launched the kind of defamatory rant for which she is infamous. "We are suffering robbery, rape and murder of law-abiding citizens at the hands of illegal barbarians," she warned her cowering audience, "who are cutting off heads and appendages of blind, white, disabled gringos."
More recently, she attacked the new Hispanic mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, accusing him of seeking to return Southern California to Mexico.
But the most curious thing about the former police clerk -- whose friends have said she told them she was forced from her job in 1994, after using a city-owned camera to photograph people she thought were illegal aliens -- may be her offhand comments to the Denver Post this November. In a profile of her close friend, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the paper said Coe described speaking to and belonging to the Council of Conservative Citizens. That group, which has called blacks "a retrograde species of humanity," has long been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group -- as has Coe's own California Coalition for Immigration Reform.
Even more recently, Coe has attack the current president as well:
Barak [sic] Obama and his anti-American "czars" are taking a page from Hitler's Nazi Germany playbook - only worse, much worse. Be afraid, be very afraid!
This is precisely what Rep. Linda Sanchez was accurately describing last week:
“There’s a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups,” she continued “It’s been documented. It’s not mainstream politics. (Legislators) are being approached by folks, who are front organizations for white supremacist hate groups. They propose the language of these bills and get people to carry these bills in the state legislatures.”
Of course, you'll notice that the Fox News freakout over Sanchez's remarks quickly subsided and the issue quietly went away. Maybe because their researchers realized that it Sanchez was right.
Or maybe they had crews out in Arizona last weekend, and discovered the truth for themselves.
[Be sure and visit Gilman's YouTube Channel, which has lots of excellent videos in a similar vein.]