Category Archives: Hate groups

Leprosy Lou says Adios

Dobbs liar

Tonight, Lou Dobbs hosted his last show ever on CNN. Yes, our dear friend Lou has officially resigned from the nation’s ‘most trusted name in news’ to bring his special blend of xenophobia and hate-mongering elsewhere.

This is incredible news and due in no small part to the efforts of the Drop Dobbs and Basta Dobbs campaigns who have put increasingly more pressure on CNN to fire Lou.

Check out his goodbye speech in the clip below. I love when he says that

“issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion.”

I wonder if by forthright analysis he means spreading lies about the waves of immigrants infecting Americans with leprosy without a single shred of factual evidence to back it up.

But, I digress. Here’s Lou:

This marks a big victory in the fight against hate and anti-immigrant fervor in our country, but its only one small step in the right direction. Lou will, inevitably, find another pulpit from which to spout his dangerous rhetoric, and we will continue to counter with the truth and justice on our side.

But for now, mark one for the good guys.

As Eric Burns, president of Media Matters said:

“This is a happy day for all those who care about this nation of immigrants and believe in the power of media to elevate the political discourse.”

For a round-up of coverage check out Jackie Mahendra’s post over at the America’s Voice blog.

Town Halls, Death Panels and Anti-Immigrant Extremism: Why the recent rash of hate scares me.

I am blogging this morning from my hotel room in Pittsburgh, where I’m eagerly awaiting the New Organizing Institute Summit, before the start of Netroots Nation on Thursday. I’ve had the TV on in the background, listening to the morning news shows – something I never have the luxury to do at home. And, I have to be honest, the coverage of all of the healthcare town halls and the angry mobs descending upon them is frightening. Not just because of the overwhelming amount of misinformation being circulated (and bought into), but the sheer amount of blind hate people are spewing at anything and everything they view as “other” than them.

With this context in mind, I’m going to post a video that was captured at a recent New Hampshire town hall. For those of us in the immigration fight, this type of vitriol is nothing new – but in light of the frenzied screaming matches occurring all over the country, I feel like hate speech like this is being more and more legitimized. I mean, at one point in this video, you can here these lines:

“Send [illegal immigrants] home with a bullet in the head the second time”

“Read what Jefferson said about the Tree of Liberty – it’s coming baby.”

[Jefferson said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”]

If that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, I’m not sure what will. The bottom line is, we must find a way to counter this hate.

h/t to Jackie at America’s Voice and Kyle at Citizen Orange for this.

Sotomayor should change her last name to be more “Anglo”

krikorianMark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (one of the “big three” anti-immigrant groups in the country), is now Keith Olbermann’s ‘Worst Person in the World’.

My fellow pro-migrant bloggers and I have been exposing CIS and Krikorian as part of the hate-mongering anti-immigrant lobby for a while, but his recent attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor have really brought that exposure to a new level.

This week, Krikorian blasted Sotomayor because of the pronunciation of her last name. No, really. That’s all the guy could come up with in order to criticize the newly nominated Supreme Court justice. Said Krikorian:

Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. And there are basically two options — the newcomer adapts to us, or we adapt to him. And multiculturalism means there’s a lot more of the latter going on than there should be.

Click here to watch Keith Olbermann put Krikorian on blast  as the “Worst Person in the World” for this ridiculously xenophobic statement. Its definitely worth the 2 minutes of your time. And, by they way, as a person with a last name that is difficult for most Americans, I am highly insulted by the idea that just because people have a hard time saying my name I should forego hundreds of years of family history to cater to their ineptitude. Just sayin’.sotomayor 2

The bigger story here is that Krikorian, who has been a resource for publications such as the NY Times, is an extremist whose viewpoints are not credible and should not be treated as such. America’s Voice has released a new report, giving Krikorian’s background, including his ties to the hate group FAIR. Click here to read the full report and post from AV. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with another gem from our friend Krikorian:

While in the past there may well have been too much social pressure for what sociologists call Anglo-conformity, now there isn’t enough. I think that’s a concern that most Americans share at some level…

And this guy is considered a “reliable source” of information on immigration-related issues? Yikes. More evidence of how the extreme has become mainstream in the immigration debate. It’s time to return to common sense, people. Sotomayor’s last name is not a threat to America. I can’t believe I even had to type that.

ThinkProgress: After Obama’s Election, Right-Wing Extremists ‘May Be Gaining New Recruits’

This post went up today at Think Progress about a new DHS report that since November’s election of Barack Obama, right-wing extremists and hate groups are targeting a much wider audience, looking for new recruits. Immigrant rights advocates  know all too well how hate speech and vitriolic rhetoric is being tossed around these days.

From Think Progress:

Throughout the presidential campaign, the public saw extreme right-wing rhetoric on display at several McCain rallies, with some yelling “kill him” about President Obama — and others even calling him a “terrorist.”

The extreme right — those who are “hate-oriented,” “mainly antigovernment,” or those dedicated to a “single issue” — is a legitimate threat that law enforcement must deal with, according to a new assessment from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The report, which was coordinated with the FBI and is being given to federal, state, and local law enforcement, warns:

[R]ightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

Most extremists have made “rhetorical” statements and have “stopp[ed] short of calls for violent action,” but since the 2008 election, right-wing extremists are “reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.” Some highlights from the report:

Anti-immgration: “Rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.”

Recruiting returning vets: “Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

Gun-related violence: “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms … may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.”

If the “uncertain economy” and a “perceived rising influence of other countries” continues, “rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength,” the report adds. “[L]one wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

The DHS under President Bush was apparently more reluctant to make such assessments about the right. According to CQ, a 2005 report outlining terrorist threats “does not mention anti-government groups, white supremacists and other radical right-wing movements.” Bush’s report did, however, list the threat of left-wing groups such as the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. And a 2001 report from the Energy Department examined “Left-Wing Extremism: The Current Threat.”

Conservative bloggers — such Michelle Malkin and Newsbusters — are up in arms over the report. A DHS official responded to the right’s criticism, noting that DHS did an assessment of left-wing extremism in January. “This is nothing unusual. … This is about awareness,” the official said.

Confessions of a Nativist

Citizen Orange has a fascinating post up about a former anti-migrant activist who has seen the error of his ways.

In July 2007 Robb Pearson held an anti-immigrant rally titled and themed a Pro-America Rally. Today Robb is an activist for humanity after realizing that there is nothing inherently good within or about the anti-immigrant movement. Anti-BVBL has pointed us to two videos where Robb goes into why he became an anti-migrant activist, the mindset of the anti-migrant activist and why he decided to remove himself from that movement.

Civil Rights Groups Condemn Recent Hate Crimes

I have had the unfortunate task of covering the brutal murders of both Marcelo Lucero and Luis Ramirez on this blog. I have also posted several times on the spike in hate crimes against Latinos that is being witnessed in the United States. The hate speech and the vitriolic rhetoric surrounding the issue of immigration has created a violent and dangerous environment for all immigrants, and specifically Latinos.

lucero5Yesterday, national organizations gathered to denounce the recent rash of Hate Crimes and to call for more agressive investigation and prosection of these crimes at both the local and the federal levels.

“We believe that the Justice Department has to become more aggressive in prosecuting hate crimes,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, one of the nation’s historic civil rights organizations. “As a country, we’ve come a long way, but there is still more change needed.”

“Hate crimes such as these must be investigated and prosecuted fully at the local and federal levels,” stated John Trasviña, MALDEF President and General Counsel.

Additionally, the organizations connected the dots between hate speech and the violence inflicted on immigrants. It is time to call for an end to the dehumanization of immigrants that allows unthinkable stop_hate12violence and hatred to enter into the mainstream.

“There is a direct connection between the tenor of the political debate and the daily lives of immigrants in our communities. It is no accident that, as the immigration debate has demonized immigrants as “invaders” who poison our communities with disease and criminality, haters have taken matters into their own hands and hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise for the fourth consecutive,” said Michael Lieberman, Washington Counsel, Anti-Defamation League.

While the groups cited Barack Obama’s election as marker for how far we’ve come as a nation, they also emphasize that is a starting point, from which to build on for a more hopeful and less hateful future.

For more on what you can do, check out And to see video from the press conference – click here.

As most feel Hope, Hate still lingers

This past week an Ecuadorian immigrant named Marcello Lucero was murdered on Long Island. His attackers were seven local high school boys. Does this story line sound familiar? Remember Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA? Remember how he was killed? By a group of hateful high school students.

They told police they wanted to beat up someone who looked Hispanic.

That was the motive, police said, that a mob of seven young men had in mind when they attacked a Patchogue man, who ended up being stabbed to death minutes before midnight Saturday, Suffolk police said.

“These individuals told detectives that they were looking to beat someone of Latino heritage,” said Det. Lt Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the homicide squad, adding that the victim, Marcello Lucero, 37, is of Ecuadorian descent.

Fitzpatrick said the seven suspects drove around Patchogue searching for victims and found Lucero and another Ecuadorian man.

 Its hard to fully wrap my head around this idea. These boys were searching for a person of Hispanic heritage – ANY person of hispanic heritage. Where does this intense hatred come from? What did Lucero do to merit this extreme violence?

Some people will chalk this up to boys being boys, but as Duke at The Sanctuary said: HATE DOES NOT HAPPEN IN A VACUUM. Marcello Lucero’s murder is a reminder that while immigrants have made their voices heard politically during this past election, there is still much to be done.

Check out the roundup of coverage of Lucero’s murder after the jump. I will be sure to keep you updated with any new developments.

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Another Year and More Hate Crimes Against Latinos

Earlier this week, the FBI released a report documenting Hate Crime Statistics in 2007. Much like every other year since 2003, the number of hate crimes directed at Latinos has increased.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center blog:

As anti-immigrant propaganda has increased on both the margins and in the mainstream of society — where pundits and politicians have routinely vilified undocumented Latino immigrants with a series of defamatory falsehoods — hate violence has risen against perceived “illegal aliens.” Each year since 2003, the number of FBI-reported anti-Latino hate crime incidents has risen (see table, below), even as a swelling nativist movement has become larger and more vitriolic.

Anti-Hispanic Hate Crimes

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When the Extreme Becomes Mainstream

Last week, I mentioned a recent Pew Hispanic Center Study which found that 1 in 10 Latinos has been stopped and asked about their immigration status by police or other authorities.

While this is certainly the most shocking statistic to come out of the study, it is only the tip of the iceberg for Latinos living in this country.

From the Huffington post:

One in seven Latinos are reporting ethnic discrimination in finding or keeping a job and 10% said the same thing about housing. But the most stunning finding is that nearly one-in-ten Hispanic adults–native-born US citizens and immigrants alike–report that, in the past year, the police or other authorities have stopped them and asked them about their immigration status. One in ten Latinos were stopped and asked for “papers.” What can that statistic represent other than a gross abuse of power by federal and local authorities?

Vicious public denunciations of undocumented, brown-skinned immigrants — once limited to hard-core white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists — are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, media pundits, and politicians and are surely fueling the problems that Latinos are facing.

While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from Mexico and Central America as ‘invaders,’ ‘criminal aliens,’ and ‘cockroaches.’

The hate speech that is fueling the current anti-migrant fervor has somehow left the area of “hard core” or “extremist” thought and trickled into the mainstream, becoming pervasive on shows like Lou Dobbs Tonight or Bill O’Reilly and pushed by hate groups like FAIR.

We must stand up to the powers that want to dehumanize and entire portion of the population.

Living in fear of deportation and discrimination and worrying about your livelihood and safety is no way to live and it’s certainly not how Americans expect to live. In fact, it’s the sort of life that our forefathers sought to protect us from. Debate, discussion, and disagreement around the pressing immigration issue are natural, legitimate, and necessary. Hate, fear and vitriol rhetoric are not.

And the Dobbsy Goes To….

Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” introduced a new award for all the spewers of hate speech out there: the Dobbsy. As symsess at The Sanctuary astutely pointed out, its kind of like a Dundie (shout-out to my fellow fans of the Office), but its for media hatemongers, rather than for office workers like Jim Halpert.

Today on CNN, Lou Dobbs kicks off his “Independent Convention” — his answer to the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions of the past two weeks.

We figured this would be a great time to introduce a new tongue-in-cheek award, to be given to “mainstream” figures — politicians, pundits, preachers and pedants — who make utterly false or misleading statements that have the effect of denigrating or defaming an entire group of people.

Naturally, we’re calling it the Dobbsy.

To get us into the spirit of things, we reprint here a short but unforgettable extract of Dobbs’ interview with Lesley Stahl (full disclosure: I criticized Dobbs in that same “60 Minutes” segment”), which aired on May 6, 2007:

STAHL: We checked and found a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying 7,000 is the number of leprosy cases over the last 30 years, not the past three, and nobody knows how many of those cases involved immigrants. Now we went to try and check that number, 7,000. We can’t. Just so you know…

DOBBS: Well, I can tell you this. If we reported it, it’s a fact.

STAHL: You can’t tell me that. You did report it…

DOBBS: Well, no, I just did.

STAHL: How can you guarantee that to me?

DOBBS: Because I’m the managing editor, and that’s the way we do business. We don’t make up numbers, Lesley. Do we?

I think that gives our intrepid readers an idea of what we’re looking for. Go out, be fruitful, and send us your findings. It won’t be long before we award the first Dobbsy. They say they don’t make up numbers. But do they?

I love it. And since I don’t have a pic of a Dobbsy and I don’t want to cop the one from the SPLC website, I’ve posted a Dundie just for fun. Amid all the hate speech, we need a good laugh every once in a while.