Tag Archives: NCLR

Immigrant Inclusion and the Health Care Debate

health care

While there is a lot of national attention on the health care debate at the moment, we shouldn’t forget that immigration and health care intersect in various and meaningful ways. Health care reform that doesn’t include access for immigrants would be a loss for the whole country. From NCLR:

…the positive impact of several reform proposals on the table may be undermined by additional measures that would severely restrict access to health coverage by mandating new, expensive verification and documentation procedures. “This debate should be about health care for all, and setting the nation on a pathway to future health and well-being. Adding layers of immigrant verification and bureaucratic red tape to a new health care system would guarantee that millions of citizen children are effectively barred from accessing preventive care and would raise the cost of health care,” Murguía noted.

“For this reason, we are extremely concerned that some view health reform as a way to scapegoat immigrants,” Murguía continued. “We agree that the immigration system needs to be fixed, but address that problem separately through immigration reform. The best way to reduce costs in our health care system is to ensure that people do not have to follow a long paper trail to get to the doctor and that everyone shares the costs of a new system. Making health care easier to use and accessible for all workers and children is simple common sense.”

Let’s hope that as the health care debate moves forward, a common-sense and inclusive approach is taken.

Hearings to Confirm Sotomayor will start in July

sotomayor poster

According to today’s NY Times, confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor will begin July 13th. We all know her nomination has been surrounded in controversy – mostly from the usual crowd of extremists, but here’s to hoping her confirmation goes smoothly.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the confirmation panel, says that the confirmation process could be over and done with as soon as the close of session in August. That is,

…unless some people put up the kind of obstacles that were not raised for the confirmation of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. four years ago.

Let’s be honest, the anti-Latino, reverse racism crying crowd are certainly going to be raising obstacles, but let’s hope the process is rooted in Sotomayor’s voting record, which incidentally has gotten fairly little media coverage. Take action and sign the petition from NCLR to RNC Chairman Michael Steele to stop the attacks on Latinos and Sotomayor.

Props to Favianna Rodriguez, the artist behind the lovely poster at the top of this post.

ACTION: Sign the Petition to Stop the Smear Campaign against Sotomayor and NCLR

So we all knew that the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor would bring the extreme attacks from the usual crowd. What we didn’t know is exactly how far they would go.

Last week, Tom Tancredo (the ever-present anti-immigrant xenophobe from Colorado) called the National Council of La Raza (who Sotomayor is affiliated with) “‘a Latino KKK without the hoods and the nooses”. This attack on NCLR, which is a Latino advocacy organization that does great work to aid in education and civil rights for Latinos and people of color in the United States, is based solely on the inclusion of “La Raza” (the race) in their title.

From NCLR:

This outburst was reprehensible not only to Hispanics and communities of color, but to all Americans who want to put this ugly chapter of our history behind us.

Check out the video below to see Janet Murguia, the president and CEO of the NCLR, respond to Tancredo’s outrageous claims.

Help stop the smear campaign against Sotomayor and NCLR by signing THIS PETITION to Chairman Michael Steele of the RNC to condemn these statements as soon as possible.

And, for the record, from TPM:

literal translation [of La Raza]  is “The Race” (according to their Web site, other possibilities include “the people” and “the community”) and in the full linguistic context it refers essentially to advancing the civil rights and economic opportunities of Latinos. As a comparison, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People does not propose to oppress non-blacks, and the American Jewish Committee doesn’t aim to keep the Gentiles down.

And, as a Latin American Studies student, I know that “La Raza” comes from “La Raza Cosmica”, a term coined by Jose Vasconcelos, a Mexican intelectual in an essay from 1925. Vasconcelos’ notion of the “cosmic race” was the combination of various races and ethnicities into one “cosmic” people or community. His term actually blurs racial lines, as opposed to sharpening them. Maybe this should be some required reading for Mr. Tancredo…

Fireside Chat with Janet Murguia of NCLR

Janet Murguia, President and CEO of National Council of La Raza, is launching a series of “fireside chats” discussing issues affecting the Latino community. Immigration is sure to be on the list. Check out the first installment below:

ACTION: News Briefing on Rise in Hate Crimes

stop_hate11This Monday, national civil rights organizations will hold a news briefing to denounce the rise in hate crimes affecting communities of color across the country.

Last Friday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m., members of the community held a candlelight vigil for Marcello Lucero at the Patchogue Train Station.

Calling it a “wake up call for America,” four national civil rights organizations will hold a joint news conference on Monday, November 24 to denounce the recent wave of brutal hate crimes against communities of color.

Representatives from NCLR, the Asian American Justice Center, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) will address the recent FBI report on the rise in hate crimes nationally, as well as a number of other incidents of hate during and since the election.

The event will include streaming video and telephonic dial-in capabilities.

Raul Yzaguirre Building
1126 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036


(866) 835-8893

Read the complete WCBS-TV article:  www.wcbstv.com/topstories/hate.crime.bias.2.861881.html

Man Arrested for Death Threats Against Immigrant Advocate Group

With the increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate speech that we have seen from many nativists in the mainstream media, it is no surprise that the number of hate crimes against Latinos has risen dramatically in the past few years.

Earlier this month, I posted on a North Carolina man who was arrested for making death threats he made against leaders of the National Council of La Raza.

In his email to NCLR, Szaz referred to Hispanics using a racial epithet and threatened to kill members of the staff and splay their bodies.  NCLR and other community advocates believe that this has to be seen as a part of a larger pattern of hate directed at immigrants, as the debate on immigration continues to loom in the national psyche. 

In yet another example of this larger pattern of hate, a Maryland man was arrested this week because of bomb threats he made against the immigrant rights group CASA de Maryland.

Continue reading

ACTION: Join the Call for Steve Bizzell’s Resignation

Yesterday, I posted about Steve Bizzell, the Sherriff from North Carolina who has made racist and inflammatory remarks about Latinos.

Now, the National Council of La Raza, through their We Can Stop the Hate website, is staging a campaign to force Bizell to resign.

In a recent article in Raleigh’s The News & Observer, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell was quoted accusing Latinos of “breeding like rabbits,” calling Mexicans “trashy,” and stating, “When people think about illegal Mexicans, you know the first thing they think of?  Driving drunk and shooting.”These are just some of the inflammatory things that Steve Bizzell had to say about Latinos.  As a result, a coalition of progressive groups in North Carolina has asked that the Johnston County commissioners push for Bizzell’s resignation. 

Not only is Sheriff Bizzell still on the job, he can even be seen featured in a campaign ad supporting Senator Elizabeth Dole.
Help us make the case that bigotry has no place in the sheriff’s office or on the campaign trail.  If you live in North Carolina, write to North Carolina’s congressional delegation to ask them to support the call for Sherriff Bizzell’s resignation. If you don’t live in North Carolina, you can still write to your own state representatives.  Stand up to hate by forwarding this message to five of your friends and encouraging them to sign up for We Can Stop the Hate Alerts.  


Together, we can make a difference. 
The National Council of La Raza


Man who Sent Death-threat to Latino Group sentenced to Jail Time

Last week, Michael Szaz was sentenced to 45 days in prison and 100 hours of community service for a death threat he sent to leaders at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

In his email to NCLR, Szaz referred to Hispanics using a racial epithet and threatened to kill members of the staff and splay their bodies.  NCLR and other community advocates believe that this has to be seen as a part of a larger pattern of hate directed at immigrants, as the debate on immigration continues to loom in the national psyche.  Szaz’s prosecution sends an important message to others engaging in this type of action that it is a federal crime punishable in a court of law. 

This is a victory for those who are working to end the violent hate-speech threatening the Latino community in the United States.

According to the FBI, hate crimes targeting Latinos have risen steadily in the last few years.  Through its website, http://www.wecanstopthehate.org/, NCLR has been working to raise awareness of this increase and the ties to white supremacy and eugenics that many of the anti-immigrant groups have.