RobbDogg's Rips

Serving the online community to bring awareness to political and social issues affecting Liberals and Progressives. Podcasts are posted every Monday morning and original commentaries are posted throughout the week.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Latest Commentary For Radio News America

Here's my latest commentary that will appear on Radio News America later today. I thought I could become a miracle worker by helping a hate group clean up it's act. I'm throwing down a challenge for the Ventura, California-based Save Our State organization to practice what they preach on their web site.

I also expose why they could be classified as a hate group rather than a peaceful, anti-illegal immigration organization...

What Are They Fighting For?

Original commentary by Robbie Michaels
July 7th, 2005

Some people just don't get it. You give them a valid reason in response to their question, yet they still press on because they’re ignorant or refuse to believe the truth. No, I'm not talking about John Conyers and his ongoing battle to get the Bush Administration to talk about the Downing Street Memos. I'm talking about an anti-illegal immigration organization that is still protesting artwork on display in Baldwin Park, California.

Save Our State, the Ventura-based anti-illegal immigration group, held their second protest in Baldwin Park on June 26th. If you remember my June 10th commentary “Spreading The Gospel of Xenophobia”, Joseph Turner led a group of 50 American flag-waving and sign-carrying protestors seeking to have the inscriptions, “It was better before they came,” and “This land was Mexican once, Indian always, and will be again,” removed from the 20-foot-high arch at the Metrolink station.
On the official Save Our State web site, they claim they are
committed to educating California’s citizens about the disastrous effects of illegal immigration and creating a positive change through aggressive activism and advocacy. If that’s a fact, then I have to question this organization’s motives two weekends ago. Are they really protesting the artwork in Baldwin Park, or do they have another, more sinister agenda?

Consider the following facts:

  • The artist commissioned to create the artwork 12 years ago, Judy Baca, mentioned the quote “it was better before they came”, was originally uttered by a “white man from Arkansas” who complained about the arrival of Mexican-Americans after World War II.
  • Baca also mentioned that the artwork is a “layered history piece” that honors American Indians, immigrants, and other groups that have lived in the area for centuries.
  • In a video interview performed by Santa Barbara right-wing talk show host Charles Kirkby during the June 26th protest, an American flag-bearing Turner disclosed that he used to be a resident of Baldwin Park.
  • Despite the fact he is a former Baldwin Park resident, Turner never publicly complained about the artwork at the Metrolink station until two months ago.
  • Save Our State was formed eight months ago, roughly the same time The Minutemen Project was launched.
  • On their web page explaining who they are, Save Our State uses fear and hatred to appeal to potential members by painting a mental picture of their neighborhood being “ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool.”
  • Another page on their site refers to the Golden State as “Mexifornia” and shows photos of alleged illegal aliens gathering on street corners and sidewalks.
  • Yet another page of their site has a Mexican Racialist Hall of Shame.
  • Their forum board administrator uses the illegal alien crossing highway sign as its avatar.
  • Photos taken at the last protest show a protestor holding a sign stating, “assimilate or vacate”, and identified one protestor as Jim Chase, the organizer of the Minute Man Project.
  • Another photo in the same thread identifies two protestors as members of the Minute Man Project.
  • Some members of their message board use avatars and screen names to poke fun of Mexican culture, speech, and in one case asks for “a day without a Mexican, please?”
  • One message board member has started a petition to stop the practice of using the Mexican ID card as valid identification for dispensing public services and benefits in Ventura County.

To be fair and impartial, I have to ask Joseph Turner and members of Save Our State the following questions:

What does this protest have to do with illegal immigration? From the pictures and video I saw, your protest did nothing to help solve the problem. The only thing you accomplished was

wasting the city’s resources for the use of policemen to keep more water bottles from being hurled at you.

What border were the Minutemen patrolling that afternoon? The last time I looked at a Thomas Brothers’ map, Baldwin Park was at least 100 miles away from the Mexican border. Were they there to protect the Irwindale city limit from Baldwin Park residents? I’m just curious.

Why are some members on the message board
actively trying to join with the black community to protest the offensive postage stamp in Mexico? This issue didn’t take place within our own borders, and has absolutely nothing to do with stopping illegal immigration. What purpose does it serve for you to prey on the black communities’ anger, other than the fact you are being opportunistic in trying to turn them against Mexicans?

Joseph Turner, you and your organization are not doing anything positive to end illegal immigration in this country. Your site’s message board is a haven for racist propaganda posted by fellow board members, and only serves to bait opposing views into committing racist remarks of their own.

Not only that, but the fact that you were a former Baldwin Park resident and only now are protesting what you view as seditious artwork makes your claim disingenuous. I find it hard to believe you never knew the artwork existed, and I’m sure there are others out there who feel this way.

Based on what I’ve read on the Save Our State web site and the message board, it is my opinion that guests could classify your organization as a hate group. Although you do not promote violence or call Mexicans racist names, you are no more effective at stopping illegal immigration than the
White Aryan Resistance.

Joseph, I do not agree with what you and your organization are doing, but I’m going to be fair and give you guys some constructive criticism to help your cause.

If you and your members are genuinely serious about making a difference in illegal immigration, then I suggest you stop worrying about artwork in a city you no longer reside in, or the use of the Mexican ID card as valid identification. All you’re doing is harassing Mexicans who are already here, and I’m certain some of them are here in the United States legally.

You should
recommit yourself and your organization to do what you say you’re going to do about illegal immigration: create positive change.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Do something to help the federal government enforce the current anti-immigration laws already in place. Did you know that there’s a loophole that allows illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico to blend into the general population because we cannot afford to detain and deport them back to their country of origin?
  • Remove the hateful images of Mexicans from your website.
  • Ban the use of avatars that could be offensive to Mexican-Americans.

Save Our State, this is your one chance to save yourselves and your reputation. If you choose not to practice what you preach, then the general public will never take you seriously in your future endeavors.


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