Ironic spreading of hatred and fear

Paul Campos

on Tom Tancredo's latest ad:

"There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs," a voice intones. "Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil, jihadists who froth with hate, here to do as they have in London, Spain, Russia. The price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill."

Yikes. Crazy fear-mongering bigot doesn't begin to describe this tool of the ruling class. Campos nails it:

A couple of ironies will leap out at anyone who isn’t trembling at the thought of backpack-wielding jihadists disguised as hooded Mexican gangbangers blowing up Santa and his reindeer at the local Galleria during this busy holiday season.

The first is that by far the most successful terrorist movement in American political history was inspired by the same nativist and racist ideology that underlies Tancredo's radical immigration views.

I refer to the history of the post-Reconstruction South, where a decades-long terrorist campaign carried out by private citizens, often with the tacit support or active participation of local government and law enforcement, managed to undo much of what was accomplished during the Civil War and the years immediately afterward.

The post-Goldwater Republican Party, of course, has drawn much of its electoral strength from the resentment and rage the modern civil rights movement engendered when it conducted its own war on terror, and rolled back the legal aparthied the Southern terrorists and their sympathizers had imposed on African-Americans for nearly a century.

The second irony is captured nicely in a quote from a 1939 Life magazine story on Joe DiMaggio, brought to my attention by Matt Yglesias: "Although he learned Italian first, Joe, now 24, speaks English without an accent and is otherwise well-adapted to most U.S. mores. Instead of olive oil or smelly bear grease he keeps his hair slick with water. He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti." The article includes a photo, captioned "Like Heavyweight Champion (Joe) Louis, DiMaggio is lazy, shy, and inarticulate."

Tancredo, whose grandparents were Italian immigrants, doesn't need to be reminded that, until fairly recently, Italian-Americans were considered only imperfectly "white," and indeed were credited with the same virtues (musicality, athleticism, passion) and vices (laziness, promiscuity, criminality) attributed traditionally to black people.

(Un)related: I thought it was a Drupal site, but it's not-- it's a Django site, a true content management framework targeted toward media sites:

Page not found (404)
Request Method: GET
Request URL:
You're seeing this error because you have DEBUG = True in your Django settings file. Change that to False, and Django will display a standard 404 page.

(Un)related: There it is again, the use of radical (getting to the root, quite the opposite of Tancredo's superficial block-the-borders approach to immigration) to mean, instead, extreme. Sigh.


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