For better or worse, it appears last week’s confrontations in Murrieta have unleashed a lot of pent up anger and frustration. And it’s my guess that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. My take is that this has the potential to blossom into a full-blown identity crisis for this country, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the civil rights movement of the 20th century.
On July 4th protesters again gathered in front of the Murrieta Border Patrol station. This time around those supportive of the
migrants refugees out-numbered the teahadist types who’d blocked buses filled with families from Central America earlier in the week. No buses arrived at that location, making the day essentially a media event.
The award for most over-the-top headline goes to CBS8/KFMB: “Massive protest in Murrieta centers around migrant families.” There were two stories beneath the headline on the station’s website, one by Associated Press and one video by reporter Matt Johnson which included the phrase “More than 100 people…”
More than a hundred people is massive? Really? Let’s take a spin around the media world to see what other bullshit’s been doled out lately.
Here’s NBC7, mentioning “hoards” of protesters:
The group, though initially expected to be shuttled to Murrieta’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) station, were bused to a San Ysidro processing station and an immigration office on Front Street in downtown San Diego.
Border Patrol Health and Safety director Ron Zermano told NBC 7 the families would be medically examined at those destinations and offered food and showers. Next, he said, they would most likely be transported to other Border Patrol facilities to be processed.
Meanwhile, throughout the day in Murrieta, hoards of both protesters and supporters had awaited the arrival of the buses filled with immigrants — though they never came.
I’m not one to complain about the spelling–typos and accidental homonyms happen. But the imagery of “hordes” is just another example of crappy coverage.
The original outcry on the right was sparked by sensationalized coverage based on interviews (and leaks) by National Border Patrol Council officials, like vice president Shawn Moran to media outlets with a clearly extremist agenda.
Nowhere in the national and local coverage do we find information about the role of Border Patrol union officials in trying to inflame nativist sentiments. (And, yes, there are lots of great stories about the heroic actions of rank and file BP officers stepping up to the plate as human beings in this crisis.)
Ron Zermeno, a Border Patrol union official, told 10News last week that 40 of those immigrants on the first plane were quarantined at the BP Chula Vista Station with active scabies and head lice. The rest were processed through other BP facilities and released.
Zermeno later disclosed that a BP agent who had being processing immigrants had contracted scabies.
On Sunday, Zermeno told 10News that BP had placed him under a gag order.
“As long as they send the bodies up there (Murrieta) to be processed, there will be no agents patrolling, and that’s what the agency doesn’t want me to say,” Zermeno said.
This information, of course, feeds the fears being stoked about the spread of disease. Scabies, for the record, is a mite transferred by human contact. It’s one of the three most common skin disorders in children worldwide, infecting 100 million people. And it’s very treatable.
A story about one agent contracting scabies has gone viral on the right, with Breitbart News citing a union press release, National Review citing the above-mentioned union official (now it’s two officers), and the American Thinker saying “We have disease-ridden unfortunates flooding in, and our first responders are not trained to handle the disease vectors they bring.”
Murrieta Mayor on Drugs?
According to a story in The Hill:
“We expected the buses to enter the Border Patrol facility and the processing to take place there. What we object to is we object to inhumane facilities. … Those are jail cells,” Long said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
“That facility can only process 25 [people] per eight-hour shift, and if you look at the numbers we’re talking about, I think immigrants would have been queued up in a facility that does not have the ability or the capacity to hold them long-term, and that’s just not right.”
The argument would likely come as a surprise to the immigrants involved.
Trying to Be Reasonable
Navarette, who used to be a regular columnist at UT-San Diego prior to the Papa Doug era, held forth on the pages of the Daily Fishwrap back in 2009 urging “undocumented immigrants from Mexico” to self-deport during the recession. He’s successfully build a career on blaming Democrats for just about everything that ails the disadvantaged
But he does ultimately support “comprehensive immigration reform that gives illegal immigrants already here a pathway to earned legal status.”
In the wake of last week’s headlines, that stance qualified Navarette for an op-ed up against “build the dang fence” Rep. Duncan Hunter in the Sunday UT. He was not amused by what he saw:
In the meltdown at Murrieta, it was the chanting of “USA, USA” that was most offensive, as if mob rule is the American way and wrapping yourself in the flag gives you license to wipe your feet on some of our most sacred traditions.
The feet-wiping starts at the top. President Obama, who once taught constitutional law but apparently never studied it, wants to speed up deportations of the border kids and skip the nuisance of due process.
Americans are deciding the fate of a great nation that has not always lived up to its billing in terms of welcoming the stranger, a place where people sometimes miss that the world pays us a huge compliment by seeing our country as a safe haven for the downtrodden and the oppressed.
The reference to the President was not enough to satisfy the local loony-tunes, who piped in with more than 200 comments, each seemingly striving to be more vitriolic than the last. The amount of misinformation repeated as truth is simply staggering. Here’s a “nice” comment directed at Navarrete:
“If you don’t value your citizenship, give it to an illegal and take his place on the bus home, you flaming hypocrite.”
It’s Time to Confront the Evil
The 90,000 human beings from Central America expected to show up at the border are a humanitarian crisis for the US government. This situation is also representative of a great moral crisis for the people of this country.
I invite you to take a long look at the rhetoric being used by anti-immigration advocates: try the comments section at the end of any news story referencing the current situation. Notice all the references and/or inferences involving violence. Notice all the anger. And, most of all, notice the absence of truth.
Lies are being told and sold wholesale by forces that represent the darkest side of the American psyche. Once you strip away all the rat-a-tat-tat of falsehoods, what left is the same Fear of the Others used against Africans, the freed slaves, Irish, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Jews, the Italians and every other wave of immigrants entering the country.
Short of the President physically going to Laredo Texas, manning a machine gun nest and slaughtering women and children crossing the border, nothing the government says or does will placate the angry nativists.
Listening to their rants you wouldn’t know the Obama administration has conducted more deportations in 6 years than the President George W. Bush administration did in 8. Or that spending on federal immigration enforcement spiked by 300 percent between fiscal 2002 and 2013, and has now reached roughly $17 billion per year.
Here’s a tidbit from Fox News this morning:
Free Republic founder Jim Robinson posted this on the popular conservative internet forum on Friday evening.
We have independent units from the Bolinas Border Patrol and the Central Valley Citizens militia joining forces with independent citizens militia units of Texas to defend our southern border in Texas, to protest Obama’s lawless open borders policies and to rally support for Governor Perry to officially call out Guard units and Texas militia units at his disposal to defend the border!! Lawsuits will not cut it. The invasion is happening now. Action must be taken NOW!!
Now is the time for Americans without hate in their hearts to stand up and make their voices heard. We can no longer remain silent while the nativists, racists and opportunists are spewing loathing and fear. It is, in my opinion, a waste of time to argue with these fools. Let positive actions do the talking for us.
Faith-based groups are taking the lead. There is a public event on Wednesday, July 9th in San Diego at the Federal Building (880 Front St. San Diego) at 6pm. It’s billed as a demonstration in solidarity with the National Action for the Children, a Vigil of Love and a Welcome to San Diego.
There are events being organized around the country, including one in Murrieta on Wednesday.
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium website is serving as a clearinghouse for information about Central American refugees and how the community can assist them. The SDIRC site has a complete list of the items needed and where they can be delivered. Items will include new clothing and shoes for women and children, toiletries, diapers, towels, and items to occupy children (toys, books, videos, balls).
On This Day: 1846 – The U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison. 1903– Mary Harris “Mother” Jones began “The March of the Mill Children,” when, accompanied part of the way by children, she walked from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home on Long Island to protest the plight of child laborers. One of her demands: reduce the children’s work week to 55 hours 1967 – The Monkees opened a national tour with Jimi Hendrix as the opening act.
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