By Doug Porter
I’ve been trying not to say too much about The Donald. He’s playing the media like a great violinist plays a Stradivarius. He says jump and the stenographers posing as journalists say “how high?”
I can no longer remain silent in the face of the hate-mongering coming from this public figure aimed at Latinos. He’s giving ammunition to assholes, and there are real consequences, even on the streets of San Diego.
When a well-known and respected public advocate can’t take his child to a park without being race baited, it’s time to stand up and say No More. And, yes, it is precisely the rhetoric favored by Donald Trump that’s encouraging an upswing in bigotry.
Here’s the story of Christian Ramirez, as posted in Facebook yesterday:
I decided to go to a local park this afternoon to take a stroll with my son. The park is right under the flight path of airplanes arriving into Lindbergh Field; it’s my son’s favorite park, he loves watching the airplanes fly overhead, he waves at them and laughs, his little face glows with excitement. After about an hour of airplane-watching we decided to call it a day.
As we were walking back to our car, two young white men in a red pick-up truck drove by slowly and yelled at us “go back to Mexico and take your anchor baby with you.” I instinctively shielded my little one, expecting the worst; the truck drove-off but now the anger remains. We will go back to our favorite park–this, after all, is our land.
Mr. Ramirez and his family have lived and worked in the San Diego/Tijuana border region for three generations. His grandparents came to San Diego as guest workers in the 1950s, and Christian’s father became a legal resident of the U.S. as a child and later moved his family to nearby San Ysidro, California.
Christian just happens to be a nationally and internationally recognized spokesperson on immigration and border enforcement issues. You may have even seen him interviewed in television news accounts.
He worked with the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) for many years, is currently Director of Human Rights Programs at Alliance San Diego, along with participating in he San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and the Southern Border Communities Coalition as well.
“Go Back to Univision, Get Out of My Country”
When Univision reporter Jorge Ramos challenged Trump Tuesday about his offensive immigration plan during a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, the candidate’s security detail ushered him out of the room.
From the Washington Post:
“Mr. Trump, I have a question,” said Jorge Ramos, the top news anchor at Univision and one of the country’s most recognizable Mexican-Americans, as he stood up in the front row of journalists.
“Excuse me,” the Republican presidential front-runner told Ramos. “Sit down. You weren’t called. Sit down.”
Ramos, holding a piece of paper, calmly tried to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration. “I’m a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen,” he said. “I have the right to ask a question.”
Trump interrupted him. “Go back to Univision,” he said. Then the billionaire businessman motioned to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room.
Realizing the removal of the reporter might have actually been a bad idea, Ramos was eventually re-admitted to the room. Later on he and Trump had a contentious exchange.
Some in the mainstream media have tried to discredit the Univision reporter by saying he was too confrontational. I say more people need to challenge Trump. A Fox News reporter asked him a couple of hard questions and was victimized by an unrelenting misogynistic personal attack from the candidate and his followers.
Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous. While he certainly has a right to speak, it’s not unreasonable to expect people to challenge him. It’s my view that too many in the press are concerned about their access to the candidate and can’t be bothered to call out bullshit when they see it.
Following the incident, a supporter of Trump told the veteran journalist (and U.S. Citizen) to get out of “my” country.
From the New York Times:
“The recent treatment that Jorge Ramos received at Mr. Trump’s press conference in Iowa is beneath contempt,” Randy Falco, the president of Univision, said on Wednesday night in a statement. On Tuesday, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists also issued a statement condemning Mr. Trump.
Mr. Ramos, who earlier this month delivered a searing indictment of Mr. Trump,calling him “the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States,” attributed the difference in approach to how directly the issue of immigration affects Latino-Americans.
“This is personal, and that’s the big difference between Spanish-language and mainstream media, because he’s talking about our parents, our friends, our kids and our babies,” Mr. Ramos said in a telephone interview.
This incident comes after weeks in which nearly all GOP candidates for President have joined Trump to lay out harsh immigration stances and followed his lead in using slurs to refer to the immigrant community.
Why This Resonates in San Diego
The Union-Tribune has a front page story today concerning a report by the Migration Policy Institute saying that San Diego County has the 3rd-largest population of undocumented immigrants in California and the 7th-largest nationally.
The estimated 205,000 immigrants represents a 24,000 increase from an earlier tally, but that number, according to the researcher, may be skewed because more recent data based on surveys was utilized.
Robert Warren, a demographer for more than 40 years and a fellow with the Center for Migration Studies of New York, developed a database profiling the unauthorized immigrant population.
Warren said it’s important to note that the unauthorized population in the U.S. has declined by an estimated 1 million people since 2011 and has stabilized overall.
Migration from Mexico has dropped starkly, according to Warren.
“Unauthorized immigration from Mexico has dropped absolutely dramatically since 2000 and especially since 2005. It’s just gone off the table,” he said.
As one commenter on the story noted, “percentage wise, San Diego’s 6.4% unauthorized share of total population is actually one of the lowest among all large California counties. Riverside is at 6.9%, OC is at 8.8%, Los Angeles and Tulare counties are around 11%.”
It should also be noted that, contrary to The Donald’s mythology, border cities like San Diego have among the lowest crime rates in the country for large metropolitan areas.
The Almighty Car Wins in Normal Heights Showdown
10News has a rather sad story about a confrontation between bicyclists and a driver in Normal Heights on Tuesday evening.
Police were called to the scene shortly after midnight in response to a 911 call from a women who said she was being chased by bicyclists.
The group of nine or 10 cyclists told police they were in the bike lane when a car came up behind them and the driver began honking nonstop. The bicyclists said the female driver then hit one of them with her car.
The cyclist jumped off his bike and his bike then got dragged by the car for several blocks.
“We heard a car honking, just holding onto that horn,” one of the bicyclists told 10News. “And we gave her the room. She didn’t want to take it. She got closer and closer, clipped one of my friends and dragged his bike four or five blocks.”
At that point, one of the bicyclists caught up to the car and started banging on the window so hard it broke. He cut his arm and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
According to 10News, SDPD officers opted not to ticket the driver, whose word is apparently more important than the ten other witnesses, who may be facing misdemeanor vandalism charges for kicking and punching the car.
Vaunted San Jose Pension Reform Collapsing
You might have heard about former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s grand plan for “reforming” California pensions.
Currently they’re fundraising and trying to build a base in support of a 2016 initiative giving voters in various jurisdictions a say in pension negotiations.
The game plan is to scare voters with promises of looming bankruptcy and images of greedy union goons shaking down grandmothers for tax increases.
What the proposal does is enable advocates for 401k style plans. Stockbrokers get fees, unions get screwed politically and pensioners get to eat cat food if they’re lucky.
Much of the “momentum” claimed by these reform advocates comes out of the former San Jose Mayor’s successful selling of Measure B. They’ll have to work even harder now that the city is back-peddling hard, trying to undo the damage done.
The measure drastically cut benefits and pension for the city’s police and firefighters, leading to an exodus of officers from the city’s police department.
The effects of the Measure B cuts could be followed by the falling number of police officers. A force once staffed at 1,400 cops is now down to around 900.
Tuesday, the city and its police and fire unions agreed to a new deal that restores pay, including a 5 percent bonus and a total of 8 percent in raises, but also mitigates some of the retirement and disability benefits cuts. Almost as important: It is designed to end expensive litigation and the ongoing public battles.
Union Women Make More Money
A briefing paper from Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that women represented by a union in the United States earn an average of $212 more per week than women in nonunion jobs.
Union women earn more in every state, with the size of the advantage varying across states: union women in Wyoming earn $349 per week more than their nonunion counterparts in the state, while union women in the District of Columbia earn $48 more per week than D.C.’s nonunion women.
The analysis also finds that the size of the union wage advantage is large enough in 32 states to cover the costs of full-time child care for an infant in a center.
On This Day: 1950 – President Truman ordered the Army to seize all the nation’s railroads to prevent a general strike. The railroads were not returned to their owners until two years later. 1965 – Elvis Presley played host to the Beatles at his home in Bel-Air, CA. 1996 – Governor Pete Wilson signed an order that would halt state benefits to so-called “illegal” immigrants.
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