Saturday, March 08, 2008

Leonard Zeskind on Minuteman in KC

I left Wichita about 6 AM Saturday to drive up to Kansas City to attend an all-day conference on immigration and racism and got back to Wichita around 9:00 PM. A very long day, but well worth it. I'll try to find time to write up some observations, but for now I want to bring to your attention an analysis of the recent national Minuteman conference held in Kansas City and the impetus for yesterday's conference.

For those who don't know Zeskind, he is a legendary observer and analyst of the racist, far right.

He recently started a website, which has his writings over the years.

Zeskind promises new articles as part of the Zeskind fortnight, with the Minuteman report being the first.

Zeskind reports that at the Minuteman public rally, attended by over 500.

[Minuteman founder Chris] Simcox urged, first, an executive order to secure the borders (and build a bigger thicker fence line). Second, he wanted to put several thousand National Guard troops on the border. Both ideas were met with mild applause. When he proposed making English the official language, the crowd was a bit more enthusiastic. But the idea to abolish “birthright citizenship” for the children of “illegal aliens” made the crowd go wild.
And, this Zeskind points out is where the claim that the Minutemen and the anti-immigrant is not racist falls apart.

Any person or organization that advocates turning citizens into non-citizens, or that seeks to abridge the Fourteenth Amendment is, by any fair standard, a racist person or organization. They need not parade around in white sheets or swastika armbands; or spout racist obscenities like a barroom bigot; or make clever statements about the biological or cultural inferiority of certain peoples. They need only touch one hair on the Constitutional Amendment that guaranteed the citizenship rights of freed slaves after the Civil War, and they are ipso facto a racist.
And, there's reason to be worried.

... the Minutemen were well pleased with their performance at the Uptown Theater. Since that meeting they have been pushing hard for legislation in Kansas sponsored by Sen. Peggy Palmer (R. Augusta) entitled the “Kansas Illegal Immigration Relief Act.” A set of publicity ads they produced have been airing over the radio waves in southern Kansas, and they are gearing up for a recruitment drive at gun shows in the bi-state area.

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