Back when Barack Obama announced his “executive order” to extend a policy that allowed the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country “temporarily” to adults who had not committed crimes (and “come out of the shadows”), I derided the order as a publicity stunt to convince the gullible to expose themselves to immediate deportation by registering themselves right into ICE data banks, to be used when the executive order was ultimately challenged in court. I observed that Republican complaints were just the usual red meat of hate to throw at their constituents, and the House of Representatives is just playing to the base by inserting language rescinding the executive order into the Homeland Security funding bill.
As predicted, the so-called “executive order” is on hold in court. I say “so-called,” because essentially that is all it was. Obama never actually signed the executive order; in fact, when he announced the order and gravely signed two sheets of paper in front of the cameras, what we were not told was that what he was signing had nothing to do with immigration. Why did Obama refuse to put his name to his supposed “order”? No doubt to add the “plausible deniability” he would need when the heat became too hot for him.
So Obama lied to the Hispanic community, and exposed millions of otherwise hardworking, law-abiding people to detriment by his false assurances. Unfortunately, this mendacity goes far beyond the political, and into the media. There is no denying the fact that the media—particularly during the height of the anti-immigrant hysteria during the Bush administration—provided images of these people as little more than nameless, faceless, sometimes diseased and certainly “criminal” semi-human vermin (CNN was particularly notorious for this). No one ever asked these people about their life experiences or their hopes for themselves or their children. All they were here to do, in the words of far-right bigot Patrick Buchanan, was to “destroy America.”
The Seattle Times, as I noted in example after example over the years, contributed to this culture of hate; one or two “neutral on the facts” stories does not change that. Believe me, my observation upon perusing reader comments on the Times website accompanying these stories prove that while perhaps in the generality most people don’t “dwell” on their feelings about other groups, in individuals the hate is both pervasive and repellant, and causes one to wonder what actually lies behind the façade of every stranger’s face you encounter.
Even for the so-called “liberals” this is true. There are of course those whose opinions are based on sound reasoning and are willing to listen to alternative input and reevaluate their position if someone who exists outside their own experience questions a particular “fact”; this would be particularly true from discussions from people of differing backgrounds and races. On the other hand, there are the phony “liberals” who just like to hear themselves talk; they want you to “love” them just because they are “speaking for you.” But when you point out certain discrepancies in their positions, they cannot accept any questioning of their patronage without taking personal offense and launching into illogical personal attacks. How dare you question them when they are deigning to be your “friend”?
After the Pasco shooting—in which it turns out that 17 shots were fired by police in killing a Mexican farm worker for allegedly throwing rocks at trucks—national news outlets treated the story as another Ferguson-type incident. However, the Seattle Times certainly didn’t treat it as such. Every day I walk past the newsstand and peruse what the Times considers the “top” story above the front page cutline; if the Pasco story was there, I would have taken an immediate interest in it. That never happened. I passed on a message to the Times concerning my feelings about this along the lines of my previous post. I also contacted “liberal” columnist Danny Westneat, to whom I imparted the following audacious views:
Sometimes I wish the Seattle Times would just die, at least on newsstands where we have to be exposed to its version of what is “important” for people to know. I always thought the P-I was truer to principle, but unfortunately too many people had this impression that just because a newspaper called itself the “Times,” it somehow had more “legitimacy.” I suppose there are still a few people left willing to fork over a whole dollar for a newspaper that is maybe a dozen broadsheets total in its weekly edition, which of course leaves out quite a bit of legitimate news the Times doesn’t think is worthwhile to know.
One of those stories apparently is the police shooting in Pasco, which some outside the state have called the Washington version of Ferguson, but has been treated as relatively inconsequential by the Times. Why is this? Because the victim was Hispanic, and the Times—if it doesn’t exactly have a culture of prejudice against Hispanics and their concerns, despite the fact they are technically the country’s largest minority group—it certainly doesn’t go out of its way to dissect the reasons for that impression. Don’t tell me I’m “wrong,” because as Big Daddy would say, you would be guilty of mendacity. Most of the stories that the Times actually publishes in regard to the Hispanic community has the effect of “confirming” the various negative stereotypes people have, and of course the Times isn’t alone in the media (or by politicians) to create an atmosphere of hate among those looking for self-justification.
The Times implicitly “justifies” prejudice against Hispanics generally by allowing the public not to make a distinction between the minority of undocumented immigrants and even native-born citizens of Hispanic “ethnicity.” Furthermore, the media and black activists tend to demote prejudice against Hispanics to an inferior grade by giving it the “ethnicity” label, when in fact the prejudice is almost solely directed at short, dark-skinned people who are fully or mixed indigenous race; after all, isn’t Obama considered “black” despite having a white mother? Are not Native Americans (of the same “indigenous” category of those south of the border) a separate race? So why don’t we call things by their real names?
The Times may possibly employ one or two people with “Spanish” names, but they clearly have no impact on the reporting of Hispanic concerns. You only have to be racist against one group to be a racist; you only have to discriminate against one group to be guilty of discrimination, no matter how hard you try to “justify” it.
Westneat actually responded (how could he not), merely asserting that the Times had supposedly run stories for two days on the Pasco shooting. I responded that I never saw anything on the front page of the Times (maybe they put it on the “front page” of the local section, or the website) concerning the incident, and that the rest of my claims still stood. He responded by stating I was still wrong, and that furthermore, the Times did employ a “Hispanic,” Erik Lacitis, a name the last time made any impact on me was when he essentially defended the belief that Kennewick Man might be “Caucasian.” From his photographs available on the Internet, Lacitis himself appears very much “Caucasian.” In fact, for an alleged “Hispanic,” I found it curious that besides the fact that “Lacitis” is a name most commonly found in the Baltic state of Latvia (bordering Russia), but in America, his first name is typically spelled with a “c” rather than a “k” which is typically northern European.
Anyways, I responded to Mr. Westneat’s claim by saying that “Whatever you want to say. Erik Lacitis is Hispanic? In what universe? I've seen his picture, and he looks "Caucasian" to me, and he is no doubt he is one of those ‘I'm not one of them’ types. I'm talking about the atmosphere of bigotry being fostered against what George Bush patronizingly called his ‘little brown ones.’ Your newspaper still cultivates bigotry and stereotypes against the stereotypical ‘Mexican.’ No mendacity coming out of your or anyone else' mouth can change that.”
Mr. Westneat again responded, merely by lamely observing that Hispanics can be “white,” which only angered me further.
Why are you continuing to ignore what I am saying? My whole point is that people are not "prejudiced" against a clearly Caucasian "Hispanic." I'm sure if anyone encountered him on the street, no one would mistake him for "Hispanic," someone who draws up the red flags of their prejudices and stereotypes. This is the whole crux of this "ethnicity" hypocrisy (why don’t we say that blacks and Asians are an “ethnicity” of American?). Have you ever watched Univision? If you did, you would see on its TV shows and soaps that everyone is really "white"--no dark or "ethnic" faces in sight; these are what I call the "Euro-elites." That's the world Erik Lacitis lives in. Racism is just as pervasive in the society those people live in as does in this country. Eric is no "threat" to the Times order; a Hispanic who is actually politically and socially aware would be in a culture where being between white and black mendacity is a hard place indeed.
I remember in college, a professor—clearly “Caucasian”—was asked about his Spanish “sounding” name. I could tell he was annoyed by the question. He gave me a disgusted sideways glance at me before stating that he was “Portuguese.” I knew from this that he was making a “point” of saying that he wasn’t “one of them,” meaning me, since despite my non-Spanish named people “assumed” I was “Mexican” because of my “ethnic” appearance—which, of course, the professor found an unappealing comparison. I also recall a fellow student taking exception to my preference for pop music of the Sixties and Seventies; it wasn’t “my” music. I observe Latinas attempting to gain false “status” by becoming a white man’s strumpet. Recently, I overheard a “mestizo” with visions of grandeur announce that he was “white.” An Anglo who heard this snorted with incredulity, while I just laughed. I was asked what I thought was so amusing; I said “You, calling yourself ‘white’.”
It is obvious why this conundrum is something that “liberals” like Westneat seek to avoid answering, because that would expose the “kink” in their “liberalism.” That’s why I don’t trust them.