Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Zimmerman coverage exposes anti-Hispanic bigotry in the “liberal” media

On my way carrying some clothes to a Laundromat early one Saturday morning I encountered a couple of people milling about an automobile that I had observed parked illegally in the same spot for several days, that now had a window broken and a few items from within it scattered on the pavement. I overhead one of the men say “The Mexicans probably did it.” Yeah, I thought to myself, it was probably the white “Mexicans”—or the black “Mexicans,” or the Filipino “Mexicans” or maybe even the Russian “Mexicans” who did it. These days, if you didn’t actually see who “did it,” it must have been “the Mexicans.” Even when people actually see who “did it,” wasn’t a “Mexican,” it doesn’t change their assumptions; it’s as natural as breathing, done without any actually thinking. 

I might be a tad too “sarcastic” here, but not by too much. Right-wing hate talk that initially targeted illegal immigrants has now expanded to encompass all Hispanics, who in the latest conspiracy theory are being imported into the country for the express purpose of voting against Republicans. As if they don’t expect a price to be paid for piling on the hate on one particular group. 

But I’m not going to let the “liberals” get away with its own crimes. The “liberal” media likes to pretend it is less tolerant of the ugly, paranoid stereotypes about Hispanics, immigrants or not that are part of the air that we breath. Yet while they might take the easy route of poking fun at some of the more ignorant and bizarre notions of xenophobes and bigots, it is usually done in the patronizing tone of the self-important who controls the message; outside of the Spanish-language Univision, Hispanics in this country are typically denied a forum in which they can speak directly to the atmosphere of hate perpetuated by the right and never seriously addressed by the left, save to throw them a few inedible crumbs. 

The truth of the matter is that the anti-Hispanic racism of the self-righteous “Left” speaks far louder than its feeble efforts at “accommodation” of their concerns. We see the racism of the Left partly in the populist rhetoric about jobs for “real” Americans, the focus on illegal immigration instead the vast majority of Hispanics who are U.S. citizens, and the self-serving insistence of blacks on being the sole “victim” of racial bigotry in this country. We see it in the unbalanced attacks on NAFTA, in which Mexico is exclusively viewed as the “villain”; the “irony” is that while Americans enjoy affordable produce thanks in large part to the low-cost labor of immigrants, legal or not, Mexican small farmers are hurt by the one exception to “free trade”—the  imposition of what is essentially a tariff imposed on exported produce to the U.S., so not to compete “unfairly” with American farmers. Many of these Mexican farmers have lost their livelihoods and have searched in vain for the jobs that have allegedly migrated from the North.

Yet despite the fact that the overall U.S. trade imbalance with Mexico and Canada is actually not significant, this need for scapegoats that are most vulnerable to attack requires that its focus be a “natural” enemy, and a dark one at that. The need for dark-skinned “enemies” has been a defining feature of American culture, written of quite cogently in Richard Slotkin’s classic book Regeneration Through Violence. But the real “enemy” is not the “Mexicans” but our “friends” the U.S. fears to cross elsewhere, especially China and other Pacific Rim countries, to whom the U.S. has completely forfeited its entire manufacturing capacity in electronics, apparel, household appliances and large machinery. China itself has a 10-to-1 trade imbalance with the U.S.—and yet this is considered “good,” mainly because low-paid American consumers can better afford “cheap” Asian products. It is obviously a deal with the “devil,” but I also see racism at play; it is much more convenient to scapegoat a vulnerable demographic than a powerful one. 

But anti-Hispanic attitudes obviously go far beyond that. White bigots just don’t like the way they “look,” and blacks see them “competitors” not just for jobs but as a minority group, thus must be denigrated and marginalized; this cannot be more apparent than in the refusal to describe anti-Hispanic bigotry as “racism,” over the specious rationalization that they are not a “racial” group, but an ethnicity (other immigrant groups also find it useful for themselves to denigrate Hispanics, even though they have less “business” being here). But the reality is that race is the defining issue, because the stereotypical “Mexican” in the eyes of both blacks and whites have non-white characteristics, typically of indigenous Indian, black or mixed race “blood.” These are not “ethnic” characteristics, but of racial minorities, and Hispanics of European heritage play the game just as well as any American racist.

I see evidence of this in air, everywhere. I see when a paranoid white person acts nervously and excited when I’m walking down the sidewalk, and try to ensure that their car is properly locked without exposing their prejudice too obviously; I wish their cars would blow-up every time they hit the “beeper.” I see it when some thug weaned on his “victimhood” physically threaten me for the tiniest “infraction” upon his “respect.” And I see it on late night talk shows hosted by former comedy “stars” and on the left-wing Comedy Central. I was in a restaurant which installed a widescreen LCD screen hooked up to a computer, running recent Comedy Central reruns from the Hulu website. There was constant stream of anti-Donald Trump bits, nothing about even Hillary Clinton’s illegal email server business and her lies about that; but what really got to me was Larry Wilmore, one of many blacks on Comedy Central who have been given a forum to opinionate on the societal issues the feel personal about. 

Wilmore and his colleagues also have a major hole in their self-righteous hypocrisy. Now, I admit that it was in poor taste for George Zimmerman to put the gun he used to defend himself from the “innocent child” Trayvon Martin from making his head a sidewalk ornament up for auction. While if he were still alive, Martin would likely be furthering his “career” as a petty thief, drug dealer and violent gangsta, Zimmerman—despite his likely difficult search for steady work due to his “toxic” image—has never been accused of trying to support himself through theft or drug-dealing. Selling the gun was obviously a means to acquire some money because of its “infamy.” 

The reaction of the “liberal” media and same-described “celebrities,” at least on Wilmore’s show, disgusted me beyond belief, merely furthering my contempt for hypocritical white “liberals” and blacks who have the nerve to pass judgment on anyone. Are these people with all their self-righteous, drooling outrage that blind not only to the racism emerging from some dark place in their subconscious, but how it negates all the hypocritical bullshit that passes for their “progressive” attitudes towards Hispanics? Everyone can see a “Mexican” in the face of  Zimmerman—except, it seems, the “liberal” media. Every time it opens up it stupid, collective mouth about the latest Zimmerman “story,” it reinforces the very paranoid stereotypes about Hispanics that it claims it doesn’t support. They don’t seem to realize by the disgusting, despicable demonizing and dehumanizing of Zimmerman exposes their own “contribution” to the poisonous atmosphere that Hispanics are forced to breath in. 

For example, Wilmore called Zimmerman “a lousy piece of human excrement”; since “bathroom humor” is typical in “jokes” about Hispanics, I suspect that this thought came quite naturally to him with being conscious of it.  Furthermore, as his “panelists”—two hysterically hate-filled females, and a male who contributed a couple of muted asides—suggested, he ought to shoot himself with the gun instead. He is “evil,” the white female beside herself in out-of-control rage fulminated; the black female ranted that he was a “murderer.”  What was unnerving about all of this was the ease in which all trace of humanity was taken away from Zimmerman. No one actually cared that he was acquitted because all the evidence and witness testimony pointed to self-defense. They showed his picture, and every one can see he is not “white,” but Hispanic; could they not see that? They wouldn’t dare speak of a black male in such a matter, for fear of the expected backlash. 

It is unfortunate that no one in the Hispanic community has done (or has been allowed to do) what blacks have done: shamed at least “liberal” whites from using ugly stereotypes to one member of the group, since it reflects on all. In a political atmosphere were some Trump supporters believe that most Hispanics are “criminals” and “rapists,” don’t they realize the effect of speaking of just one Hispanic in such outrageously unjust terms is that they are justifying every ugly stereotype that racists apply to them? I do, every time. And because these “liberals” don’t, they are far worse than your typical white supremacist. Would they dare talk even of a black male who killed someone just because they didn’t like the way someone looked at them, or said something that was “disrespectful”? Why is O.J. Simpson not spoken of in the same way, only subject to “good-natured” jokes? Why did blacks cheer when he was acquitted of two shockingly cold-blooded murders that we can now safely admit that he was guilty of? Why isn’t he “evil” or a piece of “human excrement”? Why are not the two “gangstas” who committed the Hamilton Street massacre in Indianapolis in 2006, the victims in which included four Hispanic children shot execution style in the back of the head, not “evil” or “human excrement” too? 

No, I’m sure that these “liberal” racists will be thinking to themselves while some young thug is beating their heads into the pavement for the crime of “disrespect,” “But he’s just an unarmed, innocent child.” The truth is that the images being portrayed of Zimmerman—who was tasked by his own neighborhood the thankless job of keeping it “safe” from the upsurge in crime almost exclusively perpetrated by young black “transients,” which Martin in fact was at that moment—and Martin, for whom treatment with kid gloves, because his parents were “respectable,” for repeated criminal acts had obviously fostered an increasing contempt for civil mores and the rights of others—by the media are entirely the opposite of the truth.

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