When the NAACP asked the leaders and members of the Tea Party to call out racist expressions in their midst, there were hoots and howls – and deceitful splicing of video – to show that there are no racists in the Tea Party, that raising concern about racism is a smear tactic, etc.
One of the leaders, in trying to beat back the charge of racism issued statements that were so extravagantly, racist and anti-black he had to step down.
Well, the Tea Party has moved on. Yesterday, in Arizona, they turned their focus to Latinos. “Instead of finding bugs in our beds, we’re finding home invaders,” a Tuscon radio host said, attending a Tea Party rally on the border with Mexico to protest immigration. One of the most obvious, and most obviously hateful, tropes of ethnic bigotry is to compare a group of people to vermin or insects.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio addressed the crowd, suggesting that he and his men could stop illegal immigration if they were permitted to cross the border into Mexico to get at the immigrants before they cross. Mr. Arpaio, no longer content to insult American sovereignty now wants to challenge Mexican sovereignty. Why didn’t I think of that?
Do any of these people concerned about the border have a clue that many if not most undocumented workers enter the country legally, but overstay their visa, so building a fence, sending more troops, and turning the border in the Arizona desert into a 21st century Checkpoint Charlie is not going to work. More importantly, do they recognize the racism in their views? And do the rest of us?