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If the White Sheet Fits

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The rightwing went bonkers yesterday when an audiotape surfaced of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez suggesting that the effort to pass the Arizona anti-immigration law was funded in part by groups with ties to white supremacists.

On Fox News, Sean Hannity played the audiotape of Sanchez’s comments and suggested she spend less time reading leftwing blogs and more time reading the legislation. Hannity is one of those who like to deny that the Arizona law will be racist in application although I do not imagine he would qualify as someone “suspected” of being an undocumented worker. He argues that the law forbids racial profiling, raising the unanswerable question: How can a law enforcement official determine who might or might not be undocumented if they do not consider race? Of course, Hannity had just finished placing the blame for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on environmentalists, so the question is no longer how tendentious this man is but what planet he is on. Watching his show, you keep expecting the Red Queen to make an appearance.

The website “FireAndreaMitchell.com,” nicely refers to the Congresswoman as “Dirty Sanchez” and describes her as “an ugly progressive marxist.” I know that rightwing nutjobs see marxism everywhere these days and I know that some of them consider “progressive” as the nastiest of epithets. But, ugly? First, it is not true: Linda Sanchez is a beautiful woman. Second, how boorish can you get! Check out the rest of their website and see if you do not detect a bit of xenophobia. I especially like the pictures of President Obama in a turban.

Not to be outdone, the Gateway Pundit at First Things ran an article about Sanchez’s remarks. The author, Mr. Jim Hoft, calls Congresswoman Sanchez an “awful racist” without explaining what evidence he has to support such a charge. He also, bizarrely, refers to “white supremists” which sounds like a Caucasian knock-off of the Supremes, rather than “white supremacists” who are the people in question.

Mr. Hoft asks for proof. Well, the history of the FAIR – the Federation for American Immigration Reform – has been well exposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And, on March 18 of this year, the Arizona Republic ran a story in which an undercover agent who had infiltrated six white supremacist groups in Arizona said their number one issue was immigration: “Every meeting revolved around immigration,” he told the newspaper.

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The Catholic bishops have been quite outspoken about the immoral Arizona law. Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony joined the bishops of Arizona in urging the Governor not to sign it. The USCCB has been constant and forceful in making the case for comprehensive immigration reform. They realize what the racists do not: Current immigration laws separate wives from their husbands and children from their parents and there is nothing American or Christian about that.

When you see this kind of across-the-board attack coming from the rightwing bleachers you can be sure of one thing. Congresswoman Sanchez hit a nerve. But, really, why should it surprise anyone that people who sign on to the most patently racist law to be passed in a state legislature in decades are comfortable being linked with white supremacists? Who do you think they want to keep out? The House of Windsor? If the white sheet fits, wear it!

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