With so many obviously targeted groups and nasty attacks, it was hard to determine who would be the second group the Republicans intend to attack after they were elected. First, as I have written about previously, the GOP intend to attack women's rights. (1) There are many other groups the Republicans intend to hit but they have a preferred attack order. After women, it was pretty close between the LGBT community and Latinos in terms of who would be next on the GOP/Tea Party hit list. There have been no shortage of GOP candidates attacking both groups in speeches. After this past week though, and I will explain more below, it became crystal clear that the Republicans intend to go after Latinos after they deal with women's rights.
To recap, I've already written about how one already elected prominent GOP senator and Tea Party favorite, Jim Demint, thinks that unmarried women who are having sex should not be allowed to teach our children (he said the same thing about those in the LGBT community in the same speech). I've talked about how over 100 GOP congressional and senatorial hopefuls believe that a woman/girl who becomes pregnant by rape or incest should be forced to carry that child to term. I've talked about how many of these 100+ Republican candidates also believe in restricting women's rights to contraceptives. (1) The Tea Party slogan might as well be "We expect our women to be barefoot, pregnant, and dutifully delivering babies to their superior husbands."
The past two years has seen an unprecedented attack by Republicans on Latinos. They started by attacking the first ever Latina woman nominee to the supreme court for no other reason than because she was a Latina. A GOP judicial group actually criticized her saying "She herself has said that she thinks it is appropriate for her to make decisions as a Latina woman, from that perspective bringing to bear those demographics on her decision making." (2). In other words, being a Latina and simply stating that you have that perspective is a bad thing according to the Republican Judicial Confirmation Network. As I stated at the time, there wasn't even a token attempt to hide the bigotry in Republican statements opposing Sotomayor.
Then we had the Republican State Legislature and Republican Governor of Arizona pass a law making it legal for police to demand papers and proof of citizenship from anyone who looked Latino or the police could take you into custody. For Latinos, the Republicans turned Arizona into the 1970's version of the Soviet Union. We all used to make fun of the fact that Soviet security and police agencies could demand "your papers" at any time when you were in that country. The Republicans happily delivered that kind of a police state to a minority group here in this country and were proud of their efforts. They still are.
Recently, Nevada senate hopeful Sharon Angle released an add criticizing her Democratic opponent, Harry Reid for not being tough enough on illegal immigration. The add featured stock images of menacing-looking Latino men to drum up fear about illegal migrants crossing the border. (3) Despite Angle's campaign saying that the images are not necessarily those of Latinos, it turns out there is definitive proof that they are and that Angle's campaign knew it. According to the Associated Press, the picture[s] used w[ere] purchased from Getty Images and the caption on the images where a buyer would potentially license them describes the men featured as Mexicans from Mexico. (3)
Caught not only in being a bigot but in lying about it, Angle took down the ad but defended it to a room full of students from an Nevada Hispanic/Latino student organization group by again lying and said that they weren't Latinos because it [the ad] depicted our "northern border" (has Nevada's northern border suddenly become an international one?). She then went on to tell that group that "Some of you look more Asian to me" You can see video of this for yourself by clicking the link below
Note that virtually no Republicans or Tea Baggers have stood up to the Arizona law. No Republicans or Tea Baggers have have said they were outraged or that this was reprehensible. The one person who had anything less than completely positive about the Arizona immigration law happens to be the most prominent Latino Republican running for office this year, Marco Rubio, who is running to represent Florida in the senate, and even he flip flopped after a minor change was made to the law and actually said that he supports it. (4) Of course, this is what we have come to expect from Republican candidates from any ethnic, religious or other minority group. They completely roll over regarding any of the issues affecting their minority group. The Clarence Thomases and Marco Rubios are willing collaborators with those who seek to oppress people who share their ethnicity. For that matter, the Sharon Angles, Sarah Palins and Christine O'Donnells are willing collaborators with those who seek to destroy women's equality.
The truth is, if Republicans have their way, every Latino in the country, and anyone else who looks like they could be Latino, will be subject to having to prove their citizenship or face arrest. Republicans and their Tea Party alter ego love what was done in Arizona and they beat down even the one Latino Republican who voiced a slight concern over it until he recanted.
Republicans have not stopped there in their promised onslaught against Latinos. Republicans in at least 14 states are working through their state legislatures to try to overturn the 14th amendment. Section one of the 14th amendment states:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Republicans want to repeal the 14th amendment so that children of undocumented immigrants born in this country will not be afforded citizenship (5) In their zeal to attack latinos, Republicans have targeted children who have never known another country, many of whom speak English as their native language and are not fluent in Spanish. The ultimate end of this would be that those children, perhaps when they are young or perhaps later when they are adults, would be deported to a country in which they have never lived and to which they have no ties and whose language they may not speak. It is the ultimate in alienation and disenfranchisement that Republicans seek to unleash on individuals that never did anything wrong, simply because they are Latinos.
Republicans are so eager to attack Latinos with a repeal of the 14th amendment, they are willing to tamper with an amendment that is more cited than any other in criminal cases to protect citizens from actions that deprive them of due process by states.
Even that does not completely sum up the attacks planned or already in progress against Latinos. A Republican group has recently been airing ads on various channels suggesting to Latinos that it is in their best interests NOT TO VOTE. A group called Latinos for Reform, led by Robert de Posada, a former Republican National Committee official, is behind the ads.
The decision to pull the ads came after a wave of outrage from Latino leaders.
"I think there's nothing more cynical than to encourage people to make themselves irrelevant," Arturo Vargas, director of the nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, told The Upshot. "I hope Univision makes the decision not to run the ads."(6)
Because these offensives against Latinos occurred over time, it may have been easy for some to dismiss them as one-off events, but when viewed in their totality, the wave after wave of attacks by Republicans and Tea Party members against Latinos are staggering to behold and contemplate. Fellow Latinos, I know it is awful to process and internalize the information I have presented to you here, who wants to come to the realization that they are hated and by one of the two major political parties in a country no less? It IS awful, but it is true. I am sure I will get responses similar to the ones I received when I pointed out all of the planned attacks on women, essentially denying that Latinos are being targeted and making all kinds of excuses that suggest that bigotry is not behind these acts.
I'm sorry my Republican friends, this blitzkrieg against Latinos cannot be explained away, it is obvious what you all are doing and have planned for those of us of that ethnicity. Women, Latinos and the LGBT community have the most to lose if Republicans win one or both houses in this election. We all, but particularly those of us who are members of one or more of those three groups, need to vote to make sure both houses stay Democratic.
1. Steve Leser, OpEdNews.com "Election 2010 - Republicans Plan Broad Attack on Women's Rights if Elected" - http://www.opednews.com/articles/Election-2010--Republican-by-Steven-Leser-101005-382.html
2. Steve Leser, OpEdNews.com "Sotomayor Nomination - GOP says Latino Values not right for Supreme Court" - http://www.opednews.com/articles/Sotomayor-Nomination--GOP-by-Steven-Leser-090527-17.html
3. Jon Ralston, Las Vegas Sun "Angle tells students immigration ad doesn't single out Hispanics" - http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/oct/16/angle-criticized-again-over-ad-illegal-immigration/
4. The Week, "Marco Rubio's Flip Flop" - http://theweek.com/article/index/202785/marco-rubios-arizona-flipflop
5. Associated Press via Yahoo, "State lawmakers preparing citizenship legislation" Paul Davenport and Amanda Lee Myers - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101019/ap_on_re_us/us_illegal_immigration_citizenship
6. Yahoo News' The Upshot, "After uproar, Univision pulls ad discouraging Latinos from voting", Liz Goodwin - http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/latino-leaders-slam-ad-telling-latinos-not-to-vote