Obama and NCLR: F@$! You Brown Boy... F@$! La Raza

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Note: Link back to The Sanctuary for this post.

I'm here in San Diego where Barack Obama just spoke at the annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) conference.  NCLR flew out me here and provided with me accommodations at the luxurious San Diego Marriot Hotel & MarinaI was given the opportunity after I helped publicize NCLR's latest We Can Stop the Hate video using Digg and StumbleUpon, among other new media tools.  I didn't do it to advance myself in an particular way.  I just thought the video provided the most succinct description of the link between leading "anti-illegal immigration" groups and white supremacy.  I wanted as many people to see it as possible.

In fact, when NCLR invited me here, I did everything I could to get them to bring one of my blogmig@s along with me, or in my stead.  I identify as white and there should be a latin@ blogger here covering this conference.  I hear Todd Beeton of MyDD, and Lucas O'Connor of Calitics are here liveblogging Obama's speech, as well.  They probably weren't hand picked by NCLR like I was, but if you don't see a problem with three white male bloggers covering a National Council of La Raza conference, I'll leave that for a post that I'll write when all of this is done.  For now, we'll get back to Obama's appearance here.

I debated whether or not to cover Obama's speech.  A put up a full copy of his remarks here.  Eventually I decided that with hundreds of press people here, and more "influential" bloggers than myself covering this, that it would be best to do something a little different. 

I knew Barack Obama wouldn't reveal anything new about his positions on comprehensive immigration reform.  As anyone who knows anything about the U.S. migration debate will tell you, the devil is in the details when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform.  That's why leading members of the SanctuarySphere have been trying to get the presidential candidates to answer a very specific questionnaire on migration.  I will reserve my endorsement of a presidential candidate until those questions are answered.  We need more than soundbites when it comes to immigration.  See what my blogmig@s have to say on the subject:

Kai at Zuky
Marisa at Latina Lista
Manny at Latino Politico
Sylvia at Problem Chylde
Maegan at Vivirlatino
Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican
Kety at CrossLeft
Symsess at Citizen Orange
XP at ¡Para Justicia y Libertad!

So rather than attend Barack Obama's speech, I thought it would be best to cover what was happening around Barack Obama's speech.  I went outside where a crowd of a few hundred was gathered.  There was a sizeable group of Obama supporters, a few people holding signs for 9/11 Truth (Noam Chomsky says all that needs to be said on that), as well as a loud and bosterous group that identified themselves as the San Diego Minutemen.

Supporters of the San Diego Minutemen held signs that said things like:

"Support Americans Not La Raza",
"La Raza Means 'The Race'",
"La Raza Stop the Hate Against Americans",
"La Raza, Neo-Nazi, KKK, Racist Groups",
"Obama: 50% White, 43.75% Arabic, 6.25% Black, 100% Brown RACIST"
Just as I was about to turn away from filming a man holding a sign of a boy urinating on the phrase "La Raza", I heard him begin to chant, "Fuck You Brown Boy.  Fuck You Brown Boy.  Fuck You Brown Boy."  The San Diego Minuteman supporter was walking up a ramp to the convention center and was speaking to another full-grown man that looked to be of latino descent to me.

In all fairness, I have no idea what the latino man was saying to the San Diego Minutemenn supporter.  It could have been just as hateful.  I followed them until they parted ways and just as I was about to stop filming again, a group of people walked through chanting, "Viva La Raza.  Viva La Raza."  The Minuteman supporter then went at it again, "Fuck La Raza.  Fuck La Raza.  Fuck La Raza."

It was heated out there.  I tried to interview supporters of the San Diego Minutemen, but most walked away when I asked them.  I was able to interview one woman, and they'll be back tomorrow when I will try to interview them again.  It's not fair of me to call them out like this without getting an official comment from them.

Still, I find it ironic that the San Diego Minutemen were holding signs calling out the National Council of La Raza for their supposed racism at the same time that this man was engaging what was clearly blatant racism to me.  How can you call a grown latino man a "boy" and condemn an entire race without being racist?

Why talk about this specific incident, today?  Here's a phrase from Obama's speech that's relevent:

The 12 million people in the shadows, the communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands, the neighborhoods seeing rising tensions as citizens are pitted against new immigrants…they’re counting on us to stop the hateful rhetoric filling our airwaves – rhetoric that poisons our political discourse, degrades our democracy, and has no place in this great nation.  They’re counting on us to rise above the fear and demagoguery, the pettiness and partisanship, and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform. 
Some will see the above incident as the fault of a fringe lunatic, who supports a fringe organization, but as anyone who blogs about migration can attest, hateful rhetoric like this has poisoned almost every online forum that takes up the subject.  Any newspaper article that dares even suggest that unauthorized migrants are human quickly fills up with hate like this in the comment section.  Even the mainstream progressive blogosphere is filled with hate like this.  Look no further than Alternet's special immigration section for evidence of that.

This hate is degrading the U.S.'s democracy, and preventing the U.S. from arriving at a meaningful solution to the issues associated with migration.  I live and breathe the U.S. migration debate.  And even for someone like myself, who is very familiar with the U.S.'s history oppression, I find myself living in disbelief over the suffering of that millions of authorized and unauthorized migrants have to live through every day in the United States.

The latest outrage comes from Tim Chavez over at Political Salsa, who describes how Abu Ghraib and Guantamo have come to Nashville, Tennesee, where a pregnant mother was shackled as she tried to give birth to her baby.  Her child was then denied the milk from her breast, and suffered from jaundice as a result of it.  I highly recommend you read the full post to get a sense of the sorts of things I read about every day.

Is this the sort of country you want to live in? 


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It's been a busy few days of tweeting and video taping, at the annual National Council of La Raza conference in Chicago, Illinois.  The last time I produced a youtube video was at the last National Council of La Raza... Read More

8 Comments

XP said:

silly, don't you know the reason why they didn't want us ... White-is-right.

In their eyes, we are still inferior and don't make good role models. Don't believe me, just Google "black doll study" and you will see, nothing has changed.

Even within our own community people prefer to seek out the opinion from a White professional first. Sad but true.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

We'll change it XP. Coming from my perspective, as a pro-migrant blogger, not a latino blogger (even though I'm a latino ally), the only way we're going to push back the toxicity of the online migration debate is if we put latino / pro-migrant voices at the forefront.

Everyone will come to see this sooner or later. They need look no further than blogs like yours or The Sanctuary to see that we've successfully provided spaces absent of the toxic elements of this debate.

No other online space has been able to provide this.

kyledeb said:

The credit for this post should go to The Sanctuary, but it has also been cross-posted at Citizen Orange, Blue Mass. Group, and Daily Kos.

nina said:

I was there holding a 9/11 truth sign. We got yelled at by the obama supporters to talk to bush and to go home and that 9/11 is old news.

I do not believe 9/11 is old news. Joe Biden who Obama is looking into as a vice president met with the leader of the ISI who sent $100,000 to the terrorist Atta right around 9/11. so 9/11 is still relevant and will never be forgotten.

I agree those minutemen were loud, abusive and racist. They apparently do not care that they are racist and that does not help their cause at all. Very pathetic.

While I do not agree with amnesty for illegal immigrants in no way am I racist and would ever say or even think about some of the things they were saying to people.

It made me think it wasnt real. Their actions would make everyone think anyone who does not agree with amnesty is a racist because of those minutemen losers.

It seemed to me those minutemen were just trying to provoke people so someone would get arrested.

My great grandparents came here legally from sicily years ago and my grandfathers fought in wars and one was a police officer. I am just sort of offended that people disobey the laws of this country to come here when so many others follow the laws. Its just disrespectful to want to come into our country and the first thing you do is break the laws of this country to get here.

Its all too often that the crazies win the day because they are the loudest and the craziest so they get the most attention.

but the event was peaceful and the officers were calm and reserved which was soooo cool and handled the situation very well in my opinion.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Nina,

Welcome to Citizen Orange. All are welcome here as long as their willing to move towards solution and consensus. You're mild tone tells me your one of those people.

If you do the research, you'll find that migrants like your grandfather actually had no legal barriers to come to the United States. It wasn't until very recently that this difference between legal and illegal cropped up.

I recommend you read yave's post, there is no line, to beging to get educated on some of the lies that a lot of anti-migrant advocates are spreading about unauthorized migrants.

v. said:

Part of the exchange that you mention can be found on youtube under the title "Mexican and Black lady vs racist white patriotic minutemen". It's an appalling video that illustrates some of what you saw as far as some of the behavior from the San Diego Minutemen that day at the NCLR convention. I believe one of the men in the video is the one who is holding the sign where a boy is urinating on the phrase "La Raza"

This Mexican illegal immigration problem began in 1946 - 1948 . When the U.S.Army (without provocation) attacked Mexico and took Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklohoma.

Since 1836 some Americans have been persecuting illegal immigrant Mexicans.(not all)
I am sure U.S. Authorities do not solve the problem because they simply don't want to. (it is impossible to export 12 Million human beings)
To be fair and to clear the record books, to write it off (and we must) we Americans, all of us, have to swallow our pride and allow Amnesty to these poor Mexican Human Beings.
Juan Manuel Sandoval

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

I agree with you John M. Sandoval,

And I appreciate your willingness to compromise and come to a real solution on this problem. I hope to hear more from you here at Citizen Orange.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on July 13, 2008 6:20 PM.

Obama's Remarks at the Annual National Council of La Raza Conference in San Diego was the previous entry in this blog.

When 'Progressive' Does Not Equal Pro-Migrant is the next entry in this blog.

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