Just Say "No" To Immigrant Bashing

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Roy Beck of Numbers USA recently published an article on his group's website on the murder of Marcello Lucero.  What starts off as a piece against hate quickly turns into a piece explaining that Marcelo's death has nothing to do with his (anti-immigrant) movement while attacking those he calls "pro-illegal-immigrant" supporters.  He also states quite coldly about Lucero's murder:

My guess is that these teenagers are opportunistic thugs who would have found somebody else to beat up if they hadn't had some animus toward Latin Americans.

Yes, and we can also state Lucero wouldn't be dead if he didn't look Mexican.  Just like Luis Ramirez, of Shenandoah, wouldn't be dead if he'd wasn't in the Unites States without permission as was stated by the local anti-migrant group. 

Beck's need to publish a piece like this is very telling given he could've either said nothing on the issue or just stated simply that it was a horrible act.  Instead he tells those in his fold to watch their language, essentially admitting the power language holds, while then trying to explain that language is not really a culpable point of concern.  It's apparently the pro-migrant that caused Lucero's murder.

Surprisingly, or not so much so, Beck lashes out against those who continue to work for peace by bringing this hate crime to light.  He states of those he refers to as "pro-illegal-immigrant":

Their exploitation of this atrocity is distasteful and aggravating.

Well Mr. Beck it's not nearly as aggravating as being a minority in a country that holds fast to racism and seeing a large group which with great whit fosters a racist view without even having to name those they don't like.  Nor is it quite as aggravating as having a friend or relative beaten simply for looking Mexican.

Who makes up this "pro-illegal-immigration" crowd is that Beck speaks of?  Who is working to supporting a broken system which has people dying in detention and being treated as subhuman?  Is their truly a group who is for illegal immigration?  Or is Beck referring to those of us that believe in basic human rights?  Is he referring to those of us who would like to immigration reforming allowing undocumented migrants to become citizens?  How can we be pro-illegal if we're working to help those who are here without documentation? 

To Beck, as he states, it's all about the numbers and not about the people themselves.  However, when you look at the various groups that form the angry chain together you will easily find that one group doesn't have to mention race since another will do it for them.  Whether you're talking about Numbers USA, FAIR, The Fire Coalition, or the myriad other national and local anti-migrant groups you'll find that language.  You'll find the language that leads to hateful acts by those that Beck refers to as being "of less stable mind."

While he preaches the need to "be careful" with language he admits that behind the language (where the truth lies) is the sometimes chance that one will "make unguarded comments in the heat of frustration that reflect badly on all people of a certain ethnic origin."  Of course they will and they do.  From the buttons stating the White House will be black to the images of Calvin pissing on the Mexican flag and the shirts stating "save a horse ride a Mexican" it is certainly easy enough to find that hateful language.

What fuels this language more than a group like Numbers USA who make intolerance ok without even having to use the language?  Consider that Numbers USA is essentially a backbone of "facts" by which many of these groups are propped up.  Both FAIR and CIS provide the same structure for these groups and just like Numbers they're all backed and started by John Tanton.  Beck states that

"of course, no legitimate member of our movement wishes physical harm on illegal aliens or immigrants."
I beg to differ unless his movement is full of illegitimate members.  Anyone with a few minutes and an internet connection can find a multitude of references to harming undocumented immigrants.  And this type of rhetoric is nothing new for this country.  That is precisely why it is important to bring these cases out into the light. 

In Shenandoah, PA four teens were recently charged with the beating death of a Mexican immigrant.  Even though there is evidence from multiple sources that racial slurs were being used during the beating it seems this crime might be swept under the rug as a lawyer works to have the case dismissed.  Some locals, rather than admonish the crime, actually sought help from a local anti-migrant group who then held what they referred to as a "Pro-America" rally in the town.  This group, and some from the town, blamed Ramirez's death on his being here as if living in the United States is a reason to be killed.  Very much like Beck they called the crime a travesty and then took to speaking against undocumented migrants as if they are responsible when they're beaten to death.

Beck actually believes it is our fault for working to help undocumented migrants.  If we'd only work to reduce immigration all the hate and murder would disappear.  This is very much the tone we end with in Beck's article as he states:

Recently in Europe, we have seen what happens when those in power refuse to protect their citizens from out-of-control immigration.  The backlash is often ugly and violent.

Thanks Mr. Beck for protecting those poor minorities from being beaten to death through your promotion of less immigration.  We all know that if minorities would have never been allowed to migrate to our European conquered land we'd have had no hate crimes at all (well.....).  Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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Dave Bennion said:

Nice analysis of a classic "blame the victim" piece. It's also a particularly unpleasant form of concern trolling.

PaulDeReno said:

The good news is that this piece has only attracted 1 comment.

There really isn't much to say about it. If I were to reverse the ethnic identities of the assailant and the victim (such as in the Wichita, KA atrocity in 2000) and follow the same logic, I would be equally justified in blaming the Rainbow Coalition for the attack as Chris is blaming Numbers USA for Marcelo's murder. Both positions advance far beyond the points of being exasperating and depressing, and have achieved the distinction of being boringly stupid.

It seems that Chris thinks he represents some sort of heroic educated class that mans the fortresses of virtue scattered about the coastal cities and University towns, protecting the forces of good from the vast fever swamp of crazed bigotry that is the rest of the country. There is no other way I could diagnose how someone could dismiss the opinions of over 2/3ds of Americans who agree far more with Roy Beck than with Juan Hernandez and Morris Dees without simply concluding him to be an idiot, which I--perhaps generously--do not think is the case.

PaulDeReno said:

And by the way, the definition of "blaming the victim" is to argue that the victim had it coming and may have deserved what he got. Nobody at all is saying Lucero deserved what he got or was responsible for it. What people are saying is that it's stupid to conflate the platform of an issue organization with the actions of one individual that are in no way sanctioned or promoted by the organization. I'm not the biggest fan of Greenpeace; but even I don't go around saying that their activities "created an environment more conducive" to the actions of Ted Kazinski.

chris said:


I did not state that Roy Beck is responsible for Lucero’s murder. However, in light of the recent facts which tell us these teens were going after immigrants and did hurt others too there is some concern.

I think you’re arguing just for the sake of it. It’s quite obvious that one can foster hate without promoting physical violence. The seed which creates that furious synaptic response was planted by the intolerance which many have inherited. We all understand that racial intolerance is a piece of the American past and it’s still quite present today.

Numbers USA, FAIR and CIS (amongst others) tell us that immigrants are a problem. So those “of less stable mind” as Beck states will decide to do something about this problem through violence and/or intimidation. Beck may state he doesn’t approve of this, but it’s like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. It doesn’t matter if you approve of what you created – you created it. One only has to understand that the one-sided keep immigrants out approach of these groups is no way a humanitarian approach to the issues of the world nor the U.S. If Numbers USA did anything to actually help people those that follow them wouldn't find violence to be a valid solution.

In regards to reversing the ethnicities around in this story there’s simply no basis for that type of analysis. What if it were whites who were enslaved by blacks in this country? It doesn’t matter what if it only matters why and how are we going to fix this. If you buy into Beck’s logic then you believe we fix it by keeping immigrants out. I suppose that’s the same way the KKK fixes the problem of not wanting African Americans or Hispanics in the towns they’ve claimed their own.

This is a “blame the victim” story. If the victim had not migrated to the U.S. he’d not have been killed. Beck states quite clearly in his piece that if we keep allowing immigrants in then we’ll see an escalation in violent acts against them. Why is that? I think this is the issue.

PaulDeReno said:

I appreciate your civil response, but I still don't understand your position.

You say: It’s quite obvious that one can foster hate without promoting physical violence. The seed which creates that furious synaptic response was planted by the intolerance which many have inherited...Numbers USA, FAIR and CIS (amongst others) tell us that immigrants are a problem. So those “of less stable mind” as Beck states will decide to do something about this problem through violence and/or intimidation. Beck may state he doesn’t approve of this, but...[i]t doesn’t matter if you approve of what you created – you created it.

First of all, no one has yet demonstrated that Lucero's murderers even knew of the existence of these groups or read their material. Even if they did, whatever "hate" was fostered by the Immigration Restriction Advocates was purely the product of the mind of the killers, just as the connection between the Beatles and Charles Manson's murderous fantasies was only in the head of Charles Manson. There is nothing Beck can do about it if some nut wildly misinterprets him. Anyone who takes a legitimate position--Left or Right--on a controversial topic that arouses many passions runs that risk. The only way to avoid it would be to eliminate all debate of controversial topics.

Furthermore, it is of no consequence whatever--as far as this discussion goes--that blacks were the ones on the short end of slavery in the U.S. for 250+ years. My argument is precisely this: an advocacy group's legitimacy lies in its means and ends of advocacy, and the effects of its activities on fringe elements do not delegitimize it in any way, because--for one reason--it is the nature of fringe elements to impute radical inferences into reasonable positions when none exist. How does the structure of the American racial divide in any way affect this argument?

Dave Bennion said:

Recently in Europe, we have seen what happens when those in power refuse to protect their citizens from out-of-control immigration. The backlash is often ugly and violent.

That is what I meant by blaming the victim.

You, sir, are a moron.

chris said:

I understand you want to defend Beck and his rhetoric, but let me just lay it out there. While I don't blame Beck for this crime I do believe that he truly has no problem with it and understands that his group in effect promotes it. If it takes violence to keep out migrants I'd imagine it's just an means to an end for Beck.

We can argue back and forth about fringe elements, motives and the true desires of Numbers USA, but the truth is that Numbers USA and the like are doing nothing to truly help anyone. These groups exist in the negative and therefore breed negativity.

I believe you understand this even though you'll continue to defend them. People are tired of the hate and negativity and I believe we'll see the good people of the U.S. stand up and say enough.

PaulDeReno said:

To say that Beck approves of violence against immigrants is simply libelous.

To say something like that requires proof. Beck is an immigration restrictionist. It is a defensible position, even if you don't agree with it. What evidence do you have that Beck doesn't mind when immigrants get killed? All you have is the assumption that immigration restrictionists are hateful people which you use to prove that...immigration restrictionists are hateful people. Bennion offered as evidence, in his asinine comment, that some immigration restriction group happened to mention that uncontrolled immigration has negative consequences. The whole point of Immigration Restriction is that uncontrolled immigration has negative consequences. Otherwise, there would be no reason to be a restrictionist.

Numbers USA is obviously doing nothing to help anyone from the point of view of an immigration enthusiast. From the point of view of an immigration restrictionist, whose goal is to limit and control immigration, Beck and co. have done very much indeed. Beck played a large role--amongst many others--in killing the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty in 2007. In 2008, the fanatically pro-immigration Bush Administration began enforcing immigration law under Chertoff.

I ask Chris and Bennion this, is it in your minds possible for someone to be pro-immigration restriction while not being anti-immigrant, hateful, or xenophobic? Is it possible to favor less immigration without being accused of hate that encourages violence? If you say it is not, it simply means that you believe either that all restrictionists are haters in their hearts, which is, of course, false and unprovable regardless, or that favoring less immigration to be inherently violent, which, while being insane, is at least consistent.

PaulDeReno said:

I would also like to mention how inane this statement is: "These groups exist in the negative and therefore breed negativity".

The word "therefore" has no place in such a meaningless, antiseptic statement. Its nebulous, suggestive language is reminiscent of Jack Ripper's ranting about "purity of essence" in Dr. Strangelove. If you wish to describe these groups, please ditch the theraputic babble and call them what they are: Immigration Reduction Advocates (IRAs), who want to reduce immigration for specific reasons which they are very willing to articulate; (i.e. you need not impute to them any motives that don't exist).

I would also ask that you not simply assert outrageously stupid and libelous things such as that IRAs don't mind when immigrants are murdered. I am extending the good faith assumption to you, and I am also assuming that you are decent people--although unspeakable calumnies like this are weakening this conviction--and I would like the same respect in return. Again, IRAs are more than willing to tell you exactly what their reasoning is.

Again, this discussion can begin once I get an answer to this question: Is it, in your mind, possible to wish to reduce immigration and simultaneously not be a hater/racist? Do you think that there can be any legitimate reason to think that current levels of immigration are too high and wish to reduce it? Is the overwhelming majority of the US population that thinks current levels of immigration are "too high" composed of inveterate racists who have to be controlled by the virtuous left-wing coastal/college elites like AO?

No discussion of this issue can take place without this question being answered.

chris said:

It's quite obvious we're not going to agree here so I'll finish this thread by answering your question.

Truly history has answered this question for us, but you really want me state that I believe all immigration restrictionists are racists. For those that simply want immigration reduced or be stopped while doing nothing to help others abroad find opportunities I'd have to say racism is a part of it.

MIgration is a global issue and must be addressed globally. We cannot simply restrict immigration and then it's problem solved. We exist in the world and therefore have to deal with this issue with that in mind. We can't simply believe that we're entitled to live far better than everyone else and do so at their expense while then saying 'you can't come here.' So you show me a restrictionist who's working to provide opportunities and better lives abroad and I might change my perception.

Of course, this doesn't even address the fact that many of these groups have been caught making racists statements nor the fact that if you look at many of their message boards you can see it in the avatars and comments. To fail to recognize this is simply irresponsible.

In regard to your comment on libel I’m entitled to my opinions which are based on the research I’ve done on many national and local IRA’s (as you call them.) From references to StormFront to shirts stating “save a horse ride a Mexican” it’s quite easy to see racism is alive and well. If I believe Beck has no problem with it that’s my opinion. As far as I’m concerned Beck is that guy on top who doesn’t have to get in the muck. There are enough people willing to do that for him and they’ll wear their “legalize the hunting of illegal immigrants" shirt while he keeps to his suit and tie.

PaulDeReno said:

You said that you were going to finish this thread by answering the question, but you actually evaded it, and continued to make false associations, such as equating racist groups like Stormfront to legit IRAs like NumbersUSA, and falsely equating the "Kill a Horse" crackpots with the program at large.
I don't honor your independent research that IRAs are racist, as I think that you are extremely biased. Show me real research. Give me Morris Dee's tendentious hackwork over your "considered opinion" any day. At least the SPLC's agitprop is publicly accessible i.e. anyone who reads it can see how dumb it is.

Again, is it logically feasible in your mind that one could want to reduce immigration and not be a racist, or is the desire to reduce immigration inherently racist? If this thread is finished, then perhaps it might make an interesting topic for the next one. Of course, it puts the Open-Borders Advocates (OBAs) on the defensive, since if they say "no", it weakens their favorite tactic of calling all those who disagree with them racist, and if they say "yes", it destroys their credibility, because of the absurdity of the position. To answer the question is to open the issue to debate on its merits and on facts as opposed to name-calling. And the OBAs know very well that they are on the short end of this issue. (Just look at Chris' absurd statement that U.S. should be directed to favor foreign peoples over U.S. Americans.)

chris said:

I gave my reason for believing that many, if not all, immigration restrictionists are either racist or at least have a racist-based agenda. Show me the immigration restrictionist who actually understands how to deal with the issue. Do you stop immigration by simply asking for it to be stopped and petitioning congress? Obviously not or there wouldn't be twelve million undocumented migrants in the United States. Where is the IRA that asks why? Where is the IRA that asks how can we help others so they don't have to risk their lives and safety to come here? They don't exist because they don't want to help others - they just don't want them here.

To state I favor foreign peoples over Americans is simply a bogus tactic from your side. For showing concern for all human beings I'm labeled anti-American. Does a proud American (a nation created and made strong through immigration) say 'stay out - we're full.' I know the restrictionist answer to this question. The Know Nothings made it clear so long ago.

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