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Janet Murguía

Janet Murguía

Posted: August 5, 2009 09:22 AM

There They Go Again: Tom Tancredo, Mark Krikorian and the Politics of Hate and Fear


There they go again.

Like Energizer bunnies, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo and pal Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) keep banging the same old tired drum in a desperate attempt to discredit our voice prior to the national debate over immigration.

Tancredo's most recent complaint involves Supreme Court justice nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor and her membership in NCLR, the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. He says this implicates her as a Mexican separatist who wants to take back the American southwest for Mexico.

Please. Can it get any more absurd?

Scraping together a series of thin assertions and associations that have long ago been answered (and answered and answered) on NCLR's website, (click on "The Truth about NCLR"), Tancredo fashions a radical straw man for himself to rail against in his endless pursuit of an anti-immigration agenda he has championed for years.

That he gets people to listen to this nonsense is what we find amazing.

Krikorian of CIS joined in yesterday trying to give Tancredo's rant some credence by harping on the term "La Raza," as in "The National Council of La Raza." Both Tancredo and CIS claim this term translates pejoratively into "The Race" instead of "the people" or "the community" as we use it (not unlike the way the Navajo use the term "the Dine"). Instead of quoting the man who coined the term, former Mexico Secretary of Education José Vasconcelos, who spoke of "La Raza Cósmica" as an ethnicity that welcomes diversity, CIS quotes others who claim a more sinister agenda is afoot.

How about quoting us? It's our name. We know what it means. We're happy to share.

But no. That's not where they are on this. Tancredo's latest missive states:

"Designated minority victim groups are free to promote their anti-white racist agenda, while any whites who fight back are playing 'racial politics.'"

The politics of hate and fear are not new to our country. We've seen them before. We know what they look like. Right now, they look a lot like Tom Tancredo and Mark Krikorian.