Turn on CNN, Fox News, and any other number of cable news networks and you’re likely to see and hear a skewed vision of the state of immigration in the U.S. and it’s impact. No surprise here. Media Matters Action Network just released a study, Fear and Loathing in Prime Time Immigration Myths and Cable News, that puts some numbers together to show just how warped this vision is. For example, our pal Lou Dobbs has dedicated 70% of his shows to the issue of “illegal immigration”. Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck specifically have made careers on making the myths surrounding “scary brown people without papers” part of the media and general consciousness.
During 2007, the alleged connection between illegal immigration and crime was discussed on 94 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight, 66 episodes of The O’Reilly Factor, and 29 episodes of Glenn Beck.
During 2007, the allegation that undocumented immigrants drain social services and/or don’t pay taxes was discussed on 71 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight, 13 episodes of Glenn Beck, and eight episodes of The O’Reilly Factor.
Dobbs and Beck have perpetuated two related myths, that there are plans to construct a “NAFTA Superhighway” running from Mexico to Canada, and that there are plans to join Mexico, Canada, and the United States in a “North American Union” similar to the European Union. Dobbs has discussed the fictional North American Union on 56 separate programs during the past two years. (These two myths were also given a boost by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who pushed the ideas on the campaign trail.)
All three programs have presented as fact the “reconquista” myth, which states that there is a movement afoot for Mexico to take over the American Southwest.
Lou Dobbs Tonight has also been the show on which viewers are told about a mythical explosion of leprosy cases due to illegal immigration, and a mythical epidemic of voter fraud due to illegal immigration.
The report does an excellent job at countering the myths with facts and stats, just like the right wing fear mongers do.
My 28 year old “baby” sister just completed jury duty in the same courthouse where the officer’s that killed Sean Bell were acquitted in Queens, NY. It was an eye opening experience for her because she witnessed first hand how racism against Latinos is built into the very justice system. The case involved a young Latino man accused of gun possession. His accusers were NYC Public School Safety officers, now a subdivision of the NYC police department. A lack of evidence tying the accused to the gun (dubious witness accounts, no fingerprints even taken) eventually led to a not guilty verdict, but what also, undoubtedly influenced the jury was the blatant racism shown by the judge, who is supposed to be impartial.
Sunday marks one month since the New York City Police officers that shot and killed Sean Bell were acquitted.If you think one month is enough time to forget, and move on to business as usual, at least one part of the community thinks otherwise. Today and next Thursday, at 4 pm in Rufus King Park – Jamaica Avenue add 150th St in Queens, there will be people saying “We Are All Sean Bell”.
El Museo del Barrio, located in Spanish Harlem, New York City, is actually older than 15 years old, but I’m able to stay quiet about an institution’s age. Founded in 1969, by a group of artists and community activists, tonight el Museo, a Latino institution in the city, celebrates it’s 15th Annual Gala. From the press release:
As it is the Latin American tradition, El Museo Gala’s fifteenth birthday will be celebrated in the style of a quinceañero; this is a coming-of-age party for a daughter turning fifteen. For this gala, guests are invited to wear white or black (with long gloves and tiaras optional). El Museo will honor Dr. Mario Vargas Llosa, Ambassador Paul L. Cejas and Mrs. Trudy Cejas, and Mr. Angel Collado-Schwarz of Fundación Voz del Centro. Special guests will include Miss Universe, Riyo Mori; Miss Teen USA, Hilary Cruz; and the newly crowned Miss USA, and they will be wearing their tiaras.
A 26-year old Mexican citizen has been charged with piracy and sentenced to 6 years in prison for allegedly selling television shows, movies and music over the Internet:
A 6-year, 6-month sentence and a fine…equivalent to 428,000 pesos [about $41,000] was imposed on Edgar Rubio Corazón, 26, who sold music, movies and television series all over national territory and even overseas through his web site.
According to AFP, Rubio was caught when a tip came into authorities who later located him via his IP address.
What’s interesting to me is that Mexico crack down so hard on this guy, yet do nothing to the thousands of people who sell pirated media every day in broad daylight in virtually every tianguis in the nation. Perhaps this new anti-piracy law is the reason for the harsh penalty.
As I watched Barack Obama, with his wife and two daughters, cross the stage at his Iowa rally last night, I got to admit I thought, “How awesome would it be if this was the first family?”. Last night, Obama returned to the state whose primary acted as a crystal ball of what the rest of his campaign would look like. Last night Obama broke a significant barrier last night, earning a majority of pledged delegates. What makes this even more important is the fact that many unpledged delegates have said that they will go for whoever has the majority. In this case Obama.
But playing it smart, Obama didn’t say that it was over. Instead in Iowa last night he played the perfect Democrat politician, expressing his solidarity with the family of ailing Ted Kennedy, lavishing praise on Hillary Clinton, and saying the nomination of his party was within reach.
I was marveling that next week is the unofficial start of summer (it doesn’t feel like it yet). With the summer comes new, good musica to listen to at the beach, pool, or bbq. Today Six Degrees Records released the debut album Sonantes. This year Brazil celebrates 50 years of bossa nova and the debut album of this Såo Paolo musical collective features some of the newer well known voices of the genre like Céu The album was recorded not in a traditional studio setting, but rather mostly at home and the entire 10 track cd overall is sexy, in a moody languorous way, one that reminds me of sitting with a caipiriña, thinking of a lost love or plotting my next conquest.
It’s a low key album that doesn’t scream “listen to me” but rather serves as the perfect soundtrack for lazy summer days and nights. Some of the songs like, Miopia and Toque de Coito featuring Siba, sound sad, as if full of longing, even with it’s electric guitar and synthesizer sounds.
One of the most fun tracks on the album is Mambobit, which is “poppy” and nostalgic and I dare you to try and not move with Quilombo Te Espera.
A new lawsuit filed against a private contractor who runs an immigrant child detention center claims nine teenagers were beaten and abused by employees who work for Cornell Companies. The company has been cited by immigration officials for safety problems in the past. The Hector Garza facility in San Antonio handles young immigrant “males with serious behavioral and psychological impairments”.
“I think the general American has no idea these kids even exist,” said Susan Watson, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid attorney for the nine plaintiffs, “When our own government treats them this way, they deserve their day in court,” she said.