(@ noon – promoted by NLinStPaul)
For crying out loud….some people just make me shake my head and be disgusted. As many of you know, there is a potential health problem of major proportions going on in Mexico. Now for logical folks, commonsense says stay cool and find a way to help the less fortunate. But oh no, you got some on the Right who think “hot damn, I get to bring out the racist in me!”
Today across the media, there have been reports of Swine Flu in parts of Mexico. The casualty list so far has been about 50 or so, mostly young (and poor). Authorities are already taking action, whether its enough remains to be seen. Still, in light of this development, we have people out there who are taking advantage of this in a very un-productive way.
For starters, you have Michael Wiener (aka Michael Savage) going on his tirade against illegal immigrants. Only this time, he’s utilizing his academic Ph.D. credentials in nutritional ethnomedicine to legitimize his hate. He goes on beyond his usual “close the borders” routine, in attempt to link the outbreak with terrorism. That Mexicans crossing the borders may be carriers of ‘designer plagues.’ He’s called out how he will not do business with anyone supposedly employing illegals, and implies that listeners should also take the same approach. Now I ask you, if you were to walk into a restaurant or down the street, could you tell me the difference between an “illegal” and a “legal”? Savage knows you can’t and on top of this, what he has initiated has already started something more sinister.
How do I know this? Now I’m not in California or Texas, where it was said some of those infected were. I’m in Chicago, miles and miles away from these states. Yet this man’s venom is widely served here. I am at a Costco picking up a garden hose and of course me being the people type, I strike up a conversation. The talk starts off about the Cubs then about wishing the damn garden hoses were made in America and not China. But then the guy goes into how we need to quarantine those “damn Mexicans” because they could infect us. Now being part Mexican, I was wondering if I should inform him that I could be one of those “damned” ones. Now I’m 5 foot, and this guy is 6’9″ with the weight of a Buick, so I chickened out. Hate me, go ahead, but I’m a lover, not a fighter.
Walking out the store, that got me thinking. If this Super Mario-looking mother fucker would just blurt that out, who else? What if this becomes a real public health menace? No doubt, there is no doubt at all, that some idiots will take advantage of this. Prepare to see news stories of victimization of Latinos or folks who look Hispanic. This goes beyond troubling me. I remember how Arabs were treated right after 9/11.
We need to maintain our composure. The problem is, the Right, people like Savage, they’re the guy in the movie who overacts and ends up getting a lot of people killed. And we have a nation full of those types! Playing devil’s advocate, I guess you could say I’m over-reacting here. That this won’t turn into something worse, which I hope I’m wrong and it doesn’t.
Yet we have to stay vigilant. Racism did not die on that particular November day in 2008. You have evil people out there, for whom the color of someone’s skin or ethnicity or religion or sexual orientation is enough to indict. Whether its some public health menace or the economy, when the going gets tough we need to help each other more.