Prejudice And Ignorance Are Nothing To Sneeze At


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   Fajita flu?

   Holy frijoles, Batman, what’s one to do with all these right wing radio messengers of pandemic fears via racial prejudice?

   As a native Texan, proud of my state’s culinary contributions, I resent that a flu attack be tied to one of mankind’s most palatable meat dishes on a Tex-Mex menu, fajitas.

   Neal Boortz, a Southerner and radio personality, has labeled this particular strand of flu the “fajita flu”. Señor Boortz, for your information, fajitas were born in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, not in Mexico.

   Not to be outdone, CNN’s resident Hispanic-hater, Lou Dobbs, has labeled the H1N1-Virus, the “Mexican flu.”    

   That screaming West Coast dude, Michael Savage, claims that all undocumented workers are nothing but H1N1-Virus carriers; therefore the borders must be closed. Of course, that’s one of his life’s ambitions.

He warns his faithful not to patronize bistros whose kitchen staff employs immigrants, and instead visit eateries where no out-of-the-country dishwashers toil,

   Sure, Savage, all two of them.

   Let’s wish him luck when he goes to a supermarket in search of veggies and fruits harvested by “real Americans” this summer.

   Then there are local or small market characters who echo their radio-host-heroes’ schizo-rhetoric. 

   And so it goes, day after day, instead of sending out important, intelligent information regarding the epidemic, they choose to spew more lies and misinformation about their favorite targets — people with Spanish surnames.   

   This particular flu bug, it seems, has infected the brains of all these right-wingers who are still licking their post-presidential election wounds. Coupled with the demise of the Republican Party as we know it, their need for replacing Democratic spanking bodies must be crucial. So here we go again, another round of blaming the country’s ills on Spanish-speaking immigrants.

   Not that it’s anything new. Take the Jews, for example. The 14th century’s “black death” — a plague that swept across Europe — was blamed on them. Those early-day incognizant soothsayers even accused the Jews of poisoning Christian village wells. Worst, they managed to convince their fellow dimwits to burn thousands of Jews at the stake.

   Our knowledge and understanding of viruses and other microscopic organisms leading to diseases has improved tons during the last 600 years. Still, some of the same primitive tribalism inspires today’s lethal xenophobia as heard daily on our radio waves.

    With all their self-proclaimed righteousness rhetoric and God Bless America  rants, why haven’t they checked with the Mexican media? According to the Mexico City daily La Jornada, officials there state,"the vectors of this outbreak are the clouds of flies that come out of the hog barns, and the waste lagoons.”

   Cd. Juárez journalist and bilingual blogger Paz Macías, writes, “Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, operates in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated, say Mexican officials. The operations of the American company’s Mexican subsidiary, Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year.”

   Guess the radio folks don’t want to be confused with facts. Fallacies make for better ratings. This new flu provides a perfect pretext to spread racism over the radio.

   Could the time have arrived for Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to speak out against these ranters. Most of their listeners, even with half a mind tied behind their backs, must have figured out that immigrants are not the culprits spreading the H1N1-Virus flu.   

   The remnants of the Republican party should realize by now that these talking heads are spreading something much more infectious. Ignorance.

   (Andy Porras is publisher of the Sacramento-area bilingual, bimonthly Califas. E-mail: [email protected])


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