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Seems kind of funny to put Latinos in with Norway and the far right, huh? But what happened in that faraway northern country is what I fear will happen here if our country does not start standing up and curbing the anti-immigrant rantings of extreme right-wingers and their elected minions.
Apparently, the young man who murdered more than 90 people, most of them very young political and social activists attending a liberal party summer encampment, was a white, male, fundamentalist Christian, right-wing extremist with delusions (almost all of these are delusional) of beginning a crusade against Islam. In the young man’s 1,500-page manifesto, he cited conservative anti-jihadist, anti-Muslim American bloggers as essential to his actions.
Ah, one of the ironies about technology, the Internet, and freedom of speech is that they make almost everything available to almost everyone! As an aside and a topic for a later piece — did you know that just more than 40% of Latinos on the westside of San Antonio have access to the Internet? Think about that for a little while and then place today’s piece in context.
I’m afraid the same thing is going to happen here in the United States that happened in Norway. That man, Anders Breivek, first attacked a symbol of the current government, and then went to a summer encampment and shot more than 80 young people because he was trying to make a statement that his culture was being perverted by immigrants!
In Norway’s case they are not worried about Mexicans! They are worried about Muslims escaping turmoil in their own countries. This man got it into his head that his action would launch a global white, Christian jihad against Muslim immigrants. Actually, something like this has already happened in the United States, only it wasn’t directed against Latinos. It was directed against our government when Timothy McVeigh blew down the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.
My big concern is that many elected officials are either just standing around looking perplexed or saying that some other issues are more important instead of addressing the racial and anti-immigrant hatred that permeates our local and national rhetoric. This rhetoric, in varying degrees of vitriol, has found its way into arguments around legislation that has been passed or considered in many of our states and at the federal level.
Now I’d like to call a crusade. I’d like to call a crusade to justice! A crusade to common decency! A crusade to common sense! A crusade to the protection of human dignity! A crusade that will lead to respect of each other as equal human beings!
Dr. Henry Flores is a professor of Political Science and Dean of the Graduate School at St. Mary’s University, in San Antonio, Texas.
[Photo By L.C.Nøttaasen]