The Shenandoah Murder of Luis Eduardo Martinez

Pro-immigrant bloggers, Latino advocates, immigrant activists and human rights workers across the country are stunned and angry, not only by the horrific murder of Mexican immigrant Luis Eduardo Martinez, but by the shameful attitudes of some local officials.

Martinez was beaten to death in his homwtown of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania by a pack of six young toughs -- none of which has yet to be charged with a crime. Even with eye witnesses confirming the racially motivated murder, local authorities haven't acted against the young men.


Check out this outrageous comment by Borough Manager Joseph Palubinsky who doubts that race was a factor in the killing: "I have reason to know the kids who were involved, the families who were involved, and I've never known them to harbor this type of feeling."

Meanwhile, Ms Crystal Dillman, Mr. Martinez' fiance and mother of his two children, knows the locals all too well and has witnessed the heightening of anti-Latino bigotry. She rightly asks, 'How is it not a racial issue?'

Of course, if anyone in the Northeastern section of Pennsylvania is responsible for inflaming racial hatred it is Lou Barletta, mayor of nearby Hazelton. Barletta has used unconstitutional means to harrass and push out Hazelton's growing population of Latinos--most of which are legal residents and citizens.

A few days after Mr. Martinez' murder, Barletta was named the Mayor of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association for his anti-immigrant work. How's that for justice?

The Shenandoah murderers, Mr. Palubinsky, Hazelton's Barletta and other accomplices must be held accountable.

Murdered immigrant's fiancee ties death to Hazleton tensions
Immigrant's beating death exposes tensions in Pa.
‘How is that not a racial issue?’: Shenandoah residents react to homicide
Hazleton mayor named Pa.'s Mayor of the Year


Suffolk County: Latinos Go Home!

Long Island (NY) Latino and immigrant rights advocates have been battling County Executive Steve Levy and his allies on the Suffolk County Legislature as they push an endless stream of legislation to designed to rid the county of its Latino Day Laborers--some portion of which are undocumented.

The pols' staunchest support comes from a few unions concerned with labor competition, and a dozen or so rabidly anti-Latino residents.

(BTW: Suffolk County has some 200,000 Latino residents.)

While Levy and legislators are careful to preface their comments in favor of anti-Day Laborer legislation by insisting the intent is not anti-Latino/anti-immigrant, nativist residents at public hearings feel no need to be politically correct. It's clear that these people are animated by deep hostility towards the newcomers from South of the Border--illegal or not. To these bigots, Latinos are foreigners, interlopers, and we're trespassing on their Long Island.

The weapon of choice for the racists is the blunt force of government sanctions against Latinos--especially those most visible and vulnerable: the day laborers.

The toxic environment fomented by the nativists and their legislative partners is deeply disturbing to area Latino, immigrant and progressive communities. The fear is that racists thugs--emboldened by an acquiescent political establishment--will escalate from rhetoric to violence.

Already there has been a rash of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino crimes. For example, this spring a motorist jumped the curb and plowed into a group of day laborers and then fled. Clearly, a hate crime -- although the county police dismissed it as an accident. Immigrant women have been targeted for sexual assaults. Day laborers are repeatedly taunted, spat upon, beaten and robbed.

And a week or so ago, racists spray painted their ugly demands on a wall in Bayshore. The message was hateful and despicable, but the response of the authorities was equally disturbing. The local newspaper reported that they authorities were unsure if the perpetrators were racially motivated. I kid you not!

To his credit, Steve Levy immediately condemned the racist act. Actually, he was on the scene before anyone else. (Hmmm)

Then again, maybe Levy is beginning to understand that the political dead end that is nativism. There can't be much opportunity for a nativist Dem pol in a very Dem state, right? If he is starting to 'get it', may be he will also 'get it' that his obession with defeating Suffolk County's sole Latino state representative and immigrant advocate -- Assemblyman Phil Ramos--is also dead wrong.

(BTW: Isn't Bayshore in the 6th Assembly District?)


Latinos Rising to Lance a Nativist GOP?

The New Democrat Network has published Hispanics Rising 2, a report on the Latino electorate and the 2008 presidential elections.

NDN's conclusion?

The harshness of the current immigration debate has changed American politics -- and Latinos may now flex their growing electoral clout by tipping upwards of five critical swing states in favor of the Democrats in 2008 in response to the GOP's anti-Latino and anti-immigrant politics.

• The Republican handling of immigration has been one of the biggest strategic mistakes by a modern party in recent American history. In 2006, the national GOP spent tens of millions of dollars and tremendous brand power in making immigration a winning issue for them. It failed.

• Meanwhile, the relentless demonization of Latinos by the GOP has turned this community, the fastest-growing section of the American electorate, against them, erasing significant gains that had been made.

• Latinos are becoming an energized political force. Millions marched against anti-immigrant sentiment, turnout is climbing and citizenship applications have soared.

• If the GOP’s experience in California is replicated nationally, it may spell 21st century electoral doom for the GOP.

• In 2008, the GOP cannot build a reliable electoral map without the heavily Latino swing states of AZ, CO, FL, NM and NV. Democrats have many more tools than they did in 2004 to take advantage of the tremendous GOP stumble.

Hispanic voters gaining strength in key states
The GOP's Bitter Harvest to Come

A Xenophobic Zeitgeist - Erasing GOP Latino Gains
WSJ -- The GOP's Anti-Latino Tone is a Loser
Linda Chavez: GOP's Self-Inflicted Wound
Republican Presidential Hopefuls Diss 1,000 Latino Leaders
The Coming Latino Voter Response to the Failure of Immigration Reform
Republicans: nativism is a proven loser
Clint Bolick: The GOP Must Now Prove Itself to Latinos
Linda Chavez' The Company You Keep: In Search of anti-Hispanic hostility
GOP Risks Losing Latino Voters

Fox News Channel has crossed the racist line

The famed comedian D.J. Hughley has stated that whenever he accidentally rests his television dial on the Fox News station it will automatically start tilting to the right.

That's funny, but it also illustrates the dogma and mantra that comes from this station that claims to be "fair and balanced".

That claim is indeed untrue. In fact, there has never been a cable channel so devoted to one area of political debate. Fox News is not extremely committed to the right wing dogma of the political debate it is pro ultra conservative awash with neo conservative views which are not compatible with traditional or progressive Black views.

Anti-democratic, anti-liberal but also anti-Black and this is what sickens me and should cause great concern for the free nation known as America.

The Obama run for the presidency has turned this station into a bastion for hate, propaganda and sick satire. Mahatma Gandhi once stated that when you start a movement "they will first ignore you; then they will laugh at you; then they will fight you; finally you will win".

Fox News is engrossed in the third stage with Senator Obama and the entire Black race in general. It appears to them that the Senator and the entire Black race are one and the same and must be stopped at all costs. The level of hate and racism from the Rupert Murdock station is turning up to a very serious level.

It has decided to demonize the entire Black church. Since the tape and follow up of Rev. Wright, Senator Obama's former minister, the television station has repeatedly blamed this on typical Black church rhetoric coming out every Sunday from typical Black churches and their ministers throughout the land.

They have even brought on their dependable colored buffoons who claim, "This is what's wrong with Black people. They have stupid, hate mongering preachers telling them what to do."

Someone needs to tell this medium that it is the Black church that has gotten our race through the Jim Crow apartheid era of the United States and that it is the Black church that has spawned great leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who have led us to victory in the great Civil Rights Struggle.

I guess that's it. They despise the Black church for what it has done - delivering us from oppression through faith and courage. Apparently, this station hates what the Black church stands for and is.

It was not funny at all when one of the paid pundits on Fox News made a Freudian slip by saying, "it would be nice to stop Al Qaeda and kill Obama", when checked by another pundit she continued, "Osama/Obama, let's knock off both of them."

This is intolerable! They tried to cover themselves with a mild jovial apology the next day. This was nothing to joke about and based on the history of this nation it was clearly a threat that should not be taken lightly. How can a "news show" carry on in such a dangerous and sick manner? If the Ku Klux Klan has an endorsed television channel, this is it.

Racists can clearly be illustrated with the hatred of the Black female. Their fear of the Black male causes them to hate the one who loves him - the Black female. The personal mean spirited attacks against the Honorable Michelle Obama are terribly sad. Another Fox News pundit referred to her as "Obama's baby mama". This is reducing the most celebrated Black family today to an unholy affair replete with illegitimate children. This is more than mean; this is pure hate. You have to be pretty sick to think this stuff up.

It gets worse. Bill O'Reilly has stated on his nightly show on Fox News that he wants to organize a "lynching party to go after Michelle Obama". This is 2008 and we are on the verge of breaking a long cycle of exclusivity. However, there is a news medium that is hell bent on preventing that. Issuing a statement like this is truly indicative that something very wrong is still amiss amongst us. We need to call it out.

I gave up watching Fox News long ago. I just could no longer stomach the mess that was being presented before me. No African-American or any human being with racial tolerance can watch this program on a consistent basis. Bad taste is one thing but racial animus becomes something more sinister.

It is time for us to start officially complaining to the Federal Communications Commission about the antics this channel is perpetrating. Let's stop this monster.

Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Source: The Louisiana Weekly

Related: Fox Attacks: Black America