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WBEN, Riding the Nativist Derp Train to Fraudville

It used to be that references to undocumented immigrants as “invaders” were reserved for the outermost fringes of the body politic. 

Stormfront. Short wave. Nazi/Racist/Neo-Confederate bulletin boards. Infowars.

Now, because of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the right-wing freakout over “illegal” “invaders” has become commonplace. Neo-Nazi hate-speech is now mainstreamed. 

Add to that the spectacle of underemployed, underinformed, angry white folk, (whose immigrant ancestors came from somewhere), who have nothing better to do all day than to turn parts of the American desert into little clones of Afghanistan – complete with weapons and extralegal checkpoints

Not to put too fine a point on it all, but what’s going on along the US-Mexican border is unprecedented – youngsters are crossing into the US en masse and rather than running from Border Patrol in order to get further into the US, they are surrendering immediately upon arrival, just like the Cubans do under our unusually generous “dry foot” policy

(Hint: Just tell the wingnuts that these kids are from Cuba, and maybe they’ll treat them as human beings.)

Unsophisticated, poor families in places like Guatemala and Honduras – economically awful, socially violent, and politically dysfunctional places – are being tricked by human trafficking cartels to pay to send their kids to the US, where, they’re told, the kids will be able to claim asylum and stay forever.  Of course, there’s no federal “DREAM” Act, but a 2008 law requires the government to grant any kid from a non-border country an asylum hearing

These children and their families are being taken advantage of by con artists. They are the tired, the poor – the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  Tempest-tost wretched refuse, these children and their families are naive victims. Yet when they come here, our nativist right wing freaks out. Peak temper tantrum, hurling hateful invective not only at these Central American tweens, but at Obama, the liberals, and everyone else who doesn’t slap a Gadsen flag on their bumper and an eagle on their timeline. 

It is a humanitarian crisis because these children come with nothing – have nothing – and because ours is a country of laws, we are not empowered simply to shove them back on a bus across the Mexico border. We have due process.  We have laws. We have to detain them – humanely – while we process them all. That is how a 1st world country works, and that is what the law requires. 

It’s gotten to the point where any school bus filled with brown people is suspect. An Arizona state legislator running for Congress stoked the confrontation, and hatefully declared that food and shelter for a bus-full of brown-skinned children isn’t compassionate, but an “abrogation of the rule of law“. 

As it turns out, it wasn’t a bus-full of undocumented migrants, but a bus-full of Arizonan kids on their way to YMCA camp. Seriously

While the wingnuts with all that extra time on their hands accost kids on their way to the Y, other kids are dying. The border patrol is a law enforcement agency – not a refugee non-profit. The government is unprepared to deal with something like this, because of its massive scale and the unprecedented nature of what’s going on. Washington alternates between grandstanding and dithering

By treating these kids as “invaders” and an “army”, you dehumanize them as well as any World War II-era cartoon of a bespectacled, slanty-eyed Tojo. By focusing on blaming Obama rather than trying to solve a legal and humanitarian crisis, the right wing contributes not only to the further erosion of whatever was left of its Latino support, but exposes itself for the craven practitioner of racialist, nativist politics that it’s become in recent years. 

At the local forefront of this racial animus is hate radio WBEN, led by right-wing kook and operations director Tim Wenger. 

Sometime on Tuesday, this appeared at WBEN’s scat-strewn Facebook page: 

First of all, it links to “Gateway Pundit”, who is widely regarded by anyone with a brain to be one of the stupidest people in the right-wing blogosphere. Not just wrong – stupid.  Here, he links to something called “Mad World News”, which I’ve never heard of, and which certainly doesn’t seem like a completely credible source. 

Because it’s not.

I won’t link to either one, but if you go to “Mad World News”, it seems that some nosy hausfrau encountered a busload of brown-skinned people getting off a school bus at a Wal-Mart in rural North Carolina. She tried to communicate with them, but these durn Messikinz didn’t speak any English. So, she simply leaped to the conclusion that, because one of them had managed to communicate with her that they were recent arrivals to America, they must be “illegals”. Not only that, but our brave Mexican-whisperers concluded that this busload of “invaders” was paying for its Wal-Mart goodies with “EBT cards”; welfare handouts. 

Except not a word of it was true, and the tea party says so

OK, OK – yes, a busload of foreign migrant farm laborers did show up at a Wal-Mart in North Carolina, but they weren’t “illegals”, but legal guest-worker migrant farmworkers; people who had valid visas to enter the US and perform all the horrible manual farm labor that you consider to be beneath you

They weren’t paying with welfare cards. Their wages are paid to rechargeable debit cards, which they used to buy items for themselves at Wal-Mart in rural North Carolina. 

They weren’t on a government bus, but were instead being transported by their employer to the Wal-Mart for a shopping trip. 

But, you know, brown people on a bus using plastic at a Wal-Mart. Because right wingers instinctively think the worst of everyone and everything, these had to be (what else?) “illegal” “invaders” spending welfare EBT cards thanks to Obama inviting them to the US. 

So long as the tea party remains “diligent” when they really mean “vigilant”, we’ll all be a little safer and don’t forget your gun. 

Now, despite that this is completely untrue, having been factually debunked by WBEN’s own partisan allies, this radio station continues to perpetrate this fraud on Buffalo and its listenership by refusing to delete or update the post to point out that it’s a lie. Rather than be “accurate” as a putative “news” entity, WBEN sides instead with the people who would “go to war” against these kids

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, that story about n0bummer giving some of these kids a resort experience in Weslaco Texas is also completely false

In the meantime, the administration and Democrats will try to find a humane and legal solution to this problem while the Republicans continue to antagonize Latino voters and Millenials.  In the meantime, sane and rational people will call out wildly horrible local hate radio for the embarrassment it is. 

Not every problem is one that needs to be solved with hatred and guns. 

(Crossposted to Little Green Footballs)


  • UncleBluck

    Saw a video of the angry, underemployed ( I assume because it was a work day for me), under informed white wingnuts screaming obscenities at these kids, most of whom probably don’t even speak English, and I thought to myself, if you don’t have a job and you don’t want them here why aren’t you out in the fields picking the fruit. But of course these are the people ( the white wingnuts) who make up the vast majority of welfare recipients, (they just refuse to admit it), and they don’t want no brown skin people horning in on their entitlements…..

    • wnyresident

      You make a very valid point. Can you point out where you retrieved the facts that state “white wingnuts” make up the vast majority of welfare recipients?

      • jimd54

        According to wikipedia it breaks down like this:
        29,900,000 or 8% of the population is on some kind of public assistance. Of those, 38% white, 37% black, 17% hispanic.

    • Earl Gonzalez

      Aren’t you the same guy that said five old white men made the decision in the hobby lobby case at SCOTUS? You were in such a hurry to cast anyone you disagreed with as a racist, you failed to recognize Clarence Thomas skin color.

  • jimd54

    The President is sending them back on airplanes. Just like he said he would do in the first place.

  • Earl Gonzalez

    What a rant! Obama has nothing on you when it comes to demonizing republicans! With this kind of evil, horrible behavior by republicans the saintly democrats should have no trouble defeating any republicans anywhere in any election this fall.

    • smoochie

      Sure, why bother addressing the fact that these are false stories and your guys don’t care at all? There’s some Democrat over there doing something! HAY EVRY1 LOOK OVER THERE!!!1

      • Earl Gonzalez

        The problem is not that these are false stories. The problem is That there are so many true stories like the wall mart bus that it is believable.

      • ckg1

        ONCE AGAIN: That story isn’t true. When even the local tea party says that story’s full of crap….you’ve got problems.

      • smoochie

        No, the problem is that you don’t think false stories are a problem. A lot of things are believable if you’re a gullible fool who looks for confirmation of his preconceptions rather than a sober assessment of reality.

      • Kevin Hickey

        Amen!

      • David Staba

        Since there are ‘so many,’ name five.

    • EricSaldanha

      Heh….try winning a national election before gloating about anything.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Wasn’t aware of any presidential elections this fall. This post was pure propaganda about what hard core left partisans want to demonize anyone slight right about them

      • Kevin Hickey

        This post was pure propaganda…

        Why don’t you point out all of the factual errors?

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Kevin I think you do not understand propoganda so lets start by defining it from the dictionary

        >information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

      • Kevin Hickey

        Didn’t think so.

      • Well, you only identify one subset of the definition of “propaganda”, and by doing so, you propagandize. You see, “propaganda” isn’t always a negative – spreading misinformation to do harm. It is also the spreading or promotion of information to promote a particular thing or idea.

        An advertisement for Crest toothpaste is “propaganda” as much as my piece, above, critical of right-wing hyperventilation over the apparent “invasion” by unarmed, brown tweens is “propaganda”, and as much as your incessant trolling of my posts is, likewise, “propaganda”.

        It may pain you to realize that the use of “invaders” to describe undocumented aliens originates from the bowels of neo-Nazi sites and bulletin boards, but unfortunately for you, it’s true.

        I know it pains you when I remind everyone that I’m actually a pretty moderate Democrat – I’m not a leftist by any stretch, and I’d challenge anyone to out-anti-Communist me. I’ve never read a word of Saul Alinsky’s, and I wouldn’t know even one of his “rules for radicals”.

        Of course, you’re either stupid or being willfully ignorant by stating that I called anyone a “Nazi”. I’m merely warning the nativist hordes that their rhetoric stems from radical right-wing, neo-Nazi xenophobes. If you’re butthurt over someone supposedly calling you a Nazi when they did no such thing, and you happen to simultaneously find common cause with neo-Nazis, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate with whom you find common cause?

        There’s, of course, no doubt that there’s a serious problem at the border. I think I made that quite clear. But demonizing these kids and demanding that we ignore the law and ship them home is not, to me, the solution. Underemployed xenophobes accosting random school buses filled with brown-skinned kids is also not a reasonable policy or procedure to rectify the problem. You ignore those points because they’re embarrassing to you. You ignore them because, more likely than not, you can very easily identify what’s happening there as being akin to any other third world country where people take it upon themselves to set up extralegal roadblocks and play militia – it’s straight-up fascism to accost a school bus full of kids with brown skin on the basis of their means of transport and skin pigmentation. You know it, and you’re butthurt when it’s pointed out because it’s inconvenient.

        Pleas of “bad conditions” and “disease” ring hollow when accompanied by demands that the law be ignored and they be taken back to Mexico.

        The great part of all this is that immigrants in general – and Latinos in particular – identify with and sympathize with these kids. Practically every recent American came to this country for the same reason as these kids. Demonizing them, treating them like cattle that wandered off someone else’s ranch, and – most acutely – accusing them of being part of some grand scheme to steal elections for Democrats, etc., only serves further to diminish the Republican brand in their eyes.

        The more radically white, Christian, and Southern the Republican party becomes, the more it hastens its own waning relevance as a nationwide political entity. The time is, frankly, ripe for a third movement of centrist, moderate Republicans to manifest itself, and leave what’s left of the GOP to the tea party kooks and crazies. In the meantime, we’ll just watch as more and more formerly secure Republican voting blocs switch to the Democratic Party.