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Monday, April 28, 2008

When They Come for You, Who Will Be Left?

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
This haunting poem has been attributed to a German pastor, Martin Niemoller. It speaks about the folly of remaining silent in the face of evil and of a false sense of security.

Believe me, I know how ephemeral that sense of security is and how it can be ripped like a gossamer curtain to expose innocent people to violence, danger, and organized hatred. Here's a video that should profoundly disturb you, as it does me. H/t to Anti-BVBL and 9500 Liberty Project for this.




As I was listening to this video, all I could think of was the song from Cabaret, "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."

I know that Greg Letiecq and his apologists will claim that he is merely talking metaphorically here, but he has been named a nativist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tirelessly monitors hate groups.

Greg has fanned the flames of bigotry - and he has gone way beyond a legitimate concern for illegal immigration or secure borders - and intimidated the Prince Williams County Board of Sueprvisors. With willing allies, like Corey Stewart, who was all to eager to use the support of Help Save Manassas to ride the tide of anti-Hispanic sentiment into power in PWC.

Make no mistake, though, this is not confined to Prince Williams County. If you listen to the video, Greg is talking about mobilizing his army to to take its unAmerican sentiments into neighboring Fairfax County, a place that has more successfully dealt with the fallout of illegal immigration without demonizing the ethnicity of an entire community.

The truth is the irresponsible fanning of the flames of intolerance by Corey Stewart, Greg Letieq and others has had a negative impact on Prince William County. Here, Eric Byler, one of the creators of the 9500 Liberty Project, talks about the economic impact of this anti-immigrant policy.

If Prince William County is known, fairly or unfairly, as a place that is not tolerant of diverse populations, we will not only lose out on the economic benefit of those immigrants who provide the working-class engine, added tax base, and added jobs (a net benefit, Dr. Fuller argues, contrary to what FAIR or Greg Letiecq might tell you). We also lose out on more skilled, more educated immigrants who are looking for diversity when they decide where in this region to settle. And, we lose out on highly-skilled American workers who come here from other parts of the country.

The short term effect on the housing market is already obvious. But also, this stigma effects our long term prospects for attracting new businesses and investment. Our economy depends on "idea" people. We need the types of people who are drawn to the diversity associated with metro areas, and usually turned off by the kind of intolerance that is currently our reputation. If we are a county with less "idea" people, we have yet another disadvantage when companies decide where to locate themselves.

So, if you're fed up with the hatred, which is so counter productive to the real interest of Prince William County and the rest of Northern Virginia, what can you do to help? You can follow the link to the Prince William Citizens Action Alliance, which provides a letter that you can personalize and send to the members of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, expressing your opposition to Prince William County's Rule of Law Resolution and it's war on the Latino community.

Tomorrow, at 2 pm there is a hearing of the Board of Supervisors at the Court Building on Prince William County Parkway. Supervisor, Frank Principi has proposed that they rescind portions of Rule of Law Resolution, which mandates that PWC police must do background checks on some people stopped for non-arrestable offenses, such as traffic violations, if the police feel there is probable cause to suspect the person might be an illegal immigrant. Critics of the law, and even Police Chief Charlie Dean, fear that this could make the Prince William police force liable to a lawsuit for racial profiling.

So, send the letter to the Prince William Supervisors, attend the meeting if you are able to, and register your disapproval of racial profiling, intimidation and racism.

Don't turn your back on the Hispanic community of Northern Virginia because someday you might be asking who will speak out when the Greg Letiecqs come for you.

23 comments:

lucha de los trabajadores said...

This guy is scary. How can such a militarist racist neanderthal be allowed to roam free in this country? When are we finally going to have this guy locked up and sent to some detention center where he can rot away the rest of his life in a rat-infested squalor?

This is the same rhetoric of the Zionists, the Nazis, and the BusHitler regime. How many times do we go through this before we realize as a country that these rascist bastards are a real danger?

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Gee Greg, that was quick. You flatter me. I do know it's you trying to appear as an ultra leftist Latino as a way to discredit the legitimate organizations fighting your brand of racism.

I do not consider America to be a racist country. Nor do I think Zionists are racists. I'm a proud supporter of Israel, thank you very much.

But I do think you are xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Latino and God knows what else.

Catzmaw said...

Ha, ha, she got you Lucha de Losers.

Good work, Karen, and I couldn't agree with you more.

Howling Latina said...

And you wanna know what the crazy thing is...? Greg actually considers himself a good Christian; you know, a follower of Christ, except when it comes to the pesky commandments of treating your brother as you would yourself, feeding my sheep and all that good stuff.

Isophorone said...

Karen,

This is complete twaddle. All this video shows is how someone, anyone, for any kind of grassroots cause, might organize. I really don't imagine anyone on the left side of the political spectrum doing anything different (except not being too proud of the military).

Tell us EXACTLY what Greg has said that is offensive. Give us a quote in context. You are more than willing to make excuses for the likes of Jim Moran, who has said much worse things.

Also, you have not really defined what are your own criteria for dealing with illegal immigration, and what is right or wrong, and how you would follow through with combating what is wrong.

I remember asking Janet Oleszek what she would do about illegal immigration. She had absolutely no idea except to say that she saw everything as a "slippery slope" herself.

All you do is complain without having ideas of your own. No wonder you invide these "lucha de los trabajadores" kinds of satirical comments.

The fact is that a lot of the crowd that opposes Greg is much worse than anything you accuse Greg of being. The illegal alien protesters have their own supremacist rhetoric and express opposition to any laws. Many of their national affiliates advocate violence and express bigotry of their own. Yet you are silent on all this. And logical, perhaps.

bruce said...

sent yesterday...

Dear BOCS Members,

I support Supervisor Principi’s courageous position to revisit the immigration resolution. I also support Chief Deane 100% who, in my opinion, is one of the finest public servants I’ve ever known.

The resolution is not about safety but about something else and I’m still trying to figure out what. The entire board acted on not facts but anecdotal information. My perspective is to beef you the zoning enforcement and make sure the Jails are fully participating in the 287G program.

Try to hold the Feds feet to the fire on living up to their end of the ICE bargain and do NOT endanger our excellent police department by forcing them to racially profile. I don’t know how you avoid it by only asking people with brown skin certain questions. The law suit on this one will also blow a huge hole in the county budget!

Most of all I’m concerned about public safety funding. Altho there are still fire fighters in the budget the issue has been and will always be the adequate supervision levels of all of these new young fire fighters. Nothing brings this issue to the fore more that Kyle Wilson’s death.

Prince William is my home and always will be. I love the community but look what is happening. Chasing a segment of our population away is causing for one thing a surplus of foreclosed, empty “safe houses” for gang members, and now with the policies you all have forced on our excellent police department the community policing model that was our law enforcement jewel is crumbling, because the very community that could give the cops good Intel on the bad guys is sacred to death every time they see a blue uniform. Seems like we’ve accomplished exactly the opposite of the intention.

You all have the opportunity to fix the mistakes made in the past and focus on the future. The future of all who live, work, and visit Prince William can be bright, but continuing down this draconian road will just give us many more dark days.

b

Bruce Roemmelt, EdD

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thank you Bruce. You summed up pretty much what I was going to answer Isophorone, who I believe deserves an answer.

The only other thing that I would add, Iso, is that I truly am not against legitimate enforcement efforts. To the degree that there is an organization called "Mexicans Without Borders," I don't agree with their name and what it suggests at all.

Every sovereign nation has a right to a secure border and to an immigration policy that protects jobs and the economy of its citizens.

That's different from demonizing an entire ethnic group. I have stopped reading Greg's site because it is one long screed against Latinos - not illegal immigrants - Latinos and their culture.

You, of all people, know that I don't issue ad-hominem attacks on conservative bloggers, or even conservative politicians. I disagree with their ideas but respectfully, I hope. I have conservative blogs listed proudly on my blogroll.

I do believe that Greg is bigoted. This is based on what I've read on his site.

I would not put up a video airing truly racist or bigoted remarks or link to them. This particular video alarmed me because Greg's ambition is to take his fight against the Hispanic community into other counties that are handling the situation far more constructively than Prince William County is.

My aim wasn't to display somebody's derogatory remarks about Latinos, it was to show people that Greg has ambitions beyond PWC and that we in Fairfax, who don't agree with his sentiments or tactics, better be prepared to counter them with organizing of our own.

Again, I believe liberals and conservatives can agree to disagree civilly and respectfully. And I don't see most conservatives as bigots. Far from it. I do however believe that Greg crosses that line, whether intentionally or not, I don't know because I can't read minds. But cross it, in a way that I haven't seen on other conservative blogs, he does.

Isophorone said...

Karen,

The video does not show Greg making disparaging remarks against Hispanics. Now I read Greg's blog and comment on it. However, you will have to point me to a specific post where he makes a bigoted remark. Maybe I am missing something, but he does not come across to me that way.

In fact, he has also pointed oput menay situations in which immigrants are victims of crime. He also has encouraged people NOT to engage in vandalism or make uncivil remarks.

By saying that you are not an "open borders" advocate, you become "open" to the same criticism to which Greg has been subjected. Remember, if you are not with these radicals 100% of the way, you are against them! (See, I told you that I speak leftist language better than you do.)

Here are a couple of important things for you to read:

1) Godwin's Law
2) The story of the boy who cried wolf.

Silence Dogood said...

Do you think Greg just sits around and googles his name over and over until he finds something new? One apparently has a lot of free time on his hands as the Grand Wizard of Help Save Manassas.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Good point silence dogood. I'm not really sure how or why I got such a rapid response from him because I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog regularly. But almost as soon as I had finished posting, Luchas was there.

Iso, first let's deal with Godwin's law, which in its entirety says that all conversation ends when you call somebody a fascist. But Godwin's corollary is that that it only holds if the person really isn't a fascist; if he is, then it's ok to point it out. You have to recognize there are some fascists and they should be called on it.

But I don't think Greg is a fascist and I never called him one. That's a particular political philosophy that proposes a strong central state, governed by a dictator whom all must obey without question. I don't think that's Greg's political philosophy at all. But I do think he is bigoted.

Here's an example. There was one post on BVBL last year in early November where Greg was extremely disparaging about a "Day of the Dead" festival that some Mexican-Americans held in Manassas.

For those who don't know anything about Mexican culture, Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration of All Souls Day, a Catholic holiday, right around Halloween. The Day of the Dead is the Mexican version of All Soul's Day, a combination of Catholic and Native American traditions in that country. The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico supports it.

There is nothing demonic nor pagan, as Greg implied, about it. And his portrayal of it was every bit as offensive as if somebody tried to claim that Jews celebrate Passover by dipping matzohs into Christian babies' blood, a belief that was once common among illiterate peasants throughout Europe.

Greg really doesn't seem to respect other peoples' religions, ethnicity or culture. That's not crying wolf.

As for those leftists who would attack me for not supporting open borders, they are few and far between. There is a continuum on the left just as there is on the right. Your side really does have it's wackos and fascists and my side has it's loonies and commies. That doesn't make you a wacko or fascist or me a loony or commie. Neither of us have to be at the far end to be either rightist or leftist.

Bruce Roemmelt said...

Karen,

Paganism and Demonism in the same sentence as examples of "lack of faith-e-ness" always spins up we UU's.

b

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I know, I hesitated before using it - I am familiar with CUUPS :)

But my point was that Day of the Dead is a Mexican-Catholic holiday and Greg tried to portray it as something else to villify a group of people whose ethnic culture he does not understand and viscerally dislikes.

BTW, I've done posts about discrimination of modern neo-Pagans too. For me, they are the canary in the mine when it comes to religious discrimination. Because they are so small a minority still, and so poorly understood by the mainstream, well intentioned people, who would never dream of insulting Jews or Muslims, still mistake their religion for something that it's not.

I'll try to find the post I did and maybe replay it for May Day - Beltane ;).

Isophorone said...

Here's Greg's actual post. Once again, reality does not live up to your rhetoric. There is no "visceral dislike" on Greg's part here.

And by your explanation of Godwin't Law, you only prove my point. YOU were the one who cited Niemoeller (who was talking about Nazis). Now you are saying that Greg isn't one. So your whole post becomes pointless.

As far as immigration laws go, you seem to be missing the "follow through" of what protecting borders means, or, for that matter, "protecting jobs and economy." I note the curious omission of "safety" of citizens also. In any case, most of your fellow Democrats are opposed to whatever minimal efforts should be devoted to even the positions you support. If that is the case, you should be very careful about the standards you apply to others.

James Young said...

God knows I've had my issues with Greg, but suggesting that he is a racist or a nativist is beyond the pale. In some ways, I WISH I could point to something that he has said that is racist (certainly there are those who comment there who are, most --- save for Psychotic Racist Jonathan Mark --- behind the cowardly cloak of anonymity), but he has not. The most that can be said is that he does not s***can racist comments that others --- including myself --- would not tolerate on their sites.

I support a crackdown on illegal aliens. I also support a crackdown on those who blow through red lights and those who exceed the speed limit on residential streets. They are lawbreakers.

Unfortunately, just as there are those who support such efforts for racist/nativist reasons, there are those who oppose it for reasons rooted in, inter alia, their nihilism. Both contingents frequently try to couch their efforts in disingenuous rhetoric. However, it is not useful to dismiss the legitimate points made by either side absent specific and pointed facts demonstrating the illicit motivation. Post-WWI reparations were a singularly bad idea, and it is rendered no less a bad idea simply because among those who thought so was Adolf Hitler.

Alton Foley said...

I'm sorry Karen, but you lost me at the line, "ripped like a gossamer curtain."

Are you angling for a second job writing for Harlequin Romance?

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Alton, funniest critique yet. It probably was "purple prose." Sorry about that. But you know, there are worse fates in life than a writing gig with Harlequin. They pay steady.

Iso, my point wasn't so much to link Greg with Nazis, though I do see how it could be taken that way. My point was that when one doesn't speak up about evil, it lets it grow and spread. Perhaps that is too strong a description for Greg's defenders, but it's honestly how I see it.

As for James, Greg censors those on the opposite side of the immigration debate who disagree with him, which is why the Anti-BVBL site was started. So, if he censors those he disagrees with, why does he tolerate some of the racist vitriol that does make it on to his site?

As you said, you wouldn't tolerate it. I certainly wouldn't. I've deleted remarks, including those from the loony left, that are beyond the pale.

I know that gets me dangerously close to guilt by association. But if Greg deletes one side, why does he tolerate the extremes of the other?

And that article, Iso, was offensive to me. We come at it from different points of view I guess.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Because my response was getting rather long, above, I decided to break it into two comments. Thanks to Isophorone for the link to the Greg's post, to which I have been referring. It's titled "Satan Joins the Manassas Christmas Parade."

As much as I dislike linking to and quoting from posts I consider offensive, I'm going to blockquote this and let the readers decide for themselves if this is not disparaging, nativist, and tinged with intolerance for any cultural or ethnic custom that differs from Greg's. I've quoted extensively so I will not be accused of taking something out of context.

(Note: For some reason, Blogger won't let me blockquote this, so I'm italicizing it instead, but it's a direct quote from Greg's piece)

About halfway through the parade, something billed at “The Dance Of The Tecunai” appeared (the picture above is of the troupe in the staging area[updated]) following a truck festooned with Mexican flags. Most of the dancers were wearing somewhat traditional Mexican festival getup with various decorations, which is fine, although they were all wearing rather disturbing looking masks. Some carried whips that they used to hit each other, and others had either red or white flags. Rounding out this troupe was someone dressed as a jaguar, and another entirely in red, with a tail on the costume, and wearing a devil mask. That ended whatever sentiment of diversity appreciation I might be able to summon.

The “Dance of the Tecunai”, I’ve been able to learn from google, is a fairly obscure Mexican folk dance that supposedly involves a killing jaguar in order to ensure a good harvest. None of the descriptions of this I’ve found seem to involve a devil, but as might often be the case with cultural expression, different areas that participate in this ritual might well add or subtract elements from the generally accepted norm, and it’s not unlikely that whatever group is doing this mixes traditions of the pre-columbian death cult, such as the “day of the dead”, with this ritual. So I’m not going to assume that whoever did this deliberately tried to craft the most offensive display possible in a Christmas parade, but were honestly trying to give the parade audience exposure to an authentic cultural tradition as some sort of a gift. I’d just as soon not get gifts like this, though.

Because the parade at that point had lots of starts and stops, this spectacle ended up stationary in front of me for a few moments, and I could clearly see the discomfort of many in the crowd around me. There’s nothing like having the devil parade in front of you accompanied by the cracking of whips and ritual chanting for a while to really mess with the general feeling of peace and goodwill that the Christmas parade fosters. This is about the birth of Jesus Christ, and having the satan join the parade is about as offensive an idea as I could possibly imagine. When was the last time a caricature of Adolph Hitler appeared in a parade celebrating the independence of the modern nation of Israel? Does King George ride a float in our Independence Day parades? That is absolutely nothing compared to celebrating the devil in a Christmas parade.


BTW, Iso, are you going to be consistent and invoke Godwin's law against Greg for bringing Hitler into it?

Isophorone said...

Darn it, Karen, you are right. I should have told Greg at the time that using Hitler analogies is only allowed of left-leaning bloggers! How could I have slipped like that?

See, the difference is, you were using your analogy in all seriousness, whereas it is clear that Greg was BEING SARCASTIC.

I must say, you are reminding me of this old joke:

A teacher asks the class to define what a lobster is. When no one would answer, she calls on her "teacher's pet," who promptly replies that "a lobster is a red fish that swims backwards." The teacher says, "That is very good. The only slight problems were that a lobster is a crustacean, not a fish. It is red only when cooked. It does not swim, it crawls, and it certainly does not do that backwards. Other than that, you were 100% correct!"

Now it is clear from what you have posted that you never read Greg's blog post. You made a point by including a completely irrelevant video of Greg speaking. Your quote of his only served to refute your original blog post.

On top of everything else, you left out the story of the boy who cried wolf. See, you all cry racism so much, you won't recognize it when someone (on your side of the political spectrum) does surround himself with real bigots. So I am sure you will have no problems voting for Barack Hamas Obama this fall.

MB said...

I suspect that as much as I might like to think our sad little Greg commands an army of flying monkeys listening for his name, it's likely just a Google Alert he's got set up.

He's had his day in the Prince William sun. Best just to let him slide back into the obscurity of basement white power rallies.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Darn, MB, and I thought he was glued to my website. Oh well.

Iso, I think we've beaten this into the ground and fought to a draw.

I don't think your side will ever admit to the subtle cues of bigotry. But they are there. Of course, Greg doesn't come out and scream racial epithets in public. He probably doesn't do it privately either. That doesn't mean he's tolerant of ethnic or cultural differences in people, or that he is right about this.

Isophorone said...

Hey, all I want to know from your side is what laws should be obeyed, disobeyed, or changed. You have been more forthcoming than most, but again, I am not sure you are thinking the issues through.

And, to paraphrase you,

"I don't think your side will ever admit to the overt cues of bigotry. But they are there. Of course, many Democrats don't come out and scream racial epithets in public. They probably don't do it privately either. That doesn't mean they are tolerant of ethnic or cultural differences in people, or that they are right about this."

I might add that you all cry racism far too much. See "boy who cried wolf" above.

And MB, I seriously doubt Greg has a Google alert going to get any "flying monkeys" posting here.

James Young said...

Well, AIAW, I can't argue with your rejoinder. Greg also tolerates name-calling from people who smooch his posterior, and edits response in kind. And bans people who dare to speak uncomfortable truths. You make the good point that he tolerates what you and I wouldn't, and I wish I had a good response to that, but I don't.

Nevertheless, I don't think a conclusion of "racism" can validly be drawn on that evidence; it is far too incendiary a charge to be inferred. And the ease with which it is thrown around by the Left --- even the non-Looney Left --- makes me demand a higher level of proof. It is all too frequently made to score political points. If it has been leveled at me, I haven't heard of it, though I have heard it leveled based upon policies I advocate and in which I believe; it would, however, be laughable to my cherished assistant of ten years and my sons' godfather. It was once intimated in a brief responding to one written by the latter in my practice, and the only response I could come up with is "Opposing counsel obviously hasn't met you, has he?"

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I never got anything from your blog that would make me think you are racist, James. I may disagree with you, or other conservatives, about issues, and I may even think that some of the policies you advocate don't help the black community for economic reasons. But I also don't think they help the white community.

But I certainly wouldn't call you a racist because of it or any other epithet. I'd just argue the points that I disagree with. I've done that with many conservatives on the blogs and I think most would say that I'm respectful to them even in our disagreements.

Indeed, I've told progressive bloggers on and off the blogs to stow it when they've suggested that I should remove some conservatives from my blogroll. Not gonna do it!

You make a spirited defense of Greg. So does Iso. But if Greg isn't personally racist, he still permits and tacitly encourages the expression of racist sentiments.

And intolerance for an ethnic group (not properly the same thing as racism because one could be intolerant of a white ethnic group like Russians or Polish people too) fuels some of the anti-illegal immigration efforts and obscures some of the real and legitimate concerns about illegal immigration and border security.