-- by Dave
Well, we've seen plenty of recent evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the nativist law-enforcement chief of Maricopa County, Arizona, attracts genuine extremists in support of his cause.
This recently released YouTube by Humanleague makes the case even more starkly. Its centerpiece is the opening comments by an avid supporter of the Minutemen and Sheriff Arpaio named Brandi Baron, who opines thus:
Baron: I say, give orders to shoot to kill, and kill any man, woman or child who comes across the border illegally. I'll bet you, you kill enough of them, right off the bat, people will stop coming over that way.
That's what I just said. Personally, I think a minefield would be good. Why build a fence when you can plant some mines?
Q: You just said that you would kill kids.
Baron: If they're being drug across the border, hell yes. The difference between those people and us -- Our country is No. 1. Theirs? Pffft!
This sort of inhuman callousness and disregard for human life is part and parcel of why nativist movements like the Minutemen -- and the mainstream embrace of such factions by public figures like Arpaio -- inevitably spawn violent offspring like Shawna Forde and her gang of killer Minutemen, who gunned down a family in cold blood because they mistakenly believed the father was a big-time drug dealer with cash on the premises. There's a powerful continuum between gangs like Forde's and "mainstream" nativists like Arpaio and his supporters.
As Jill Garvey at Imagine 2050 observes:
This is exactly why Shawna Forde felt justified in breaking into a Latino family’s home and murdering a little girl and her father.
While some of the individuals featured on this video may be unstable or exhibit strange behavior, they are not crazy. These are functioning adults who are perfectly capable of behaving in a reasonable manner. They choose not to. They choose hate over tolerance. They choose to advocate violence over rational dialogue. Violence against immigrants occurs because bigots in positions of power (Sheriff Joe) set the stage and provide an atmosphere that make it acceptable.
Incidentally, sentiments such as these are nothing new to the Minutemen. In the video below -- featuring Minuteman leader Chris Simcox -- you can watch one of his Minuteman cohorts opine similarly:
No, we ought to be able to shoot the Mexicans on sight, and that would end the problem. After two or three Mexicans are shot, they'll stop crossing the border and they'll take their cows home, too.
This is what I'm talking about when I talk about eliminationism.
Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.