Thursday, April 30, 2009

Malkin, Savage Use Swine Flu Crisis to Peddle Xenophobia

You may have noticed a touch of anti-Mexican rhetoric attached to some of the legitimate public concerns with a potential swine flu epidemic in the United States.  Joshua Holland on AlterNet claims that "[t]he right-wing pundits who seized on the swine flu to push their anti-immigrant rhetoric are employing an ancient racist tactic." He reports that 

Savage_cover-savage_nation "blogger and former Fox News personality Michelle Malkin took a triumphal attitude over the handful of cases that have popped up in the U.S., writing: `I've blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the U.S. as a result of uncontrolled immigration.' Hate-radio host Michael Savage also advanced the argument, saying, `Make no mistake about it: Illegal aliens are the carriers of the new strain of human-swine avian flu from Mexico.'"225px-Michelle_Malkin_1

Expect more on this front.  I hope that we are able to keep our eye on he ball and focus on controlling the swine flu, not pursuing partisan political ends in a time of social stress (something we have seen throughout U.S. immigration history).

UPDATE (May 1):  Sadly, the nativist backlash is getting worse, not better.  See here and here.  One internet comment was rather blunt:  “This disgusting blight is because MEXICANS ARE PIGS!”  these are the kinds of comments -- along with personal attacks and threats -- that led this blog to eliminate the Comments function. Keith Olbermann strikes back hereJay Severin, a right-wing talk show radio host from Boston, has been suspended after calling Mexicans "primitives" and "women with mustaches and VD" who "leech" off the United States.


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