Lawrence Downes offers an "Editorial Observer" article in the New York Times entitled "Showdown in Arizona, Where Mariachis and Minutemen Collide". It describes a running protest by illegal immigration supporters in front of the M. D. Pruitt furniture store in Phoenix. He had the temerity to try to keep day laborers off his property, employing off-duty sherriffs in the process. And, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been arresting illegal aliens in front of his store:
For the last seven weeks, a sidewalk protest here by Latino immigrants has blossomed into a feverish reality show, attracting Minutemen, mariachis, children dancing in Mexican folk costumes, white racists, United Nations observers, Phoenix police officers and Maricopa County sheriff's deputies.
I'm sure that some of those attending were indeed "white racists". And, I have little doubt that with enough searching I could find brown racists who also attended. Yet, for one odd reason or other Downes didn't mention that.
[The "weekly confrontation" is] a sideshow to something even uglier: what happens when immigration's complexities are handed to local law enforcers sympathetic to the fury of one side.
He's implying that those who support our laws are motivated only by "fury", and perhaps he might want to mention that, while illegal aliens have certain rights, the position of those who want to be employed illegally is somewhat invalidated.
Then, it's on to smearing Sheriff Joe Arpaio: "hunting undocumented immigrants is his specialty." For those laws that Downes supports, can anyone imagine him refering to the police "hunting" law-breakers? He also refers to Arpaio as a "business ally" of Pruitt, implying a quid pro quo; if that's not true then hopefully Downes will be sued.
Then, he promotes the efforts of Salvador Reza of the group Tonatierra (more). His group isn't identified, nor does Downes indicate that Reza is/was involved with running a day laborer center supported by local businesses (link).
Reza is this article's "person who says what the NYT wants to say": "Mr. Reza says he can't understand why America accepts global flows of companies, money and jobs but not workers." There are a multitude of reasons, but Downes just lets him speak unchallenged.
...one informed noncombatant, the Rev. Craig Geiger, pastor of a Lutheran church across the street, agrees.
While Geiger might be a "noncombatant" in this particular case, and while I wasn't able to find any far-left outbursts from him, the church newsletter is a bit interesting; perhaps Downes should have picked one up (mountofolivesaz . org/Newsletter.pdf). It includes the news that they were a "Hydration Center" in August, which is only followed by usual Bible phrases about "welcoming the stranger" that are used as religious justification for enabling illegal immigration. No word is provided on what exactly the "Hydration Center" did or whether it was located further south. Then, in a section entitled "A little know fact for that logical side of our brain", he promotes the study from Giovanni Peri purporting to show the effects of immigration on wages. Finally, there's a section entitled "An Immigration Lesson from the land", offering yet another religious justification for supporting "immigration".
Then, it's on to a possible lie:
"Monkeys coming through!" [a Minuteman with a bullhorn] shouted. His side rushed up to drown the music out: "Born in the U.S.A.! Born in the U.S.A.! K.K.K.! Viva la Migra! January First!"
Even if we assume that Downes has the quotes right, does he have any proof that that person was an actual member of a Minuteman group, or did he just make that up?
The article ends with Reza promising economic armageddon should illegal aliens leave the state.
Mon, 12/10/2007 - 12:53 · Importance: 4