BoingBoing joins the sleaze parade

The blog BoingBoing usually concentrates on semi-interesting but ultimately worthless junk. However, they occasionally swerve into politics, and it's usually about as funny as watching your average celebrity with their average IQ discussing something like farm subsidies.

Their latest attempt at commentary is a post on the Minuteman Project from Xeni Jardin [1] entitled "Snapshots of volunteer "Minutemen" on US/Mexico border" [2], which is sandwiched between posts entitled "Dada Dolls made from found objects" and "Bukkake Cookies".

In the post, Jardin juxtaposes two pictures of Minuteman volunteers with a poster that refers to "wetbacks." That's where the sleaze comes in. See, the poster says it's from the "Campaign for Public Awareness", and it has no other identifying information. It doesn't have the Minuteman name on it, and it runs contrary to the goals of the Minuteman project.

A search failed to turn up an organization with that name that could have produced these posters. Someone appears to have stamped a phone number on the poster, but it isn't clear whether that number is really part of the poster or was stamped there afterwards. The number appears to be associated with unionvoice.org [3], but whether they're the authors of the poster is probably unlikely. It's certainly possible that the poster was created by an enemy of the MMP in a rather pathetic attempt to smear them.

Isn't this false juxtaposition what is usually referred to as "yellow journalism"? Like much of the other MSM coverage of the MMP, I'm continually reminded of the glory days of William Randolph Hearst.

In her little post, Jardin also refers to the Minuteman volunteers as racists and sees no difference between them and lynch mobs. And, it includes this bit:

...these are the volunteer border patrol militias comprised of heavily armed, grumpy-looking white people who have self-organized to stem the flood of wannabe janitors, dishwashers, and nannies who threaten our national security...

Of course, as pointed out before, not all of the MMP volunteers are white.

And, if I were a big corporation (or a member of the corrupt elite) that was making money off illegal immigration (or was even just employing an illegal nanny), I know that I'd make the same arguments that Jardin attempts to make. I don't think that Jardin falls into the corrupt elite category, I imagine she's just parroting the comments of other, better pundits.

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[1] washingtonmonthly putadothere com/archives/individual/2005_04/006065.php
[2] boingboing putadothere net/2005/04/15/snapshots_of_volunte.html
[3] unionvoice putadothere org/wfean/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=1427804

Comments

"white people"

What if all MMP volunteers are white? So what?

Part of the problem with immigration is that it is bringing (largely unwanted, IMO) demographic change to America -- in this sense, it is destroying an important part of our national heritage (think 'Founding Fathers'). It is not "racist" to suggest that this is worth preserving, and to preserve it something must be done about immigration, starting with illegal immigration.

Not to mention all the other good arguments against it.

It makes it look like the country is dominated by traitors when patriots are maligned for protesting the lack of defense of the borders. These minutemen are exposing all sorts of antipatriots, from the white house to some traitorous bloggers' intellectual outhouse.

If these Minutemen were really out to enforce immigration policy, they would ALSO be haunting the farms and work lines of US companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants instead of targeting only and exclusively potential illegal border-crossers.
OK, who out there has heard of laws against trespassing? The MMP people are either on public land or have been invited on the land of embattled ranchers. Also, it is clearly an ICE function to examine the validity of documents in workplaces. The MMP are simply monitoring people who are crossing the border illegally? Is that really hard to understand?
I also don't really understand the need for these minutemen to pack the heat. I recognize one's right to do so, but it just comes off as Cowboy bravado and Wild West vigilantism, which I know is not what the Minuteman Project wants to convey. Why the need for guns? Do they feel threatened in any way?
There is a lot of drug-trafficking on the border and drug traffickers have been known to carry arms(DUH!). Having arms of your own is what is called a deterrent.

If you think that these Minutemen don't agree with the essential attitude expressed in the sign, I think you have your head in the sand.

If these Minutemen were really out to enforce immigration policy, they would ALSO be haunting the farms and work lines of US companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants instead of targeting only and exclusively potential illegal border-crossers.

I also don't really understand the need for these minutemen to pack the heat. I recognize one's right to do so, but it just comes off as Cowboy bravado and Wild West vigilantism, which I know is not what the Minuteman Project wants to convey. Why the need for guns? Do they feel threatened in any way?

I'm sorry, but I just see this whole thing as an exercise in disgruntled hostility and frustration directed at the wrong target.

You may not realize this as you have been writing about this issue for such a long time, but your insight and writing are very refreshing and greatly appreciated.