Who gets the blame for Officer Erfle's murder? According to nativist wing-nut logic, they do!
I've heard the anonymous voice before. The cowardly creep has called in to my phone mail previously to tell me why the Holocaust never happened, why Hitler wasn't such a bad guy after all, why all illegal aliens carry disease and cause crime, etc. This time he was angrier than usual, but, of course, he was too yellow to leave his name and number:
The killer of Officer Erfle in the line of duty was Erik Martinez, an illegal Mexican whom YOU let come across the border, whom YOU defend. To hell with you, you goddamn son-of-a-bitch killing cops and justifying the motherfuckers who come across the border illegally. To hell with you, and to hell with New Times.
Hey, tell me how you really feel, mushmouth. And next time leave your name and number so I can call you back and give you shit in return. Thing is, this asshole in the shadows has got plenty of pals in local politics and the media. Rep. Russell Pearce -- the racist pol from Mesa who hugs neo-Nazis like J.T. Ready and has forwarded a neo-Nazi e-mail in the past to his followers, says Erfle's death is because Phoenix is a sanctuary city. That's a lie. Phoenix is not a sanctuary city just because the cops are not rounding up illegals off the street in a replay of the Eisenhower administration's Operation Wetback, a program Pearce suggested should be reinstituted. But Pearce is not a friend of the truth, and Erfle's demise is just another occasion for him to push his anti-Mexican agenda.
KTAR's right-wing attack dog Darrell Ankarlo practically had an on-air meltdown the day after Erfle was shot, ranting, "Every time I turn around, somebody's getting killed, or jacked, or ripped off. Hmmm, if I were a betting man, do I lay some cash down? Ah, I think they're probably illegal. Darrell, aren't you profiling? Maybe."
Par for the course, Ankkkarlo is full of self-made fanny fudge. I agree that Phoenix is crime-ridden, and I lay that problem at the feet of our elected leaders, specifically Mayor Phil "Goober" Gordon, who has done nada in the last four years as violent crime's gotten increasingly out of control. In this case, though, using the nationality of Erfle's murderer to claim that all violent crime in this burg is because of illegals is total bull. Most illegals are hard-working and, despite their status, law-abiding. They fear the crime of their neighborhoods and the police equally, all while washing dishes in our restaurants, taking out the garbage in our offices, and tending to the greenery in our apartment complexes.
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Are there illegals out there who do bad stuff? Of course. But there are plenty of all-American, honky scumbags out there too, cop killers among them. In 2005, veteran Phoenix Police Officer David Uribe was gunned down during a routine traffic stop by two white meth-heads, Chris Wilson and Donnie Delahanty. (New Times scribe Paul Rubin detailed the case in his Murder City series last year with the cover story, "The Case of the Grim Tweaker.") Does that mean that all Caucasians in Sand Land are murdering white trash tweakers? Well, from where I sit, there are sure a lot of them here in the Valley, but no, not all crackers in the PHX are meth users and criminals. So why are all the brown folk taking the rap for Erik Martinez? The reactionaries in our midst need a scapegoat to blame all our ills on, and illegal aliens are IT.
Follow, their logic, though. If illegal immigration is to blame for our high crime rate, then wouldn't a comprehensive legislative package focusing on border security and amnesty for those who're here illegally but have otherwise played by the rules help solve that problem? Just such a package was killed this year in the U.S. Senate, and who killed it? The extremist nativists, the folks who listen to Ankarlo every morning and who think Russell Pearce is the second coming of Christ. So who is to blame for our broken immigration policy? And, using nativist logic, who is responsible for the crime some illegals engage in, and by extension, the murder of Officer Erfle?
Like my grandpappy used to say, when you point the finger at someone else, there are at least three fingers pointing back at you. So you see, the nativists are actually accusing themselves. That they're guilty as heck is one thing I can agree with them on.