More Shawna Fordes in the Making? Violent Rhetoric and Unbalanced Actions from Phoenix Nativists
Dennis Gilman asks the timely question: Which racist nativist will pop off next?
My June 22 post last week on alleged kid-killer and minutewoman Shawna Forde received a number of comments from the immigrant-bashing side of the argument accusing me of painting their prejudiced movement with too broad of a brush.
These dull-witted rednecks complain that they are "patriots" -- a word devalued by its very presence on their lips. And they whine that they are in no way represented by the actions of Minuteman American Defense founder Shawna Forde and the two goons with whom she allegedly invaded a home in Arivaca, Arizona recently, murdering a nine year-old girl and her father.
I disagree. In fact, I believe alleged murderer Shawna Forde is in fact an excellent example of the sort of racist guttertrash that packs the ranks of local nativist groups, attends "tea parties," supports Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and longs for the shedding of innocent blood. By no means is every minuteman or minutewoman, or even nativist as malevolent as Shawna Forde. In fact, I look for civil dialogue where and when I can find it. But the exception proves the rule. And the exceptions are too few and far between these days.
Why, just take a gander at a little of the footage pro-immigrant activist Dennis Gilman has culled together for the mini-doc above.
There are the remorseless, bloody fantasies of plus-sized erotic masseuse Brandy Baron, who wants to shoot people coming over the border, even children. Nice. She and Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready have a couple of things in common. Both look like they weigh around the same poundage and both have advocated placing land mines on the border. I used to give Brandy the benefit of the doubt, but judging from Gilman's video, she's been consumed by her own hatred, a hatred that's even directed at the children of the undocumented.
In the video, you also get a peak at the sort of harassment these self-proclaimed law-abiding citizens inflict upon the Macehualli Day Labor Center in North Phoenix. Here, civil rights activist Salvador Reza is attempting to exit the Center in his van, but he's being blocked by alter kocker coot "Angry Jim," and a handicapped minuteman known as Nelson. Such activity would seem silly, if it were not for the fact that Reza is then forced to call the police so he can exit the Center without either Nelson of Angry Jim pretending to get hit by his vehicle.
Similarly, the aggressive, bizarre behavior of Kevin the gray-haired kissy-kissy bandit could be written off it were not a repetitive provocation backed up by the cowardly gun that's often on Kevin's hip. Like many of the nativists, Kevin is a marginal individual whose life is made worthwhile through his interaction with this group of fellow misfits. He's a frightened little man who longs to appear a hero in the eyes of his racist buddies.
Finally, there's Barb Heller, a member of United for a Sovereign America who has openly bragged in the past of taking direction from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. A sad, desiccated biker babe and Sheriff Joe fanatic, I doubt she'd be the first one to go Shawna Forde on us. She's a nut, but there are worse.
Lynne Stevens, however, could be another matter, particularly to the extent that she's a loner who clings to her handgun and likes to talk of shooting folks with it. For instance, in one of her videos on the May 2 anti-Arpaio march, Stevens -- who reminds me of Peter Boyle circa Young Frankenstein -- watches the beginnings of the peaceful demonstration and wistfully remarks, "Obama left-wingers: Too bad you can't start shooting them." In the same video, under her YouTube handle Jackie40d, she captured Sheriff Joe granting an impromptu photo op to a handful of neo-Nazis, a photo op that soon became infamous.
The more you watch of Stevens' videos, the more you realize how deeply disturbed the woman is. But the weird thing about all of these freaks is the fact that they are, at least in Arizona for the time being, winning their battles against the undocumented, what with state Senator Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe on the race war path. But nothing short of a complete ethnic cleansing of Arizona will placate them. In the meantime, their dehumanization of Mexicans opens the door to violent possibilities.
Take a look at the video currently playing on United for a Sovereign America's Web site, which is titled, "Illegal Aliens vs. Predator." The video geek who crafted this bit of fan film garbage in 2006 likely meant for it to be humorous. However, the reasons behind Rusty Childress' group posting it are not as light-hearted. The nativists revel in these gruesome images of immigrant killings not because the video contains politically incorrect humor, but because these are their sickest daydreams made real, or as real as they can get, for now.
Response to Diane Vera: Thanks for the comment, Diane. I did indeed read the entire post you speak of, which is why I linked to it. It is well-written, and, for the record, I understood it fine. Regarding the rhetorical question I posed, "Which is worse, genuflecting to Beelzebub, or slapping a swastika on your arm?," I think we both know the answer. Personally, I'd take Anton LaVay over a schmuck like Tom Metzger any day of the week.
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