Nativist extremist and documented anti-Semite Glenn Spencer spoke today at the state Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States' Rights Committee, a seriously loony legislative panel chaired by crackpot Republican state Senator Sylvia Allen.
Democratic state Senators Steve Gallardo and Robert Meza walked out of the committee in protest as soon as they realized Spencer would be speaking. Spencer's name had not been placed on the agenda. Instead, the name of his company, Border Technology, Inc., was listed.
Essentially Allen and her fellow Mexican-bashers on the committee snuck in the notorious nativist, likely because the last time Spencer was scheduled to speak at this committee a year ago, the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League raised holy hell, and Spencer was quickly "uninvited."
There's plenty of reason that both Jews and Latinos would be offended by Spencer's appearance at a legislative committee.
Spencer was linked to minutewoman Shawna Forde, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2011 for her part in the murders of 9 year-old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul during a botched 2009 home invasion robbery at the Flores home in Arivaca.
Forde had lived on Spencer's property near the border, and she visited Spencer's home as she was being pursued by law enforcement. Spencer allowed her to use her laptop at his abode. She was arrestedby the FBI shortly after leaving his property.
Spencer's been vocal in his dislike of both Mexicans and Jews. In a 2001 statement on his American Patrol website, he wrote the following, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"Our country is being invaded by Mexico with hostile intentions. When it blows up, they can't say we didn't tell them, when the blood starts flowing on the border and in L.A."
His anti-Semitism is also well-documented. In a Jew-bashing screed still on his website entitled "Speaking the Unspeakable: Is Jew-Controlled Hollywood Brainwashing Americans?" he discusses how Jews supposedly control the entertainment industry and marks how too many of them, in his opinion, support illegal immigration.
"I have many Jewish friends and they have been extremely instrumental in fighting illegal immigration. I fear, however, that this small handful of patriotic Americans are far outnumbered by liberal Jews who now have total control over our media. With my memories of the Hollywood elite, I think it is now time that Americans be forewarned that they are probably subject to clever pro-illegal alien propaganda every time they watch something produced in Hollywood."
Ironically, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who is Jewish, also spoke before the committee today concerning the issue of identity theft.
During his presentation, Spencer basically pimped his so-called "sonic barrier" technology with the help of an associate. The technology purportedly would detect unlawful border crossers, and Spencer and his associate gave a live demonstration to the remaining senators.
One little problem with the technology: Spencer said it would cost approximately $100,000 a mile, and it can't distinguish between cows and human beings.
State Senators Al Melvin and Steve Smith went out of their way to praise Spencer and to criticize their Democratic colleagues for walking out.
Melvin called Spencer and his partner, whose name I didn't catch, "two patriotic Americans that are trying to secure the border."
Smith concurred, saying that he'd worked with Spencer extensively, and "never once has this man alluded to being a racist."
Apparently, Smith has never bothered to investigate Spencer's own site. Or maybe he has and figures everything Spencer's said is hunky-dory.
When I spoke with Gallardo, he noted the sneaky way Allen had put Spencer on the agenda, so as to avoid the outcry that occurred last year.
"It's disgusting," he said. "To invite someone like Glenn Spencer with his history as someone of no credibility, to bring him to a legislative committee to present on border security...is totally unacceptable."
Gallardo added: "The things he's done in the past, the remarks he's made in the past not only offend Jewish Americans but all Americans."
Indeed, if Spencer was a legitimate person to have make such a presentation, why did Allen disguise the fact he was coming in?
Who's next, I wonder? Maybe Allen could call in former Klansman David Duke to lecture on race relations, or bring in National Socialist Movement commander Jeff Schoep to discuss how the swastika has been unfairly maligned.
I wouldn't put it past her. Allen is a serious far right-wing whackjob, who backs an armed state-sponsored militia on the border and who believes Arizona is in danger of becoming "part of Mexico."
The woman never ceases to remind me of Ms. Crabtree, the mentally unstable bus driver on South Park, who has a bird nested in her hair.
Such is the state of hate we live in, where butterfly-chasers like Allen chair state senate committees and racist anti-Semites are certified by the legislature as experts. Nothing in Sand Land shocks me any more.
UPDATE 4:17 PM: The ADL of Arizona has issued the following scathing press release about the appearance of nativist anti-Semite Glenn Spencer at a state Senate border security committee today:
ADL Outraged Over Senate's Invitation to Glenn Spencer
Phoenix, AZ, March 1, 2012... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today harshly condemns the invitation by the Arizona State Senate to Glenn Spencer, an anti-Hispanic, anti-Semitic bigot, to present testimony to the Arizona Senate Border Security, Federalism and States' Sovereignty Committee. Senator Sylvia Allen, chair of that committee, was particularly singled out for criticism.
Arizona Regional Board Chair, Miriam Weisman, and Regional Director Bill Straus said in a statement:
"It is outrageous that rather than seek out unbiased and legitimate experts, our legislators have chosen the leader of a hate group to present in front of that committee. And, unlike last year, when backlash to his invitation prompted the cancellation of his talk, this year he was a 'surprise" addition to the agenda with no prior notice. The fact that Senator Allen and some in our Senate regard this man as an 'expert' on border security is appalling. And the invitation they extended to him only gives further legitimacy to someone who has a long record of demonizing Hispanics and immigrants."
Spencer has tried to paint himself as an authority on immigration, and describes his group, based in Sierra Vista, Arizona, as a benign "border watch" group. In fact, Spencer and his American Border Patrol have a long record of demonizing Hispanics and immigrants. According to ADL, Spencer has attended white supremacists events in the past and has posted articles on V-Dare, a racist Web site.
Spencer routinely promotes anti-immigration conspiracy theories, such as the "Atzlan" theory that Mexican immigrants are allegedly plotting to take over the American Southwest. He has referred to President Barack Obama as the "Reconquista in Chief" and suggested that Obama was plotting with the government of Mexico. A recurring theme in his hateful rhetoric is that the white population is being "overwhelmed" by Hispanic immigrants and that immigration is subsuming the "culture" of "White America."
More information on Glenn Spencer and the American Border Patrol is available on the League's Web site at http://www.adl.org/extremism/arizona/arizonaborder.pdf.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.