Who're worse, behavior-wise, the nativists or the neo-Nazis? Sure, neo-Nazis are nefarious and nuts. But the nativists make the neo-Nazis look urbane by comparison. And in some ways the nativists are more violent, despite the fact crazy old crones with canes and old dudes in mobility scooters are overrepresented in their ranks. Plus, the nativists are far more hypocritical.
Saturday's anti-amnesty tea party at the Arizona state Capitol was no exception to the rule. Around 80 lumpen losers turned up to bag on "anchor babies" (otherwise known as American citizens born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents), and to scapegoat Mexican immigrants for everything from the H1N1 virus and the financial crisis, to the collapse of the housing market and Arizona's budget mess.
Their big speaker? Minuteman and joke-of-a-Senate-candidate Chris Simcox, who is running as an asterisk in the GOP primary against U.S. Senator John McCain. Hobbled by multiple personal scandals, as well as charges of financial impropriety from former members of the Minutman Civil Defense Corps he founded, Simcox is as likely to beat McCain in a primary as Miley Cyrus is of winning an Oscar for Best Actress.
The other "big name" who had been promised for the hate-fest was state Senator Russell Pearce. Pearce, however, was a no-show. The word was he had a funeral attend. Although, you have to wonder if he knew his former pal and persistent political albatross, neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, was going to be present. The pair worked a larger, more significant crowd of nativists on the state House lawn back in 2007.
At that time, they were as tight as a pair of Sith. But Pearce was reluctantly forced to distance himself from Ready during Pearce's state Senate primary run against fellow Republican Kevin Gibbons. Ready still sounds hurt by Pearce's stab-in-the back, though Ready's gone on to become a hero of sorts in white supremacist circles.
"I don't think [I'm] mad," said Ready wistfully, as he held a large cloth portrait of Adolf Hitler, while standing on the sidewalk facing his former nativist buds."[I'm] disappointed that he didn't have more backbone. He likes to parade around the fact that he has a half-Hispanic [grandchild]. What about the other 99 percent of his family? But you know what, he was like a father figure to me, and I appreciate that. A lot of guidance and close family friends. I'll always cherish those memories."
Two years ago, many of the same anti-immigration types present cheered on Ready as he whipped them into a fervor with a practical blueprint for American fascism: Marine divisions on the four sides of the Lower 48, moving in toward the center to mop up the unwanted while securing the border. Saturday, these same people wouldn't allow him on the Capitol lawn with them. (Permit holders for the lawn can exclude folks from the area under their control, according to the Capitol police.)
This, of course, was highly ironic considering the fact that, aside from such symbols as swastikas, the nativists and the neo-Nazis share the same views on immigration. It's an irony not lost on the wannabe Ernst Roehm of the East Valley.
"They say they're for legal immigration," observed Ready. "It doesn't matter if they're Mexicans or anything. If they're for [everything being] legal -- you know what? -- when Obama passes amnesty, that is legal. That [will be] the law. What are they going to say then? They either have to acknowledge they want a European-American homeland or not...They're caught in a conundrum that I'm not. They're stuck with trying to say they're not racist. While at the same time trying to preserve European culture. They can't do both. At least I'm intellectually honest."
Ready has a point. The nativists are xenophobic, bigoted, and in many cases straight-up racists, yet, they don't want to be labeled as racists. Unlike the neo-Nazis, they are hypocrites. And they are more likely to become violent when confronted face-to-face with folks who don't buy the line they're selling.
During last week's tense neo-Nazi march to the Capitol, there were no real physical altercations, and even the threat of violence on the part of the Nazis seemed like posturing more than anything else. But at the nativist rally, there was a constant threat of violence coming from the nativists.
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