The following bit o’ weirdness comes courtesy of a reader who was sent the initial e-mail below from one Jon Garrido, a local activist and wannabe Phoenix city councilman. Garrido runs the "Hispanic News" Web site (http://hispanic.cc), which bills itself as, "The number 1 Hispanic website in the United States." Um, hypothetically, at least, that claim would seem to make his site better read than those for La Voz here in Phoenix, or La Opinion in Los Angeles...
Garrido regularly e-mails the universe with his deep thoughts, on, say, gays in politics, Mexico, the border, and various other issues. His latest ditty denounced Governor Napolitano for being a lesbian, and for her being her usual spineless self when it comes to the oppression of the undocumented in this state. This landed in the e-mail inbox of ASU Communications professor, Karma Chavez (great name, BTW), who, annoyed by the unwelcome intrusion, asked Garrido to take her off his e-mail list in no uncertain terms. Garrido responded with a few choice words of his own, as you can see. I got the second string below from Professor Chavez after contacting her for this blog post.
It's a free country. You don't have to like everybody. And if you want to come off sounding like the Hispanic Archie Bunker, that's your biz. Actually, I agree with Garrido on a couple of points. Until recently, when she jerked $1.6 million away from the MCSO -- money Arpaio was using for his anti-immigrant sweeps -- Napolitano’d been a real weasel on the issue of illegal immigration. Signing the employer sanctions law is but one example.
On the topic of the governor being a closeted lesbian, it's true that's widely assumed to be the case. (I asked Napolitano about this during a news conference in 2006; she told me she was very offended by the question.) Still, I think if the guv came out tomorrow, she would be an instant heroine to many and would likely be on the cover of every major news magazine and newspaper in the country. It could also be an enormous career boost. Sure, she has denied being a lesbian in the past, and her enemies would accuse her of lying to the public (though I've yet to meet anyone who assumes she's straight). However, there's an easy out to that -- she could say she's in love with another woman, and no longer wishes to hide her true self. Crikey, she'd be on Oprah the next day, and feted at the Democratic National Convention in August!
In other words, even if Nappy is in reality as asexual as an aphid, coming out as a lesbian would make her a pop culture icon. Though it might make a U.S. Senate campaign more difficult, it could help her snag a cabinet post in an Obama administration, seeing that Obama's a progressive enough cat to seek out an openly gay pol for a cabinet position.
As far as bein' a Veep goes, Obama is not going to choose Nappy to be his VP, but that has nada to do with her preferences in the sack. It has more to do with the fact that the Napster's endorsement did not win Arizona for Obama in the presidential primary. Let's face it, Nappy has all the charisma of a jar of pickled pigs’ snouts. What in tarnation would Janet bring to an Obama ticket? I mean, other than her collection of checkered sport coats?
Garrido's comments do seem rather ugly at points. Take this line, "As for the issue of homosexuals, 98% of Hispanics think like I do..." When I suggested during a phone confab that Garrido might've pulled that stat out of his ass, he hung up on me.
Not sure what he means about ASU being a hotbed of ladies like the good Karma (sorry, Prof, couldn't help myself). ASU a hotbed of women with PhDs? With Hispanic last names? With Sanskrit first names? Or perhaps Garrido means those femmes who never forget to TiVo Ellen? Hmmm....
Garrido's attempts at tempering his remarks seem left-handed at best. Like when he states, "Even if I personally can not accept gay marriage, I have included this group in my civil rights advocacy."
Bravo, Jon. I'm sure that GLAAD award is in the mail.
Anyway, here's the e-mail exchange. And Garrido actually wanted this back and forth to see the light of day before District 8 voters find out who he is? Heh. No wonder polemicists make such piss-poor politicians.
[FIRST STRING, sent out as a mass e-mail by Jon Garrido]
From: "Jon Garrido Network"
Dr. Karma Chavez, Ph.D., ASU, Latina AND lesbian,
We have a 750,000 national email directory for Hispanic News.
This includes 25,000 in the Phoenix area.
Later today, the 25,000 Phoenix area distribution list will get a copy of this email sent to you.
For your edification, my email is about 400 to 1 supporting what I wrote yesterday about Napolitano. This includes "progressive Latinos." Then there are probably many more who did not write but still read Hispanic News because we address discrimination toward Hispanics and especially we are critical of Joe Arpaio and those like Napolitano who support him by approving Napolitano's and Pearce's bill requiring verification of social security numbers to work in Arizona.
The displacement of undocumented workers to me is what is important.
It appears the undocumented are of no concern to you.
My biggest group of supporters are those that think like I do about Joe Arpaio. If you want to position yourself with Arpaio, then go for it but in the end, some day Arpaio will be gone.
As for the issue of homosexuals, 98% of Hispanics think like I do; however, long ago I came to accept homosexuals have equal rights and as such have the same civil rights we all have. Even if I personally can not accept gay marriage, I have included this group in my civil rights advocacy.
I admire you for your convictions and for your public acknowledgement you are homosexual.
With Napolitano, there is a line in the sand she refuses to cross over and that it is to admit she is a lesbian.
I believe if a person in public office elected by the people lies about a small thing, they are capable of lying about big things.
Napolitano deceives Arizona voters by lying about being a Lesbian. I believe Arizona voters have a right to know who they elect because they may change their vote if they have additional information.
I think those that support Napolitano know she is a lesbian but these supporters know if the general public knew she was a lesbian, then conservative (and mainstream Hispanics hold conservative moral values) voters would not be voting for her.
So the lesbian label is secondary and not the reason for wanting her to go away and not further up the food chain.
I think Napolitano is responsible for giving Arpaio a tool to arrest migrants and this paints all of us with “brown faces” as less than others with “non brown” faces and it is this that I deplore and can not accept. (I assume you do not have a brown face.)
Arizona has turned out to be a “racist territory” much like the Alabama in the 1960s.
All that have a hand in any of this should not be representing us in public life. To me Napolitano is no different that Arpaio.
It is unfortunate you have begun your crusade against me. It is unfortunate there is a hot bed of people like you at ASU. Most of my friends are concerned about ASU.
Fortunately, those like you are not in the mainstream of the Hispanic electorate.
The upside to your crusade against me is more people in Arizona will come to know Janet Napolitano is a lesbian. Thank you for helping me get this message out to Arizonans and out to a national audience.
Your crusade against me when my Phoenix City Council campaign really gets going will make Napolitano an issue and I am certain she will be most appreciative of you.
Calvin Coolidge had you in mind when he wrote: The world is full of educated derelicts.
-----Original Message----- From: Karma Chavez [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 8:19 AM To: The Jon Garrido Network Subject: Re: REMOVE FROM THIS LIST
I see that you are running for city council in my district. I want you to know that I plan to print copies of your homophobic email response and distribute it to all of my neighbors, as well as publish your response in all major publications in the Valley. I have already forwarded your email response to numerous progressive Latinos/as in the Valley.
Dr. Karma Chavez, Ph.D., ASU, Latina AND lesbian
[SECOND STRING, sent to me by Prof. Karma Chavez]
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: The Jon Garrido Network
Chavez, Ph.D., Latina AND lesbian
Jon Garrido JonGarrido.com 602.244.1000
-----Original Message----- From: Karma Chavez [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:45 PM To: Jon Garrido Network Cc: Jon@jongarrido.com Subject: REMOVE FROM THIS LIST
I am absolutely APPALLED by the homophobia and discrimination that the following quotation from your last email demonstrates:
"Napolitano is reportedly a gay lesbian and this goes against moral values American Hispanics feel strongly about. The Catholic bishop of Phoenix has forbidden Janet Napolitano from attending Catholic churches of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix."
I am Latina AND lesbian, and you are a disgrace to your people. I want nothing to do with your organization any longer. Maybe you should think about the discrimination "hispanics" face and think about what others go through. I cannot believe you are that ignorant.
Dr. Karma Chavez, Ph.D., Latina AND lesbian
On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 6:23 PM, Jon Garrido Network
The 2008 Hispanic Vote for President: Obama? Maybe
If Janet Napolitano joins the Obama administration, Hispanics should sit out the 2008 election
We are at a tipping point in our pursuit for comprehensive immigration reform and ideally we need a pre nuptial agreement before we consent to enter the marriage to support Obama.
However, we acknowledge it may be unwise for McCain or Obama to publically [sic] state they will strongly push for comprehensive immigration reform but there are clear signals that can be sent.
For example, if Obama appoints Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona to any position in the Obama Administration, this will be a clear signal Obama will not support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
It was Governor Janet Napolitano who approved the Arizona Legal Arizona Workers Act, Arizona's verification process requiring all Arizona workers be verified by E-Verify, the system that confirms social security numbers. In Arizona the E-Verify requirement has led to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's raids looking for undocumented workers. This is exactly what the United States Homeland Security Department is doing with recent ICE raids.
To have Janet Napolitano appointed to possibly Secretary of Homeland Security to replace Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will be a clear message Obama will continue the polices of George Bush and Secretary Chertoff such as the ICE raid of May 12 of a Postville-based meatpacking plant, Agriprocessors Inc. that took 389 workers into custody.
If Obama appoints Napolitano to anything, Hispanics should not vote in the 2008 presidential election.
Napolitano is reportedly a gay lesbian and this goes against moral values American Hispanics feel strongly about. The Catholic bishop of Phoenix has forbidden Janet Napolitano from attending Catholic churches of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
The biggest offense toward Hispanics is Janet Napolitano when on the last day as U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Janet Napolitano and Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference when then U.S. Attorney for Arizona Janet Napolitano stated she had stopped the civil rights violations investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio known as America's toughest sheriff for his pursuit of migrant workers.
The reason Janet Napolitano resigned as U.S. Attorney for Arizona was to run for Arizona governor.
When the campaign officially began, Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Janet Napolitano for governor.
Quid pro quo? You bet!
Last month Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested approximately 1000 undocumented and promptly ICE deported them to México.
Yesterday, the immigration sweeps continued.
If Obama announces before the 2008 election Janet Napolitano will receive an appointment in the Obama Administration, this will send a clear message Obama is not a friend of the Hispanic community because Napolitano will continue the policies of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and the U.S. Attorney General each enforcing the policy of President George Bush.
If Napolitano is designated to serve in the Obama Administration, Hispanics should not vote in 2008 for either Obama or McCain.
Read the rest of the article at Hispanic News, the number 1 ranked Hispanic websites at Google, Yahoo and MSN.
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Jon Garrido JonGarrido.com 602.244.1000