Steve's Soapbox

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Brownwood's "KXYL Talking Head" lands on front page of today's Dallas Morning News

Citizen patrols try to shed vigilante image

Groups tap into mainstream concerns, but critics say message hasn't changed
11:16 PM CST on Wednesday, November 2, 2005
By KAREN BROOKS / The Dallas Morning News

FABENS, Texas – Radio talk-show host J.C. McClain could hardly contain his excitement as he recalled the time he had to pull his pistol in front of an illegal immigrant whose pants were still wet from splashing across the Rio Grande.
The exasperated man told Mr. McClain to get out of the way, "the Border Patrol has already been through here." When a member of the man's group picked up a rock, Mr. McClain pulled his gun and held it in front of his belt, pointing at the ground. The man dropped the rock, and the group trudged back into Mexico.
Mr. McClain related the story to his Brownwood audience the next day from an improvised radio booth in a house a few miles from the border near El Paso.
"It just made our day," he said, laughing as he described the confrontation.
A few years ago, such armed volunteer patrol groups were almost universally considered dangerous, vigilante racists on the fringe of society. And while elements still inhabit the "Minuteman movement," more sophisticated groups – such as the North Texas-based "Texas Minutemen" – are tapping into mainstream concerns about border security in a post-9/11 America.
Also Online
Plan aims to shore up borders
"They're the next generation," said Devin Burghart, who directs an anti-racism project for the Center for New Community, a Chicago-based civil rights group. "They're slightly more sophisticated, they've been able to reach a larger audience. ... The political terrain has shifted to where immigration is probably going to be the No. 1 issue in the 2006 electoral races. That's not something you saw when they got their start."
Note from Steve: I was not surprised to read this in the Dallas Morning News as it relates to KXYL Talking Head JC Mclain's trip to the border. From JC's numerous "on air" mentions of border "turkey shoots" with Shannon McGauley ( Texas Minuteman Co-founder ), referring to people as "towel heads" to his detailing the story of the time he stopped at a gas station in the Metroplex, filled up with gas, took a beverage without paying for it (because he was used to doing that in Brownwood !) and was chased out into the parking lot by the station employee ( JC used his Indian/Muslim/Foreigner sounding mock voice for his audience !) who told him he needed to pay for the beverage. Fortunately, a caller to KXYL, said she agreed with the station employee and not JC ! Play the tapes !
..........and not suprising as I was reading the Dallas Morning News Article, I heard JC on this mornings show admit to being prejudiced against Muslims. After listening to his show for some time now, I know his prejudices include other groups besides Muslims (or those that he ASSumes are Muslim ! ). I wonder how JC determines who is a Muslim ?
Is this what KXYL's JC McLain means by a "turkey shoot" on the Border ?
Definitions of Turkey shoot on the Web:

A turkey shoot is an opportunity for an individual or a party to very easily take advantage of a situation.
Note from Steve: Is this the man ( see below who resigned ) that Phill Watts (KXYL Owner) and JC McLain will not have on their airwaves as a call-in guest ?

President of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of Texas resigns
FRI 07.29.2005 16.13 PT
The Victoria Advocate

The president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of Texas resigned by e-mail late Monday evening, criticizing a lack of structure in the group and claiming racist undertones in the Goliad-area chapter.
"The Sarco group has chosen to go a different course than what I feel is in the best interest of the organization nationally and locally," Bill Parmley of the small community near Goliad wrote in the letter e-mailed late Monday night to Chris Simcox, national president of the Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and Goliad County Sheriff Robert DeLaGarza.
Note from Steve: I wonder what JC's friend, Ray Stone (see Dallas Cowboys Football Report), would have to say on the topic below ? JC's had Ray on the air several times at KXYL.

Alas, it really happened
What's next at Cowboys games? Tackling dummies in Arab attire?
08:42 PM CDT on Thursday, September 2, 2004
By STEVE BLOW / The Dallas Morning News
Please tell me that didn't really happen.
It's not that I don't trust our letter writers. I just don't want to believe the scene described this week in a letter to the editor.
In case you missed it, this happened at the Cowboys game Monday night.
During a break in the game, Texas Stadium cameras showed various fans and the stadium announcer urged the crowd to select a "fan of the game" by cheers and applause.
The camera first showed three men in military uniform. Naturally, the crowd cheered loudly. Some people stood and clapped. It was a nice tribute to our troops.
Next, a woman with a sign of some sort was shown – to scattered applause.
And then, incredibly, the stadium cameras were trained on a man and woman in Middle Eastern attire of some sort – turban and head scarf, along with Cowboys garb, too. And the crowd began to boo and hiss.
Our letter writer was rightly mortified.
Then, to make matters worse, the whole process was repeated – big cheers for the soldiers, polite applause for the sign-toting woman, boos and hisses for the Middle Eastern couple.
And I want to say: Please tell me that didn't really happen.
Even by the low standards of a football crowd, that is just numskull behavior.
First, how did anyone in the Cowboys organization think it would be fun to match some U.S. troops against an innocent Middle Eastern couple in a crowd popularity contest?
What's next? Tackling dummies in Arab attire? A little hanging in effigy from the goal posts to warm up the crowd?
Thank goodness the Cowboys do realize that a huge blunder was made here. Spokesman Rich Dalrymple said they haven't had many calls about it, but they're apologizing profusely to those who have.
"There was nothing intentional about it," he said. "But the matter has been addressed and dealt with accordingly in the organization, trust me."
OK, but that doesn't let the crowd off the hook. Are there really so many simpletons who think our enemy is anyone in a headscarf?
If so, our war on terror is doing more harm than good.
So far I haven't found much to like about either campaign in this presidential race. But a real low has been Vice President Dick Cheney's mocking of John Kerry for saying he would wage a more "sensitive" war on terrorism.
Sure, it makes for some easy tough-guy posturing. But as it turns out, Mr. Cheney's boss – the president – has used the very same word in talking about fighting terrorism effectively.
And both the president and Mr. Kerry are right.
It may not be as much fun as booing and hissing, but we're going to need lots of sensitivity to win this war on terrorism.
In the good old days of past wars, it probably made sense to demonize a whole race or nation as our enemy.
When I was growing up in the years after World War II, we spent a lot of time "playing war." And that meant fighting "Krauts" and "Japs."
But we don't have the luxury of such mindless, broad-brush hate this time around.
This war on terrorism is really more about ideas and attitudes than bombs and bullets. It's a war to win hearts and minds, as is often said. And in a way, we're all combatants in that war.
Once, supporting the war effort back home just meant rolling bandages or rationing sugar.
If only it were that easy now. Fighting this war on the home front means digging deep and learning about world affairs and our own foreign policy. It means stretching to understand cultures very different from our own. And it requires real sophistication in understanding who are enemies are and who they aren't.
I'm afraid that in a few thoughtless minutes Monday night, we lost a skirmish in our war on terrorism.
And lots of people proved themselves unfit for combat.
Posted on Thu, Aug. 25, 2005

'Illegals' are not as bad as militias
By Bud Kennedy
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Finally, the news is good for the so-called "illegal" immigrant workers who get nothing but criticism for their work helping to build a stronger and richer Texas.
A Dallas restaurant worker from El Salvador has been awarded part of a 70-acre ranch after she and other immigrants were stopped, harassed and beaten in South Texas by a "volunteer border patrol" militia based in Arlington and Mansfield.
In a grand twist of irony, Fatima Leiva of Dallas is now part owner of the Arizona ranch where the play soldiers of Ranch Rescue, a forerunner of today's Minuteman Project, used to hold their silly training games.
Back before the Minutemen were slick enough to hold news conferences and avoid bigoted comments about race or culture, rancher Jack Foote of Arlington led the race-hating, immigrant-bashing Ranch Rescue, which operated from a Mansfield address and openly stirred racial fears about an "invasion" of Hispanic immigrants that might "swallow up" America.
Meaning, of course, "white" America.
Some of the Ranch Rescue volunteers came from the militia movement and from the old Republic of Texas crazies who wanted to overthrow the government. The wannabe soldiers were "guarding" a ranch near Hebbronville in 2003 when they caught Leiva and a Salvadoran man trespassing as they tried to go around a checkpoint 55 miles from the border.
One of the volunteers was an ex-con bounty hunter from California, Casey Nethercott. According to news accounts of the case, he sicced a Rottweiler on the Salvadorans. Leiva said he pistol-whipped the man.
A Texas Ranger eventually saw the injuries. He arrested Nethercott and another volunteer.
Nethercott wound up in a Jim Hogg County courtroom facing trial on an assault charge. The jury deadlocked, and the case was not set for retrial. But he was sent to prison for six years as a convicted felon illegally carrying a firearm.
Leiva, the Salvadoran man and a family from Mexico who were also harassed and threatened by the patrol sued Nethercott, Foote, the ranch owner and Ranch Rescue for assault, false imprisonment, negligence and "infliction of emotional distress."
The ranch owner, Joe Sutton, once told the Dallas Observer that he wanted the border shut down "tighter than a bull's ass in fly season" and ranted that at Houston hotels, "four out of five employees are illegals. You can drive a few blocks and see 500 of them."
Last month, he quietly paid $100,000 to settle his part of the lawsuit.
Nethercott and Foote never responded and lost a $1 million judgment. According to The New York Times, Nethercott's sister last week signed over his only asset of value: the 70-acre Arizona ranch where Ranch Rescue once trained.
The immigrants will probably sell the ranch, their lawyer told the Times. Leiva has been unavailable for comment, although she is still identified as working in Dallas pending a visa request.
The immigrants were represented by civil-rights lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled paramilitary "volunteer border patrol" groups as race- and culture-based hate groups and has warned the volunteers not to terrorize, threaten or harass anyone suspected of violating immigration laws.
Let's spell it out.
We talk a lot about "illegal aliens."
But "illegal" immigration is not necessarily a crime at all. At most, a first-time offender in North Texas with no criminal record might face a rarely prosecuted federal misdemeanor charge of failure to possess a green card.
The punishment: a maximum fine of $100 and up to 30 days in jail.
Some so-called "illegal" aliens came into the country legally and overstayed a visa. They have committed no crime, only a civil immigration violation.
So Fatima Leiva was a misdemeanor suspect caught trespassing on a private ranch.
The way we punish that in America does not involve pistol-whipping or a Rottweiler.
Yet we have become obsessed with labeling misdemeanor immigration violators as "illegals" and hatefully calling them the worst threat facing American society.
I understand the concern about defending the seemingly indefensible northern and southern U.S. borders from genuine criminals. And I can see the damage and vandalism in border counties caused by the sheer number of immigrants passing through.
I agree that our laws must be obeyed.
But that includes civil-rights laws.
What other Class C misdemeanor has us this obsessed? And why are we so obsessed with blaming illegal immigrants themselves?
Could it be because of the color or language of some immigrants?
There is no law against speaking any language in America. Our First Amendment guarantees free speech in any language.
And some of our greatest Texas Revolution heroes spoke only Spanish.
From the Texas Declaration of Independence -- printed in both languages by decree of the Founders -- Texas has always been a bilingual state and nation.
Sure, uphold the rule of law in America.
Just remember that law also protects people like Fatima Leiva.

Bud Kennedy 's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (817) 390-7538

Did this Stephenville Man listen to Brownwood Hate Radio ?

2/19/02 Associated Press: "Felons Charged in Deaths of South Asians as `9-11
DALLAS (AP) -- Police have charged an incarcerated felon with the death of
Waqar Hasan, a former Milltown, N.J. resident and Pakistani national who was
killed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Mark Anthony Stroman, 32, was charged after an interview he had requested
on Dallas television in which he confessed to Hasan's murder.
Stroman, of Stephenville, TX, said he killed Hasan and another man and shot
a third out of revenge for the terror attacks.
The victims of all three crimes, two of which Stroman was already charged with,
were of South Asian descent.
According to a transcript of the tape from KDFW-T