Recently, the Anti Defamation League delivered a strong repudiation of the current toxic atmosphere regarding illegal immigration. Here is a link to the full press release written by ADL.
For those who decry, “those anti people, they are the haters”, I wonder, how are we seen as haters, when in fact, seven major civil rights organizations ALL side with our concern over the scapegoating and extreme rhetoric directed at Hispanics. ANY day, I would rather be publicly seen as aligning myself with civil rights organizations than a group led by a man that talks about human beings as dog food.
It is time to start recognizing that a reasonable and humane resolution will come with this administration, and people need to ask themselves, in ten years, how do I want to remember my words and deeds. I believe, this quote by Michael Lieberman, encompasses everything antibvbl stand for, not only as it relates to solutions for immigration, but also our need to remember we are all a part of the human race.
Words have consequences. And we must use our words, our power of persuasion, our political clout, to condemn scapegoating, bias crimes, racism, and anti-Semitism and to press for fair and workable immigration reform.
For those who accuse Alanna and I of infiltrating and influencing ADL, ask yourselves, do you believe we are so powerful that we can also determine the agendas of six other national civil rights organizations?
Here is part of the press release:
Washington, DC, November 24, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today joined with a coalition of seven national civil rights organizations to denounce the recent wave of hate crimes against Hispanics and other minorities, including the brutal murder of Marcelo Lucero, a Suffolk County, Long Island man of Ecuadoran descent.
“There is a direct connection between the tenor of the political debate and the daily lives of immigrants in our communities. It is no accident that as the immigration debate has demonized immigrants as “invaders” who poison our communities with disease and criminality, haters have taken matters into their own hands and hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise for the fourth consecutive year,” said Michael Lieberman, ADL Washington Counsel.
Reasonable people can and will disagree about the parameters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
But make no mistake. There is a direct connection between the tenor of this political debate and the daily lives of immigrants in our communities.
It is no accident that, as some voices in the immigration debate have demonized immigrants as “invaders” who poison our communities with disease and criminality, haters have taken matters into their own hands.
ADL has documented a growing atmosphere of bigotry and xenophobia and a disturbing increase in the number of violent assaults against Hispanics, legal, and undocumented immigrants – and those perceived to be immigrants. Across the nation, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have exploited the immigration issue to advance their own agenda.
But we at ADL have also become increasingly concerned about the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric employed by a handful of groups and coalitions that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America.
As previously mentioned, the FBI has documented that reported hate crimes against Latinos increased in 2007 for the fourth consecutive year.
The demonization of immigrants has led to an increased sense of fear in communities around the country and created a toxic environment in which hateful rhetoric targeting immigrants has become routine.