Has the swine flu pandemic given rise to even more anti-immigrant hatred? An article a friend sent me from MSNBC.COM suggests yes:
“No contact anywhere with an illegal alien!” conservative talk show host Michael Savage advised his U.S. listeners this week on how to avoid the swine flu. “And that starts in the restaurants” where he said, you “don’t know if they wipe their behinds with their hands!”
And Thursday, Boston talk radio host Jay Severin was suspended after calling Mexican immigrants “criminalians” during a discussion of swine flu and saying that emergency rooms had become “essentially condos for Mexicans.”
That’s tepid compared to some of the xenophobic reactions spreading like an emerging virus across the Internet. “This disgusting blight is because MEXICANS ARE PIGS!” an anonymous poster ranted on the “prison planet” forum, part of radio host and columnist Alex Jones’ Web site.
There is even talk of conspiracy. Savage speculated that terrorists are using Mexican immigrants as walking germ warfare weapons. “It would be easy,” he said, “to bring an altered virus into Mexico, put it in the general population, and have them march across the border.”
The following Keither Olbermann video gives further examples of scapegoating.
Do people really respond to microbes this way? Was this the excuse people were looking for?
Most Latinos in our area are from countries other than Mexico. Only about 25% our our Hispanic population is from Mexico. Have they been treated differently since this outbreak? Perhaps those who are slinging this kind of trash should be reminded that the first cases of swine flu in the United States were brought back by American Catholic high school students who had been vacationing over Spring break in Cancun. Surely no one will suggest that we ban American Catholic high school students.
[ed note: I am aware that this video is not neutral view point. However, people’s words do speak for themselves, so I opted to use the material. ]