On Glenn Beck, Minuteman's Gilchrist compared La Raza to the KKK, smeared ADL, Southern Poverty Law Center
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
On Glenn Beck, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that a sign in downtown Los Angeles identifying "La Raza Plaza" "is perhaps a racist sign." He further stated: "And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign?" Later in the program, Gilchrist said the "Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups" and asserted: "They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information."
On the January 30 edition of the CNN Headline News program Glenn Beck, guest host Mike Brooks had on frequent CNN guest and Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, along with Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, to discuss the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) recent decision to reassign the San Diego chapter of the Minuteman Project to a different location in the Adopt-A-Highway program due to "public safety concerns." During the segment, Gilchrist compared the National Council of La Raza, which identifies itself as the "largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States," to the Ku Klux Klan. He claimed that a sign in downtown Los Angeles identifying "La Raza Plaza" "is perhaps a racist sign," and asserted that "La Raza and MEChA [the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán] are, in my opinion, the largest organized racial supremacy group in the United States today. And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign? This goes right to the heart of free speech." Later during the segment, Gilchrist said that the "Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups" and asserted that "if they can proliferate hate by using people like Mark Krikorian and the Center for Immigration Studies or Jim Gilchrist, Minuteman Project, as a target for their hate, they can raise millions of dollars." After Brooks replied, "They monitor hate groups," Gilchrist asserted: "They don't. They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information."
Also, on the show, Krikorian claimed that "[o]n the open-borders side [of the immigration debate], the racial chauvinism is right at the center and the leadership of the open-borders movements." He cited as evidence Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) Hispanic outreach adviser, Juan Hernandez, who Krikorian claimed "is a Hispanic chauvinist who actually was a Mexican government cabinet official." Krikorian continued: "[T]his bigotry and chauvinism is in the driver's seat on the open-borders side of the debate. It's at the fringes, at best, in the pro-control side of the debate."
Gilchrist is a frequent guest on CNN and CNN Headline News. He appeared on the January 30, January 9, October 29, 2007, and September 24, 2007, editions of Glenn Beck. Gilchrist also appeared on the June 13, 2007, edition of Anderson Cooper 360; the May 21, 2007, and May 15, 2006, editions of Larry King Live; the May 1, 2006, edition of Paula Zahn Now; the November 18, 2006, edition of Open House; and the July 31, 2006, edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight.
On the December 9, 2005, edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs announced, "I support the Minuteman Project and the fine Americans who make it up in all they've accomplished, fully, relentlessly, and proudly."
As Media Matters for America has documented, regular host Glenn Beck has made frequent anti-immigrant remarks on both his CNN Headline News show and his nationally syndicated radio program. For example, commenting on immigration protests, Beck stated that Mexico "is a country that has been overtaken by lawbreakers from the bottom to the top. And now, what you're protesting for is to have lawbreakers come here." Responding to criticism of his remarks on immigration protests, Beck claimed, "[I] pretty much stand by" the assertion that "Mexico is run by nothing but criminals." Regarding immigrants illegally entering the country, Beck said there are three reasons that an illegal immigrant "comes across the border in the middle of the night": "One, they're terrorists; two, they're escaping the law; or three, they're hungry. They can't make a living in their own dirtbag country." Beck also suggested that illegal immigrants are "try[ing] to conquer our culture" and are "coming here" with "no intention of being Americans. They say, you know, 'Hey, this is our land. We deserve it back.' "
From the January 30 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BROOKS: You know, they say -- they say, Mark, safety concerns. Help me understand what kind of safety concerns going out and picking up trash along the highway? You know, what is wrong with that? Safety concerns -- I mean, you put a little vest on so the cars won't hit you. That's what normal people do when they're involved in this Adopt-a-Highway. But -- you know, what do they think, they're going to be out there directing traffic? Come on.
KRIKORIAN: Well, I mean, it's just an excuse, but the bad guys here really isn't Caltrans, the government bureaucrats. They're just kind of timid bureaucrats, like most bureaucrats are, and they've been intimidated and cowed by these advocacy groups, by these open-borders organizations. And when you look at the issue on its face, you might think, well, it's a little local issue. Why is it relevant for, you know, broader coverage?
But it really does tell us something about the broader immigration debate. And that is that the open-borders side doesn't want to have a debate. They essentially are bullying their way, attempting to bully their way into suppressing people's opinions, into de-legitimizing, tainting anybody who opposes their views, just the way Senator [John] McCain [R-AZ], for instance, did over the summer by calling his Senate colleagues who opposed his amnesty bill racists and xenophobes. It's the same kind of thing. When you have no argument, call your opponents racists and xenophobes. And it's actually a sign, I think, that the pro-enforcement, pro-borders people are actually making progress, because the other side is scared.
BROOKS: Is -- that's what it seems like. But, Jim --
BROOKS: -- do you see that Caltrans is possibly bowing to special interest groups?
GILCHRIST: Absolutely. Now, I'm going to give you a precise example of a sign that I feel is perhaps a racist sign. It's called La Raza Plaza, and I believe it's off Interstate 5 or Interstate 405 in downtown Los Angeles. La Raza Plaza. Now, I could make the argument that this is a racist, hostile, violent group. I want that sign taken down. I choose not to. That's La Raza's privilege --
BROOKS: Now what's -- just for our viewers, tell us about La Raza.
GILCHRIST: La Raza and MEChA are, in my opinion, the largest organized racial supremacy group in the United States today. And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign? This goes right to the heart of free speech.
And like Mark Krikorian -- God bless that guy -- said, this is a bogus excuse by those opposed to immigration law enforcement to stifle free speech. It's as simple as that. It really is simple.
BROOKS: Mark, you know, it sounds like it is -- I mean, La Raza Plaza? You know, if, in fact, this group, you know, as Jim says they are, what's the problem with the Minutemen? You know, some people say, oh, they're vigilantes. But the Minutemen, you know, are they -- some people say, oh, well, they're a bunch of kooks. What do you say about that?
KRIKORIAN: Look, any large organization may well have some kooks here and there. There's no question about it. But Minutemen, for the most part, are civic-minded retirees with lawn chairs and, you know, walkie-talkies.
BROOKS: Kind of like me in my neighborhood in the Kirkwood section of Atlanta.
KRIKORIAN: Sort of neighborhood watch kind of folks.
KRIKORIAN: That's all it is. The interesting point here, if we're talking about this issue of xenophobia and bigotry, is that obviously, it exists on both sides of this debate. There's no denying that. But on the pro-control side, the pro-borders side, the kooks and the racists are at the fringes. They're nuts, you know, living in their mother's basements.
On the open-borders side, the racial chauvinism is right at the center and the leadership of the open-borders movements. For instance, John McCain's Hispanic outreach director for his candidate is a Hispanic chauvinist who actually was a Mexican government cabinet official and is now advising John McCain. So frankly, this bigotry and chauvinism is in the driver's seat on the open-borders side of the debate. It's at the fringes, at best, in the pro-control side of the debate.
BROOKS: Well, speaking about bigotry, Jim, I've read that the Anti-Defamation League, ADL, has gotten involved in this campaign. What dog do they have in this fight?
GILCHRIST: Fundraising. Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups. And if they can proliferate hate by using people like Mark Krikorian and the Center for Immigration Studies or Jim Gilchrist, Minuteman Project, as a target for their hate, they can raise millions of dollars.
BROOKS: They monitor hate groups. They monitor hate groups. I mean --
GILCHRIST: They don't. They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information.
Nor is McCain's administer to whatever it is he's advising him for. I've been on debate with Juan Hernandez. He's a gentleman, certainly, but his agenda is identical to McCain's agenda and [Rudy] Giuliani's agenda, and that's to have open borders and no rule of law insofar as our immigration policy and an endless stream, and I mean endless, of millions upon millions of illegal aliens from all around the world coming in here.
BROOKS: Jim, I want to thank you. This is not the last, I'm sure, we're going to hear of this whole issue, and not the end of illegal immigration discussion. Jim, Mark, thanks.
KRIKORIAN: Thank you.