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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tancredo calls Miami 'a Third World country' where many residents can't speak English

How much more evidence of Tancredo's hypocrisy, xenophobia and racism do we need?
Shirt, shoes but no service
A Miami restaurant bars Colorado congressman after he labels the city 'a Third World country' where many residents can't speak English.
By Carol J. Williams
Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2006

MIAMI ? Immigrants in multicultural Miami had the final word Wednesday in a monthlong battle with Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo: Adios.

A speech by Tancredo to the Rotary Club of Miami scheduled for today was canceled after the Key Biscayne restaurant that hosts the group's weekly lunch meetings announced that the congressman critical of immigration was not welcome there.

Tancredo insulted Floridians from kitchen help to the governor's mansion when he deemed Miami "a Third World country" where many residents can't speak English. The congressman's comments came last month in an interview during a meeting of conservative activists in nearby Palm Beach.

Miami, he said, is an example of what happens to a city when immigrants cling to their culture and language, creating foreign enclaves.

So my first question is: Will Tancredo apply the same standards to citizens, especially Anglos, who can't speak the King's English? What about Prez Shrub and his insistence -- despite being married to a former librarian -- on mis-pronouncing the word NEW-KYA-LUR? Will Tancredo denounce the prez for being an ignorant, poorly educated hillbilly?

Just the other day on C-Span I heard a fellow repeatedly say 'EARL' when of course, he meant OIL. Lord knows how many of my fellow southerners (I include myself) can actually complete gerunds and the ends of many other words. The lack of consciousness and dearth of self-awareness runs deeper than infinity.

In fact, one of my beloved Mississippi grandmothers, rest her blessed naive gentle soul, once stated with a completely straight face that black people could congenitally only say 'FO' instead of the correct enunciation of the word 'FO-uh' ( for the uninitiated, fo-uh is the deep southern pronouncement of the word FOUR.) Of course, she had virtually never been anywhere except her own small, poor southern town populated by mostly poor southerners and even poorer african american folks. Truly she meant no harm, for she was a tender and compassionate person resplendent with love for all but she really believed what she stated, something she had heard countless times and which she merely repeated. Much like Tancredo, no doubt.

One big difference: my grandmother never had any real power. Tancredo, unfortunately, has way too much.

Also saw and heard very similar complaints about foreigners during a recent News Hour report on -- drum roll -- RUSSIA -- the place that's rapidly backsliding toward fascism and totalitarianism.

Don't get me wrong: as a practical matter, I don't advocate open, unenforced borders given the realities of 9/11 and no telling what is brewing out yonder. As an idealist, I'd love to see a Star Trek New Generation utopia where people have everything they need -- food, health care, education, work, housing, etc -- all without money or capitalism. I'd love to live in that world. But we're currently in this one. I think our nation's leaders -- including business, especially the rich ones and entitled, privileged ones -- ought to be taking care of our own citizens first and foremost. If we don't, how can we help others? Meanwhile, no one has asked me and Tancredo's style of fascist nationalism and fear-based hate is despicable.

Oh yeah -- irony of ironies -- Tancredo's spokesperson's name is Carlos Espinosa.

Complete LA Times story here.

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