Human descent in 60 seconds

The Orcinus blogger David Neiwert is so good at explaining his particular expertise: fringe racist groups and the rather rapid effects they can have on society. His latest is a look at the Minutemen, the anti-immigrant group founded by Chis Simcox:

"...[I]n the 21st century, the leading edge of white-supremacist agitation has focused on immigrant bashing. Not only do they see it as the most fertile ground for recruitment, it also has proved -- via the Minutemen -- a significant means of repositioning themselves and their agenda out of the fringe and into the mainstream.

"There was already abundant evidence that the Minutemen were primarily a public-relations stunt aimed at planting the idea in the public's mind that Latino immigrants crossing the border were the source of a broad range of social ills, particularly crime and "cultural pollution." But this fact became unmistakable when the Minutemen brought their campaign to Washington state this fall -- an event that precipitated the gathering of researchers and activists in Bellingham last month."

Neiwert goes into the dangerous political mechanism being established on the right that has xenophobes politically empowering establishment political figures and vice versa -- Simcox has appeared with CA. Governor Schwarzenegger and a dozen GOP congressmembers this year. This phenomenon wouldn't be such a problem if more people were involved in the political process -- indeed, politicians would have an easier time ignoring Simcox if he knew they could get the votes from elsewhere.

In any case, read on...

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