Racist Remarks from Oregon Republicans

Gopelephantdead_5It's just so outrageous, it's worth passing on the entire statement from the DPO:

Oregon Democrats Call on Republican Chairman to Denounce Racist Remarks

PORTLAND—The Democratic Party of Oregon is calling on Oregon GOP chairman Vance Day to denounce racist remarks made by a Republican state delegate from Columbia County.

According to a report in this Tuesday’s Daily News of Longview, Washington, which covers Oregon’s Columbia County, the Columbia County Republicans have passed a resolution blaming “immigrants” for “smuggling methamphetamine into the country and filling federal prisons.”

Republican state delegate Bob Tosh of the Columbia GOP:

“We see more and more crime articles in the paper with Gomez, Martinez, Ramirez, and whatever Hispanic name you might see.”

Gerry Simmons, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s office noted that Columbia County does not, in fact, deal with large amounts of illegal immigrants. Simmons said that Columbia County has a growing Hispanic community, but that no evidence suggests any disproportionate influx of illegal immigrants.

Even so, Columbia GOP’s Tosh continued his racist comments by making the distinction between white American immigrants and the Gomez’s, Martinez’s and Ramirez’s of the world:

“All of us who are Caucasian Americans are descendents of ...immigrants,” he said. “But with legal aliens, you know who's here and that they're not some criminal that came from Mexico, escaped from jail there and came over here and is raping 5-year-old babies.”

“I’m extremely disappointed to be reminded these racist views still exist within the Republican Party,” said Democratic Party of Oregon Chairman Jim Edmunson. “These reprehensible comments have no place in our political discourse, and show the true extent to which some Republicans will go to divide Oregonians.”

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    I don't know which of you has media contacts, but this is exactly the kind of thing we need in the newspaper and on the nightly news, in prominent places, because racism is still alive and well in this country, and regrettably in this state.

    Letters to the editor are helpful, but it'd be great to also get some bigger time coverage. Can't we get some blog action going a la Trent Lott?

  • Carlos Rodriguez (unverified)
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    I find it interesting that Gerry Simmons, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s office noted that Columbia County has a growing Hispanic community, but that no evidence suggests any disproportionate influx of illegal immigrants. This is possible due to the fact that there are no statistics kept as to the make-up of the nature and proportion of the population in general and their legal status. If anything, Columbia County should keep pace with the rest of the country where illegal aliens account for approxiamtely half of all immigrants.

    The frustration expressed by many of us over the type of people who choose to come into our country in violation and defiance of our laws and borders, is shared by many legitimate American citizens of Hispanic ancestry. It is ths type of attitudes that enables the ongoing and continuous crimes related to individual illegal immigration criminal enterprises by people who have no respect for our laws and our law enforcement apparatus that weems more intent in appeasement than in enforcement.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    The R's attract such arrogant bastards, always whining that people in desperate straits aren't being hammered hard enough! It's particularly disgusting to have one taking refuge in a claim to be a member of the disadvantaged group.

  • Chris Woo (unverified)
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    Yeah, that's pretty ugly. But before we get too high on our horses, let's not forget that there are plenty of racists among the ranks of Oregon Democrats, too.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Descrimination is regrettably a common base impulse, but show me anywhere the Democratic Party has it institutionalized as it is in the Oregon Republican Party's platform:

    1.31. Laws promoting, condoning or establishing legal status for same-sex marriages or establishing benefits normally attributed to heterosexual marriages shall be opposed. We support the exclusion of homosexuals from the military service in order to maintain an effective fighting force and preserving the morale and dignity of the Armed Forces. [Note that this passage is underlined for emphasis.]

    Descrimination excused by demonizing your targeted group as willfully trangressing your morals is still the equivalent of racism.

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    My family has no connection with the current boundaries of Mexico; they were here in what is now the United States long before anyone was a "Caucasian American".

    No one in my family has ever been arrested or in jail, and they have always been gainfully employed, gone to college, and contributed to this society. Many have served this country during its wars.

    Many who do come to this country from Mexico work in jobs "Caucasian Americans" could never/would never do. They work on land that once belonged to their ancestors. Look at the history, and then tell me who is illegal. Gerry Gomez

  • Daniel (unverified)
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    Has anyone checked the validity of Bob Tosh's statements or just had the typical knee jerk reaction to start name calling?

    If you look at the in-custody list at the Marion County Jail you see lots of Hispanic surnames. I count 33 with the name "Martinez."

    Sounds like Tosh might be onto something...

    Marion County Jail M

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    How can the remark be racist when Hispanic is not a race?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Mr. Tosh's remarks are derogatory toward an ethnic group, which is racist in the grand tradition of A. Hitler. Do not split hairs with me.

    Exactly what "truth" is there to be detected in such slander as that you suspect that any random illegal alien probably "came over here and is raping 5-year-old babies."

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    Daniel is looking at the "clients under supervision list", not the "in-custody" list; if he were honest, and looked at the entire list, from A to Z, which also lists ethnicity, he would see that "whites" far out number "hispanics" in the under supervision list.

    There are 23 "Williams", 22 white and 1 black. There are 15 "Wilsons", 13 white and 2 black. It seems that people whose last names start with letters from near the end of the alphabet have quite the penchant for crime.

    Seems like Tosh, and Daniel, provide only names and numbers that fit their agenda. Gerry Gomez

  • Diesel (unverified)
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    "Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, unapologetic in the face of recent criticism that he has been too tough on his political opposition, said in San Francisco this week that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party." "

    Link to story story

    Aren't these racist remarks from the CHAIRMAN of the DNC?

    How quickly people forget.

    ~Diesel

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    I wonder if Tosh or Daniel have counted the number of people named Gomez, Martinez, Ramirez, and whatever Hispanic name you might see that have been killed in Irag and Afganistan since 9-11-2001?

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    Diesel: I did not know "Republican" was a race, but I am sure that some of them have "escaped from jail... and came over here and [are]raping 5-year-old babies.” Gerry Gomez

  • Peter Tosh (unverified)
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    Daniel -- I took the time to do a rough count of the list you provided of names M through O. Out of approximately 517 total names 149 are Hispanic-sounding. That's about 29%. Marion county is 20% Hispanic (see very long link below). If one were to adjust for the differential age structures between Anglos and Hispanics (the Anglo population is much older) and concentrate on the younger population that is more likely to commit crimes, you would certainly find that the Hispanic population of this age group is closer to 30% of the population.

    So, Mr. Tosh's remarks seem to be factual insofar as he is simply pointing out that as Oregon demographics change, so do the demographics of criminal offenders. So, I wonder, why not just state it in those terms, if, as you claim, he is just stating the facts? Seems rather irresponsible of an elected public official.

    http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=&geo_id=05000US41047&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US41%7C05000US41047&_street=&_county=marion+county%2C+oregon&_cityTown=marion+county%2C+oregon&_state=&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=050

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    "Diesel: I did not know "Republican" was a race, but I am sure that some of them have "escaped from jail... and came over here and [are]raping 5-year-old babies.” Gerry Gomez

    Hmmmm .... good point. They probably are -- and the White Christians Dr. Dean was talking about, too.

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    regarding Peter Tosh's comment: it is interesting; even a dead Jamaican musician can crunch the numbers and do a better analysis than a living Republican......... Gerry Gomez

  • LG (unverified)
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    Another sad chapter for my party. What happened to the big tent? Surely someone out there smarter than me can place this immigrant bashing de jour into some psycho-historical context please. I slept through that class in college.

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    Immigrant bashing is nothing new. However, there is something new in Mexican immigration from the past decade. The immigration is now largely illegal as well as disproportionate in numbers and in intent to times past. People are not coming to join the US as much as escape and earn money to send home. Mexico is still "home," just a largely unliveable one. A more "progressive" US policy might attempt to be less a part of enabling Mexico's corruption and misery.

    Illegal drug importation by illegal immigrants is nothing to pretend isn't happening by fear of being "racist" or ethnically incorrect, either.

    Afghanistan might present a similar if different pverty & drug story, one not on the border.

  • Peter Tosh (unverified)
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    Dispossessed:

    "there is something new in Mexican immigration from the past decade. The immigration is now largely illegal"

    Are you making this information up? The undocumented still constitute a substantial minority of all Mexican immigrants, according official estimates.

    "disproportionate in numbers and in intent to times past. People are not coming to join the US as much as escape and earn money to send home. Mexico is still "home," just a largely unliveable one."

    I'm not sure what you mean by disproportionate in numbers. Further, you assert that relative to past decades, Mexican migrants' intentions have shifted increasingly towards temporary residence as opposed to permanent settlement. In fact, the opposite is true. People like Wayne Cornelius at UC-San Diego have been study Mexican migratory streams for over thirty years and have found, among other things, that an increasing proportion of Mexican migrants, documented and otherwise, desire permanent settlement in the US compared to past decades. The story presented by these researchers is quite different from the one you have put forth, which draws into question your sources and your motives.

  • Daniel (unverified)
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    Let's bottom line it: Do you people oppose illegal immigration or not? Do you believe that illegal immigrants are diproportionaly represented in our jails? And do you believe that ODOT setting aside contracts for people because of the color of their skin is racist?

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    Mr. Tosh:

    "Are you making this information up? The undocumented still constitute a substantial minority of all Mexican immigrants, according official estimates."

    Not according to the "official estimates" I read. They are that the majority of immigrants from Mexico are now illegal. The illegal population of the US is (probably conservatively) estimated at 11 million now. Only this week didn't the Mexican parliament vote to allow its migrant population still to vote? Don't you find that rather startling?

    A couple of very recent pieces I located if you are interested. I am not familiar with your source, but have accumulated the information such as I have it over the last several years via news reports and my own observations. It seems to me that one would have to live a fairly sheltered life not to notice a whale of a lot of changes on the ground.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_29/b3943007_mz001.htm

    http://pewhispanic.org/topics/index.php?TopicID=16

  • Peter Tosh (unverified)
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    Daniel -- sure I oppose illegal immigration. It's not good for the immigrants or for everyday Americans. What I oppose even more is a public discourse that seems more bent on scapegoating a group of poor people than on reaching any type of policy solution. I know, I know. "Military at the border and deport all of the illegals." Wake up, dude. If there weren't high business stakes involved here, the border probably would have been sealed a long time ago. Those that profit from immediate access to a low-skilled, non-organized labor force, whose legal status is always questionable (even if they're here on an H2a visa, employers exploit that, it's documented in research; if you care to put down your Ann Coulter book for a while I'll send you some references) are the same one's who fund political campaigns. That's why nothing has been done. So to me, that you insist on attributing just about every social ill to undocumented workers (and tagging the documented and Hispanics along the way: you seem to be able to tell legal status by surname, how do you do that?) rather than agitating against those in power for a better situation, beyond being ugly in terms of human nature, is just plain foolish. I think you must find it just a lot more fun to go about in this way. As for deporting all the undocumented, I don't think that's going to happen either. There are an estimated 9 million here. How would we begin to go about that, in logistical terms?

    Do I believe that illegal immigrants are disproportionately represented in our jails? Obviously, based on my post above, no. You've counted those named "Martinez" (the Mexican equivalent of Smith) and concluded that there are "a lot" of them in jail. From this you leap to the much more stastistically decisive term of disproportionate. Provide me with some evidence and I might reconsider, but based on my own research, it doesn't appear that Hispanic surnames (can't really speak to legal status) are found on the list of Marion County Jail inmates with any greater frequency than they exist in Marion County. This is especially the case when one adjusts for age and socioeconomic status, which, if you consult a criminologist, is the proper way of going about such an analysis.

    Regarding ODOT, no, I don't perceive it as racist. I perceive it as following in the spirit of Civil Rights legislation that has not yet fulfilled its promise. I consider racist acts those that benefit one group of people at the expense of another. Jim Crow racism is a good example. Affirmative Action-type of legislation is meant to overcome the obstacles posed to minority groups based on the legacy of American racism that is still deep-rooted in American institutions. Whiteness still acts as currency in this country. It's not a zero-sum game. Because blacks benefit, doesn't mean whites lose out. There are many who can argue this point much more lucidly than I can, and again, if you'd like, I'll pass along some of my favorites.

    If you're going to take up this immigration debate, then take it up in policy terms rather than supporting the ignorant comments of a public figure. Even if there was not one illegal Latino immigrant in this country, one would still see an increasing number of Hispanic-surnames in the newspaper associated with crime as you would an increasing number of Hispanic surnames associated with civic acheivement. This is due simply to the fact that it is the FASTEST GROWING POPULATION in the country. You can expect to see Hispanic surnames popping up all over the place, and again, this would be the case without an existing undocumented population. They're going to play a major role in ensuring that you receive your social security benefits, which are distributed to all, racist or not.

  • Peter Tosh (unverified)
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    Okay, dispossessed. What I was saying was that the number of undocumented mexicans residing in the country are still in the minority compared to those here legally, but didn't realize that they had eclipsed the documented in terms of arrivals in recent years. Thanks for correcting me.

    As for your assertion that Mexican immigrants are here primarily to earn money to send out of the country is counter to what I have read on the topic including work by Wayne Cornelius at UC-San Diego and Douglas Massey at Princeton.

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    Daniel:

    You have shown in your comments your willingness to distort numbers to get to your "bottom line."

    So I will bottom line it for you:

    1. look at what "White America" did to Native American Indians and Blacks in this country, justified with the same kind of rhetoric used by Bob Tosh against Hispanics. The fact is that people from Hispanic backgrounds will stand up against your justification for people like Bob Tosh.

    2. Whether you like it or not, Hispanics are the largest minority group in this country, around 40 million. That is a major political and economic force, if tapped. Push your racist agenda--disguised as "facts"--against Hispanics, and we will push back.

    3. And finally, I am sorry you have suffered so much as a "White" male; I always feel so sorry for how you have suffered. It is not easy having people of color work in your fields, or fight in your wars, or work for less than minimum wage serving you food, or taking care of your children, or cleaning your toilet. Sorry your government has given "us" a few contracts; it's called appeasement, but it will not appease for long. I am sorry that "White men" have really been shut out in this country. Clearly, the evidence shows how much you have suffered. Gerry Gomez

  • engineer (unverified)
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    Here's the solution: invade Mexico, destroy the infrastructure in the process of invading, make it the 51st state. Two advantages to this. One-we make 'em all US citizens (therefore they can are no longer considered "illegal"), two we create all sorts of employment rebuilding the infrastructure ;).

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    engineer:

    That would result in an insurgency that would make what is going on in Iraq look like childs play.

  • engineer (unverified)
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    Gerry, my remark was intended to be sarcastic-dont take it too seriously...

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    engineer:

    i know ;)

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    Your "joke" to invade Mexico is countered by the assertions of many that Mexico is invading us. In truth, our countries are blending. I'm not sure this is done with good intent and certainly not foresight or will lead to good outcome. But it is happening in some rather large ways, and it is seems more likely than not, to me, that it will continue.

    Richard Rodriquez had an essay on tonight's Newshour saying something to the same point and including Canada in the North American equation.

    But it will change both the conception and the reality of the United States that we blithely call "America."

  • Suzii (unverified)
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    disposessed: "Only this week didn't the Mexican parliament vote to allow its migrant population still to vote? Don't you find that rather startling?"

    Umm... you know, U.S. citizens living and working abroad are allowed to vote in U.S. elections. Do you find that startling?

    (Come to think of it, I'm wondering if you might be getting your information from old recirculated melodramatic e-mail alerts? Seems it was a couple of years ago Mexico changed the laws to allow citizens living abroad to run for office in their hometowns and at that time they were certainly able to vote.)

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    You just made my point for me, Suzii. US citizens who live & work abroad are not emigrating. They are just living and working abroad. That is what I am saying is a large part of what is occurring now with Mexican "immigration" into the US. Hardly to mention that neither the gross numbers nor the percentages would be comparable.

    I do not get political e-mails or "alerts." I did talk with someone just this week who is thinking of "living & working abroad" for economic reasons -- in Iraq. It is a sore temptation for a portion of the stagnant or squeezed US working class.

  • Gerry Gomez (unverified)
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    dispossessed:

    It's an easy thing to blame immigrants, legal or otherwise, for the situation of the US working class. That is exactly what those in power want. As long as you focus on immigration, you wont look at corporate welfare, and the wars to support their global reach and profit.

    When your friend gets beheaded in Iraq, go ahead and blame it on Gomez, Martinez, or Ramirez. You certainly wouldn't blame Bush, Cheney or Rove. Not those poor white guys, just struggling to make it; they couldn't be responsible. Gerry Gomez

  • Peter Tosh (unverified)
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    Dispossessed:

    I'm unclear as to what, precisely, you are arguing about Mexican immigrants. My understanding, based on my readings, is that the intentions of Mexican immigrants is increasingly to settle permanently in the US. But until they are citizens, they cannot vote here, and naturally, politicians in Mexico, as here are going to look for votes anywhere they can find them, including from citizens abroad. Moreover, it's natural that permanent settlers will continue to vote in Mexican elections while waiting for US citizenship, for their vote will impact the well-being of family members still living there. What I don't understand is why this is such a frightening situation.

    Regarding your implication that immigration is putting a squeeze on the American working class, I don't think that there is anything close to clear evidence that this is true. Barry Edmonston, who runs the population center at PSU was a part of a research council commissioned by the federal government to investigate this very question: what is the impact of immigration on the US economy? The result was a book that he co-authored in 1997 (I believe it's called The New Americans, but could be wrong), the findings of which asserts that if anything, immigration is a net gain for the US economy. Nonetheless, conservative talk show hosts accept without reservation the assumption that immigration has deleterious impacts on our economy.

    I would argue that the working class is being squeezed not by low-skilled immigrants but by the fact working class jobs are simply disappearing, moving off-shore.

  • (Show?)

    Here's a fun deconstruction, done way back in 92, of the various survey results and methodology flaws done by the various researchers.

    Gerry, you're correct on the title The New Americans. It looks to me like illegals are a net benefit overall but that they do negatively impact those on the economic rung just above them, which thinking and law abiding people might assume should be the bottom rung.

    Here's a panel discussion from a href=http://slate.msn.com/id/2346/entry/2110391/>Slate involving some pros on the topic.

    A couple of points:

    1) Politically, the Repubs really want to use this as a campaign issue, but they will have tough sledding in light of the fact that the pro illegal alliance is between their old eniemies on the left and the corporate interests that want this to continue. 2) Within a few hundred years at most, we will all be one shade of brown or another. That's just demographic trending. The "Caucasian Americans" referenced by the brain dead Republican in Columbia County are as dead as the dinosaurs if trends continue and we don't begin to select whimsically designed childre ala "Gattica".

  • Terry Claar (unverified)
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    Peter Tosh said:

    "Whiteness still acts as currency in this country."

    How, exactly, does it serve as currency for a white person earning minimum wage? My whiteness certainly has not afforded me any additional income; indeed, I earn less than the average black, the average Hispanic, the average Asian, and the average woman, and there is no working person in Oregon who earns less than I. Affirmative action has only hurt this group of the poorest working Americans. You get a lot more affirmative action bonus points (e.g. at University of Michigan) as an Upper Middle Class black applicant than a poor white applicant. It works the same - or worse - for set-aside programs such as ODOTs. UMC black or women owned business gets the goodies, struggling working class white business gets squat.

    Illegal immigration has certainly hit working class Americans hard, substantially depressing low-end wages. And while I've never seen any data or even estimates on this, I suspect illegal immigration has inflated rents to the great detriment of working class Americans. A study released last year by ECONorthwest estimated that 19 percent of Oregon renters pay at least 50 percent (one-half!) their income on rent. Gee, ya think illegal immigration might have had something to do with that?

    Democrats are losing the white working class. What are YOU doing about it?

  • Terry Claar (unverified)
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    Actually, Peter, I see lots and lots of working class jobs in areas like "customer service" (including new call center jobs), retail, and restaurants (fast and slow food). Of course, they pay very poorly compared with the working class jobs which have left the country.

    This is an issue I think Democrats need to seize and own. Republicans have little to offer working class Americans and I think that's an important message to get out.

    Laura Bush clarified Republican working class policy for me in a promo she did for Second Harvest. The message I got was this:

    Forget the fact that real wages are declining for working class Americans. Forget the fact that the minimum wage has not been increased in seven years and has lost 20 percent of its purchasing power during that time. Forget all that...FOOD IS ON THE WAY!

  • LG (unverified)
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    Can we vote certain bigotted bloggers off the island? No, then let's just point and stare and laugh.

  • E Caswell (unverified)
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    I believe Mr Tosh's comments are timely and truthful: we DO have a flood of illegal immmigrants in Oregon, mainly Hispanic who ARE eating up social srvices and streaming drugs here. I read the daily Oregonian Washington "briefs", mostly crimes, and most all names are Hispanic,i.e.the same date of Tosh article a Jose Galicia Zarazua SLEW HIS COUSIN in GRESHAM,just one of thousands every year in the papers. Vance Day sounds like a wimp with his head in the sand using the rag "racist remark " which has no meaning any more. It will be ashame if the Resolution is rescinded when a person has the strength to speak TRUTH.

  • (Show?)

    Back to the original remark by Tosh om the public record:

    1) violent crime has been trending down for years now. It suits people who use fear to get votes to argue the reverse. 2) We have our own homegrown (Caucasian?!) child molesters, the vast majority of whom are family members or friends of the child that gets molested or abused.

    Rate of child <ahref=http: www.prevent-abuse-now.com="" stats.htm="">abuse by race: White = 51% African American = 25% Hispanic = 15% American Indian/Alaska Natives = 2% Asian/Pacific Islanders = 1%

    The comparative annual rate of child victims: decreased steadily from 15.3 victims per 1,000 children in 1993 to 11.8 victims per 1,000 children in 1999; then increased to 12.2 per 1,000 children in 2000. Whether this is a trend cannot be determined until additional data are collected.

    <hr/>

    Bottom line is that overall violent crime is down, sexual predator crime is down. Mexicans are not an outstanding factor statistically whether they're legal or not. To say otherwise is both ignorant and racist.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I am, overall, not pro-immigration, mostly for reasons of environmental protection. However, the resort to racism [or shall we call it, more accurately, bigotry?] by anti-immigration forces is inexcusable. It has been patheticly consistent throughout US history for newcomers to be considered inferior. They have been called dirty, lazy, criminal, diseased, and subversive. Targets have included Germans, Irish, Italians, Chinese and many other groups. Of course, Indians have been regarded similarly, and they were here before the rest of us.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Oregon GOP platform plank calls for blaming Hispanics (Jews, if need be) anytime trouble comes aknocking.

    Sounds like this loser should be running Fox12 News.

    BOO!

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