[UPDATE: Folks who come across this entry ought to know that I revisited what I wrote here in another posting some weeks after originally posting this. Please read the posting below with the knowledge of this additional commentary linked to in this update. Thanks. -- Huck]
I was listening to WWL 870 AM radio this morning, and heard this report:
Bills aimed at illegal immigration move forward in legislatureWTF?!?!?! Folks are "frustrated by the inability" and are "scared" to go to Wal-mart at night? And this is all because of illegal immigrants? Is this guy serious? I wonder, has anyone ever been harassed or bothered or assaulted by any Spanish-speaker at Wal-mart? Or are people just put out that folks who look different than they do and speak a different language than they do happen to frequent the same places they do? If that's not a bald-faced, racist, bigoted, profiling comment, I don't know what is. Wait, though, it gets worse ...
Jay Vice Reporting
The House has passed three measures intended to make a dent in illegal immigration in Louisiana.
One bill would make it a crime to harbor or shelter an illegal immigrant; another would criminalize the transport of illegals; and a third would require local police to check the citizenship status of anyone they pull over.
State Representative Tim Burns told WWL-TV that he supports the measures, in part, because constituents have told him, "They're frustrated by the inability to go to Wal-Mart at night, they're scared to go to Wal-Mart at night."
WWL-TV's Bigad Shaban then asked him exactly what he meant by that.Not sure he was in this country? Not trying to profile people?!?! What a nimrod! Burns, face it, racial and ethnic profiling is exactly what you're doing, and you know it, which is why you felt the need to try to say that you weren't doing what you knew you were actually doing. And the kicker is that Burns notes that the people in Wal-mart were just there. They weren't "being rude, or disrespectful or anything." Damn! I'm so flummoxed I can hardly continue to write this. ... So, Rep. Burns, if the only thing you noticed was brown people (perhaps even speaking Spanish) just minding their own business and shopping, what's the problem? There is absolutely no other explanation than that this legislator is a bigoted racist xenophobe. It doesn't even matter to him whether or not these brown, Spanish-speaking, well-behaved people he saw in his little night time jaunt to the Wal-mart are actually "illegal" migrants, does it? He just assumes it. I mean, really, if they're not white, English-speaking people, they certainly can't be peaceful Americans, can they? Here's how the report ends:
Burns responded that he took a trip to Wal-Mart himself to check it out, and said, "You weren't sure you were in this country. Not trying to profile people, but it just seemed like people were concerned, that they were... ah.. I'm not trying to say any people there were being rude, or disrespectful or anything, but I could see how somebody, a housewife, could be intimidated to go there."
Local immigration activist Martin Gutierrez says it's inappropriate for Burns to assume that every Hispanic he sees at Wal-Mart is here illegally.It is clearly inappropriate, Martin. But Burns is a bigoted racist xenophobe, so what can you expect?
"Just because someone looks like me doesn't mean he's here undocumented," said Gutierrez.
See, this is what we're facing in this state. And people elected this yahoo. And he also made it into a run-off for the Federal Congress to fill Bobby Jindal's old seat. He was out rightwing demagogued by Steve Scalise, but he still managed to get 41.92% of the GOP primary vote in his runoff against Scalise. Big surprise, then, that Tim Burns, who represents District 89 (Mandeville) in the Louisiana State House of Representatives, has authored another anti-illegal immigrant piece of trash legislation (HB 1365) that makes it a crime (except for hotels!) to rent to an undocumented migrant. This bill requires landlords to play immigration officer and verify legal status. This bill is scheduled to come up for debate and a vote on the House Floor this Tuesday, May 20. Write your Louisiana House legislators!
What motivated Burns to craft this legislation? Apparently, this:
Rep. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, said his bill is needed because some residents do not feel safe in neighborhoods where the illegal immigrants have moved. "Nothing is being done and people are feeling frustrated," Burns said.Are you surprised? Thought not. Well, how about this, Mr. Burns: I'm frustrated with and feeling threatened by you. Maybe I can get my Representative to file some legislation making it a crime to know and tolerate and be charitable to you.