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Here’s how I’m beginning to see things: There are racists – thousands of ‘em in this county – who can sometimes be counted on to vote; and then there are what I call “race demagogues” who hold office or run for office.
The racists just feel uncomfortable and insecure looking around and sharing space with too many folks who look differently or talk differently from them – in this county that means Mexicans. And they’re willing to believe any nonsense that gives them a good excuse for their hatred of Mexicans. For example, they’ll believe that:
- Mexicans take away our jobs!
- Mexicans use up all our social services!
- Mexicans are a bunch of criminals!
- Mexicans refuse to learn to speak English!
- And that the most important law out of all laws to enforce is the arbitrary law that keeps these folks illegal. (“What is it you don’t understand about the word illegal??” they repeat in exasperation.)
And sometimes these racists will come out to vote, if someone can get them riled up enough.
The Race Demagogues
I’ve decided to make the general assumption that anybody smart enough to hold office or run a city knows certain things even if he or she pretends not to. For example:
- Our economy couldn’t function for a day without our immigrant labor force, many or most of whom are undocumented.
- It’s very difficult – a herculean task of many years – for an immigrant worker to become legal or a citizen under current law.
- Immigrants legal and illegal contribute far more in taxes and economic activity than they use up in social services, most of which they’re unqualified for.
- The undocumented commit very little crime, and consume very little health care, being mainly concerned with staying under the radar.
- We’ll never be able to get rid of this county’s Mexicans, and gringos just have to get used to that fact.
Even though he or she knows these things though, the Race Demagogue regularly – that is, whenever the next election season approaches – rolls out some new doomed method of ridding the streets of Mexicans – possibly along with a new anti-Mexican scare story – just to get his voters out! And then later, after the Demagogue is back in office, and the streets are just as full of Mexicans as ever, there’s always someone else who can be blamed. (The Feds maybe, or the liberals.)
We can think of many Race Demagogues off the top of our head, can’t we?
No point naming them…
Allan Mansoor’s record
What has Costa Mesa Mayor Mansoor promised to his racist base over the years, and what has he actually delivered? And what is the unemployed policeman promising now, now that he’s trying to move on up to an Assembly seat in Sacramento? Gustavo did a fine rundown the other day:
Oh, Mansoor’s pretended to do things: he shut down the city’s day laborer center, but I see jornaleros still congregate in big numbers at paint stores, delivery truck spots, and other such businesses–have seen them there for years, but haven’t seen Mansoor do anything at all about it. He tried to get his police department to assume immigration powers, got a lot of undue media attention because of it, but that plan went nowhere when the city’s cops balked at the extra work. Having a migra agent in the city’s jails to screen criminals, Mansoor’s follow-up plan? Nothing revolutionary about that at all–Anaheim did that nearly a decade earlier.
Actually, Mansoor’s campaign against illegals has cost the city much more money than it has saved. The city spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars both defending against and pursuing an unsuccessful lawsuit against activist Coyotl Tezcatlipoca, all because Mansoor didn’t appreciate Coyotl’s defiance of Da Dum-Dum Mayor on the dais during a city council meeting. Mansoor tried closing down the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, a move that would’ve cost the city thousands in fees. And Mansoor rejected $40,000 in funds that a basketball league would’ve paid the city, all because the league had the word “Aztec” in it and mostly involved Mexis.
But all that’s in the past. Now what’s coming up is a run for Assembly against charismatic Vietnamese Democrat Phu Nguyen, who could be a real handful for the Minuteman Mayor. It was definitely time (last month) for a new shiny object to excite his racist base. That’s where we get:
Declaring Costa Mesa a “Rule of Law” City
What pure Mansoor! A gesture that accomplishes nothing, except for insulting Costa Mesa’s immigrants while giving Costa Mesa’s racists a bulging hard-on. And who could be against the “rule of law,” who could vote against it? (As witness Katrina Foley, the only decent councilmember, boycotting the vote.) It’s a phrase right out of a Frank Luntz focus group – you have to pick it up and examine the underside to see what it really means – which is that we don’t want “illegals” here.
Maybe Allan forgot that there was more going on in Costa Mesa than his upcoming campaign. The city was in fact in tense, complex negotiations with the state and various business partners over purchasing the OC Fairgrounds, to keep it out of the hands of private developers. Hundreds of us – yes, us – had been working hard on this issue for up to a year. And for Mansoor to pull this stunt at the time he did was like taking the proverbial Turd in the Punchbowl.
You see, there are Hispanics up in Sacramento. And they are not powerless like the Costa Mesa workers Allan likes to kick around. They are legislators, whose approval Costa Mesa needs to pull off the sale. And now they are balking because of Allan Mansoor’s Race Demagoguery.
Hey, this story is getting too long. Why don’t we take a break here. After all, we have all summer and fall to talk about Allan Mansoor sabotaging the purchase of the Fairgrounds. Let me just say – since anything could happen in the next week – I hope the Hispanic Caucus makes Costa Mesa sweat for a while. But only for a while – because Orange County and Costa Mesa are so much bigger than Allan Mansoor and his stooges Bever, Monahan and Leece, who will all be gone sooner than they think.
[Next up: Let's look at why I think Mansoor MAY be sabotaging the Fairgrounds purchase on purpose. Well... he's not smart enough really. But perhaps a little guy behind him pulling his strings, name of Riggy?]