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Saturday, September 15, 2007

A campaign of fear?

Over at the Fallout Shelter, Joe reports receiving a robo-call from the Thomas Stith campaign, whose main focus seemed to be stirring up the pot against illegals.

The answer is, no, i don't believe that Durham's police department should be spending their time checking the immigration status of every Spanish speaking person whose path they cross. Speaking Spanish is not evidence that a crime has been committed. Haven't we just been through an entire year long process in which the law enforcement community got its collective ass kicked for going after people without sufficient evidence that a crime had been committed?

Or is that only a problem when those people have a certain class status?

Durham's Hispanic residents are, in fact, as diverse as is the rest of the community. There are Spanish speaking professionals and homeowners in town (some on the same block as me) as well as business owners and day laborers. There's no evidence that the Spanish speaking community has a higher crime rate than any other segment of the Durham community. Fear of Teh Illegal is just a poor way to run a citywide campaign in Durham, don't you think?

UPDATE: I hear that Bell and Stith will be Verna Collins guest Sunday on the NBC-17 public affairs show "At Issue." The show airs at 11am. I can't tell from the website whether it's a live broadcast or not (i suspect it is), but you can email her at VCollins AT wncn DOT com and ask her to ask Mr. Stith if he really thinks Durham residents will support a fear-based campaign.

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  • You're quite right, Barry.

    I was shocked when listening to the robo-call from Thomas Stith.

    Mr. Stith is using page after page out of the Republican play book. Recall Jesse Helms starting his TV ad campaigns, playing with his grandchildren in the garden.

    As the campaign goes on, Helms goes on the attack, culminating with the white hands tearing up his job rejection letter.

    Mr. Stith's first glossy mailing featured his family. Very warm. Very fuzzy.

    His next mailing features negative B&W photographs of Mayor Bell with the heading, "Bill Bell doesn't have a clue."

    And now he's attacking our Latino neighbors in phone calls.

    Fear Mongering 101, brought to you by the Grand Old Party (and a couple wealthy developers).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:16 AM  

  • I agree with you. Get to know some of the hispano community here in Durham and you will find that they are people just like you and me who want to see their lives go as well as possible. Being brown, black, white, gay, straight, male, female, etc. should not be a reason for targeting anyone. I, too, found the Stith flyers disturbingly bases in fear.

    By Blogger Ron Hudson, at 9:34 AM  

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