Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stay classy, red-state America

To Target's credit, they pulled this off the shelves and their website. The issue has sparked some debate:
For Zeke Hernandez, who is president of the Santa Ana LULAC council, the broader problem is that there is a "wave of misunderstanding," when it comes to the immigration debate. All too often immigrants and Latinos in particular are dehumanized in a discourse that devolves into a bashfest.

"I believe that it is essential to respect one another, and Halloween should not be used to scare people into hating other people," says Hernandez.

So while corporate America realized it erred, the costume fiasco drew praise from some anti illegal-immigrant groups who ridiculed the backlash and praised the costumes as funny.

"The only people getting upset are the hyper-sensitive, over-politically correct, pro-amnesty, illegal alien-supporting nuts," wrote William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration in Raleigh, N.C., on his group's Web site.

Others jumped aboard. One reviewer wrote of the costume, "If there was only a way to depict him in an emergency room… or getting financial aid at a state college! Then it'd be 5 stars."

The Coalition for Human Immigrants Rights group in Los Angeles has been bombarded by hate mail, including this e-mail: "I think you should go back to Mexico and Juarez and be killed there."

Such hatred is sometimes hidden behind another type of mask by those who claim they only oppose illegal immigration, but then proceed to single out, stereotype and verbally bash Mexicans and other Latinos. Sooner or later, the darkness creeps out, Halloween or not.

But many Latinos have had enough of the demonization.

"We understand (Halloween) is supposed to be outrageous and creative and scary and all sorts of different things… But I also think there's a certain moment when creative, scary, outrageous crosses the line into being offensive and stereotypical," says Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA, which sent letters to all the major retailers, all of which have now yanked the costumes from their costume lines.
TMTKR, with rare exception, English teachers and their portrayal in the Korean media and among Korean individuals ain't got nothing on the portrayal of Hispanics in the United States.


  1. Are you sure you really want to compare Hispanics to foreign English teachers in Korea?

  2. Matt wrote:
    Are you sure you really want to compare Hispanics to foreign English teachers in Korea?

    I was thinking along the lines of how either group is stereotyped as being like the worst of its members. And more so, how caricatures and mocking images are seen as fair game by a sizable portion of the majority population.

    In that sense, I think Hispanics may have it much worse in the aggregate. Were you thinking along other lines?

  3. I understood why you chose to write about this topic. There is a California connection here, but I don't really see the connection to foreign English teachers working in Korea.

    Also, there is a fairly large number of illegal immigrants in the US. Drug using, sexal deviant English teachers don't exist in the numbers the Korean media would like them to.

    I also have to disagre about te strength of the stereotypes, but I grew up in Chicago and I spent a year in LA. I'm used to living amongst a fairly large Hispanic population. My father always thought very highly of his Hispanc customers. He said they always paid on time and rarely lied. I never got the sense that my friends were stereotyped. Maybe things have changed. I've been gone for a long time...

    End rant, but the comparison struck me as odd.

  4. kushibo, you might find this interesting. It's from yesterday's local news in my hometown.

    "Illegal Immigrant Wanted on Attempted Murder Charge

    SOUTH OF EDINBURG – Sheriff’s deputies in Hidalgo County are looking for a man they say stabbed his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

    Investigators say on Monday they were called out to a mobile home park east of Tower Road on Owassa.

    Deputies arrived and found a man with a stab wound to the stomach. He told them 26-year-old Josue Espinoza had been at the home, the two argued and Espinoza stabbed him. According to the victim Espinoza then got in his car and attempted to run over him before taking off.

    A warrant for attempted murder has been issued for Espinoza and officials tell us he already had an outstanding warrant for deadly conduct.

    Espinoza is in the country illegally.

    He was last seen driving an aqua-green passenger car.

    Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Espinoza is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (956) 668- TIPS."

    Now, how many Foreign English Teachers from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. are in South Korea illegally? I took this from my local (Hispanic) media source in South Texas ( It upsets me even more as a Hispanic that over half the murders in Hidalgo county, Texas this year have been committed by people residing illegally in Texas from Mexico, or further south, who are sponging off of welfare (via their children/aka “anchor babies”) while waiting for Obama's amnesty to become official. This area along the river is pretty much ground zero when it comes to human trafficking and drug smuggling and is full of the most vile and despicable excuses for humans you can pretty much find. Kidnappings and home invasions have become common place now in the U.S. because of this seepage from the South.

    I taught for several years in a school district along the border whose student population was made of by a large portion of children from undocumented workers who just happened to be driving Escalades and pimped-out Tahoes with Mexican plates while their kids drew frighteningly realistic Mara Salvatrucha/MS 13 gang graffiti in their books. The ones drawing the Gulf Cartel insignias were the ones that really made me nervous though as their members are all over the lower Rio Grande Valley. Parent-teacher conferences were something else, and no kid could be given anything less than a fifty even if they received a zero because the adminstration was that worried about offending the "wrong" type of parent.

    Yeah, the costumes are in poor taste, but they don't come close to those who are murderers and drug dealers residing illegally amongst my friends, family, and neighbors back home.

    Keep an eye on the news along the border. It's scary stuff that is drifting further and further inland.

  5. hypothesis: illegal immigrants wouldn't have to do awful gangster shit if they weren't illegal

  6. I dunno know about you... but that mask sure scares me... ;)


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