The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Right-Wing Swine Flu Hysteria Continues to Build

By David Holthouse on May 1, 2009 - 9:55 am, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Regrettably, the paranoid and racist yammering from the right-wing fringe on the topic of Mexico being ground zero for a global outbreak of swine flu is showing no signs of letting up. (Note to readers: though several of Hatewatch’s blogosphere friends have adopted the more politically correct, not to mention scientifically accurate, H1N1 virus designation, there’s just something about linking right-wing extremists to swine that we can’t bring ourselves to give up.) Consider:

Chelene Nightingale, managing director of the anti-immigrant hate group Save Our State (whose founder, incidentally, was just hired to do PR work for a Republican government official), E-mailed a message to SOS members declaring “Dr. Madelyn [sic] Cosman (resting in peace) was right!!!!!” The late Madeleine Cosman, of course, was the immigrant-bashing propagandist who, speaking at major nativist conferences, referred to Mexican immigrants as pathogen-ridden “deadly time bombs” and theorized that a Muslim terrorist could “create his own weapon of mass destruction” by smuggling an infected Mexican across the border. She also was the source of a fairy tale about leprosy and immigrants that wound up being presented as fact several times in 2007 on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

• As Media Matters for America reports, nationally syndicated radio blather master Neal Boortz echoed Nightingale’s bio-terror hypothesis: “[W]hat better way to sneak a virus into this country than give it to Mexicans? Right? I mean, one out of every 10 people born in Mexico is already living up here, and the rest are trying to get here. So you give — you give — you let this virus just spread in Mexico, where they don’t have a CDC [Centers for Disease Control].” Boortz went on to say: “So if you want to get that epidemic into this country, get it going real good and hot south of the border. And, you know, then just spread a rumor that there’s construction jobs available somewhere, and here it comes. Because we’re not gonna do anything to stop them from coming across the border.”

Boortz also helpfully referred to the swine flu as the “fajita flu.”

• Yesterday, Boston right-wing talk radio host Jay Severin was suspended indefinitely from his afternoon drive-time show on WTKK-FM radio for, as The Boston Globe reported, “calling Mexican immigrants ‘criminaliens,’ ‘primitives,’ ‘leeches, and exporters of ‘women with mustaches and VD,’ among other incendiary comments.”

Here are those comments, in full context:

“So now, in addition to venereal disease and the other leading exports of Mexico — women with mustaches and VD — now we have swine flu.”

“We are the magnet for primitives around the world — and it’s not the primitives’ fault by the way, I’m not blaming them for being primitives — I’m merely observing they’re primitive.”

“It’s millions of leeches from a primitive country come here to leech off you and, with it, they are ruining the schools, the hospitals, and a lot of life in America.”

“We should be, if anything, surprised that Mexico has not visited upon us poxes of more various and serious types already, considering the number of criminaliens already here.”

The Boston Globe article further noted that Severin has been criticized over the years for falsely claiming that he had won a Pulitzer Prize. Unless the Pulitzer committee starts offering a category in hate mongering, that’s unlikely to change.

  • Carter

    I’m glad these guys got fired; they were sloppy!
    I was reading this while getting ready to go to work so while hurriedly adjusting the bone through my nose & grabbing my spear, I noticed a glaring omission…..nothing was said about the world-wide Jewish conspiracy! That just isn’t Kosher.