United for a Sovereign America (USA), a nativist extremist group best known for harassing immigrants outside Phoenix-area day labor centers, put its crude ideology on full display last week.
First, USA posted blatantly racist images of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on its website. The images consisted of a cartoon caricature of Obama captioned “Uncle Sambo,” and a digitally altered photograph of Michelle Obama wearing a kerchief, labeled “Aunt Jemima Breakfast Club.” (As first noted by Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons, the images looked awfully similar to the handiwork of inner-circle USA member “Buffalo” Rick Galeener, whose personal website is filled with similarly offensive imagery targeting Latino immigrants. Galeener’s site also advertises “Undocumented Illegal Alien Hunter” T-shirts designed by Galeener. Another shirt, ostensibly for Mexicans to wear, reads, “My back is still wet.”)
Then, last Saturday, Galeener and several other USA members staged a counter-demonstration along the route of the “Children’s Walk for Family Unity,” a march by about 150 persons, more than half of them children, to protest Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration round-ups, raids and nasty publicity stunts. At least two of the USA nativists were armed with holstered handguns.
Lemons, who covered the march for New Times, asked one middle-aged woman among the USA counter-protesters why they were packing heat. Wrote Lemons: “Looking suspiciously at the assembled children and adults, she muttered, ‘There could be killers in that crowd.’”
For Lemons’ full report on the march and the nativist extremist counter-protest, click here.