Racist Border Vigilante Featured on Reality Show

Glenn Spencer, the racist, anti-Semitic head of American Border Patrol — an anti-immigrant group that uses high-tech sensors and infrared video cameras mounted on model airplanes to monitor the Arizona-Mexico border — had a good run of publicity earlier this year.

On Feb. 22, the Outdoor Channel celebrated him on “Border Battles,” a reality show about “what it takes to protect our borders from drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and terrorism.” A week later, he testified to the Arizona Senate Committee on Border Security, Federalism, and States Sovereignty about his “sonic barrier,” one of many gizmos he uses to track border crossers.

Spencer, a publicity-seeking conspiracy theorist who once wrote that “Jews do, in fact, control the media,” may have done more than anyone to spread the myth of a secret Mexican conspiracy to reconquer the American Southwest (an effort supposedly known as “la reconquista”). He has hosted high-profile nativist gatherings on his ranch and once played host to Shawna Forde, the Arizona Minuteman leader now sitting on death row for her role in the slayings of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father during a 2009 home invasion.

He also has his own record of run-ins with the law. In 2003, thinking he was hearing noises outside his home, he grabbed a gun and started shooting into the dark outside. He managed to hit a neighbor’s garage, among other things, and was charged with four felonies. The charges were eventually reduced to a single misdemeanor.

Glenn Spencer
Glenn Spencer
Last February, he was convicted of disorderly conduct, assault, and threatening and intimidation after he threatened to unleash his dogs on a man he took to be a drug smuggler because he was parked on the side of the road at a supposedly “famous pick up spot,” talking on a cell phone. The man turned out to be the son of a neighbor Spencer has accused of having a “religious vendetta” against him or possibly being involved in illegal activity himself. (The source of Spencer’s accusation of religiously motivated “hate” is that the neighbor and his son are Baptist, and some Arizona Baptist churches have outspokenly opposed Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant S.B. 1070.)

Somehow, none of this made it into the Outdoor Channel’s “reality” show. Instead, Spencer was depicted as a man “set on a personal crusade by the unchecked lawlessness he witnesses on the U.S.-Mexico border.” Neither, apparently, did his record of hatred and vigilantism faze Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen, who invited Spencer to speak to her border security committee on March 1. Allen had invited Spencer to speak last year, but he was uninvited after two Democrats protested his “divisiveness” and “message of hatred.”

This year, Allen reportedly did not include Spencer’s name on the schedule, listing his company, Border Technology Inc., instead. When the curmudgeonly Mexican-basher showed up to speak, the Democrats who blocked his appearance last year walked out in protest.