Hatewatch

Where Swine Flu Lurks, Propagandists Rush In

The swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the frightening possibility of it becoming a global pandemic have provided a little something for just about everyone on the U.S. radical right.

Most predictable are the panic-stricken calls for the military to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border entirely. They’re coming from nativist extremist groups including the San Diego Minutemen and the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR). CCIR head Barbara Coe, however, kicked the insanity up a notch by openly suggesting that God infect Barack Obama, members of his staff and their families with the deadly virus in retribution for Obama’s support of immigration reform.

“As many Christians have often spoken, ‘The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways,’” Coe began a mass E-mail to CCIR members. “Wouldn’t it be even MORE interesting if some of the anti-American-pro-illegal alien AMNESTY traitors (posing as U.S. elected officials) who just visited Mexico, also contracted this disease and shared it with THEIR loved ones? We wonder if they would still vote for ‘Open Borders’?”

William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, a nativist group commonly known as ALI-PAC, slammed President Obama, too. “The Obama administration’s failure to secure our borders against a possible pandemic is putting American lives at risk at a time when days and hours matter,” he said. (On the ALI-PAC website, Gheen is less subtle about linking Mexican immigrants with infectious disease. “Call me old fashioned, but people should be able to shop at Wal-Mart without worrying about catching tuberculosis,” he wrote.)

As Media Matters reports, nationally syndicated right-wing talk radio blowhard Michael Savage floated the theory that Al Qaeda is using Mexican immigrants as carrier “mules” to bring the virus into the U.S.: “[C]ould this be a terrorist attack through Mexico? Could our dear friends in the radical Islamic countries have concocted this virus and planted it in Mexico knowing that you, [Homeland Security Secretary] Janet Napolitano, would do nothing to stop the flow of human traffic from Mexico?”

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin got in on the action with a column last Saturday, announcing at the outset that she’d “blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the U.S. as a result of uncontrolled immigration.” “We’ve heard for years from reckless open-borders ideologues who continue to insist there’s nothing to worry about,” Malkin wrote. “And we’ve heard for years that calling any attention to the dangers of allowing untold numbers of people to pass across our borders and through our other ports of entry without proper medical screening … is RAAAACIST.”

Speaking of raaaacist, the worst — and weirdest — of this week’s bigoted swine flu commentary comes courtesy of garrulous anti-immigration extremist Frosty Wooldridge. Writing for rightsidenews.com, he uses a few swift, bold strokes to link Mexicans carrying a flu virus to “Voodoo tribal people in Florida” hosing themselves down with chicken blood. Check it out:

“Such outbreaks of diseases stem from cultures that lack personal hygiene, personal health habits and standards for disease prevention. … Hmongs, tribal people from Laos and Cambodia, immigrated to Minnesota to build chicken wire in their dish cabinets in their kitchens to house hens laying eggs, and goats and pigs in their cellars. Voodoo tribal people in Florida behead chickens and goats to spray the blood over themselves for cleansing. I saw it once in a park in South Florida.”

Wooldridge continues: “In other words, as the USA imports another 70 million third world people into this country by 2035, they bring their customs, their cultures, their diseases. We cannot educate them or change their habits fast enough to maintain our own health standards.”

Later on Wooldridge goes off about how Mexicans are bringing cases of leprosy into the U.S. in record numbers as well as swine flu. Regular Hatewatch readers will easily guess the source for that dubious assertion. That’s right: Madeleine Cosman, the anti-immigration fabulist whose fabricated claims about Latino immigrants and leprosy were presented as fact on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” in May 2007.

But it’s not just immigrant-bashers who are seeking to capitalize on swine flu hysteria. The antigovernment conspiracy theorists at InfoWars.com note ominously that “[o]n Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stoked the fear of a global flu pandemic. He said the Mexican flu outbreak is the ‘first test’ of the “pandemic preparedness work undertaken by the international community over the past three years.”

The obvious conclusion to be drawn?

Take it away, InfoWars: “Ki-moon, the United Nations, and the globalists, with the participation of the globalist-dominated corporate media and the ruling elite in Mexico, are hyping the flu outbreak as a possible pandemic in order to sell us their
scheme for world government.”

Aha. It’s all so clear now.