Memo to media on immigration coverage


By Janet Murguia

`JANET is a lying, fact-misrepresenting Mexican jerk. There will come a day when the average American has had enough of her and her lies and runs her back to Mexico with the rest of the diseased, ignorant, budget-ruining, crime-causing scum they are.”

Since I became head of the National Council of La Raza three years ago, I have received hate mail. My predecessor got it as well.

Typically, we shrug it off as coming with the territory. When people tell me to “go back to where you came from,” I joke that they would be surprised to find they are sending me back home to Kansas.

It is no longer a joke. I received that e-mail above at the height of the immigration debate and have received many more, including death threats. So have many members of my staff. The immigration debate has opened the floodgates to hate speech in this country of ours. Hate and extremists are defining the debate on immigration.

Hate is part of our national legacy. Throughout U.S. history, American Indians, blacks, Irish immigrants and other groups have suffered from injustice stemming from hate. The immigration debate has made the Hispanic community hate’s latest target, and too often, the news media serve as the anti-immigrant bullhorn.

The Internet, television and the political stage have become platforms for hate. Turning the term “illegal” into a noun, nativists, extremists and politicians have broadcast their messages across the country. They demonize

the undocumented and, in turn, all Latinos. They depict us as disease-ridden invaders and criminals.

The media have been instrumental in moving this language from the fringes of society right into our living rooms and everyday lives.

Dan Stein, president of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, has warned that immigrant groups are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at eliminating white power. He has appeared on MSNBC at least eight times and on CNN at least 18 times. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled FAIR a hate group.

Television-talk-show hosts like CNN’s Lou Dobbs have echoed the anti-immigrant hate speech, calling undocumented immigrants “criminals” and an “army of invaders.” Glenn Beck, a CNN commentator, jokingly read an ad that said the one-step solution to the immigration and energy crises is a “giant refinery” that produces “Mexinol,” a fuel made from the bodies of illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico.

The news media are not the only ones willing to work with anti-immigrant extremists; some politicians do, too. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee accepted the endorsement of Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, a man who proclaimed he is “proud to be a vigilante.”

The distorted images projected by the media and some politicians have had dangerous consequences. All Latinos become targets for anti-immigrant hate crimes and speech because it is impossible to look at us and determine who is a citizen and who is not.

According to the FBI, anti-Latino hate crimes have increased by 23 percent over the past two years.

The reality is that most immigrants, undocumented and documented, are hardworking and family-oriented – they are a part of our national fabric. Many hold down multiple jobs to provide for their families. The undocumented would choose to be here legally if they could, but the immigration system is broken. For people wanting to come here, there is a 20-year backlog to legal entry.

The only way to combat hate is to confront it with something just as strong, just as pervasive in society – hope. The hope for a better future for all U.S. residents is the driving force behind National Council of La Raza efforts to unite with others to silence hate speech and stop hate crimes.

Last month, I experienced the power of hope firsthand. I was honored to be the first Hispanic keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. unity breakfast in Birmingham, Ala. I urged blacks and Latinos to renew both communities’ historic commitment to promoting equal opportunity for all of us. Unity among all communities will strengthen our resolve to remove hate from the mainstream.

Anti-immigrant groups are using every medium to spread their message of hate. We must be just as persistent with our message of hope. The National Council of La Raza has launched a Web site,, as part of our Wave of Hope campaign. We have also written letters to politicians and network executives insisting that they eliminate hate from the immigration debate on their news programs.

Hope is more than just wishing for improvement. It is an expectation backed by action. The media have a responsibility not to amplify the voice of hate. The rest of us have a responsibility to challenge those seeking office to renounce the politics of hate and to distance themselves from those known to be affiliated with hate groups or vigilantes. Together, we can ensure that hope triumphs.

Janet Murguia is president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic advocacy and civil-rights organization. She writes a monthly commentary for Hispanic Link News Service.


26 Responses to “Memo to media on immigration coverage”

  1. americanchaos Says:


  2. How anyone who is president of a cartel named the “National Council of The Race” can be preaching to anyone else about the nebulous realm of “hate speech” is both hilarious and incomprehensible at the same time. Has that fat, sloppy race hustler Janet no brain?

    During her recent appearance on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” I thought that loathsome cucaracha was going to cry! That was the most pathetic performance by a traitorous Mexican I’ve ever laid eyes on. The shakedown artists who really run that racist ‘Tan Klan’ organization will be replacing Murgiuia soon, methinks. Too funny!

  3. Cactus Wren Says:

    Janet, Murguia IS full of BS.
    Americans welcome LEGAL immigrants.

  4. I am a hispanic legal alien, and it makes me sick how this lady and other hispanic media puts us (legal aliens) and them (illegal aliens) on the same boat. Illegal immigation is WRONG no matter ethnic group you belong to. Americans, please do something to stop illegal immigration once and for all.

  5. observer Says:

    Just curious… you capitalize all ethnicities except “blacks”

  6. Marl King Says:

    Mexicans don’t care about whats true or not. Nor do they respect the laws of my country!

  7. Until the courts address hate speech in a comprehensive way, there will always be “hate speech”. As far as budget crisis go: California, for example, should have cracked-down on white flight long ago. It is because of white flight that has caused the red-ink-spending of many state governments. How could local governents allow such a blatant act of racism by allowing whites to leave with most of their resources? To remedy budget shortfalls, local legislatures should be encouraged to enact the “Anglo Tax”. This could be an added tax onto incomes of European Americans, usually because they’re more apt to afford it. By installing this method of revenue enhancement many local governments could slowly pull themselves out of their fiscal crisis.

  8. ” it is impossible to look at us and determine who is a citizen and who is not.”
    I reckon the ones storming the streets with Mexican flags, shouting “Reconquista” are the illegal ones. If some of them are legal, then they need to be stripped of the legality and sent packing.

  9. Sweetheart, you didn’t come from Kansas, you came from hell. May you visit your homeland soon, bitch.

  10. carlos velez-ibanez Says:

    Dear Janet:

    Especially here in Arizona, we are always at the receiving end of hate and ugliness. Just keep on trucking, resisting, and contributing. We are all proud of you and I would hope to meet you one day. I am a friend of Raul Yzaguirre and we cooperate on projects.

    Very sincerely,
    Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez
    Motorola Presidential Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization
    Professor of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies and School of Human Evolution and Social Change
    Chair, Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
    Arizona State University
    Tempe, Arizona 85287
    Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
    University of California, Riverside
    480 965-4908

  11. I dont understand why people cant still be proud to be a Mexican American or any kind of American and still be spanish and proud of there race and be against illiegal immigration? I am and im tired of being looked down on because of Illiegal Immigrants. LEts stand up together ! Lets no have the people who represent us talk for us all!!!

    email me with questions

  12. Please review this new website showing current pictures of illegal aliens coming across the border, and pass it on.

    Our borders are not being secured – far from it. The truth is in these pictures and videos.

  13. …with the rest of the diseased, ignorant, budget-ruining, crime-causing scum they are.”

    Really though?

    Let me guess, you love guns and Jesus?

    it’s scums, not scum

  14. Danny Ray Says:

    Why is wrong in your opinion for American Citizens to all people coming into this country legally. I have been involved in a few mission trips that bring supplies and support to a medical mission located in Mexico. The missionary, who has been there for 40 years, who was born in the US, who loves the people of Mexico, has stated that one BIG problem that many women and children face is their husband/father taking off to America to get work and then never returning, never sending money, starting a new family in America. I don’t see any contradiction in loving, helping and supporting the Mexican people and believing that the US borders need to be respected. I respect the borders of Mexico. I care about the people of Mexico, but you are calling me a hate monger, because I believe that laws should be upheld. I live in a community in Tennessee where an illegal, who had been arrested 14 times for drunk driving, never deported, always let go, ended up driving drunk and killing a married couple. Is this just? Is this fair? This is just one example. This person who came here illegally, did not respect our laws and now an innocent family mourns.

  15. I love your site!

    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

  16. Hi I´ve been trying to report a couple that live in the uS illigally but I have not been able to find a a link. The names of this couple are Jose Francisco Bolet and Maria Bolet they came to US about 14 years ago with a tourist visa and stayed illigally sience then, their address is 1000 Aster Ct, Lake in The Hills Illinois 60156, they been making a false claim that you are a United States citizen in order to get thir licenes and jobs, if anyone can help please pass along the information to the authorities in charge of investigating, they also have 2 more illigal mexicans in their home living with them, thank you

  17. wwilberforce Says:

    There’s a good article on how birthright citizenship is unconstitutional. Check out

  18. 1 п. “Не имей сто друзей, а имей сто шекелей” тоже хорошо рифмуется 🙂
    8 п. Ты никогда не потеряешь работу. Когда закончатся фотографии можно размещать рисунки (да хоть бы и конкурс объявить на лучший рисунок Одри (-:), аппликации и фотографии поделок из пластилина…
    9 п. Сто пудов ! 🙂

  19. Да,aleks,побороть лень, действительно иногда очень сложно..

  20. Суперский пост! Блог уже в ридере )

  21. Native American Says:

    Go to hell cracker the only disease ridden scum are you bunch of pale monkeys who came on boats and spread small pox killing nearly 100 million people. Go back to Europe and take your crappy bland food with you and shove it up your ass, you look like birdshit.

  22. I have a friend who worked his entire adult life. He is now disabled with seizures and Parkinson’s disease. He waited three months for a food stamp hearing. At the hearing, he was told that he was not eligible to receive food stamps because someone was using his social security number to work. That person is using the name R. Garcia Perez and he has worked for CW Oak Masonary in Odessa, Tx phone number 432-366-2113 and Global Maintenance Service, phone number 512-346-4288. This is identity theft and I hope the SSA will report this person to the proper authorities. This is another way that illegal immigration hurts innocent people.

  23. This truth holds for the buying and selling of medicinal drugs as well. Online pharmacies provide similar functions to those of the local pharmacy.

  24. Well, Arizona is on the right track, let’s just hope that they don’t loose their way or some liberal judge says that SB 1070 can’t be enforced. If that happens, it pretty much throws ALL immigration law out the door.

  25. I understand that the main idea is to over populate and run the white folk out!!! I noticed that Janet decided to make a hate speech passed off as hope speech in Alabama. Why couldn’t you say that everyone needs to come togerther not just blacks and hispanics. When you have a double standard like Janet hate will always ruin everything!

  26. living rooms should be decorated with style that is why i always get some living room decoration idea on the internet ‘-;

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