Right-wing mark debate over AZ immigration law with racially charged rhetoric

Numerous right-wing media figures have rushed to defend Arizona's controversial new immigration law, often by employing racially charged rhetoric, imagery, and stereotypes. Many have also embraced racial profiling while promoting the legislation.

Right-wing media defend AZ law with racially charged rhetoric

The Washington Times dubs immigration protestors “the Tequila Party,” filled with "[a]ngry, hateful, violent, extremist liberals." In an April 28 editorial, titled, “Angry, hateful, violent, extremists, liberals,” The Washington Times said of those participating in recent protests of Arizona's immigration law: “Imagine a group of angry demonstrators toting swastika-festooned protest signs calling politicians Nazis, shouting obscenities and racial remarks and throwing rocks and bottles at police officers sent to keep order. ...This group of liberal rowdies has been dubbed the Tequila Party.”

Drudge highlights Bloomberg article with unrelated image of what appear to be Latino gang members. The Drudge Report linked to a Bloomberg article, which reported that the Mexican government issued a travel warning for its citizens visiting Arizona, and illustrated it with the following image, which does not appear in the article:

Beck uses bag of “pot” and bottle of prescription pills to illustrate the “difference between legal and illegal immigration.” On the April 26 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck said “let's define the discussion we're about to have” on immigration. Beck pointed out that “there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration” and as visual aides, used a bottle of prescription allergy medicine to represent legal immigration, and a bag of “pot” to represent illegal immigration.

Kilmeade: “Can you blame the people of Arizona for giving the cops this power? ... How many surgeons” do we “find in those tunnels by the border?” During an April 28 “fair and balanced” panel discussion on the law, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked leading questions and made many racially-charged remarks, including asking what is “wrong with” “giving police officers in Arizona the ability to go up to an individual -- if they have reasonable cause to think they're here in this country illegally?” He also referenced “the drugs that are coming across the border... the kidnapping that's happening there... the killing that happened to a rancher a month ago,” and asked “Can you blame the people of Arizona for giving the cops this power?” After guest Richard Florida made the point that high-skilled immigrants “look at how we handle low-skilled people, they look at how we handle illegals,” Kilmeade responded: “You know how many surgeons we find in those tunnels by the border?”

Buchanan: “Arizona acted because” the federal government failed to “protect the states from invasion” of “illegal aliens.” In an April 26 WorldNetDaily column, Pat Buchanan wrote that “Arizona acted because the U.S. government has abdicated its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion and refuses to enforce America's immigration laws.” Buchanan warned that "[i]f Arizona does not get control of the border and stop the invasion, U.S. citizens will stop coming to Arizona and will begin to depart, as they are already fleeing California... What we are talking about here is the balkanization and breakup of a nation into ethnic enclaves."

Many others have embraced racial profiling

CNN's Cafferty dismisses concerns about AZ racial profiling: “Well, so what?” On the April 20 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN contributor Jack Cafferty claimed “virtually nothing has been done to secure this nation's borders, because Democrats want the Mexican vote and Republican donors want the illegal aliens to work for them. President Obama insists that his administration is committed to securing the borders and has taken unprecedented steps over the past 14 months. What a load.” Cafferty expressed support for the Arizona law, saying “critics say that will lead to racial profiling. Well so what?” Cafferty's “question of the hour” was “What should be done about border security if almost 20 percent of illegal immigrants entering Arizona from Mexico have criminal records.” Despite receiving “several thousand” responses to his question, Cafferty only read emails containing racially charged rhetoric.

Crowder: “You're not looking for a blond-haired, blue-eyed Swede most of the time.” During the April 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder said that there's racial profiling in the law and “I don't think there's really anything wrong as far as racial profiling, stopping people who are coming in illegally. I mean, you're not looking for a blond- haired, blue-eyed Swede most of the time.” Crowder claimed “it's a brilliant move for Obama politically because he's promised all these entitlements and he wants to make sure this huge voting block knows that they're going to get some gimmes as well.”

Gutfeld: Racial profiling a no-brainer. On the April 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld said of the law: “A lot of the critics are saying this is racial profiling. Duh! They're coming from another country. That's what you do. You have to look at them and see who they are before you know they're legal or illegal. I don't think that's a fair criticism.”

Gallagher dismisses racial profiling concerns. On the April 23 edition of his Salem Radio program, radio host and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, “Sign it, baby, sign it” and that the Arizona legislature is his “new hero.” After Wallace noted concerns about civil liberties, Gallagher said that “it's racial profiling, to be sure, cops know if there's a van full of dark-skinned men with lawnmowers packed into the back of a pick-up truck...that's what they're talking about.”

Hume defends profiling: “Some people are going to have to endure inconvenience as opposed to everybody.” On the April 19 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume appeared to dismiss concerns about racial profiling, stating: “If it's an effective law enforcement technique done in good faith, people may have to endure some inconvenience. What we're saying here is that some people are going to have endure inconvenience, as opposed to everybody having to endure it.”