On the May 17 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage labeled Hispanic advocacy group the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) “the Ku Klux Klan of the Hispanic people.” Savage also said of NCLR, “This is the most stone racist group I've ever seen in this country!” despite noting, “It's true they haven't hung anybody.”
NCLR describes itself as “the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States,” which “conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas -- assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.”
Savage also stated that proponents of stricter immigration laws will be called “racist,” adding, “They're going to call you anti-immigrant. They're going to call you nativist. They're going to say, 'Shame, shame on you.' You turn it back on them! You tell them they're the racist for hating America.” He added: “You tell them you're not going to be taken over by a group of Hispanic supremacists in La Raza.” Referring to NCLR, he said: "[T]hey certainly stand only for one race. That's the name of their group: La Raza -- 'The Race.' "
While the term “la raza” in Spanish literally means “the race,” it is often translated as “the people” and usually refers collectively to Mexican-Americans, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, “sometimes extending to all Spanish-speaking people of the Americas.”
According to NCLR's website:
The term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people,” or, according to some scholars, “the Hispanic people of the New World.” The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world's races, cultures, and religions.
Some people have mistranslated “La Raza” to mean “The Race,” implying that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.
As Media Matters for America has noted, on the March 31, 2006, edition of The Savage Nation, Savage exhorted listeners to “burn the Mexican flag” in opposition to illegal immigration.
The Savage Nation reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it the third most-listened-to talk radio show in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
From the May 17 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: They've called us every name under the sun. They've tried everything -- that was George Bush -- and make no mistake about it, you're going to hear yourself called every name under the sun. That's right, they're going to call you racist. They're going to call you anti-immigrant. They're going to call you nativist. They're going to say, “Shame, shame on you.”
You turn it back on them! You tell them they're the racist for hating America. You tell them they're the racist for hating white people! For hating European-Americans, you tell them they're the racist. You tell them you're not going to be taken over by a group of Hispanic supremacists in La Raza, because I don't know how in the world a group like La Raza, which in Spanish means “the race,” can be invited into the White House and dictate to the White House which way the White House should go.
But make no mistake about it. The Hispanic supremacists in La Raza, they didn't say “all races,” they said "the race." This is the most stone racist group I've ever seen in this country! They're the Ku Klux Klan of the Hispanic people! That's how I see it! Now, should I be fined for saying that? Go ahead, fine me.
In my opinion, La Raza is the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan for the Hispanic people. It's true they haven't hung anybody, but they certainly stand only for one race. That's the name of their group: La Raza -- “The Race.” They didn't say “all races.” They said, "the race," so they're saying their race is the race, and that means all the other races, who are not Hispanic, are to be subjugated to their race -- the race -- which is superior and supreme. They now are dictating the policies of this country with regard to illegal immigration.
Michael J. Maio is an intern at Media Matters for America.