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Fighting Hate Speech: Basta Dobbs!

Reposted from Feet in 2 Worlds (http://feetin2worlds.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/drop-lou-dobbs-online-campaign-by-pro-immigrant-forces-puts-pressure-on-cnn/)

Hispanic and pro-immigrant activists are becoming increasingly vocal in their demand that CNN drop host Lou Dobbs. Dobbs has a history of supporting fringe conspiracy theories –like the so-called “birther” movement that questions whether President Obama was born in the U.S, and one that claimed immigrants were spreading leprosy in America.

The latest of several campaigns against Dobbs was launched yesterday. It targeted CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, who has Hispanic roots and occasionally reports on Latino issues for the network. She has an upcoming special called “Latino in America” that will air next month.

“Tell Soledad O’Brien that CNN can’t have it both ways. CNN should not make money off of the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., Latinos, at the same time that it promotes the type of dangerous language that has led to increasing hate crimes against those very same Latinos,” said the campaign launched by an activist on Twitter.

This is just one of several initiatives on the web against Dobbs. Presente.org, a “national online advocacy organization,” launched BastaDobbs.com (Enough Dobbs). Miami-based activist group Democracia U.S.A. created another campaign, asking CNN to “to hold Mr. Dobbs to journalistic standards.” Monitoring organization Media Matters, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), America’s Voice and various other groups have put up DropDobbs.com, which aims to convince advertisers to pull their ads from Dobbs’ show.

Watch a video on Media Matters’ case against Dobbs:


“In the coming weeks, CNN President Jon Klein will be inundated by a growing national chorus of calls to stop promoting Dobbs’ brand of ‘news,‘” wrote Presente.org founder Roberto Lovato on The Huffington Post.

“From a Latino perspective, Klein and CNN must respond if they are to maintain any semblance of credibility in the Latino media market. If CNN doesn’t live up to its claim to being the ‘most trusted name in news’ it risks losing out on the fastest growing viewing demographic in the country.”

Democracia U.S.A. founder Jorge Mursuli told The Miami Herald his group conducted a poll of 100 Hispanic leaders across the nation, and 90 percent of them said Dobbs is a demagogue who preaches hate.

“Mr. Dobbs has a right to his opinion, but he also needs to stick with the facts,” said Mursuli, according to The Herald.

“We focus on Lou Dobbs because he, more than any other media personality, has obsessed about and given voice to the most extreme views about immigrants and Latinos,” Basta Dobbs reads.

Janet Murguia, president and CEO of NCLR, said on its website that the decision to start the Drop Dobbs campaign came after the host’s participation in a conservative radio event in Washington last week.

Murguia noted she had repeatedly talked to CNN about Dobbs. She wrote:

“I have documented a litany of issues involving Lou Dobbs, including:

“His regular use of guests representing hate groups, vigilantes, and nativists as experts on immigration.

“His relentless repetition of stories on immigrants and crime that project an impression far from reality.

“His association of immigrants as carriers of disease that has been both inaccurate and pejorative.

“I have appeared on the Lou Dobbs show to ask him to curtail his bias and distance himself from the vigilantes and nativists who have appeared on his show. I have also partnered with CNN to address the levels of diversity before and behind the camera in hopes that this would help. CNN’s disregard for Dobbs’ alarming appearance at the hate group’s rally this week has forced us to reconsider our behind-the-scenes approach.”

As True/Slant and Vivir Latino noted Wednesday, Dobbs may be feeling the pressure.

Marcelo Ballve at True/Slant said Dobbs dedicated a “lengthy, vitriolic response” to Lovato, in which he called the activist a flea and a “typical leftwing activist coward propagandist.”

One thought on “Fighting Hate Speech: Basta Dobbs!

  1. All immigrants that I know are just what this country need, hardworking, moral and responsible human beings. They are not stealing jobs but the opposite; they are giving much more for the pay they are getting. They all pay taxes and use far less (if any) federal assistance (which would not make up for the exploitation many of them go thru).
    Also many loudmouths are using confusing rhetoric like “Legal” VS “Illegal” immigration, to polarize and further their hidden agenda. Immigration in the current system is a gray area, not black and white as in Legal or Illegal (which is easier to digest by the common folk not close to the issue). I have being here for 30 years always paid taxes, never used any federal assistance, luckily always being offered a better job, never had to look for one, even started business that employ US citizens. Most of people that I know had given the best referrals from me and my family as deserving citizens with the moral, ethical and Christian values under which this nation was formed. Now to the center of all this debate about reform, I still don’t have a permanent residence card. I hold a work permit, renewed every year (illegal? legal?, either way I’m stuck with not knowing if tomorrow I’ll be sent back to a now unfamiliar country where I spent fewer years than here. My kids are born US citizens the older, a gifted student doing lots of things for her community/country. Up until now, no resolution to my case and without reform I may be forced out of this country, out of our home and business after 30 years. Despite all of these years of service to this country, I don’t have the rights that citizens or even permanent residents have. I can’t go back to my country of origin to see my mother or even the funeral of my father in law, can’t vote, I pay 5 times higher property taxes than my neighbors, pay tons of money in immigration attorneys etc. I’m also not an exceptional case, there are 100’s of thousands of cases similar to mine, you tell me what is Just and Unjust, Legal or Illegal. We need a reform to this broken system. “Legal Immigration” is just the label, the rhetoric used to propagate xenophobia on people ignorant on the details or only exposed to a single point of view.
    How do we label “Legal Immigration” or explain “Illegal Immigrant” to people that by many generations have come here to build this nation? My grandfather was recruited in his own town by American companies to come and work to this country, they even paid for his transportation, he left a life of hard work to later comeback without any additional benefit to the country he was born. My father came to work too and was welcomed by his employers here when he was young. Most of immigrants that come here don’t do it to do something “Illegal” (oh yeah let’s commit a crime) by the contrary , they come to give every drop of sweat for this country, they/we give so much more than what we possibly could take away. Again this is not the exception but the rule. There are a few bad apples too but don’t use them as the only examples to promote xenophobia.