The teabaggers are getting ready for the next round of wingnuttery against the Obama administration. It sure looks like they lost on health-care reform, but they have already been organized for a long time around the issue of immigration, so they are ready and rarin' to go careening off the far-right cliff.
This weekend, the nativist right-wingers at ALIPAC and the National Policy Institute organized a series of "Tea Parties Against Amnesty.
However, at the rally in Minneapolis, the demonstrators got punk'd by a young man who called himself "Robert Erickson".
"Erickson" got up and delivered a rant against European immigration. At first the crowd was whooping and hollering as he talked about the rights of "real Americans" -- but then it gradually tapered off as he went on and they realized they'd been had.
Here's the speech:
Hi, my name is Robert Erickson and I’m really excited to be here. Its people like all of you, and events like this that make our country great! Give yourselves a round of applause!
I just want to talk about a couple themes this afternoon because I love this country and I want to see America be the best place it can be.
Mr. Gutierrez is getting ready to propose an immigration bill in just a few short days, and we have to make sure he knows that we want a bill that's tough on immigration. Now is the time for us to stand up and make our voices heard!
In Minneapolis, where I’m from, we have a huge immigrant population that’s been causing a number of problems. With the economy in recession, and so many people getting laid off, and unable to find work, immigrants should not be competing for the few jobs that are out there. It's just not fair to the folks who have a claim to this land and the right to be here. All across America, they are contributing to the flooding of our job markets making it hard for Americans to find jobs. Well, I'm fed up, and it's time to let our politicians know that enough is enough, and we're not gonna take it any more!
We need to secure our borders to protect our country. We need to restore order and put an end to the anarchy that's sweeping the nation. We need tougher immigration laws to make sure that we send these people back where they came from. We need to protect the sovereignty of the real Americans. We need to hold our politicians accountable.
It's no secret that with an invasion of immigrants comes waves of crime. We see them involved in massive theft, in murder, and bringing diseases like smallpox, which is responsible for the death of millions of Americans. These aren't new problems, though -- they have been going on for hundreds of years, and continue to this day.
I say it's time for us to say enough is enough! Are you with me? Are you with me? Let's send these European immigrants back where they came from! I don't care if they are Polish, Irish, English, Italian, or Norwegian! European immigrants are responsible for the most violent and heinous crimes in the history of the world, including genocide and slavery! It's time to restore the sovereignty of people native to this land!
I want more workplace raids, starting with the big banks downtown. There are thousands of illegals working in those buildings, hiding in their offices, and taking Dakota jobs. Let's round them up and ship them out. Then we need to hit them at home where they sleep. I don’t care if we separate families, they should have known better when they came here illegally!
If we aren't able to stand up to these European immigrants, who can we stand up to? We need to send every one of them back home, right now.
Thank you very much, and we'll see you in the streets!
Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home!
Not surprisingly, the organizers were pissed. Sally Jo Sorensen at BlueStemPrairie was there to watch, and she reported that some of the nativists started getting violent:
Most of the MINN-SIR supporters were slow to catch the satire, and so the cheering from that side of the crowd took a while to subside. As they realized they'd been punked, they stood in a cold, stunned silence, while the 30 or so counter-protesters urged Columbus to go home.
Unfortunately, some of the pro-MINN-SIR audience made up for what they lacked in humor through the use of violence. Both Danielson and I saw middle-aged men attack young protesters, knocking one off a bike before he started throwing punches at the young man.
Just as shocking was the reaction of the state police working the rally, who pushed back those being attacked, rather than those attacking the counter protesters.
Neither of us have ever witnessed violence at rallies and events we've attended in the past. The attacks formed a sharp counterpoint to Hendrycks' shrieked claims from the podium that MINN-SIR "patriots" had "respect" while the young protesters were rude.
I've been warning for awhile that there is a violent element already involved in the immigration debate, and when they become empowered by the "tea party" types, it's going to get ugly. Looks like the debate hasn't even started yet, and it already is.
If you thought the town-hall teabaggers went nuts over health-care reform, just wait.
[H/t Matt Ortega.]