President Dobbs?

This is a P.S. to my earlier blog about unprecedented international campaign to get CNN commentator Lou Dobbs off the air.

Latinos around the country have been celebrating Lou Dobbs’s announcement earlier this month that he is leaving CNN—this following an unprecedented national campaign to get him off the air. For years Dobbs has used his platform to skew facts about Latinos and immigrants—hate speech masquerading as journalism. But it turns out our celebration was premature: Democracy Now's Amy Goodman reported Tuesday, November 24 that Dobbs acknowleged on a radio talk show that he is exploring the idea of runniing for president in 2010.

This is a frightening prospect given the man's talent for fanning the flames of hate and fear. Here's just a brief look at the world according to Dobbs.

  • He had long insisted that undocumented immigrants make up a third of the United States prison population, a claim he eventually admitted was not factual.

  • He has asserted falsely that immigrants are carriers of malaria and leprosy -- still more proof that Mexico is an enemy of the United States, he has said.

  • Dobbs has been open in his support of FAIR, the Federation for Immigration Reform which was founded by white nationalist John Tanton and which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as a “hate group.”

  • Dobbs has expressed his admiration for the so-called Minutemen, armed U.S. citizens who congregate near the U.S.-Mexico border in search of immigrants. (A faction of the Minutemen has been charged with the May killing of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father, residents of the border town of Arivaca, Arizona).

Many people share Dobbs's world view--and some are not afraid to act on it. Hate crimes against Latinos have risen by 40 percent since 2003.

The campaign to get Dobbs off the air was highly organized. Efforts included a bilingual website and the use of texting. The campaigns sophisticated use of technology inspired huge numbers of young Latinos and their allies to take up the cause. Town hall meetings and community forums about the issue were held around the country and news spread of the campaign on Spanish language media throughout Latin America.

The need to monitor and expose Dobbs so-called "objective" reporting about Latinos--he has a radio show and is reportedly taking a job with Fox News--is more pressing than ever. I'll keep the NCR community posted on what you can do to work with Latinos in this next phase of action.

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