Will Mormons condemn Harry Reid’s claim that Hispanics shouldn’t be Republicans?

This post has a very narrow question.

Harry Reid said this: “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic descent could be a Republican.”

We have seen a lot of condemnation of disgraceful behavior by politicians or political commentators who are Mormon on Mormon-oriented blogs in the past. And most of these condemnations have been justified. My question is simple: will any Mormons, especially Mormons inclined to support Sen. Reid politically, condemn Harry Reid’s hateful comment? The Church as made it clear that there are good people in all political parties and has asked members to treat others with opposing viewpoints with respect and civility. In case you are wondering, this is how one Hispanic Republican responded to Harry Reid’s outrageous remarks.

So, fellow Mormons, will you speak out against Harry Reid’s offensive comment?

This entry was posted in General by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

72 thoughts on “Will Mormons condemn Harry Reid’s claim that Hispanics shouldn’t be Republicans?

  1. I have defended Harry Reid in the past when others questioned his morals and faith. Today, however, I willingly and gladly condemn his outrageous and offensive remark. Shame on you, Harry!

  2. If we were to discuss Political commentators “comments” that come off as offensive against anyone of the Democratic party or different views, then we would see 4 different threads about Glenn Beck in here and others. I guess this is one of Harry’s few if compared. Important note though, I’m in Provo and I’ve met a handful of Republicans of Hispanic decent, and they’ve shared how they’ve distant themselves or are giving second thought’s to just vote for a Republican or a Tea Partier for that matter, which seems to be dividing the party but that’s a whole different subject.

    Anyways, Harry should be smart then others, today, he just put himself to that same level.

  3. I can’t watch either of your videos so have to trust that you have reported Harry Reid’s comment accurately and that the context doesn’t change the plain meaning of “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic descent could be a Republican.”

    This Mormon can’t condemn that statement. I see nothing outrageous, shameful, disgraceful, or hateful about it. I might narrow it down to politics in the west, especially in Arizona, Utah, and California, given the outrageous, shameful, disgraceful, and hateful legislation and rhetoric toward Hispanics in those states, but I *don’t* see how anyone who is or knows anyone of Hispanic descent could support that party.

    Please explain what is so outrageous, shameful, disgraceful, or hateful about noticing what Republican legislators, governors, mayors, and sheriffs have enacted or declared their intention to enact and enforce with regard to SB1070-style racial profiling and treatment of both legal immigrants and American citizens of Hispanic descent?

  4. As a fan of Harry Reid’s, and as someone who believes that in the long run his accomplishments in extending the country’s welfare policies will be considered a credit to Mormonism, I will happily disagree with his comment. Senator Reid, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for people of Hispanic descent, or of any racial background for that matter, to belong to the Republican party. You and I may disagree with the substance of those reasons, but that hardly makes them illegitimate. Your comment, while perhaps an honest expression of your opinion, was also uncivil and presumptuous. You should acknowledge that. (Which shouldn’t be hard; you have had, unfortunately, more than a few stupid comments you’ve had to retract in the past…)

  5. I find it an offensive stereotype. He shouldn’t have said it.
    It’s not too different from the comments I’ve heard in church about how one can’t be a good member of the church and a Democrat.
    Part of me wonders, however, if his comment would be mostly true if aimed at the Tea Party instead of at Republicans in general. Not that that would justify such a comment.
    I hope he apologizes.

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  7. “Part of me wonders, however, if his comment would be mostly true if aimed at the Tea Party”

    I’d like to see you find any comment where the Tea Party has mentioned anything about immigration and Hispanics. Of course, how liberals and the Lamestream media spin it racism is the only thing the Tea Party is about. My guess is you can’t even articulate what they are about.

    As for Harry Reid’s comments, who cares? As you see above one or two supporters have condemned it, while the rest seem blissfully fine to defend it or claim it is probably out of context. As for most Mormons who don’t support him, they find his very existence as a politician offensive and therefore this comment is just another one of his stupid remarks and actions. What he has done to the once great United States (R.I.P.) is far more offensive than this ignorant and typical comment.

  8. Geoff, I don’t quite know how to approach this.

    I’ve been participating in Mormon blogging now for about 6 years and the very lowest point for me and the thing for which I am most ashamed came when I tried to engage one of the people who is a blogger at Millenial Star. He put up a post saying that liberals couldn’t be good Mormons and backed it up with statements from church presidents. I tried to argue with him but only ended up proving that you shouldn’t argue with a fool because onlookers can’t tell the difference. As I recall, you defended him and said that those who disagreed were “thick-headed”. So much for the pretense to even-handedness.

    Harry Reid says regrettable things. Governor Palin says regrettable things. Ezra Taft Benson said regrettable things. Jeremiah Wright says regrettable things. Glenn Beck says regrettable things. And I, very often, say regrettable things. I don’t think an expression of selective faux outrage gets us anywhere.

  9. Mark Brown, I don’t remember that particular exchange, but we all say and write things we regret over time. Harry Reid has said many unfortunate things, and Russell’s answers appears the most honest and thoughtful so far. People say dumb things — but politicians (especially the Majority Leader) should be held to a different standard than a blogger commenting to a few hundred readers. If we can’t agree on that, I don’t know what to say.

    Interesting that I posted this asking a simple question but you avoided answering. You have written “faux outrage” posts and made “faux outrage” comments about the idiotic things right-wing Mormons say and do all the time. You can’t spare just a little outrage for Harry?

  10. For those who don’t know, Reid’s son, Rory, is the Democratic candidate for governor of Nevada. Rory’s Republican opponent is former AG Brian Sandoval. Sandoval has some hispanic “firsts” to his name, like first hispanic elected to a Nevada statewide office and first Nevada hispanic U.S. district court judge. National news reports seem to be leaving out this relevant aspect of Harry Reid’s remark.

  11. Geoff, I thought I had answered by saying that his statement was regrettable. I have no problem labeling it as uncivil, poorly thought out, counter-productive, and false. However, I do not believe it rises to the level of outrage.

    I see two major differences between when a Mormon democrat says something stupid and when a Mormon Republican says something stupid.

    First, there are so many more LDS conservatives that the ratio of dumb statements is about 90/10. If we are going to condemn every LDS politician who says something dumb, the conservatives deserve 90% of the condemnation. That is why I’m confused by what you are doing here — you seem to call for evenhanded treatment, but I’ve only ever seen you play gotcha with one side.

    Second, Reid’s statement is objectionable, but let’s be grateful he didn’t try to ground it in LDS doctrine or teaching. LDS conservatives do this all the time, and their attempts to wrest our precious restoration scriptures and words of our prophets for their own purposes is what really infuriates me and rises to the level of outrage. I have written two posts expressing disdain at LDS politicians — one about Rammel in Idaho and another about Buttars in UT. In both cases the real outrage was directed at their appropriation and abuse of our religion to further their misguided political careers. This kind of stuff goes on all the time and we just act like it is normal. Two weeks ago in testimony meeting I heard a man say that we need to use our 2nd amendment freedoms against people in high office, including “the highest office in the land”, because they want to destroy the constitution. There are places in Utah without flouride in the water because people think it is a violation of free agency. I wish I were making this up.

    I don’t know if you can see that difference, or if it matters to you, but that is the line I try to defend. I think we need to push harder than we do against the tendency to bring our political attitudes to church with us. Yes, we all do it, but given our distribution along the political spectrum, conservatives are the major offenders, by far.

  12. Harry Reid is wrong of course. The rich ones, who have time to play golf, should probably become Republicans.

  13. Silly statement? Yes. Outrageous and offensive? Hardly. Considering the rising element of the Republican party that harbors xenophobic and racist attitudes towards Mexicans, I can hardly blame Reid’s sentiment.

    But why should Mormons per se condemn Reid’s remarks? What has he done here to implicate Mormonism?

  14. Jettboy, in response to your question about immigration and the tea party, about a month ago Geoff linked to an article in USA Today in which the pollsters conducted interviews with people who self-identify as tea partiers. If I remember correctly, the result showed that tea party people are almost twice as likely to favor deportation of undocumented Hispanics as the population at large.

  15. It’s a good sign that he’s desperate and panicking. I hope he keeps it up.

    But it’s also typical Harry Reid. From calling christian conservatives the most “anti-christian people” at BYU, or declaring the Iraq war “lost”, Sen. Reid has a long history of a nasty, sharp, and stupid tongue.

    He’s had his share of verbal gaffes but he’s not shy of playing the race card on others. He may be an effective arm-twister behind the scenes but I find it remarkable he’s the Majority Leader.

    I certainly think it’s wrong to question why Mormons should be Democrats. But is it now okay for a group of people be only allowed to think and vote one way?

    (And suggestions that Republicans are racist xenophobes are silly. Feel free to debate a desperate attempt to enforce federal law but it’s cheap and lazy to call your political opponents names. Crying “wolf” so many times won’t get you very far anymore.)

  16. DH Sundwall,

    If the shoe fits . . . .

    According to a poll of tea-partiers recently conducted by the University of Washington, “only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the tea party agreed that blacks are hardworking, compared with 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the tea party. On whether blacks were intelligent, 45 percent of the tea-party supporters agreed, compared with 59 percent of the tea-party opponents. And on the issue of whether blacks were trustworthy, 41 percent of the tea-party supporters agreed, compared with 57 percent of the tea-party opponents.”

    (I’d post a link, but I don’t want this post to get locked up in limbo)

    Also, I find it significant that the railing against big government spending only reached its fever-pitch after an African-American man was elected president. Where were the tea-partiers when GWB and the Republican Congress were spending like drunken sailors?

  17. Ardis:
    Normally I agree with you and value your opinion, but I believe you go too far in assuming your own viewpoint is “right” here. I am 1/4 Mexican, and therefore qualify as someone of Hispanic descent. I think it’s fairly arrogant to assume that because of my DNA I MUST vote a certain way. It’s close-minded as saying “All Jews are Zionists” or “All Germans are Nazi’s.” Hopefully you see the error in those statements. If not, then any further discussion will be unfruitful.

    There’s a general term called “reciprocity.” Mutual respect. Quite frankly, if it is wrong to say, “You are going to have to kill some blakcs. You might have to kill some of their babies.” (which it is), then it is also wrong to say “You are going to have to kill some crackers. You might have to kill some of their babies.”

    If it is wrong to say, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic descent could be a Democrat.” then it is also wrong to say “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic descent could be a Republican.”

    If it is wrong to say, “No good Mormon could be a democrat” (which a lot of liberals claim to hear at church) then it is also wrong to say, “No good Mormon could be a Republican” which is essentially what Harry Reid says.

    It is shameful to Harry Reid to try and pigeon-hole all hispanics and those of hispanic descent as rebels to the rule of American law. It is shameful, because he should know better. It is hateful because it portrays an entire ethnic group as dishonest, and unable to live within the law as it currently stands (whether or not it is correct). It is outrageous, because if we had switched political parties, or ethnic groups to democrat and white it would be wrong. And this is just as wrong. I’m very sad to have learned that one of my internet heroes is so shallow thinking on this one.

  18. Mark Brown,

    You claim,

    First, there are so many more LDS conservatives that the ratio of dumb statements is about 90/10. If we are going to condemn every LDS politician who says something dumb, the conservatives deserve 90% of the condemnation. That is why I’m confused by what you are doing here — you seem to call for evenhanded treatment, but I’ve only ever seen you play gotcha with one side.

    Um, you’re kind of ironically proving Geoff’s point. The liberal bloggernacle unfairly zooms in on one person (Glenn Beck) and anytime he says something they don’t agree with, they lash him publicly, take him out of context, berate him, abuse him for his opinion, or sometimes for things that AREN’T his opinion. Turn about is fair-play. Harry Reid has said a very very stupid thing. Now’s your chance to say, “I don’t agree with this stupid thing and Harry should apologize.” Or you can remove all doubt on your misunderstanding of racism and claim that there’s nothing wrong with pigeon holing people and their viewpoints because of their race. I know that changing the definition of racism (and all things bad reallly, “good evil, evil good, anybody” was the aim of Satan’s political party, I just hadn’t realized so many people had already been drinking his kool-aid.

  19. Thanks psychochemiker, you said it better than I could. Civility and mutual respect are apparently only important if you have one political viewpoint.

  20. Persecuted Mormon, those seem like small differences in that poll. Three out of five tea party supporters hold a particular opinion, and two out of five tea party opponents feel the same way.

  21. So a poll proves the views of the Tea Party? Well, what about the other ones that don’t agree with the others? Are they not members of the Tea Party de facto because they aren’t pegged stereotypes? Besides, what is so wrong with not supporting something that is illegal by the very fact of law? That automatically makes someone racist? As I have said before, I don’t mind getting called racist. It means nothing to me anymore. When you cry wolf once too often it makes the very thing it warns against not worth fighting.

  22. You know, Persecuted, Obama is in a fair way to increase the national debt by five trillion dollars in his fist three years of office. It took Dubya eight years to accomplish that.

    If I buy a rocking horse for my two-year-old daughter, the fact that I won’t buy a pony for my four-year-old daughter doesn’t mean that I harbor some deep-seated loathing for her.

  23. Geoff, can you point me to anything I have said here that is disrespectful or uncivil? I spent a paragraph trying to explain why I make the distinctions I do. I don’t ask you to accept it or even understand it, but it would be nice if you could at least acknowledge the effort without dismissing it.

    On second thought, never mind. Sorry, yet again, for trying to participate here.

    Psychochemiker, are you the guy that keeps trying to get a blogger at BCC excommunicated? Because you sound just like him, and your i.p. address comes from the same town.

  24. Jettboy, you asked for an example of attitudes about immigration and Mexicans among tea party people. I never called you racist.

  25. Mark Brown,

    In #13 you said:

    “If I remember correctly, the result showed that tea party people are almost twice as likely to favor deportation of undocumented Hispanics as the population at large.”

    I’m liking the tea-party more and more every day. According to federal law anyone here illegally (this includes undocumented Hispanics) is supposed to be deported.

    Interestingly enough the illegal immigration problem from Mexico is not new and was dealt with by the Eisenhower administration:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback

    Anyone think this would go over today?

  26. In the interest of staying on topic I’d like to say, as an individual, that Harry Reid’s comment was incredibly stupid. As a side note, is this not racial profiling of political parties?

  27. How is “I don’t see how anyone of Hipsanic descent could be a Republican” a hateful remark? It pretty clearly reads to me as “I don’t understand Hispanic Republicans.” It is a statement of opinion, not a statement of hate. Just the mere fact that a race is mentioned does not make it a racist comment. There is also no “should” in that statement – you put the should in yourself.

    I know that taking comments out of context and blowing them way out of proportion is all the vogue right now, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. What is more hateful, making a passing and slightly bad sounding comment in the context of broader message, or taking that one comment out of context and using it to condemn an entire person’s message and character?

    When you give me proof in the form of entire “hateful” speeches (instead of just one comment), proposed legislation, and other more legitimate indicators of a person’s character and opinions, then I will condemn Harry Reid for being a hate-mongerer. In the meantime I will continue make my voting decisions based on research and facts, not random one-off comments.

    P.S. Because I know it will come up, I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I try to think for myself and not let my vote be dictated by a single body whose interests do not always align with my own.

  28. In case you are wondering, this is how one Hispanic Republican responded to Harry Reid’s outrageous remarks.

    For the edification of those who aren’t able to view the video, here’s Mario Rubio’s (R; US Senate candidate in FL) response:

    “The Democratic leadership is trying to dismantle the American free enterprise system, the only system in the world where parents like mine to work hard and play by the rules can give their children opportunities they themselves did not have.”

    Now’s your chance to say, “I don’t agree with this stupid thing and Mario should apologize.”

  29. Katie –

    I agree it’s ill-advised to “make a man an offender for a word” and one should use caution. But Sen. Reid has a long pattern of this kind of rhetoric.

    As one who is supposed to be a party leader, he has a pattern of saying nasty and awkward things about those who disagree with him. I don’t know if he qualifies as a “hate-monger” but it doesn’t help when he called last year’s Obamacare protestors “evil-mongers.” I cited a few more examples above and it sounds a compilation of his greatest hits would make a good blog post.

    I simply find him to a horrible representative for his party. I don’t think his religion has anything to do with this. From what I’ve read from other LDS bloggers (including some who have commented here) he and his family sound like great people. But time after time as a political spokesperson , Sen. Reid doesn’t give that impression from his clumsy and mean-spirited attacks.

  30. Psychochemiker, are you the guy that keeps trying to get a blogger at BCC excommunicated?

    I’m unaware of this backstory…
    Sorry,

    The only person I’ve had a huge beef with was some HP from Alaska who worshipped BRM. You can read about it here if you’d like.

  31. And just so I know, how exactly does one go about trying to get anyone excommunicated other than seducing them?

  32. Mark Brown, re: your #27, I realize that the new vogue response to somebody you disagree with is to say, “that is beneath you,” but I still kind of read it as “Jane, you ignorant slut.” Maybe that’s just me. (For you young people, that was a SNL reference from the 1970s).

    Anyway, I read the whole “Satan’s political party” thing as a BoM reference to “the Church of the devil.” I definitely didn’t see it is a reference to any particular political party. If that is what psychochemiker (what a difficult moniker!) is saying, than, yeah, that is beneath me. But I don’t think that is what he meant.

  33. FTR, my statement about “Satan’s political party,” exactly only to do with the BoM reference to the Church of the Devil, as Stephen Robinson has pointed out.

    If you choose to see anything in your own political party or those of other’s, that’s more of a reflection on you, than me.

  34. Comments have gone pretty much as expected so far. Classy responses as usual from Tim and RAF. Mark Brown is trying hard and will eventually come around to what he should have written in the beginning, ie “I have criticized a lot of right-wing Mormons for saying stupid things, and Harry Reid said something stupid, and he should apologize.” I have faith in you Mark. In the issue of fairness, here is Harry Reid’s response (in part):

    “Sen. Reid has long enjoyed the support of many Hispanic Republicans in Nevada and he appreciates that support. Sen. Reid’s contention was simply that he doesn’t understand how anyone, Hispanic or otherwise, would vote for Republican candidates because they oppose saving teachers’ jobs, oppose job-creating tax incentives for small businesses, oppose investments in job-creating clean energy projects, and oppose the help for struggling, unemployed Nevadans to put food on the table and stay in their homes.”

    Let me be clear about this: Harry Reid is a good man. As I have written many, many times, I would welcome him into my HP quorum with open arms. His son Rory seems like a really good guy. I despise Harry’s politics. He has a habit of saying really, really stupid things all the time, and I think becoming majority leader has turned him from an OK political moderate into a party hack. As I have said many times, I am pretty certain he will look back at this portion of his life and regret a lot of the things he has said and done. Politics does weird things to people — you start saying and doing things that don’t fit your personality. It is especially difficult when you are majority leader, because your job is to “herd cats,” ie get 58 other senators to vote a certain way.

    He is in a tough reelection campaign against a real political lightweight in Sharron Angle. In normal times he would be leading this race 60-40. But it is pretty much tied right now, and it has got to drive Harry Reid crazy that this woman is even in the same league as he is. Meanwhile, Republicans ARE doing crazy things regarding immigration (and I have condemned it as much as a human being can). So when you add some context to his comments you can understand where he is coming from, but they are still indefensible.

    My daughters are Hispanic, and my oldest is working on a campaign of a Republican Hispanic. How DARE Harry Reid imply that Hispanics can’t be Republicans. The supposition is the worst kind of racism — that people should all vote in a bloc based on ethnicity. That is exactly what the United States is NOT ABOUT. My daughter (a teenager) thinks that Hispanics are about working hard and to her the Republican party is about people who want to work hard and get ahead in life. She has a right to believe that without having the majority leader of the United States implying there is something wrong with her because she is a Republican. Like me, she doesn’t agree with the majority Republican position on immigration, but she feels that is something she can fight from within the Republican party because she agrees with them on other issues.

    Harry Reid’s world, and unfortunately the world of many other people, is one where all people should vote the same based on their ethnicity and/or race. Again, this happens with people who are in politics because they analyze how they are going to win a race based on voting tendencies. But the reality is that about one-third of the Hispanics in Nevada have tended to vote Republican, depending on the race. His implication that one-third of the state’s Hispanics voters — and indeed the many Hispanic Republican voters countrywide — shouldn’t be Republicans because somehow they don’t know what is in their best interest is incredibly offensive and, yes, racist.

  35. I didn’t chase down your links. So I don’t know what Harry said, other than your reporting of his words. But, in the context of the rather crude world of politics and political reporting, where nuance is shelved in favor of making broad brush statements, it’s awfully easy for one to interpret the harsh immigration positions taken by more and more of the Republican Party as simply anti-Hispanic bigotry. Whether it is or not is another issue, that I won’t attempt to answer here.

    But, to the relatively uninformed, casual listener to the news, how likely is it that the Republican Party’s position looks anti-Hispanic? My hunch is that it does. And in that light, it would be harder and harder for a Hispanic person to explain why he belongs to a party that appears to treat him like dirt.

    And the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot, or the backside, or the head–there is a natural constituency of people out there who are hard working believers in free enterprise, with strong family ties, who would be a natural fit for the party, but the appearance of anti-Hispanic bigotry will drive them away.

    Should conservative Hispanics fight that, and find a place in the Republican Party? That’s for them to answer–but the Republicans are making it blasted difficult for them.

  36. “Hispanic or otherwise” was the right clarification to make in his apology, although of course if what you really mean is anyone at all, there’s no reason to bring it up in the first place. (Besides the fact that failing to see how anyone could think and feel what millions of your constituants think and feel is the defining test of narrow-mindedness.) In case anyone still fails to see why the original statement was so offensive, here is a paraphrase of how it could easily be read, the bigoted view that Senator Reid has clarifed he does not hold:

    “Although I may disagree with him, I, Harry Reid, can still respect a white man who chooses to be a Republican, because there are many issues in politics and as white men we care about all of them, and moreover are equipped to weigh all the issues together in a nuanced way and make our own intelligent assessment about where the balance of our interests and concerns lies. But I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic descent could be a Republican.”

    (I would say that what he clarified is that in fact he doesn’t respect anyone at all who holds views opposing his own . . . but that’s a separate topic.)

  37. I suggest that Harry Reid apologize just as soon as Glenn Beck apologizes for everything he has said lately.

  38. Harry, thanks for telling the truth and taking the heat for it. I wouldn’t recommend any of my Hispanic friends in or out of the church, let alone my own family to have anything to do with that other party. Oh, yes, and I am a very, very active member of the church, but what I see happening with my Rep. church friends and the things they say in front of me, it makes my soul shiver. Thankfully, I follow the prophet’s direction and don’t equate testimony with political affiliation. I wish my Rep. friends learned to do the same.
    -Independent Thinker

  39. As a Hispanic who has never been in the United States illegally, I full heartedly support Harry Reid’s statement.

    No educated or intelligent Hispanic should support a group of hypocrite bigots that are trying to persecute us and destroy us with their hate and racial profiling.

    FOX news is garbage as usual and will only air the opinions of their own side, so who cares about the video.

    Once again a true man steps us and tells it how it is. So, go ahead and try to crucify him in your blog. The truth will prevail.

  40. It looks like Brian Sandoval is polling 10 points ahead of Rory Reid in the governor’s race. A couple months ago the gap was twice that. In an interesting twist, Sandoval doesn’t speak Spanish, but Reid, a former missionary to Argentina, does.

  41. John M, he went on a mission to Argentina, where I lived for a year, and where I still spend a fair amount of time! Yeah, Rory and I would have a lot to talk about.

  42. And the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot, or the backside, or the head–there is a natural constituency of people out there who are hard working believers in free enterprise, with strong family ties, who would be a natural fit for the party, but the appearance of anti-Hispanic bigotry will drive them away.

    Perception is reality, isn’t it? Florida introduced a measure, I believe, almost an exact copy of SB1070, that directs law enforcement to check immigration status of ANYONE they pull over. Does that mean the bill is not racist? Just curious. Or is it simply racist to ask someone if they are in the country legally or not?

  43. It is racist because the people who will be targeted most will be the ones who “look foreign,” and most of those people are Hispanics or in the case of Florida, Haitians.

  44. Whatever misgivings you may have, the Arizona law is explicitly not racist. The Obama administration doesn’t think so. In a very political move, it filed suit against Arizona and its sole complaint was about federal preemption. If it thought it could make a civil rights claim based on race it certainly would have done so.

    Doing some further reading about Sen. Reid’s comments, it’s even more interesting to read that his son, Rory, is running behind a Hispanic Republican in double digits. Maybe Harry is just trying to help his son out even while Rory is trying to distance himself from Dad.

    Rory, is running ads about how he was a spanish-speaking missionary. If it was that obvious that Latinos should vote Democratic, why do both father and son have to make a hard case for their vote? Also, would Democratic LDS take so kindly to a GOP LDS candidate running ads about his missionary service? Or is that different?

  45. It is racist because the people who will be targeted most will be the ones who “look foreign,” and most of those people are Hispanics or in the case of Florida, Haitians.

    If I understood the news report correctly, the bill targets everyone, regardless of nationality of skin color. Not sure how that could be construed as racist. I understand the concern over SB1070.

  46. Ok, I’ll definitely condemn that remark. And any other remark that is as offensive and stupid. LIke, say, pretty much any remark from Glenn Beck, for example.

  47. Glenn Beck says stupid offensive things all the time, and unlike most people who hate Glenn Beck I actually watch him enough and listen to him enough to actually know that he says stupid things all the time (literally in almost every show). I will gladly point that out: he is misinformed and he says dumb things (like calling Obama a Marxist). But there is a big difference between the rantings of an entertainer (who happens to be Mormon) and the Majority Leader (who happens to be Mormon). I know some people don’t see that difference, but it seems pretty clear to me.

  48. DH Sundwall,

    Just to clarify, the Arizona law explicitly allows for racial profiling. Not sure how this myth is being perpetuated.

    The law says:
    “A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED by the Unites States or Arizona constitution.”

    Both Arizona and SCOTUS have authorized the States to use the appearance of Mexican ancestry to develop probable cause to determine whether a person is here illegally. So yeah, the law explicitly allows for racial profiling.

  49. Geoff said,

    I know some people don’t see that difference, but it seems pretty clear to me.

    Of course I see the difference. The difference is that the Majority Leader says some idiotic things like this from time to time, just like everyone else does. And your “entertainer” get’s paid for saying stupid, spiteful, hurtful and alarming lies everyday. He get’s paid quite well actually.

    I wouldn’t mind Beck so much if it weren’t for the fact that he has hundreds of thousands of people eating up his conspiracy theories as God’s Own Truth Brought From On High. That seems a great deal more dangerous to me than a simpleminded outrageous remark that every politician is guilty of, simply because he or she is not perfect.

    I’m not excusing Reid’s remark at all. That was a very stupid thing to say and I think Reid deserves all of the flack and protests he’s getting from across the US.

    But if you are going to the trouble of pointing out disgraceful behavior from prominent Mormons in our country, I’m thinking Glenn Beck’s behavior shines quite a bit more brightly than Reid’s.

  50. I’m not happy at all with Harry Reid’s remark, and in addition to speaking out against him for saying it, I’d like to post a recent exchange Glenn Beck (who I could find a new way to dislike every day) had on his network.

    “O’REILLY: Do you believe — do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?

    BECK: A threat to the country?

    O’REILLY: Yeah, it going to harm the country?

    BECK: No, I don’t. Will the gays come and get us?

    O’REILLY: OK. Is it going to harm the country in any way?

    BECK: I believe — I believe what Thomas Jefferson said. If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?”

    Mind. Blown.

    So I usually agree with Harry Reid’s politics, but thought this statement was ridiculous, and I generally find Beck vile, but can actually agree with him on something. It’s like the world isn’t black and white!

  51. If you disregard Glenn Beck’s ranting and editorializing, and concentrate on his video clips and quotes of Obama’s inner circle, you get a pretty good idea of why “progressives” are ruining our country.

    On the other hand, Harry Reid should know better than to be playing the “race card”. Also, he denigrates his opponent for holding views similar to our “Proclamation on the Family”.

  52. Persecuted Mormon,

    You don’t need racial profiling to determine who is in the country legally/illegally. I have assisted with numerous traffic stops and motor vehicle accidents (along with a myriad of other calls) where someone does not possess a driver’s license or any other form of legal identification, other than an ID card from another country. Arizona law already allows law enforcement to impound the vehicle of an unlicensed driver and for that driver to be arrested for driving without a license. The lack of a valid license (for the operator of a motor vehicle) is sufficient probable cause, in my opinion, to question someone’s immigration status.

  53. “you get a pretty good idea of why “progressives” are ruining our country.”

    Oh brother.

  54. R Biddulph said,

    If you disregard Glenn Beck’s ranting and editorializing, and concentrate on his video clips and quotes of Obama’s inner circle, you get a pretty good idea of why “progressives” are ruining our country.

    Ok. First off, I’d like to point out that “progressives” aren’t anywhere near perfect. Second off, Obama is not a progressive, he’s much more of a liberal-leaning centrist. That said, I’ll agree that this administration is doing some pretty stupid things that I very much disagree with. And, believe it or not, I do think that Beck does rarely point out something bad about the current administration that is actually true. Even a broken clock is right once a day, after all. But the implied context of your words, R Biddulph, is to say that the GOP is blameless in the ruining of our country and that it is only the current administration that is at fault. That I’ll have to strenuously disagree with.

    So the GOP has no blame for the ruinous economy that tanked hard before Obama’s administration began? So the GOP, who are now so rabidly calling for reduced spending, never reduced spending when they had all three branches of power but instead splurged and ballooned the deficit at an alarming rate? So the supposed “fiscally conservative” GOP were not the ones who eliminated financial controls over the banks and big business that created the fiscally insane practice of repeated bubble/bust cycles based on uncontrolled speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives? So the GOP is blameless in the creation of a corporate/government collaboration that makes the top 2% of the US extremely wealthy at the expense of the other 98%? So the GOP is blameless in sending most of our jobs overseas thus making our current recovery that much more difficult? So a Republican president didn’t lie his way into a disastrous and bank-breaking war?

    In other words, stop blaming only one half of the problem! Take off your blinders. Both the Dems and the GOP are at fault. And one of the biggest reasons for this failure of policy is the extreme partisanship that has taken hold in our society in the last few years. If you only blame “them” as being the antagonist and the single reason for your problems, then you are just as guilty of creating this horrible situation as any other fundamentalist.

    Our republic was created with the ideal that opposing groups of people would give-and-take and eventually come together with a compromise that would benefit everyone. Yes it’s not a perfect ideal, but it has worked reasonably well for a couple of hundred years. But the art of compromise, which is absolutely essential to democracy, has completely vanished. It has been replaced by angry all-or-nothing, radical politics where the party of “NO!” and the party of “SPEND!” absolutely refuse to talk to each other and instead become more and more partisan and extreme. And as each highly partisan politician or “entertainer” smears their opponents as the enemy to be hated, with no thoughts of the many vile repercussions those words will create, they drag their followers away from the sane, reasonable middle ground of cooperation.

    The sane, reasonable middle ground of cooperation where every good government policy in America’s history has been made. The sane, reasonable middle ground of cooperation that used to be one of America’s principle ideals and the reason our country was once looked up to as an example to emulate.

    And so (to get slightly back on topic) this is another reason why I dislike Glenn Beck’s appalling “entertainment.” He is one of those in America’s culture today who actually is truly ruining our country by painting “progressives” as the enemy of freedom who can’t be trusted. And thus he eliminates the possibility of cooperation and compromise between people at a critical time in America’s history when it is most needed. Not only among politicians, but among neighbors and communities.

    And church members.

  55. I think part of the problem James addressed above is due to the fact that many people only associate with people just like them. Those who can honestly say “I don’t know anyone who voted for Bush” or facebook users who can say “none of my facebook friends ‘like’ Obama” only reveal that they themselves are isolated from the diverse reality that is the United States. (And yes, after reading that Facebook entry I made sure to “like” Obama. I also suppressed the urge to do some defriending).

    It’s easy to turn people into villains when we don’t know them. It’s a lot harder when we associate with and learn to like those people. We need to teach our children that “different” doesn’t mean “bad,” and the way we do that is to become friends with people who are different from us.

  56. Tim expounded,

    We need to teach our children that “different” doesn’t mean “bad,” and the way we do that is to become friends with people who are different from us.

    YES, thank you Tim! Well said.

    And we should not just teach our children this truth, but each other as well. Step outside your boundaries. Look at an opposing viewpoint with something other than distain and contempt. Try to find out why someone disagrees with you. Occasionally read or watch the news from another source besides the ones you are comfortable with. Especially if you get your news from a heavily partisan news source like FOX or MSNBC. Find out what is going on outside of the US. Read a book from someone you who is vastly different from you. Travel. Learn. Pray.

    And most importantly: Love. Doctrine & Covenants 12:8 ~ “And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.”

  57. James,

    I agree with you that both Republicans and Democrats are “ruining this country”. BUT, it is only those in the two parties who espouse “progressive” ideas. What are “progressive” ideas? To fully understand, you need to see a month of Glenn Beck. They are people who disregard the Constitution, who believe it is a living document, who disregard common financial sense (Bush was a reckless spender of our grandchildren’s money, but Obama is four times worse than Bush!) They are people opposed to all the moral imperatives which our LDS leadership provides to us on abortion, chastity and marriage. They are people who attack the family from every direction. They are people who modify our history to glorify progressives (Wilson and FDR) and denigrate non-progressives (Harding, Reagan and Coolidge). They are people who trade our freedom for their power in directing our lives in the ways they believe are superior. They are academics and community organizers who never had a real job (only 7 percent of Obama’s associates have had a real job). In short they are people who follow Cloward and Piven’s formula for collapsing our economy and our country.

  58. R Biddulph,

    What are “progressive” ideas? To fully understand, you need to see a month of Glenn Beck.

    If I saw a month of Glenn Beck, you’d have to throw me in the loony bin. :-) I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. :-D (I’m joking, in case it wasn’t clear)

    For every one of your examples (spending, Constitution, morality, history, etc) there are those on the Left who point a finger at the Right for doing the exact same thing. I don’t have enough time to show you all of the examples unfortunately. But I’ll point out one regarding the modification of history that is being done by ultra-conservatives in Texas:

    Thomas Jefferson was removed from their history books, along with any reference to the Enlightenment. Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. (A separation that has become very thin over the last few years.) They placed a greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” This means not only increased favorable mentions of Schlafly, the founder of the anti-feminist Eagle Forum, but also more discussion of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America. They created a reduced scope for Latino history and culture. And they heavily down played the highly negative impact of disgraced Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts. In other words, it is a very blatant and very partisan retooling of children’s history books to ensure that an intensely conservative viewpoint is created. And the real unfortunate thing about this is that Texas has a huge influence over the design of children’s textbooks throughout the country. And so, to save money, the companies who create the textbooks will (in general) fall in line with these partisan rulings.

    Are both sides doing this? Absolutely. It it right for either side to do this? Absolutely not.

    I’d love to show you other examples like this, but I just don’t have the time. Suffice to say that the Left constantly thought Bush was corrupting the Constitution as well. And both sides have huge problems with out-of-check spending, morality, hypocrisy and corruption. And so on…

    In addition, academics and community organizers do have “real” jobs. To think otherwise is being prideful and demeaning. Now, do the individual associates themselves have the experience for their new position in government? That’s another question entirely and should be taken on a case by case basis and not all lumped together as a group. Some do, some don’t. To say that they all are inexperienced is just partisan propaganda and untrue.

    As I said before, both the Dems and the GOP are at fault. At the moment, my personal opinion is that the Right is more extreme than the Left, but that does not in any way, shape or fashion absolve the Left of any wrongdoing and extremism on their side. The Left is as guilty at being heavily partisan and demonizing others as the Right.

    We simply must get past this abusive partisan name-calling and finger pointing and instead find what is needed to heal this country’s psyche of fear, paranoia and extremism. Both the Right and the Left must look to their own and clean house. If we don’t look to ourselves and remove from our own lives that which is wrong, how can we without hypocrisy point a finger at others who are also doing wrong?

    Luke 6: 41-42 ~ “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”

    If only the Beck’s, the Limbaugh’s, the Coulter’s and the Olbermann’s and all of their followers practiced this ideal, we’d be a lot better off as a country. Extreme partisanship like they are selling you will eventually corrupt this country until it is unrecognizable. To quote my favorite Republican:

    Abraham Lincoln wisely said,

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

  59. The real issue, is in agreement with James, the voting populace. I know loads of people who vote on a hyper-partisan basis. They can only vote for a Republican or a Democrat, never mind the opportunity to vote for a politician who is the opposite party because the incumbent is either incompetent or not meeting one’s own moral standards, that was the case with Bush, people felt that because he was a Republican he was therefore also a conservative, or someone who would be fiscally responsible. Neither he, nor the GOP were in the slightest. The main problem is now, the Democrats try to BS their way through various spending. Argue as you wish that all the spending is good for the economy, but until you bother actually reading through where it is all supposed to go, according to TARP and the stimulus bills, not revoked, I seriously see more of the same from them.

    As for Harry Reid, the voting populace in Nevada is heavily to blame for his getting re-elected so many times, and putting his foot in his mouth so many times. As far as his re-election goes, only about 8 percent of the population of Nevada is Mormon, so honestly there’s plenty of Non-Mormons who need to call out this man, and vote against his re-election, as well, if he is really to get out of office.

  60. The real issue, is in agreement with James, the voting populace. I know loads of people who vote on a hyper-partisan basis. They can only vote for a Republican or a Democrat, never mind the opportunity to vote for a politician who is the opposite party because the incumbent is either incompetent or not meeting one’s own moral standards, that was the case with Bush, people felt that because he was a Republican he was therefore also a conservative, or someone who would be fiscally responsible. Neither he, nor the GOP were in the slightest. The main problem is now, the Democrats try to BS their way through various spending. Argue as you wish that all the spending is good for the economy, but until you bother actually reading through where it is all supposed to go, according to TARP and the stimulus bills, not revoked, I seriously see more of the same from them.

    As for Harry Reid, the voting populace in Nevada is heavily to blame for his getting re-elected so many times, and putting his foot in his mouth so many times. As far as his re-election goes, only about 8 percent of the population of Nevada is Mormon, so honestly there’s plenty of Non-Mormons who need to call out this man, and vote against his re-election, as well, if he is really to get out of office.

    As far as Harry Reid, the guy gave an especially ignorant comment generalizing what Hispanic people should be. It’s as bad as saying that because I am a Latter-Day Saint, I should vote “Republican”, or I should “Vote Democrat” Principle to me has always mattered more than party, I learned eventually that I should be willing to vote for politicians of either party, because neither really is all the way correct, or contains perfectly righteous politicians to lead our country.

  61. Brandon said,

    I know loads of people who vote on a hyper-partisan basis

    And…

    It’s as bad as saying that because I am a Latter-Day Saint, I should vote “Republican”, or I should “Vote Democrat”

    I’ll agree with Geoff B., good points. I personally have known far too many members, and at least one public figure, who would fit the description of “hyper-partisan.” Mormons who believe that LDS stands for “Liberals Don’t Sanctify” and GOP stands for “God’s Own Platform.” Anyone who uses their belief system to demonize and put down someone else really isn’t following their religion very well, in my view. (And that goes for the far Left as well.) I personally think that this is a good litmus test: Matthew 7:20 ~ “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    All forms of extremism, be it religious, political or social, is a very dire and horrible thing to be involved in. No good ever comes from it.

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