Seizing the opportunity to vilify a female, Hispanic Supreme Court nominee, noted bigot Tom Tancredo has emerged from obscurity to denounce Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Earlier this week, Tancredo declared her to be a “racist” who should be “disqualified” from serving on the bench.
This afternoon on CNN, he went further, attacking her affiliation with the National Council of La Raza as equivalent to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan:
TANCREDO: If you belong to an organization called La Raza, in this case, which is, from my point of view anyway, nothing more than a Latino — it’s a counterpart — a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses. If you belong to something like that in a way that’s going to convince me and a lot of other people that it’s got nothing to do with race. Even though the logo of La Raza is “All for the race. Nothing for the rest.” What does that tell you?
SANCHEZ: Alright. We’re not talking about — we’re not talking about La Raza —
TANCREDO: She’s a member! She’s a member of La Raza!
The La Raza line is the latest right-wing attack on Sotomayor. Right-wing groups have been waging war against La Raza since the 2006 immigration rallies. Conservatives, including Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA), claim the group “supports racist groups calling for the secession of the western United States as a Hispanic-only homeland.” The right-wing blog Stop The ACLU calls La Raza “an anti-white extremist group.”
These attacks — promoted by Drudge — are only going to escalate. Of course, the characterizations are wildly false. La Raza is the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization that focuses on such nefarious issues as “civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health.” Used to these attacks, La Raza has a long fact-sheet debunking the unhinged claims of the right, including pointing out that “La Raza” translates as “the people,” not “the race,” as the right wing suggests.
Tancredo echoed a popular right-wing myth, claiming the group’s slogan is “All for the race, nothing for the rest.” When ThinkProgress asked a La Raza spokeswoman, she replied, “No. That’s very much incorrect.” In fact, the true slogan is “Strengthening America by promoting the advancement of Latino families.” A far cry from Tancredo’s egregiously false, race-based characterization.