Monday, June 1, 2009


Okay, so this is a little off the rails of this blog's intended purpose (e.g., discussion of Asian Americans, comics, and Asian American comics), but I don't currently have anywhere else to post my thoughts on breaking events, and anyway, I'll do my best to circle back to some kind of rationale for posting this here.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Wingnuttia) is one of the most vitriolic attackers of the Supreme Court candidacy of Judge Sonia Sotomayor; notably, he's called into question her membership in the Hispanic American advocacy organization National Council of La Raza, which he has referred to as a "Latino KKK without the hoods and nooses." (And without the history of racist violence, or supremacist ideology, or toxic anonymity, or deep-rooted influence on America's tragic record on race. But otherwise, just exactly like the KKK!)

Of course, this only opens up the standard "takes one to know one" line of retort, and by that standard Tancredo should be quite the authority on knowing racists.

You see, Tancredo's hostility toward Sotomayor is due in great part to his broader hostility toward off-white folk, especially those who hail from places other than this great nation of ours (and only ours): The grandson of Italian immigrants has spent most of his legislative career and bully-pulpit bandwidth trying to turn out Liberty's lamp, lock the golden door, and disperse the huddled masses with pepper gas and rubber bullets.
  • He sponsored a bill called the "Mass Immigration Reduction Act," which would have imposed an indefinite moratorium on immigration to the United States. Under the act, only spouses and children of American citizens would be allowed to immigrate.
  • He believes illegal immigrants are the greatest threat to America's security, claiming that federal prisons are overflowing with illegals, some of whom aim to "harm people," and has been quoted as saying "They're coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren." During his abortive campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he released an ad called "Tough on Terror," positing a future in which inept border security leads to a catastrophic new terrorist attack. Over images of an injured child and a wrecked train, the ad's voiceover says, "There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs ... the price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill."
  • He wants to spend billions erecting an enormous wall between Mexico and the U.S., and believes mayors and city council members who adopt "sanctuary city policies" should be tried as criminals.

  • And to ensure that his bizarre brand of ultra-paranoid xenophobia spreads virally through the ranks of the Right's next generation, he's created a PAC that "identif[ies], recruit[s], and help[s] elect to public office individuals who are committed to enforcing our laws and securing our borders."
And that's where the sad part comes in. It turns out that the guy Tancredo appointed to run this PAC as executive director is a toolbox named Marcus Epstein...who happens to be half Korean, half Jewish, and all all a-hole.

Epstein is expected to be sentenced on July 8 for a charge—to which he has pled "guilty"—that he karate-chopped (tae kwon do chopped?) an African American female while calling her "n*gger." For no reason. While walking down the street muttering to himself. All according to witnesses, including the federal agent who apprehended him.

It's amazing that Tancredo has been able to find a proxy for his loathsome views who's actually more insane and racist than he is. It's embarassing that he happens to be Asian American, though one somehow doubts that he uses that label proudly, any more than does, say, Michelle Malkin.

If there's anything funny about this sad set of circus clowns, it's the name of the PAC that Epstein runs on Tancredo's behalf: It's called the Team America PAC. Perfect. Did they name the PAC after the hilariously impolitic puppet movie by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, thinking it was a frakkin' documentary or something?

I'm going to say yes. Because I can totally imagine Epstein, Tancredo and their hate-filled, anti-immigrant pals dressing up in their spare time as a paramilitary super-soldier squad, convinced that they're defending America against the invading hordes of brown disease-ridden evil rapist deathmongers. Plus Kim Jong Il. Assuming that Epstein's mom is South Korean, anyway. America, f*ck yeah!

And on that note, please do check out Installment Two of our downloadable, browsable Discussion Guides for Secret Identities—and look, this one happens to be about immigration!

See? I told you I'd circle back somehow.