This is the story of a conservative white American who learned Spanish, moved to Mexico, married a Mexican, and became an immigration activist.
Is it my story? It could be. But it is also the story of talk radio host Benjamin Reed.
The difference between us is that my experience led me to believe that we need to protect our border and not merge with Mexico. Ben Reed's experience resulted in his becoming a rabid open borders proponent and a "Defensor de la Raza". Ben Reed [send him email] now works openly to encourage illegal immigration, subvert U.S. immigration law and promote the Mexicanization of the U.S.A.
Ben Reed's odyssey was the subject of a puff piece in the Los Angeles Times penned by one Hector Tobar, son of Guatemalan immigrants, entitled Walking a Mile in an Immigrant's Moccasins, (November3, 2009). Let's examine what Tobar has to say about Reed's story and read between the lines.
Benjamin Reed is from Idaho. As a Mormon (see my Mitt Romney and the Mormon Question) Reed did a two-year mission, was sent to Argentina and thus learned Spanish.
According to Tobar, Reed was once a staunch conservative from Red State America:
"I first met Ben Reed, a veteran Idaho radio DJ, while reporting a story for the Times nine years ago. Ben is not someone you easily forget. He's a former Mormon missionary and fluent Spanish speaker who used to be a conservative talk show host. .. Reed once was a devout Reagan Republican…. When I first met Ben Reed in 2000, he was railing against the Clinton administration on an English-language radio station in Rupert, Idaho. He grew up in Idaho with solid Republican values. Catching a glimpse of Ronald Reagan at the Idaho Falls airport in 1980 was one of the highlights of his childhood."
So what happened to transform Reed from conservative activist into a White Anglo-Saxon Raza Booster? Basically, it was a result of mass immigration.
"[Reed's] corner of southern Idaho filled up with Spanish-speaking people. He fell in love with his new neighbors. They were emotional people who always seemed ready to hug him. He became addicted to their music and their food. And he fell hard for Deyanira [whom he eventually married] too."
Now this is interesting. It seems that one of the results of mass immigration is that, when foreign enclaves are set up in the U.S., some Americans wind up assimilating to the foreigners rather than the other way around. Like Reed, who liked getting hugged by "emotional people".
Ben Reed was still a conservative talk show host when he also became a Spanish-speaking talk show host on a Spanish-speaking radio station. Reed's Spanish-speaking persona was "El Chupacabras", named after the legendary creature that supposedly kills livestock in Latin America.
So for a time, Reed hosted talk shows in both English and Spanish. According to Tobar,
"In Rupert [Idaho], [Reed] juggled his English and Spanish radio gigs for a while. Then he got to know the immigrant working people of southern Idaho. When he got sick, he said, only his Spanish-speaking listeners showed up at his bedside. I started to ask myself, 'Who am I?' Ben told me over the phone last week. 'And the answer was I'd much rather be El Chupacabras than be Ben Reed the conservative shock jock—that wasn't me.' Ben changed, and so did his radio style."
But it was more than his "style" that changed. Reed became an open promoter of the Mexican illegal alien agenda. As Tobar approvingly reports,
"When immigration authorities conducted local raids, [Reed] confronted them on the air. When a local high school gym teacher confiscated a student's Mexican flag on Cinco de Mayo, he organized a protest. He told his listeners to wear the colors of Mexico's flag to school. 'I nearly lost my job over that,' he said."
Reed was against the raids that rounded up illegal aliens (his listeners) and told the media that "I know there is racial profiling going on out there. If they are going after documents, why aren't they asking everyone? Why are they only asking people with brown skin?"
Maybe because the illegals have brown skin? Yes, it's the tired old profiling argument.
But Reed was still living in Idaho. What drove him to move to Mexico was what happened to his Mexican fiancée, Deyanira.
Deyanira, it ought to be pointed out, is Mexican, but she wasn't an illegal alien field laborer of the type Ben Reed makes such a show of defending. Oh no. Deyanira is a Euro-Mexican, a white Mexican. Reed met her when she was in Rexburg, Idaho, studying at a Mormon institution of higher learning, Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Notice that when it came time for courtin' and marryin' a Mexican, Ben Reed, "Defensor de la Raza", went for an educated white Mexican woman. (So did I, but unlike Chupacabras I never claimed to be a defender of the La Raza cause).
Anyhow, Ben and Deyanira got engaged and planned to marry in a Mormon temple in Idaho. She went to Mexico and was returning to Idaho for the wedding when things didn't go according to plan. Tobar explains:
"The bride had to go through immigration in L.A. before catching her connecting flight to Idaho. She thought her papers were in order. So when the immigration agent asked her the purpose of her visit to the United States, she responded truthfully, 'I'm going to get married.' Before she knew it, she had been deported and was on the next plane back to Mexico. …At LAX, she was told that returning for her wedding without having obtained a 'fiancée visa' constituted fraud. She was deported and her tourist visa revoked."
According to Tobar:
"This pushed her fiancé, the already excitable Benjamin Reed, nearly over the edge. ´They treated her very poorly,' Reed said of the agents at LAX. Among other things, he said, they took wedding invitations they found in her purse and handled them as if they were evidence of a criminal conspiracy. 'They treated her like a dog.' … Before his wedding, he had consulted with attorneys and immigration officials in Idaho. 'I was doing everything according to the letter of the law,' he told me. 'I was told that since she had lived in the U.S. legally, and since she had a tourist visa, we wouldn't have any problems fixing up her papers.' "
Yeah, I know, life is rough and things don't always turn out like we plan. That's been true in my life too.
However, there is such a thing as marriage fraud. It´s just one of many problems in our immigration system. And there is such a thing as a fiancée visa, which they could have availed themselves of. Or, as I did, they could have just gotten married in Mexico to begin with. After all, that's where the bride was from!
Of course, in the Tobar article, all these experiences transformed Ben into the enlightened open borders Razista he is today:
"All of this has led [Reed] to put on 'the moccasins of the immigrant,' Ben told me. Now nothing looks quite as simple as it used to. Love and empathy will do that, which is why some people think love and empathy are as dangerous to America as the swine flu. 'I've been radicalized by this whole experience,' Ben told me."
Tobar uses Reed's experience as an excuse to zing American immigration policy:
"Don't feel bad, Ben—no one can make sense of our immigration bureaucracy. It's a cruel machine of contradictory rules and arbitrary decision-making that routinely tears marriages and families apart."
But, as we've pointed out numerous times, families could stay "united" by staying in their own countries. As for international couples, they´ll just have to figure out how to live in one country or another. That's what my wife and I did.
But Tobar puts it so much more dramatically:
"Ben Reed learned this the hard way. Eventually, he was forced …. to choose between his fiancée and his country."
"'I'll always love my chiquita,' he said. 'She is my life. Living separate was never an option. We were going to find a way to be together.'"
"Over the years, love has often changed the way Ben sees things."
Excuse me, but it looks to me like Reed had already chosen the interests of La Raza over his own country. It was just that the Deyanira situation drove him to move:
"Ben tried for a year to get her papers sorted out. Then he moved to Mexico. 'He gave up everything to be with me,' Deyanira, 34, told me over the phone from Queretaro, Mexico."
Gave up everything? He didn't give up his Chupacabras radio show (more on that later). Nor does it sound like his life in Mexico is that bad.
It's ironic that the same people who say Mexico is a great country say it's terrible when people have to live there. Doesn't make sense.
Anyway, Ben and Deyanira finally did get married, in December of 2008. Here's a photo of the happy couple.
They were wed in the picturesque town of San Miguel de Allende, which I have written about before, and which has a sizeable expatriate gringo colony. It is a great place to live. Check out some photos here .
So what's so bad about Ben Reed's situation? Here's how Tobar melodramatically described it:
"These days … Ben is an American living with a Mexican spouse in immigration exile."
Exile? But in the very next sentence, Tobar says that
"[Reed] says he's never been happier."
Once again, so what's the problem?
Besides, Reed's still got his radio show, broadcast Monday through Friday from Mexico to Rupert, Idaho (which, coincidentally, is where Lou Dobbs grew up):
"His old Spanish-speaking friends still listen to him every day in Idaho's Magic Valley, because he still hosts his Rupert radio show via the Internet."
And, unlike many of the Mexicans the Chupacabras champions in Idaho, Reed is legal in Mexico:
"He applied for, and quickly received, Mexico's equivalent of a green card. 'Now, I'm an immigrant too,' he told me over the phone. 'Frankly, it's an experience more gabachos should have,' he added, using Mexican slang for white Americans. Ben has those immigrant moccasins firmly on his feet now. Sometimes I wish I had a pair or two I could lend out."
Well, I've spent a lot more time in Mexico than Reed has, and I came to completely different conclusions. See my previous articles Education of a Gringo in Mexico, How Can I Live in Mexico and Write for VDARE.COM? and Reflections of an American Immigration Reform Patriot Living in Mexico.
Reed's "Chupacabras" show airs over Rupert's 970 AM "La Fantastica" station. You can visit the station's website here. [Email them]
Notice the little Mexican flag up to the left of the URL. (This is an American radio station, remember).
Also, if you click the little ad in the middle for the Chupacabra show, it calls Reed a "Defensor de la Raza" and says he will "defend your rights".
The show is broadcast from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to Idaho, directed to Mexican colonists including illegal aliens.
Spanish-language radio stations are a key part of the Mexican Reconquista of the U.S. The 2006-2007 illegal alien marches were organized through Spanish-language stations. These stations are important beachheads—after all, most Americans can't even understand what they're saying!
Benjamin "Chupacabras" Reed, "Defensor de la Raza", also has his own Twitter site. Just scroll down it and see the kinds of things he posts. Here are a few examples:
January 15th – "American Law Enforcement Must Demand the Removal of Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Duty".
January 15th – "DON'T FORGET ! TOMORROW SAT JAN 16, bring human rights violator ARPAIO down!
January 9th – Nobody is illegal. An ill eagle is a bird with stomach problems. REFORM NOW!
January 5th – "Que gachos! ICE expels 359,455 Mexicans during 2009."
January 5th – "U.S. has the world's second-largest Hispanic population behind only Mexico…"
Dec. 17th – "GABACHOS DEJARAN DE SER LA MAYORIA EN 2050!" ["Whites will cease to be the majority of the U.S. in 2050". Reed seems very excited about this.]
Dec. 16th – "Conservative Talk Radio Has Fewer Fans Than Previously Thought". [Remember, Reed is a former conservative talk show host.]
Besides all the Raza-boosting and white-bashing, Reed openly aids illegal aliens in the U.S. to avoid detention. A twitter posting from January 20th says:
"ALERTA: Mis radioescuchas confirman la presencia de la migra en la Highway 93 al sur de Twin Falls, ID. Parece que hay reten #immigration
The busy Sr. Reed also finds time to participate in internet discussions. On the John Birch Society website, he popped up and defended the Spanish use of the term América:
"An American is anyone who dwells on the North or South American continents. You might be a U.S. Citizen, but anyone who lives from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego is an AMERICAN! As Simon Bolivar said, 'Our country is called AMERICA!' Get it! Anything else is tired imperialism."
Thus Reed robotically repeats the standard Latin American Spanish view of the terms América and americano. But this view is being used to strip us of our identity, our sovereignty and our ability to control our own borders. I guess that's why Chupacabras likes it.
In the English language, of course, the term "American" has referred to residents of the United States since even before independence—see my article Is it Wrong For Us To Call Ourselves Americans ? In his farewell address, George Washington said "The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism…"
Personally, I attach more weight to Washington than Simon Bolivar.
Reed seems happy in Mexico and is somewhat of a celebrity. Everything about him indicates that he prefers La Raza interests to American interests.
So why doesn't he go the whole way—become a Mexican citizen and renounce his American (excuse me, his U.S.) citizenship?
Wouldn't that be the honorable thing to do?
In the meantime, why should we give a hoot what Benjamin "Chupacabras" Reed, "Defensor de la Raza", has to say about U.S. immigration policy?
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here and his website is here.