Call it what you will, but the March 10 Hispanic-led tantrum in Chicago against tougher immigration laws was anarchy at its best, and it was aided and abetted by politicians sworn to uphold the law. You can read all about it in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald. And be sure to visit the Tribune's colorful photo gallery.
Naturally, there were plenty of theatrics that included flag waving, although it's pretty apparent Old Glory had some pretty stiff competition from other nations like Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico that are only too eager to dump their poor onto the backs of American taxpayer but only as long as they continue to send billions back to those countries that, uh, don't want them to come home because their large numbers would "destabilize" their societies.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who was listed as an "unidentified male" in the transcript of Lou Dobbs' Friday broadcast, was about as fired up as any real patriot could be: "Raise those American flags!" he shouted to the 100,000 said to have participated. "This is our country, and this is where we will stay." Of more significance was this from Gutierrez: "Together you are a voice that is unstoppable." (Is it me, or does this sound like a call to others around the world to break our laws?)
The parade's organizers, probably eager to drive home the point they are no different than the rest of us, asked for and received a moment of silence to remember our troops in Iraq and a reading of the Pledge of Allegiance. (Where's (sniff) my (sniff) apple pie?)
Mayor Richard Daley, who for years said he won't stand for crime and corruption in his city, said he's OK with the crime of being here illegally: "We won't make criminals out of the undocumented: "That is not what America has ever stood for," said the man whose administration in recent months has reeked of wrongdoing that has the feds licking their chops. "Everyone is an immigrant."
Rod Blagojevich, himself a son of immigrants, juiced the crowd when he said in Spanish he understood their values and concerns, neither of which apparently involves respecting another nation's values and concerns. If you're the kind of person who just can't get enough of "sob sister journalism," Chicago was your kind of town during the past few days:
"Uriel Alfaro can't understand why people think he doesn't belong in the United States. "He pays taxes. He goes to church . . ."(So did Al Capone. Well, OK, one out of two ain't bad.) "I need my parents," said a sign carried by an 11-year-old here legally but whose parents aren't. "It's not just a Latino issue," said construction worker John Murphy, here illegally from Ireland. "We're good people and just want a fair chance. "(Remember when a "fair chance" meant standing in line with everyone else and playing by the rules?) Among the non-political performers who did their best during the 5-hour-long carnival dedicated to trashing the rule of law and our sovereignty, not to mention mocking legal immigrants and those who wore the uniform of the United States, was loudmouth radio show host Rafael Pulido, who also goes by the name "El Pistolero." Anybody willing to hazard a guess as to what Mr. Pistol was getting at here?
"You messed with the wrong race because you messed with the human race."
Last but not least was master showman Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Hoyt loves melodrama, and he was in top form ( although, as usual, completely out of the ballyard with his understanding of the facts):
"You're seeing the beginning of the Latino civil rights movement in this nation." (Can we see the hands of all those Latinos here legally who don't have civil rights?) As unsettling as this demonstration was for those of us who still place high value on certain things related to this republic and the principles on which it rests, I think what troubled me most is knowing that out there are more Alpha Bahs who haven't a clue about what U.S. citizenship is all about.
African Bah, who hails from Guinea, said after becoming a citizen during a naturalization ceremony in the State of Illinois Building: "The rally was exciting. "Now, when I vote, I have to make sure that I help protect the rights of immigrants in this country." Memo to Mr. Bah: Frankly, you're not exactly what we're looking for in terms of new citizens.