After GOP Racist Mailer Targeting Latino Congressman, Swastikas, Toxic Powder Follow

October 22, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—They take their hate seriously in Arizona, especially in this toxic political climate with Gov. Jan Brewer’s fear-mongering over the non-existent threat of deranged Mexicans decapitating Arizonans. In this xenophobic environment of the “show me your papers” anti-immigration law and a renewed effort to deny citizenship to “anchor babies,” Rep. Raul Grijalva, a four-term Democratic Congressman serving the 7th district of Tuscon, has been targeted by the nativist bigots with death threats, bullets shot through his office window and now, toxic powder in an envelope emblazoned with swastikas. This latest attack against the Latino lawmaker comes on the heels of a race-baiting mailer sent out by the Arizona GOP depicting Grijalva in an oversize “bandito” mustache.

Rep. Grijalva, the co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus, has been under fire from Republicans since he joined in a limited boycott of Arizona conventions to show his opposition to the draconian anti-immigration law that institutionalized racial profiling. After he called off the boycott, a bullet and a broken window was discovered at his Yuma office.

And in June, a federal grand jury indicted a Phoenix man for threatening to assault, kidnap and murder Grijalva and his aides. In April, Justin M. Hayes, 31, called Grijalva’s Tucson office and threatened to come down and “blow the brains out” of the lawmaker and his staff members. Haynes told law enforcement officials he was angry over Grijalva’s position on immigration issues.

The U.S. attorney pointed out that threatening our elected officials harms our democracy.

“This office takes threats against any individual, including public officials, with the utmost seriousness,” said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “This is not protected speech. Such crimes endanger the civility our democracy is built upon.”

Yesterday, a toxic powder was mailed to Grijalva’s Tuscon office, soon after the racist “Bandito” mailer was distributed by the Arizona Republican Party in support of Grijalva’s Republican tea party-backed opponent Ruth McClung.

The F.B.I. determined that the suspicious powder is toxic but the agency has not disclosed the nature of the substance.

MSNBC writes:

“A staff member called Tucson Police earlier Thursday after finding an envelope containing the suspicious white powder. The offices were locked down by Tucson Police, and the FBI arrived to assist in the investigation, KVOA said.”

“An envelope arrived with swastikas drawn on the outside and a white powdery substance on the inside, Adam Sarvana, Grijalva’s spokesman, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper.”

Grijalva was not at the office when the toxic swastika-emblazoned letter arrived.

Grijalva condemned the domestic act of terrorism, as “a sad commentary on how we’re doing politics right now.”

During an appearance on MSNBC’s the Ed Schultz show Tuesday night, Grijalva attributed the “Bandito” mailer to Republican scare tactics intended to obscure the fact that the GOP can’t win on the issues.

GRIJALVA: Ed, it is a pattern and I‘m not the only one that‘s been inflicted by this. You know, we are questioning our president‘s birthplace, which is a non-issue. And this issue is a very convenient way to cover up the inability to really articulate what the positions are of the Republican Party. They are for privatizing Social Security. They don‘t want to talk about that. The people of the 7th district in Arizona reject that. They are for destroying public education.

Do the Republicans care that their hate-mongering and race-baiting may have led to an act of terrorism against a Congressman and his staff ? No, not in the least. They have been stirring up racial fear and hate, along with Fox News since the moment our first black president became elected. That’s what they do.

Watch Grijalva’s appearance on Ed Schultz:


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