Minuteman Vigilante Murder?

Someone appears to shoot and kill a man crossing the border in a video by members of the Minutemen.

The Minutemen are a controversial group, and given their vigilante approach to the sensitive politics of immigration, something like this was bound to happen. David (Orcinus) wonders:

Wonder if Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin still want to claim that the Minutemen are just a big neighborhood watch. And I wonder if anyone will remember them when someone gets hurt.

Well, someone got hurt. And the Minutement are afraid someone will remember them (Casey, Hatewatch, emphasis mine):

On Aug. 11, the day after Hatewatch posted the first night-vision video, San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk posted the following message to a Minuteman discussion group online:

“If the media goes to Patriot Point to confront Lil Dog (or Leland) on this, I’m afraid it could be 10 times worse than it already is. I asked Lil Dog for a statement of facts about this yesterday, but he has not given me one yet. He’s telling people there is nothing wrong with the video. He doesn’t feel he owes anyone an explanation of why he thinks its ok to post death threats on the internet…

I have a press release all ready to go if this hits the American media. We will isolate this incident and these people from the rest of us to minimize damage to the Minuteman movement. Lil Dog, my advice is go take a vacation and get away from the border for a while or longer. And make sure Leland stays away from the border too. Disappear for a while.”

Schwilk knows this could be very damaging. He is taking the kind of bold steps PR management firms advise handling corporate malfeasance. His advice to the pair who apparently made the video, “Disappear for a while”, is reminiscent of something Tony Soprano might say to a successful hitman.

The problem is that this kind of violence is a direct outgrowth of an organization like the Minutemen. They attract the worst sort, and not without reason. They provide an outlet for a nakedly racist, nativist worldview. They then send them on vigilante missions to intimidate and report “illegals”.

Perhaps this video is nothing more than a staged act of violence, a “death threat”, as Schwilk writes. The SPLC Intelligence Report is investigating. Let’s hope that’s all it is. In the meantime this video provides a starting point for a discussion we need to see played out in the presidential debates, the media, and the blogs. We need to directly address the hate and the fear behind the act shown in the video.

UPDATE: The video is a fake.

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10 Responses

  1. Was probably done by some left wing group trying to dis-credit these guys, it is way out in left field, and very un-professional! Nobody “Chases” Down Illegals! Hello people, I would look at someone from SPLC to have made this just to discredit the great job that the Minutemen are doing at the borders!

    If SPLC intelligence report (Or lack there of) is investigating this I would ask who is investigating them! People, People, get a grip, this is just a staged event to get a rise from everyone! Hello, it’s a FAKE!

    And my problem with your article, is that it is totally speculation on your part, but yet you claim that this is the “Truth” and go on to make claims that are also unfounded against the Minutemen!

    Oh, what is a “Vigilante Mission”? Did you just make that one up? The Minutemen if you read up on how they work, 1. Observe, 2. Record & 3. Report to law enforcement any activity of border crossings! That is IT! CLEAR enough for that simple brain? 1,2,3- No more, no chasing, running after! If anything, border crossings are getting much dangerous to minutemen because of the impact they are having slowing down border crossing traffic in the areas where they are stationed, the people (Coyotes) on the Mexico side are throwing rocks at minutemen! Oh- Where is the ACLU & SPLC NOW, and all of the other human rights groups? Better run out there to the borders and protect those minutemen, there rights to organize and meet are being threatened!

    You state we need to directly address the hate & fear, it is obvious you think this is reality! NOT! it is a pretend show!
    Reality on the border is that thousands of people every day cross into our great nation, and 1/4 of these people are convicted felons who have already been processed by our legal system for crimes that warrant a felony conviction! Got it, BAD PEOPLE! One in 5!

    If you want to do something good, talk to Mexico, and all of the other countries in Central America and have them fix there problems, then people won’t come here.

    So, until you have your facts straight do your readers a favor and research your articles, and those who you write about more in the future.

    Out-

  2. Maybe you can write about the crimes that Illegals are inflicting on America! Here is a heads up, or maybe an eyeopener for you, since you seem to have blinders on:

    “Immigration authorities have arrested more than 500 sexual predators of children in Illinois during the last four years, the sixth-highest total in the country, under a special initiative called Operation Predator, federal officials plan to announce Thursday.

    Nationwide, the investigation, run by the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has nabbed about 10,000 child sex offenders, with 85 percent of those arrested found to be non-citizens, said ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro. That high percentage reflects the nature of the investigation, which focused on foreign nationals and targeted international Internet rings used by people in the U.S., she said.

    More than 5,500 of those arrested around the country have been deported, she said.”
    and the remainder of the article is here:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-predator07jun07,1,2898640.story?coll=chi-newslocal-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

    These are the NEWS items you need to be reporting on, the damage that Illegals are doing to our country (Or at least mine, I cannot speak for you!)

    Ken

  3. 1. Ken,
    The information available points to individuals who were affiliated with the Minutemen organization. The organization looks to be taking steps to cut them loose and disassociate.

    Blaming this on the SPLC isn’t a convincing line of reasoning at all. In fact, it looks downright desperate.

    That being said, this may indeed be a fake produced in order to intimidate. (In fact that is what Schwilk appears to be purporting in his post). This remains to be seen. (And of course, the SPLC blog post mentions that the veracity of the segment has yet to be determined).

    There are however, a few clear facts at this point:

    The tape was distributed by Minutemen
    It was produced by Minutemen
    A Minuteman is taking steps to do damage control

    Whether or not it is real, this is just another example of the Minutemen attracting and espousing hate. That is what I addressed. I do speculate, however, that this mix of vigilantism and hate will lead to violence.

    Your suggestion on addressing the root causes of illegal immigration is a good one though, and one I would like to see addressed fully in the upcoming elections. However I suspect things might be a bit more complicated than having source countries for illegal immigration fix what issues they have.

  4. 2. Ken
    I have little interest in harping on crimes committed by illegals. The sensationalist and often nakedly racist coverage simply does more to foster an anti-immigrant atmosphere. The media does a fine job of that without my adding my two cents.
    I also don’t see how reporting an issue with the Minutement somehow obligates me to list out the crimes of illegal immigrants. This isn’t the New York Times. I’m not going to strain and stretch until I appear objective and “balanced”.

  5. If the minutemen distributed it why would they be trying to discredit it. Even his statement sounds like he didn’t know anything about this vid.

    I’m half Black and I’ve met two or three Black minutemen as a covered rallys for my blog. Like you i thought they seemed a little much, but they all aren’t racists. There are legitimate concerns, especially for Blacks, to unchecked Latin American immigration. Since you reference the SPLC (I have as well) have you posted about their report detailing Latino gangs targeting Blacks for crimes due to the culture of anti-Black racism being imported here by illegal s?

  6. By the way I do agree that the minutemen attract a odd crowd and should be more careful as to the let in, but the fringe attracts the fringe, and more than once I’ve covered members of antiwar groups maiming or killing folks, but don’t use it to say every antiwar demonstrator will shoot a soldier on their front lawn or pull a gun out on GOP officials.

    The real story is that the minutemen can’t control their own organization (there was a split between the groups a few months back) not that their all racists.

  7. Rob Taylor,
    From the looks of things, some members of the Minutemen distributed it, and other members of the organization are freaking out (and rightly so).

    I wouldn’t say every Minuteman is racist, certainly. I would say the group itself caters, deeply, to a racist worldview.
    Not as yet, no. Although I wonder if it is simply illegal immigrants “importing” anti-Black racism. Its not like only the racists break immigration laws. Which is really a different story entirely (and not one based on illegal immigration).

    As for the fringe argument, I don’t buy it. Yes they cannot control their own organization, but to an extent we do need to look at why the organization attracts who it does.

  8. I’m not convinced on the authenticity of the video. Very unprofessional in any regard. You never shoot at an unidentified.

  9. Renny, it came out later that the video was indeed a fake. (See my UPDATE section at the bottom of the post).

    Question though. Is it ok to shoot once you make a positive id?

  10. Wow!!!

    The issue at hand is illegal immigration effects on the United States and the effects are negative. All around.

    I have sympathy for the plight of the people that find trekking thousands of miles through hostile landscape to an uninviting country but charity starts at home.

    The point of making the countries of origin responsible for the exodus from their nation is incredibly relevant here. It is not a racist position to want the ill effects of flooded borders to be solved. It is self preservation at the worst and how is that a negative?

    I have stated my own personal position and effects relevant to myself and people that I know on this site in the past and it has NOTHING to do with racism. It has to do with accountability and self preservation. I am accountable for the actions I take as are most of the general public. The line is drawn at political motivation. The political motivation of present is to grant amnesty and garner more votes. This approach is not only self serving but ignorant. To attempt to point yet again to racism is a cop out at best for it does not address the true magnitude of the consequences of this issue. The resulting effects of illegal immigration have been studied and reported on and it is a detriment to the U.S. infrastructure and the fleeing immigrants. From a personal to professional level it is hurting not only the exploited illegal immigrants but the people of the U.S. who are equally enslaved to the politicians while the fruits of the average citizen’s labor and the moral refugees are squandered in fruitless grandstanding.
    The world is not becoming a better place when no one wants to grow old where they grew up. The grass may be greener but it till needs to be mowed.

    At this point I’d like to offer a word to the wise but I fear I’d have no audience.

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