Nativism Watch

Crosspost: Immigrants called ‘rats and roaches’ at GOP event


Lindsay Schubiner • May 13, 2015

This weekend, right wing support for racist, dehumanizing, and anti-immigrant language was on full display in South Carolina.

At the South Carolina Freedom Summit, a woman’s remarks comparing immigrants to “rats and roaches” was met with enthusiastic applause. The speaker was identified as the mother-in-law of Citizens United Foundation president David Bossie.

Read: Citizens United head’s mother-in-law calls immigrants ‘rats and roaches’ during GOP event

This positive response to utterly dehumanizing, racist language is indicative of the impact the organized anti-immigrant movement has had on the Republican Party and their supporters. The anti-immigrant movement has often used outrageous language to paint immigrants as less than fully human in an effort to build support for their extremist policies, and their work has landed forcefully in some quarters of the GOP.

Raw Story shares this account of the event:

Footage of the event shows Luntz joking that Bossie told him he would “kick [his] butt” if he ended the session without asking her what advice she would give GOP presidential candidates in the 2016 election.

“One man, one vote. People are comin’ in this country across the borders like rats and roaches in the wood pile,” she says, drawing applause. “We’ve got a state like Minnesota that says it’s not our business to check ’em out, we just register ’em. We’ve got to get control. That’s what they need to know.”

Luntz then reaches for the microphone, only to be rebuffed by the woman as she continues.

“Years ago, I might have been a Democrat,” she says. “But I saw the problem and I went to the Republican Party. I didn’t wait for them to come looking for me. Why do these young people have to be solicited? We are all intelligent people. We need to be voting our convictions and choose a party.”

The audience cheers again when Luntz asks, “How many of you would vote for her for president?”

You’ve got to wonder what exactly the audience members were thinking as they cheered for this vision of the world in which only people like them are guaranteed full humanity.

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