This post is the transcription of a video taken at the Shenandoah, PA Anti-“illegal” Immigration, Pro-America rally this past Saturday. I don’t think the rally was appropriate considering the recent death of Luis Ramirez who was beaten by white teenagers. The rally was orchestrated in response to the town’s being vilified in the press as racist. Hopefully nobody felt that a couple of idiot teens represent all the people of that town. To Shenandoah’s credit they host a wonderful Heritage Festival every year representing many nations. I think coming together at that festival would have been a better way to foster “unity” than an anti-“illegal” immigrant rally.
This rally was held by the PA Anti-“Illegal” Immigration group Voice Of The People USA. I’ve been following this group here and there since I first learned of them when they participated in last year’s Morristown Pro-America Rally. At times I thought they were heading in a more positive direction, but my hopes of that are now lost. I’ll transcribe each video adding my comments in blue and you can see for yourself my issues with this rally.
Thank you so much everybody. First things first. Find the flag. We’re going to say the pledge of allegiance. Okay. Ready. (says pledge – everybody claps) “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands – one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
Yes, “with liberty and justice for all.” Unless I’m missing something that says for everyone not just a few select people of our choosing.
Next up. One day we’ll get a new PA system. Next up. I’d like to have a moment of silence. (they have a moment of silence but don’t know what for.) Thank you. That moment of silence was for Mr. Ramirez, for all the victims of crimes across this country, for our men and women who have fought, died and continue to fight our freedom and for our right to gather here like we are today. That is the America that we’re defending because they’ve already done their time to defend us our rights.
I’d like not think ill of this moment of silence, but I can’t help but not it was done before acknowledging who it was for. I wonder if the crowd would have given a moment of silence for Ramirez. Of course, adding in the other people to hold the moment of silence for legitimizes it more in the audience’s eyes. It also states indirectly that Ramirez is nothing when compared to “all” the other victims and all the soldiers that have fought and died. Personally I can’t stand somebody stating that our troops are fighting for our freedom right now. Even the Ron Paulers want our troops back home and you don’t ask to pull the troops back in when they’re fighting for our freedom. So while I respect the courage of those soldiers who serve and have served I believe it is irresponsible to claim this government has them fighting for our freedom. They should be back home.
I’m going to address you briefly which is hard for me, but I’m going keep this short, but I’ll speak again later.
Some people, for anybody, and there’s a few that have seen our events before, our rallies before. Some faces aren’t here today and it hurts me to say they’re not here because they were afraid to come to Shenandoah. (audience boos)
For some reason this group often partakes in infighting which becomes public (as do many other anti-migrant groups). While they were recently on Gheen’s show this groups spoke quite ill of him after their rally to keep Huckabee from getting the nomination in Iowa. Now in their guestbook, and as you can read above, they are calling out their own members who did not want to attend. Maybe it’s because they understood that having this rally was a bad statement and not because they were ‘afraid’.
Ladies and gentlemen are you afraid? (they say no) Do you love your country? (yes) Do you love your town? (yes) So to the critics. To the people that were apprehensive shame on them cause we will never ever run away from adversity, we will confront it head on. You can stand up to fear and move past it. We have that right and we’re not afraid.
Did I miss something about the Ramirez case? Didn’t white teens beat a Mexican man to death? Why would this group of white people be afraid in a town they dominate? Nobody was asked if they were afraid at the Unity Rally. That’s not the kind of talk peace loving community-minded people engage in.
I understand that – I get this name wrong – the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, Coalition – Human Relations Commission. They are telling everybody that, you know, you shouldn’t be here today, that we’re causing division. We, we are the enemy and all of you are wrong for coming. Thankfully we don’t listen to them. We don’t listen to one of few elected officials or people campaigning. We don’t listen to anybody that says what we should or shouldn’t do. We answer to you. All of you here are the reason why we are here. You reached out and we are here. We’re not opportunist like the groups of MALDEF, La Raza – we’re not going to base operations out of Shenandoah and use a tragedy to say how bad a town is – that how bad this area is – that how bad all of you are. No, we are a pro-America group, we are a pro-immigration group, we’re pro legal immigration group, but one thing, we are for the rights of all of you. We’re here for all of your rights.
Why do these groups always go after Hispanic groups? There are many other groups that feel this type of activity is hateful. This crowd needs to understand that minorities have been persecuted in this country for a long time and groups like MALDEF and La Raza formed to advocate for these groups. They are no different then groups of other elasticities who have been enslaved and dominated by whites for hundreds of years. Groups like this need to get some humility and become who they say they are – pro-“legal” immigration groups. Where is the push for more “legal” immigration? Where is the help for “legal” residents who want to become citizens? Has VOPUSA held a rally to help the people waiting for USCIS to process their papers so they can vote? Of course not.
And yes, you do listen to people that tell you what you should and shouldn’t do – his name is ‘the law’ – that wonderful bedfellow who carries around a book that says ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to every action. Now VOPUSA should get credit for standing up for the right to protest. This they’ve taken to Wilkes-Barre and aren’t afraid to stand up for. However, celebrating a ‘beginning’ of anti-“illegal” immigration talk on the heels of on undocumented migrant being beaten to death is repulsive. I’m not going to say that VOPUSA is a hate group, but they certainly are catering to that fringe element more and more. I always thought this group had a chance to be a more positive presence, even if I didn’t agree with their views on migrants, but they are slowly falling into the ditch instead.
We’ve been asked the question ‘why here why now?’ I don’t have to address that, I think you all know why here why now – am I wrong? (no) Well with that said ladies and gentlemen I’m going to save the rest of my remarks, and spare all of you extra talk from me. I’m going to save the rest of my remarks for my actual speech.
“Why here, why now.” was not addressed because there’s no way to spin this gathering in a positive light under the circumstances. If the majority of residents in Shenandoah were upset with undocumented migrants they would have reached out to VOPUSA a long time ago. The town they’re based out of is only about twenty minutes away. I don’t think having a celebration against undocumented migrants is the best way to say “hey, we’re a loving community.” The mayor knew this and any right thinking person knows this too.