4/07/2005

Armed Rednecks At the Border:
When a group of armed men and (a few) women take the law into their hands in order to protect their "homes" because they believe their government fails to do so and when that moves beyond creating gated compounds to actually confronting others, don't we usually call that "terrorism"? 'Cause, like, isn't that what the Taliban did to take over Afghanistan? When the "religious students" saw that Afghanistan was out of control, they stepped in to impose order, right?

The Rude Pundit doesn't know about you, but he's a little, let's say, concerned about the notion of groups of gun-wielding paranoid white people "guarding the borders," as the Minuteman Project purports to do. The Minutman Project is a group of pathetic rednecks and redneck wannabes who get the chance to "patrol" the Arizona wasteland at the Mexican border in desperate hopes of hog-tying Paco and Jacinta and dragging them to the Border Patrol. It is led by a man whose last name sounds like a computer game of a gay orgy, Chris Simcox. Simcox last led the Tombstone Militia, but, since "Tombstone Militia" sounds fuckin' scary, they're now the "Minutemen."

Simcox loves guns, man. In every interview, he's fondlin' it, playing with in its holster, hopin' for a free minute to discharge it somewhere, oh, sweet lord, let it discharge soon. He even played a gunslinger in the tourist shows in the streets of Tombstone. He also claims, vociferously, that he's not a racist, although he says he left Los Angeles because the streets were lined with immigrants: "Oh Jesus, it is unbelievable. I mean, we need the National Guard to clean out all our cities and round them up. They are hard-core criminals. They have no problem slitting your throat and taking your money or selling drugs to your kids or raping your daughters and they are evil people." Oh, the charming part: while in Los Angeles, Simcox taught kindergarten. And his fucked-up bleatings about race might have been what got him fired and lost him custody of his son.

See, one of the side benefits of the Bush administration's extra-fine emphasis on driving us all batshit insane with paranoia is that it nudged people like Simcox, deluded with notions of race war and conspiracies, to see themselves as under attack from all around them. All the little McVeighs everywhere, the ones who were less ambitious than that cocksucker, had to come up with some outlet for their insanity, and patrolling the borders offered them a chance to lock and load and play soldier. Since 9/11, the number of border-wandering, armed wack-jobs, driven to desperation by a Bush-wrecked economy, the inner rage flames fanned by rhetoric from a government and mass media that substitutes violence for any semblance of civil discourse, has grown exponentially. The Minutemen are just the most publicized face of this because it's an attempt, like the presidency of George Bush, to put a mainstream face on extremism.

While the Minuteman website clearly states, "The Minuteman Project has no affiliation with, nor will we accept any assistance by or interference from separatists, racists or supremacy groups or individuals, no matter what their race, color, or creed," although, you know, that hasn't stopped groups like the Aryan Nation from pushing the Minuteman project. Nor, apparently, has it stopped the Project's website from featuring photos of its "massive" rallies where someone is hoisting a Confederate flag. (Of course, "massive" seems to mean a couple dozen mustachioed middle-aged white men baking to uncomfortable shades of brown and red in the desert sun - in other words, the Minutemen use "massive" in the same way they say they have "big" cocks.) Nor has it stopped the Project from linking to "Save Our State," where writers post the latest "news" about all the terrible things done by "illegals," like, say, flying on planes, or about the upcoming attacks by a secret army of Mexicans.

And it hasn't stopped the Minutemen themselves from kidnapping and forcing a Mexican man to hold a shirt that read, "Bryan Barton caught an illegal alien and all I got was this T-shirt," while photographing him to have a trophy to hang on the wall. Well, at least it's small compensation for not getting to mount the guy's head, huh?

More on this tomorrow.