Patriotism might at one time have been the last refuge of a scoundrel, but methinks this is no longer true. With modern America being characterized more by political correctness than patriotism, screams of “racism” may now be that last refuge. And joining the ranks of scoundrels, populated by reverends sans congregations and other assorted guttersnipes, is one Gerardo Sandoval, San Francisco Supervisor.
What has earned Sandoval his yellow stripes is his introduction of a government resolution condemning radio talk show host Michael Savage for what Sandoval calls “defamatory language . . . against immigrants.”
Here is what happened. In response to a week-long fast embarked upon by 35 students and illegal aliens who were burning a few calories for amnesty, Savage quipped, “I would say, let them fast until they starve to death, then that solves the problem.” Now, I’m not sure why Sandoval latched onto this particular comment – maybe his immigration lobby masters called in a favor – but it certainly got his dander up. He responded by saying, “The intolerant and racist comments of Michael Savage demand a strong condemnation”; he then labeled them “symbolic of racism and hatred” in his resolution.
One might first note the calculated imprecision of Sandoval’s terminology, for at issue here are not immigrants, but illegal immigrants. More to the point, there was no racial component in Savage’s statement. Perhaps Sandoval wishes to imply otherwise, but illegal immigrants hail from a variety of different nations and ethnic groups, and I should also mention that some of the abstemious activists were probably white native Americans. Thus, it wasn’t any kind of consanguinity that united them, but only stupidity and perhaps a desire to shed some pounds.
Then, I just may know a wee bit about asceticism, and I have never known the practice of fasting to be peculiar to a given race. As for hatred, I think it is love of country that inspires one to risk reputation and limb to defend his nation. On the other hand, it’s not a stretch to say that advocating policies threatening our culture, sovereignty, freedom and prosperity just might be motivated by hatred of everything for which America stands.
But accusations of racism are curious things. They’re much like charges of heresy under a corrupt regime in a religious land: True or not, they’re a great way to demonize opponents. In our time, the religion of the nation is defined by the irreligious dogmas of the dull, otherwise known as leftist orthodoxy, and transgressing against its tenets is a mortal sin. This reveals what really bothers the Sandovals of the world: Michael Savage has been in the vanguard of the resistance, the effort to, as Savage would say, protect our “borders, language and culture.” To an illegal alien apologist such as Sandoval, this is intolerable; this is why he has pulled the race card. It is the first and last ploy of the intellectually vacuous and irredeemably venal.
And it just may be projection, since in the area of race Sandoval seems to have the credibility of Al Sharpton. According to H. Brown at the San Francisco Call, Sandoval characterized the San Francisco Fire Department as being like “a Dublin phone book” (let’s be fair, though, I’m sure Sandoval wouldn’t have minded if those of Irish descent weren’t white). Then, Ilene Lelchuk at sfgate.com tells us that,
“Speaking to the Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club in 2001, he [Sandoval] urged San Franciscans upset about big businesses suing the city over its payroll tax to picket ‘at their houses in Tiburon and at their bar mitzvahs.’”
I’ll also point out that Sandoval sat on the board of directors of La Raza Centro Legal and was the Scholarship Chair of the group’s lawyers’ association. And, as you may know, La Raza means “The Race.” (Interestingly, that Sandoval was in bed with the race-based organization isn’t mentioned in his biography on his website. Que pasa, Gerardo?)
Returning to Sandoval’s comments, their content isn’t as damning as his hypocrisy, because he exhibits the typical leftist penchant for playing the race card. Perhaps Mr. Sandoval never learned that bigots in glass hoods shouldn’t throw stones.
And how do you explain this contradiction? First, understand that bigotry – certainly the politically correct version if not the actual variety – doesn’t bother the Sandovals of the world. No, to such people, protestations about racism are never social activism, but strategy. It’s much like a devastating weapon a warrior employs on the battlefield; don’t be fooled when he complains about how his adversary has used same to destroy his holdings. He loves the weapon; he just doesn’t want it used against him.
Thus, Sandoval is no different from any propagandist in any age who subordinated ethics to expediency. Why, if he had held office in Alabama in 1956, he might have accused opponents of being “nigger lovers.”
Then, Sandoval stated that he just couldn’t understand why there isn’t “more media outrage to what Michael Savage said.” Well, let’s talk about something truly outrageous, and this is the pièce de résistance. On February 15, 2005, Sandoval appeared on Hannity & Colmes and actually stated, get this, that the United States “should not have a military.” I know, it had to be a joke, right? Well, Alan Colmes, the liberal on the show, was incredulous and pressed Sandoval on the matter with both questions and statements 11 times, giving the stupidvisor ample opportunity to amend his position. Sanity, however, was to be elusive, and the best Sandoval could muster were retorts such as “Welcome to San Francisco.”
Believe me, you can’t make this stuff up. Sandoval is, clinically speaking, a loon. He belongs in a room with rubber wallpaper, attired in the morning/afternoon/evening wear that comes five sizes too small.
But there’s a bigger issue here than Sandoval and his misfiring neurons. Crazy or not, he is a foot soldier in a burgeoning effort to stifle politically incorrect dissent through social pressure, ostracism, reputation and career destruction, the threat of legal action and, ultimately, hate-speech laws. As for such laws, Sandovals in other nations have already enacted them, and their fascistic ilk here have designs on our first amendment. And this is why this issue matters; any time a public official uses the levers of government to chill political, social and religious commentary – the very type of expression the First Amendment was designed to protect – it’s time to form a vigilance committee. Let’s ensure the separation of media and state.
This is why we should support the beleaguered Michael Savage. I agree with Savage, but it’s not a matter of whether you love, hate or are indifferent about what he said, for you don’t have to value a man’s speech to value free speech for men. In most parts of the world – Western Europe, Canada and Australia, just to name a few – Savage and many others would be criminally charged for expressing their opinions. We are treading the same path, and if our government ever succeeded in silencing Savage, who would be next? Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity? Who then? Who would be next in the food chain?
So, those who cheer for the muzzling of defiant voices should take heed, as there is certainly one exception to the adage, “It is easier to destroy than create”: The tools of big government tyranny. The Sandovals of the world may conjure up the demon who will burn their opponents’ tongues from their mouths, but they’ll soon learn that his ambition is not to be servant, but master.
Of course, the government is just a reflection of us. A demon can only reign over a land when erstwhile hallowed ground has been desecrated by collective vice. I have savaged Sandoval, but he is just like every other coward who embraces the fashionable passions of his age. If his ilk ever carries the day, it won’t be because their passions were so powerful. It will be because our indifference was so profound.