Thursday, July 07, 2005


Xenophobia As A Virtue: The Barbara Coe Story

We received the following tidbit from a person who, for reasons which will soon be obvious, wishes to remain nameless. Aside from that, and from editing the Yahoo link so it doesn't blow out our page margins, we have not edited the text:

I entered into a surreal discourse with Ms. Barbara Coe, the Chairman of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), subsequent to her quote about expatriate Mexicans / dual nationals having the right to vote by mail-in ballot. "You cannot have loyalty to two different countries," she said. My first mail: Dear Ms. Coe, I'm contacting you regarding your quote "You cannot have loyalty to two different countries," she said. Yahoo: Mexican voting may extend into US I found that quote particularly interesting. I'm an American citizen and a Senior Officer serving in the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and living in neighbouring France. My US home is in *********, where I shall be spending my Summer vacation. My twin 17-year-old children attend a state-funded French public school which happens to be one of the top 5 in the entire country. France provides education at no cost to all residents in the country, irrespective of their immigration status. At no point has this been considered a burden to the French state: rather, France recognizes that education is a fundamental human right that must not be abridged based on the immigration status of a student's parents. My children have classmates from more than 100 different nationalities. They are lucky, and I am grateful, because my children have grown up in an environment free of racism and discrimination of any sort - be it on the basis of nationality, religion, race, or cultural origins. Their life has been greatly enriched through this ongoing exposure to many different cultures and origins. They speak fluent French, passable German, and have notions of Spanish. At 17, they already recognize that they will be far more valuable to a global economy than would be the case if they spoke English only. One could only wish that American children could also benefit from such a constant, positive exposure to a wide variety of different cultures and perspectives. How many California students can converse at a native-speaker level with Spanish speakers? My children are citizens and passport holders of two different countries - including the United States. To suggest, as you did in your quote, that this is somehow a disadvantage, or that it encourages split loyalties, is simply contrary to fact. Furthermore, to imply that multiculturalism or multilingualism is somehow a "bad thing" flies in the face of fact, especially in California. It is abundantly clear that in the California of today and tomorrow, the number of residents (legal or otherwise) that have origins other than Caucasian / Western European / English-speaking will soon be in the majority. Rather than disenfranchise the majority of California's population, do you not think it wise to broaden cultural and linguistic horizons of *all* Californians? California has, for many years, been a bastion of tolerance and in the vanguard of social change. To suggest that California should revert to a state of WonderBread-munching, English-speaking Americans of European Origin flies in the face of the historical and cultural heritage of this state. I'm an American, a Californian, and a citizen proud of the rich multiculturalism of our state. I urge you to embrace a platform of tolerance, acceptance, and cultural diversity. Yours sincerely, ***** ******* Geneva, Switzerland Her first reply: From: To: "**********" <********** Subject: Re: For Ms. Barbara Coe Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 13:13:25 -0700 If you choose to be a "citizen of the world", that is surely your choice. However, although you state you are an American citizen, obviously your loyalties are not to our beloved nation and you would probably support abolishment of our sovereignty and open borders so that even more foreign invaders could massacre even more of our law-abiding citizens - and that also is your choice. You might want to read the OATH of CITIZENSHIP to OUR country before you spend your time berating me for my position. I frankly do not care how many passports you and your kids have, since you obviously support the U.S. becoming just another Third World country, why bother to come back for your "summer vacation"? Since you are yet another hate-America globalist, PLEASE, spend your valuable "summer vacation" time spewing your ill-versed rhetoric in Russia, Africa or better still, Iran or Iraq. I personally will continue to fight for MY beloved country and preserve the rights and freedoms for which MY forefathers and loved ones fought and died to protect. My follow-up: Dear Ms. Coe, Thank you for your timely reply to my e-mail. I fear you've drawn some erroneous conclusions. I don't hate America. I'm a citizen, and I exercise my civic responsibilities regularly (paying taxes, voting, etc). I hope that my children will also be conscientious citizens in their own right. And, like you, I would want to ensure that no Americans be massacred, either by terrorists or their own compatriots... My family - comprised of "native-born" Americans, naturalized Americans, and foreign-born Americans, are all looking forward to our vacation in the USA. I have worked extensively for major humanitarian efforts in Russia and Africa - but choose to return to the USA for my vacations. How could that be ill-versed rhetoric? I'm sure you'd be interested to know that my forefathers arrived in what became the United States in about 1640; the "second wave" of immigrants arrived in the late 1800's. A blood relative is buried next to Thomas Jefferson. Another blood relative was a humble baker in Chicago. I think my American roots will withstand any scrutiny. If I remember correctly from your website, you're located in Huntington Beach. That's just up PCH [ed.: Pacific Coast Highway] from where I'll be vacationing. Why don't we get together at a nearby Starbucks (a solid American institution if ever there was one!) and have a Frappucino together? My treat. You'll see that I am every bit as American as you are. Finally, I do apologize if my e-mail appeared to be berating you for your Constitutionally-protected) opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth. With kind regards, ****** ****** Her final reply: Dear Mr. *******: Thank you for your courteous response. As part "native American Indian" (Sioux - born and raised on the S.D. Pine Ridge reservation), I have no intention of "scrutinizing" your heritage. My mom's parents came legally from Ireland (Murfee) and my dad was an "Injun". So, who cares? We are dealing with the "here and now" and the very survival of our beloved nation! Although I have a very busy schedule (24/7), I will make every effort to meet with you and gladly accept your offer of a latte. Conversely, (if you have the courage), I extend an invitation to you to drive you through either downtown L.A. or Santa Ana so you can see for yourself, the illegal alien gang crime areas (where the goal is to rob, rape, murder "stupid gringos") which has been supported by people such as you, who support so-called "multiculturism" and welcome "culturally diverse" illegal alien KILLERS into our communmities. Your "call". I will await your phone call to me (714) ***-**** at least 2 weeks in advance of this meeting.
Wow, Ms. Coe really put her best face forward, didn't she? But bigots like her don't feel the need to speak in code anymore; under the xenophobic climate engendered by the Bush R├ęgime (if she'll pardon me using a non-English word), she figures she can let her hair down. I love her equating France and Switzerland with the Third World. Pure comedy gold! Actually, considering that many if not most Third World nations don't bother to provide free education beyond high school, if they provide it at all, they are more like the US than she perhaps realizes. But then again, she obviously doesn't hold with education if it makes you less likely to be a crazy, whacked-out bigot.

Maybe she'd be a nicer person if she laid off the caffeine and got a little more fiber in her diet.
Pretty typical nativism. The sender of the e-mail does not spend much time in red states if he thinks that sort of attitude is unusual.
I live near skid row in downtown LA and have no idea what the heck she's talking about.

I can only assume she hangs out in Brentwood. Frightening place. Just like she described.
Is it just me or is Ms. Coe's writing style really screwey?
The sender of the original e-mail to Ms. Coe does a very good job of politely yet firmly trying to engage her in a dialogue, yet she resists like a frightened child refusing to admit that there is no Santa Claus.
Mad cow BSE infests even Christian Right Republicans as they gnosh on their baby backs and endive salad.
Ok, so what happened at Starbucks? I am dying to know!!!
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