Jeanine Martin over at The Bull Elephant has some choice words for brown people:
I’m sorry — hmongs?
For those who don’t know, the Hmong people are a distinct ethnic group of Asians, prevalent in Southern China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. A significant percentage of them are Christians, and they supported the United States during the Vietnam war. Faced with oppression and persecution, many of them emigrated to the United States. Despite helping us, significant numbers of them remain subject to persecution – and it remains a sore subject.
It’s also a racial slur, along the lines of macaca, that can be used to apply to any Asian (see the “mung” comment here). It was just that way in Gran Torino, a Clint Eastwood movie that dealt with racism as one of its themes, and the movie took heat for its portrayal.
Of course, since nobody was talking about Hmongs in the piece Jeanine made this comment in, you can guess she wasn’t using this as a descriptor chosen for anthropological pursuits — it’s outright racism. Tony Pham, candidate for Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, took offense:
Of course, this sort of nativist rhetoric has continued to grow like a cancer within the Republican Party of Virginia. Once again, we’re just ahead of the times here at Bearing Drift.
Jeanine Martin — a frequent proxy at RPV State Central member and a co-owner of the populist blog The Bull Elephant — has been shall we say an interesting personality since her transition from the Democratic Party some years ago.
This isn’t her first journey into questionable territory when the issue of immigration comes up. Here’s another, attacking legal immigration.
She’s a big fan of the “dirty immigrants are taking our jobs” line of thinking, and never shies away from sharing that opinion.
Party leaders need to reject this rhetoric with a clear and unambiguous voice. Contributors over at The Bull Elephant deserve a better home, and should refuse to link arms with this sort of petty hate against law-abiding Americans whose only crime (in the eyes of Jeanine, and sadly in the eyes of too many others) is that they descend from a culture that is simply unequal in the eyes of Jeanine Martin and her ilk.
Enough is enough folks.
Either Republican Party leadership takes a clear stand against nativist sentiment, or it aids and abets such rhetoric for mere political gain.
Conservatives in the tradition of William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, and Edmund Burke know better. Republicans have a long tradition of being on the side of freedom when we get it right, whether it was Eisenhower-era civil rights legislation, Lincoln’s crusade against slavery, or Reagan’s liberation of the Eastern bloc. In the tradition of Ronald Reagan and his challenge to Mr. Gorbachev, Americans are known to tear down walls, not build them.
Jeanine Martin might not be in a position to resign from much, but others surrounding her blog and in positions of leadership can resign from her.
UPDATE – 4:45 PM
Jeanine took to Facebook to respond to this article, and as anybody would have expected, she not only didn’t apologize for her comments, she reveled in them.
It’s time for RPV and the rest of the Republican Party in Virginia to condemn this kind of behavior. It’s one thing to make an honest mistake – it’s another to laugh at those you’ve smeared for getting offended.
UPDATE – 5:33 PM
Jeanine just won’t quit. She has since gotten into a protracted discussion with Republican activist David Southall about this issue, and her comments speak for themselves:
Not only does she double down on a specific attack on Hmongs, referencing “friends” in Minnesota who are tired of Hmongs “taking over their towns,” she also repeats the canard that legal immigration depresses wages, a false claim that Bearing Drift’s own Chief Economist DJ McGuire already debunked earlier today. This is the kind of nativism that is killing the GOP’s credibility.
How much longer can this go on?