Ruben Navarrette: Racism Is "Straight Talk" And An "Accurate Description" When Americans Are The Target

Columnist Ruben Navarrette's op-ed titled When work isn't a priority, [July 8, 2007] defends Labor Secretary Elaine Chao in response to one of my newsletters :Elaine Chao: American workers stink and have bad attitudes No. 1721—July 2, 2007.

The controversy began with the publication of a Parade Magazine interview of Elaine Chao titled "How Safe is Your Job?". [By Lyric Wallwork Winik, July 1, 2007 ]] Chao, herself an immigrant from China, was quoted criticizing American workers in scathingly dismissive terms:.

"American employees must be punctual, dress appropriately and have good personal hygiene," says Chao. "They need anger-management and conflict-resolution skills, and they have to be able to accept direction. Too many young people bristle when a supervisor asks them to do something."

After reading that Chao quote, there are plenty of you who might need to enroll in one of those classes.

Navarrette's original article was printed in the San Diego Union-Tribune. It was so shoddy editorial, I decided to ignore it until I saw, much to my horror, that it's appearing in dozens if not hundreds of newspapers all over the U.S. (You can search more newspapers for Navarrette's op-ed by clicking here. ) I figured that most editorial boards would immediately reject it. But instead, they seem to be embracing it. (Blech!)

Navarrette criticizes my characterization of Chao's disparaging remarks about Americans as racist. He called Chao's comments "straight talk." I almost thought he was joking until I read it a second time. This guy is actually serious!

It's almost entertaining to read Navarrette's feeble attempts at defending Chao's repugnant attitude, especially considering that most of his syndicated columns, radio show commentaries, and speeches contain some form of racist-baiting. Navarrette routinely labels anyone who wants to stop illegal immigration a racist, and he is an infamous practitioner of using the "racist" label on anyone he disagrees with on immigration issues. [VDARE.COM NOTE: Navarrette's  latest column, (July 15, 2007) is called Attacking those who are different, and it's about the Minutemen, who are defending against those who are invading.]

Navarrette asks this question in his recent column:

"The racism charge is absurd. The labor secretary was critical of American workers, all right, but since when are all Americans part of one race?"

Huh? Of all people, Ruben Navarrette shouldn't be the one to ask such an absurd question. I could fill pages upon pages with quotes from him, but here are two examples that demonstrate his hypocrisy:

"There has been, we both know, a deplorable mismanagement of bilingual programs by school officials. …

"So, we have an ugly and indeed racist system now in place in which a whole category of students are being exploited because of their race. That's not new. What is new is that those doing harm aren't called racists. They're called liberals and they support bilingual education. " [Is Bilingual Education Worth Saving?], Arizona Republic, February 21, 1999.

(Navarrette is right to criticize the Bilingual Ed racket—but look at the way he does it.)

"People don't like to hear it, but now that much of the country has come down with a touch of 'Latinophobia,' racism, nativism, ethnocentrism and other unpleasant 'isms' are back in style." [Racism surfaces in immigration debate, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 24, 2006]

So let's see if I have this right—It's OK to talk about racism as long the subject is "Latinos", but slandering Americans is not racism—it is A-OK to do!

In other columns, Navarrette talks freely about the Mexican "race"—never mind the fact that there are many different races living in Mexico.

I have one big question for Navarrette, which I'm sure he will never answer: WHAT RACE ARE LATINOS?

Elaine Chao's ethnocentric put-downs of Americans were utterly transparent.

Navarrette has often equated ethnocentrism with racism so his defense of Chao is very hollow. Chao didn't come right out and say that H-1Bs, who are primarily from India and China, are superior to Americans, but it's obvious that's what she meant. Remember, Chao said that Americans are lazy and they have body odor! I and many other people found her stereotyping and anti-Americanism very offensive.

I don't want to appear to be making excuses for Navarrette but perhaps the subject of H-1B is so far out of his league that he didn't understand what Chao was saying and why she was saying it. His ignorance of the demographics of H-1B visa holders can only be matched by his cluelessness about Chao's other disparaging remarks concerning American workers. Enough has been written about Chao's anti-American, anti-labor, and pro-Communist connections that I won't delve into them here. A good place to start is here: Who is Elaine Chao?, by Joseph Farah, January 22, 2001.

If all of that wasn't absurd enough—Navarrette actually has the temerity to dispute my claim that the purpose of Chao's statements is to destroy the self-esteem of American workers. Is Navarrette that naïve, or is he doing a lousy imitation of " See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil?"

Navarrette didn't do too good on the psychology lesson either. Our kids do suffer from low self-esteem and it's mainly because writers like Navarrette are constantly telling them that they aren't as smart as foreigners, they aren't as well educated, and they don't work as hard. While his stereotype of our kids is true in some cases, and perhaps even more so for the post-Generation X-ers, I just don't believe that they are so different from my generation, which built Silicon Valley.

Navarrette is repeating a very common theme used by corporate globalists who want to our citizens to feel ashamed to be Americans. It's all part of a campaign to convince Americans that they don't deserve middle class living standards. And of course the corollary is that they don't deserve the jobs that foreigners are taking away from them.

This is globalist propaganda campaign—aimed at destroying our borders and our national identity.

But that's not all that's wrong with Navarrette's column however—it suffers from such an obvious logical flaw I have to wonder how such a dunderhead can be nationally syndicated. Case in point: At the end of his column, he says that Chao's remarks are taken out of context. I talked to one of the Parade editors who said the quotes were accurate, but nevertheless that's what Navarrette claims:

"When producers from the Dobbs show called the Labor Department to ask about Chao's remarks, a representative claimed that the secretary's remarks "as they appeared in the magazine were taken completely out of context and are not an accurate reflection of her views."[Read Chao's "clarification" here.]

Navarrette really blew it with the next paragraph.

"That's too bad—because Chao's remarks, as reported in Parade, do seem to be an accurate description of at least part of our work force. And we wonder why foreign workers are often snapped up by employers as the better deal. Why wouldn't they be?"

Duh! He first tries to apologize for Chao by saying her comments were taken out of context, but then says they accurately describe American workers.

Can it get any better than that?

I sent an email to the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial staff with a request that in the interest of fairness they should allow me to write an op-ed to dispute Navarrette's diatribe. So far I haven't received a reply, so I assume the answer is "no."

Even if I were granted an op-ed space on the Union-Tribune, Navarrette has the bully pulpit because he is syndicated worldwide. If my op-ed ever sees the light of day, you can bet it won't be in hundreds of newspapers!

But who cares—I can publish on VDARE.COM.

Many of the newspapers have comment sections where you can voice your opinion on this controversy. Here are some contacts at the Union-Tribune: Navarrette's employer: Bill Osborne, Senior Editor: send him mail and here's the email for Letters to the Editor

Rob Sanchez (email him) is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization and author of the "Job Destruction Newsletter" (sign up for it here) at www.JobDestruction.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to Rob Sanchez, click here.