I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
According to this Washington Times article:
"Some of them have since challenged claims by Mr. Simcox that MCDC 'spent probably about what we collected' to pay for supplies for Minuteman volunteers on the border, including satellite phones, radios, flashlights, maps, portable toilets, thermal imaging cameras, night-vision cameras, computers, water and food."
What about the guns? Do volunteers have to supply their own? This article doesn't mention firearms, and the MCDC training manual doesn't list guns on the supplies list, though it does mention volunteers should ask about local regulations once they arrive. As Simcox writes in the "About us" section of the group's website, by participating in the MCDC, you, too, can join "one of the most important, socially responsible, and peaceful movements for justice since the civil rights movement of the 1960s". Fine. So why does Simcox carry an AK-47 with him while out on patrol? (I think it's an AK-47. I have to plead ignorance on the subject.) He makes no effort to hide his assault rifle from, for example, the cameras of filmmakers of the stunningly powerful documentary El inmigrante (which I'll be reviewing shortly). Nor does his patrol companion hide the pistol he carries in his hip holster.
I mean, I get it: Second Amendment, self-defense from the "drug dealers, criminals and potential terrorists" Simcox and company believe are pouring into the USA along with the "human flood breaching our Homeland Defense [that] is not necessarily the enemy per se". But I fail to see how patrolling the border with an AK-47 in one hand, a Stars-and-Stripes cap on your head, and a cigar clenched in your teeth, hoping to wrangle up some "illegals", is just as "socially responsible, and peaceful" as walking in suits and dresses while holding hands and singing. The contrast deepens even more when one considers that Simcox advocates sending thousands of members of the military and National Guard to line the border and establishing work details for captured border violators, while the Civil Rights Movement advocated extending equal treatment under the law and voting rights to all members of our democracy. There's no need to continue. To even consider the comparison borders on blasphemy.
The problem, though, is that the MCDC and similar groups do have some support and some influence on public opinion, at least symbolically -- and that can have an impact on national politics. Beyond that, even if they impact one single person directly in the borderlands, they've had too big of an impact. They advocate respect for the law but take it into their own hands. Their hypocrisy alone makes them suspect.
(For more on Simcox and others of his ilk, keep an eye out for my review of El inmigrante.)
Technorati tags: Immigration, Politics, Border, Minuteman.