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NCLR Fights KKK Tancredo Attack, Tancredo “Not Sorry,” GOP Hispanic Outreach Team Convulses

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 05/29/2009 at 6:40pm

Earlier today we asked, “Will Washington Republicans Repudiate Race-based Attacks on Sotomayor?”

Extremists in the anti-immigrant movement have become key mouthpieces in the race-based campaign against President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. They have dropped the pretense that their opposition to immigration is grounded in high-minded principles. Instead, they are revealing an ugliness that is as blatant as it is offensive. Just yesterday, former Rep. Tom Tancredo attacked Judge Sotomayor for being a member of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a mainstream civil rights organization with a 40 year old history, by saying it’s like a “Latino KKK.”

While Tancredo has come out swinging again, even refusing to apologize on CNN, NCLR is going on the offense. They are demanding that Republican Party leadership say “enough is enough.” Below is the petition, but the ask is simple: apologize, now – stand against the politics of division and fear.

Sign it here – demand better.

Here’s what the petition says:

Condemn the Attacks on Latinos and Sotomayor, Now!
Required text:
(This text will be included in your message)
Chairman Michael Steele of the RNC
CC: Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader
CC: Representative John Boehner, Minority Leader

Dear Leaders of the Republican Party:

We all know that Supreme Court nominations get political, even with nominees as qualified as Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Still, that does not mean politicians get a free pass to attack nominees solely on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Neither does it mean that politicians get a free pass to slander organizations that work to promote civil rights and justice for Hispanic Americans, thereby making America stronger.

During an interview about Judge Sotomayor yesterday, former Congressman and current anti-immigrant extremist Tom Tancredo, called NCLR ‘a Latino KKK without the hoods and the nooses.’ Describing how profoundly offensive this kind of smear campaign against Sotomayor and the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization would be impossible. This outburst was reprehensible not only to Hispanics and communities of color, but to all Americans who want to put this ugly chapter of our history behind us.

Unfortunately, sadder still is that Republican leadership has failed to condemn these extreme statements; not one leader has repudiated the outrageous claims.

We, the undersigned ask you, Chairman Steele, to gather your fellow leaders of the RNC, and firmly condemn these statements as soon as possible. It is time to stand against the politics of division and fear and work together for a stronger America.

Thank you.

Tom Tancredo responds unsurprisingly:

And in case there was any doubt about how this relates to the revolting immigration debate of years past and (likely) months to come, this, from Ali Frick of Think Progress. Frick argues in “G. Gordon Liddy On Sotomayor: ‘Let’s Hope That The Key Conferences Aren’t When She’s Menstruating’”:

Yesterday on his radio show, conservative host G. Gordon Liddy continued the right wing’s all-out assault on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. First, just like Tom Tancredo, Liddy slammed Sotomayor’s affiliation with the civil rights group La Raza — and referred to the Spanish language as “illegal alien“:

LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.” And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.

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