Despite the fact that research has shown that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, some on the right have exploited the tragic death of Kate Steinle in order to rile up the nativist wing of the GOP.
Leading the pack has been Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, but, as Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi writes in his new piece, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is chasing right behind in the number two spot.
As Frank Sharry tweeted, Taibbi’s piece a must-read for lawmakers and pundits trying to understand this current immigration scare campaign. A portion is available to read below, with the piece in it’s entirety here.
O’Reilly’s effort to publicize the killing of a 31 year-old white woman named Kate Steinle, allegedly at the hands of an oft-deported immigrant named Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is turning into the surprise second act of Donald Trump’s ill-fated “Mexicans are murdering, raping monsters” campaign.
He’s even borrowing Trump’s flair for rhetoric. In the past week, he’s denounced a San Francisco councilman as a “pinhead” and compared Salon.com to the white supremacist site Stormfront. Both had downplayed O’Reilly’s crusade.
“Obviously, that responsibility [for protecting our borders] is not being met,” O’Reilly fumed.
“And if you point that out, as Trump did, you are a racist, a piñata for the open-border crowd to bash!”
“The ultra-left is controlling [San Francisco],” he went on. “There comes a point where people get the government they deserve.”
Even by O’Reilly standards, it’s a circus. He’s got his audience worked up into a genuine terror of murderous immigrants. This is despite the fact that our domestic murder rate has plummeted during the Hispanic immigration wave, and every available statistic shows that immigrants commit serious crimes at a much lower rate than American-born citizens.
Factually speaking, in other words, the border-crossing menace story is a total nothingburger. It’s the 2015 version of the Summer of the Shark.
If you remember that story, media dingbats in 2001 turned a few gruesome shark attack stories into a larger furor about a supposed “epidemic” of deadly episodes. They kept it up even as scientists told them that it was actually a down year for killer sharks.
This is the same thing, but with racism. Are these good times or what?