Monday, June 22, 2009

Maybe ... and Maybe Not ...

The self-styled 'Minutemen' may disagree with Brendan Brehan, who once wrote, "There is no such thing as bad publicity ..." Just take a look, for example, at the news coming out of Arizona.

Many of you have heard of these neo-Minutemen ... we have some right here in West Texas. The group takes its name from a citizen army, militiamen who volunteered to be ready for military duty at a minute's notice at the time of the American Revolution against British rule. It's a proud symbol, used by our National Guard, to sell war bonds, and appearing on our stamps.

Seems kind of different from these people hanging out along the border, watching for illegal immigrants ... and it seems A LOT different from these people now making headlines in Arizona.

According to
this report from The East Valley Tribune in Phoenix, "authorities say, Shawna Forde and two men dressed up as Border Patrol agents and broke into the southern Arizona home of a man they thought was a drug dealer, hunting for money or drugs to sell. They found neither, but killed the man and his 9-year-old daughter . the killings rocked an anti-illegal immigration movement that prides itself on being vocal but not violent, and added to a growing list of activists unafraid of using violence to advance their aims."

According to
this report from The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, "Two of the people charged with the home-invasion murders, Shawna Forde and Jason E. Bush, led a small group called Minutemen American Defense based in Everett, Wash. Investigators say they carried out the attack as the beginning of a violent campaign to steal money and drugs from drug traffickers. The group planned to use its haul to fund its activities, investigators said."

Back to the Tribune's report, "several groups focusing on stopping illegal immigration formed in the past half-dozen years, and many were drawn to southern Arizona, the busiest corridor in the U.S. for illegal border crossings. While the movement has been largely peaceful, it seemed a matter of time before someone would be accused of resorting to violence."

But, the report goes on to note, not all Minutemen are created equal.

"After the killings, some of the movement's leaders quickly distanced themselves from Forde and her Minutemen American Defense group, saying they warned for months that she was potentially dangerous ... 'We knew that Shawna Forde was not just an unsavory character but pretty unbalanced as well,' said Chris Simcox, the founder of one of the original border watch groups, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps."

Even before this story hit the press, Tucson Citizen columnist and blogger Mark Kimble suggested, "if members of the Minuteman Project spent half as much time patrolling the border as they do fighting with each other, this nation's immigration problems would be solved." He went on to write, "the Minutemen have never been a particularly well-organized outfit. They make some noise, send out some e-mails and figure they've accomplished something. A recent split in the group, however, is so nasty and complicated that the Minutemen may not recover."
HERE is the rest of Kimble's blog post, which discusses a split between the MCDC and still another group, the Minuteman Project.

So, does Brehan's quote about bad publicity hold-up? Maybe ... and maybe not. Before we decide, we need to consider the entire
quote ... "There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary."

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