Monday, March 26, 2007

La Cucha Gotcha

Cross posted from InMuscatine

NEWARK, March 22 — Craig Carton and Ray Rossi think mental illness is hilarious and Asian-Americans are best mocked with sing-song Chinese accents. The men, hosts of an afternoon radio show called “The Jersey Guys” that is heard here on WKXW (101.5 FM), favor adjectives for politicians that have to be bleeped out.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Carton and Mr. Rossi started “Operation Rat a Rat/La Cucha Gotcha,” a listener-participation game that encourages people to turn in friends, neighbors and “anyone suspicious” to immigration authorities.

They introduced the segment with mariachi music and set the campaign to end on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), a well-known Mexican holiday.

So, of course, they are to be ridiculed and mocked themselves for daring to seek to uphold the law of the land.

At a news conference Thursday, Hispanic elected officials and others condemned the campaign as “dehumanizing,” “poisonous” and “idiotic,” threatening boycotts of the show’s advertisers unless the Jersey Guys apologize.

“Scapegoating and stereotyping Latinos does nothing but give bigoted individuals a platform to make ethnic slurs and racist comments,” said Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo of Newark, calling the campaign a “publicity stunt” that could incite violence against Hispanics.

If by “violence” you mean “motivate the populace to enforce the immigration laws of the land” then you would be absolutely correct Mr. Caraballo.

But anyone expecting an apology was sorely disappointed when Mr. Carton and Mr. Rossi held an on-air news conference a few hours after Mr. Caraballo’s comments. Seeking to profit from the recently ignited firestorm, the Jersey Guys gathered a corps of journalists, most of them Hispanic, in their Trenton studios and gleefully refused to back down. They insisted that the campaign was not anti-Hispanic and that the phrase “La Cucha Gotcha” was inoffensive, likening the song “La Cucaracha” to a lullaby or a patriotic standard like “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

After calling Assemblyman Caraballo a “pathetic liar,” Mr. Carton repeated his call to deport every illegal immigrant in the country. “If you’re here illegally, you are breaking the law — no better, no worse than the guy who robs the liquor store or the guy who waits to case your house out and robs you of your belongings,” he said. “You are a criminal.”

Hence the phrase ILLEGAL immigrant. And if you thought there was a public backlash about La Cucha Gotcha, you would be right. Of course, for the out of touch NY Times it was not the backlash for which they were hoping :

Judging from the cascade of congratulatory calls, the men have tapped into an angry vein in the state, where, according to 2005 census figures, 20 percent of all residents are foreign born, the third highest rate in the country. “This is an invasion,” said one caller, Carmen Perez, who said she had come to this country as a 3-year-old. “I would deport most of them.”

But that doesn’t stop people from pandering to the criminals anyway :

But Jack Plunkett, an analyst who follows broadcast radio, said the station might want to check out recent marketing data indicating that Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the country, with spending power of $700 billion a year, a figure that is expected to triple by 2010. “These guys might not realize it,” he said, “but they could be shooting themselves in the foot.”

As you know, concepts such as “right” and “wrong” are quaint, bothersome ideas from a by-gone era. Don’t you know there is money to be made?! At least, that is what you can tell you conscience while you are pandering to the illegal class in America.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let us know at what level you would like to participate.**