Bigots pose a threat to the conservative cause

The recent influx of refugee children from Central American countries has not only exposed the flaws in our broken immigration system, it seems to have emboldened racial bigots who try to align themselves with the conservative cause. Despite their harsh and hateful rhetoric, they rarely go unchallenged by many on the right, creating the perception that this sort of racism is inherent within conservatism.

A Twitter user who calls himself "Lord Wabbit" and boasts over 1,800 followers recently tweeted a cartoon he created, criticizing the move to help the child refugees. The cartoon (shown here) includes dolls dressed in traditional Mexican attire (including serapes and sombreros), as well as a couple of chihuahuas, all demanding citizenship for their family, including "my uncle the drug dealer" and "my 37 cousins." The picture was retweeted by a number of people times, including "Marble," a popular conservative with 18,500 followers.

Radio talk show host and contributor to both ABC and Fox, Laura Ingraham, is well known for making controversial and insensitive remarks, and it has made her very popular and very wealthy. On June 10, she took to the airwaves to complain that the United States would have to feed and provide care for the refugee children currently being housed along the border. Many of the children had gone days without food in their voyage to the United States, and according to a report on Fox News, many wept when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents gave them their first good meal in some time.

That meant little to Ingraham, who instead framed the refugee children as adversaries who were getting food that somehow could have been used on American children. "I bet there are a lot of American kids who would like free food before they go to bed at night," she said, and then mocked reports that some children were given bad food that made them sick. She then threw one final insult towards the children, playing a clip from a Taco Bell commercial in which a talking chihuahua asked repeatedly "Yo quiero Taco Bell." Here's the audio clip:

This type of behavior is not lost on Hispanic voters, even those who think illegal aliens should not get preferential treatment. This sort of race-based behavior has led many Hispanic voters to abandon the party, even though they voted for inclusive Republicans like George W. Bush in large numbers.

Dan Patrick, who is running for Texas Lt. Governor, has also engaged in race baiting  during his campaign, calling immigrants "invaders" and using anti-Latino rhetoric. Even in a red state like Texas, such behavior could backfire, rallying Latino voters to his Democratic Hispanic opponent, Leticia Van de Putte.

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