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7/28: Immigrants' Rights and Lou Dobbs' Platform Given by Time Warner Executives
Released 02 August 2009  By Michael O'Neill

Immigrants' Rights and Lou Dobbs' Platform Given by Time Warner Executives

Since the Hispanic Institute, , the Southern Poverty Law Center , National Hispanic Legal Defense and Education Center: have joined the rising chorus of hundreds of local immigrant rights groups calling for a boycott of Time Warner's CNN Lou Dobbs, it now has gained no little renewed momentum. It would be a wonderful idea for you or your organization to ask the UFW to take a leadership role in any boycott of Time Warner, along with other black , Latino and immigrant civil rights organizations, coming together to form a grand coalition to back up the leadership for such a boycott. The UFW with its close ties to labor and the progressive religious community would be ideally suited, from their long experience with boycotts.

At the end of the day, if Dobbs was cancelled, no doubt he would just take all of his venom & move across the street to Fox, boosting their audience and losing CNN one of their lowest rated shows, not any sizable chunk of their audience. A move to Fox would only give further credence to confirming the whole Faux News, far right reputation of diminishing cred. They are both well deserving of each other and they both would be damaged by their forced axis, as Cesar has pointed out.

This is now crunch time on the eve of the administration presenting its bill on comprehensive immigration reform. One way to show progressives' strength and make an impact on wavering officials is to mount a real campaign nationwide to rid the hate and disinformation from Dobbs enflaming this issue with his hate speech. Would it be wise to take on such a task? I can see many pros and cons for such an endeavor, but really we have very little choice, but to do the right thing and fight this luminary of the right.

With Dolores Huerta & the boycott-experienced UFW at the helm, they would be quite formidable opponents. Remember Los Angeles is Time Warner Cable's biggest market and TWC would lose a significant slice of their customers in Manhattan and Boston area markets as well, because Dobbs' nightly spewing his not so subtle racist attack on Obama and the immigrant community appalls so many people. TWC has become TW leading moneymaking franchise of the company's 25 different businesses held in their portfolio. The company would be in dire straits if they lost their viewer leadership in just those 3 big city markets.

I think it worth the support of all progressives groups to call for such a boycott by its membership; to grow the mutual respect and cooperation from all human rights, Latino, Black and immigrant civil rights orgs in a confrontation with forces of intolerance such a boycott would engender, clarifying and strengthening the common struggle and common goals between them. Such a call would not only incite the grassroots support, it would gain organizations much visibility and prestige, which translates into raising revenues to support their agenda from foundations and supporters among progressives and more importantly in underlining the political strength that can be brought to bear by an effective coalition leadership on other issues to achieve fairness and equality for all Americans..

As much as we might think Dobbs' call for Obama to prove he is not a jihadist anchor baby is sheer nonsensical, overwrought, over the top hatred of the foreigner, the immigrant. It is really the same old thuggish racism camouflaged in a pose of legality and the patriotism of "real Americans" for which racism has always preened and mugged. It evidently doesn't' matter to the yahoos of the neo-nativist anti-immigrant movement and the far right conservative base of the Republican Party to go after Obama over the trumped up sleaze or substantive issues, it seems to be all of a piece to them.

It might well be to our advantage to give them all the rope they would take in their malice and mania to cause harm and give voice to the grotesque. They miss the obvious; for the demise of the birthers/teabaggers/Minimen from platforms of power will neither be delayed, lessened or slowed by their closely held delusional belief they can forestall the inevitable demographics of our nation's growing diversity and expanding democracy.

Whatever the outcome of any decision by your organization, small or large, to join the boycott at your timely individual request, if will do no harm to ask your members to take immediate action to write & let TW know how appalled you are with the vicious attack led by CNN's Lou Dobbs on our country's legacy and future. The hate he is eliciting is an affront to the civil rights community just as it is also directed to all the families he nightly denounces as un-American criminals, aliens, illegals, subversives, terrorists.
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Michael O'Neill
East Hampton Immigrant Solidarity

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