DES MOINES LULAC of Iowa, the state’s largest Latino civil rights organization, today denounced the publication of anonymous racist remarks in the Des Moines Register.
On Aug. 2, the Des Moines Register published several 2 Cents’ Worth comments that described Mexicans as “unwashed,” promoted the firing of Mexican employees and encouraged readers to boycott Mexican restaurants and locally owned businesses.
“While we understand and support freedom of speech, we believe these particular statements amount to hate speech and should never have been printed in the Des Moines Register,” says Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa. “The Register the media group that promotes itself as ‘The News Iowa Depends Upon’ has instead promoted racism, stereotypes and hate by printing these comments.”
“The writers of these statements were allowed to remain cowards by hiding behind the anonymity that is provided in 2 Cents’ Worth remarks,” Enriquez Henry continued. “Our Mexican business owners and workers have done nothing to deserve this type of abuse regardless of how individuals may feel about the Mexican government. These men and women have worked hard to create businesses, many from the ground up, and have taken unpopular jobs that others do not wish to perform in order to support their families and make a living.”
Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. There are more than 2 million members in more than 1,000 local LULAC councils, which hold voter registration drives, provide awareness to residents about language and immigration issues, sponsor programs and advocate for Latinos.