Jun 8, 2009
Even before medical researchers have had the chance to figure out much of anything about the new form of swine flu, anti-immigrant right-wingers grabbed hold of the issue to spew out racist drivel.
For example, nationally syndicated radio show host Neal Boortz said, “What better way to sneak a virus into this country than give it to Mexicans? Right? I mean one out of every 10 people born in Mexico is already living up here, and the rest are trying to get here.”
Researchers suspect, but do not yet know for certain, that the swine flu originated in Mexico. Certainly, in the past, new flu strains have started in many countries, including the U.S. But, even if it did start in Mexico, researchers are focusing on a big U.S. corporation – Smithfield Farms that operates in Mexico – as the source.
Smithfield runs a million-pig farm (actually 16 farms) in an area of Mexico where researchers know one of the first documented cases of the new swine flu occurred. Residents of the area have been protesting unsanitary conditions caused by the way Smithfield keeps the pigs and disposes of their excrement – in huge open pits with leaky liners and massive swarms of flies that cause health problems.
Smithfield has faced similar protests over its practices in the U.S. In North Carolina, waste overflows from Smithfield operations and its contractors. One spill killed millions of fish.
The aim of all the anti-immigrant drivel is to divert attention away from the corporate operations that breed and spread the disease.
The interest of workers – native-born or immigrant – is to oppose the big corporations whose drive for profit causes the problems. And to oppose all this racist garbage used to divide us!