ADL Condemns Demonizing of Mexicans for Swine Flu Outbreak
New York, NY, May 1, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemns the hateful rhetoric appearing in some media and on the Internet demonizing Mexicans for the swine flu outbreak. Anti-immigrant groups and some media commentators are using the outbreak to advance their prejudiced views and agendas, warning that the virus in the U.S. is the result of illegal immigration.
"Such inflammatory and hateful rhetoric against Mexicans in particular, and Latinos in general, should be condemned as unacceptable and un-American," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The airwaves and the Internet are being used to promote negative, false stereotypes and the demonization of Mexicans."
Xenophobes have historically looked for situations such as this to promote the idea that immigrants are a liability to the United States, claiming that immigrants bring poverty, disease and crime into the country.
ADL, which monitors extremist and anti-immigrant rhetoric, has documented how anti-immigrant groups and others have used such rhetoric in an attempt to demonize and scapegoat Hispanics and other immigrant groups.
"People in the media, especially those with a mass audience, need to realize that words have consequences, including discrimination and violence," said Mr. Foxman. "It is sad that some media commentators are picking up cues from the anti-immigrant extremists who have a specific and insidious agenda when blaming immigrants for America's problems."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.