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Thursday, September 9, 2010

When Lars Attacks: Independence Day is Racist

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

lars_attack.jpg
You don't have to look all the way to Koran-burning in Florida to find crazies. Just listen to this excerpt of local talk radio host Lars Larson sounding off about Beaverton hosting a Mexican Independence celebration. Brief quote of the long, unbearable rant:
I've had a lot of Latinos emailing me saying that an awful lot of the Latinos in Oregon are Guatemalans who don't particularly care for Mexicans... Is this a racist holiday that you're trying to stage? Because you're staging it based on somebody's race and ethnicity.

Wait a second, Mexican Independence Day is racist? Good God. What are we going to do on the 4th of July? Please tell me Lars is going to start working now to cancel all Independence Day celebrations around the United States because it's hell to turn away a delivery truck of fireworks at the last minute, trust me.

What else should be on the chopping block, if we're no longer celebrating ethnicity in America? St. Patrick's Day? Festa Italiana? Polish sausages?

I know, I know, I'm being dense on purpose. Obviously, Lars doesn't think celebrating Mexican holidays in the US is racist, he's just looking for a way to bash the event because he hates Mexicans, I know I KNOW, and normally I wouldn't let it get under my skin that Lars is throwing the word "racist" around like a monkey throws its own feces, but he got some nation play for the attack, creating a minor shitstorm in Beaverton when Bill O'Reilly mentioned the event and Beaverton City Hall was flooded with nasty emails.

The Beaverton Valley Times reported yesterday that the celebration will go on, but renamed as the not-Mexican specific “Year of the Bicentennial” in the Americas and honor National Hispanic Heritage Month. Why the hell did Beaverton buckle to right wing vitriol? If Beaverton thinks its worthwhile to celebrate diversity then they should go ahead and do it, without letting talk radio hosts set their policy agenda. Letting Lars know that when he talks, sometimes various chunks of the garbage he spews can hit a tender mark and make lawmakers sit up and listen—now that's scary.

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