Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen. -George Orwell

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Ted Cruz's campaign stop in the Bronx is a complete dud
There are more than 1.4 million people in the Bronx - but Ted Cruz couldn't even muster 100 at a campaign event in Parkchester with state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative Christian minister.
Cruz visited the Sabrosura Chinese-Dominican restaurant, where Diaz said the presidential candidate could "listen to the social, economic and spiritual needs of our community" while dining with other clergymen on the eatery's famed fried rice and plantains.
Aside from about 70 ministers affiliated with Diaz, only a dozen voters turned up - and two of them were tossed out after screaming protests about the Texas senator's hardline stance on immigration.
Before the event with the conservative state senator, his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., slammed Cruz as a hypocrite at a press conference arranged by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
"Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. He not only offended New Yorkers, he offended Bronxites, and now he's here today in New York and in the Bronx looking for money and votes," Diaz said.
Also, this happened:
Sen. Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, came to a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in the Bronx and was asked - in Spanish - how he could come to such a community, where so many were born abroad, while supporting hard-line immigration proposals.
Cruz, who has said his Spanish is "lousy," nodded and answered the question - in English.
"Our community, the Hispanic community is -" Cruz began, but the Univision reporter who asked him the question interrupted him and requested that he answer in Spanish.
Then Teddy mumbled something about Spanglish. Brilliant!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 55% of the Bronx population is Hispanic/Latino (compared to 17% nationally).

One protester, Rodrigo Venegas, interrupted Teddy's event to call him a right-wing bigot. "You're running on an anti-immigrant platform, and you're speaking in the Bronx," Venegas told Teddy. "You should not be here."

Bronx resident Edna Ferrer, a 57-year-old hairstylist, stood outside the event with other New Yorkers to challenge Cruz supporters. "Just because he has a Hispanic last name does not mean he's Hispanic," Ferrer told the New York Daily News. "His mind is white."

Why would there be such hostility in the Bronx for a guy like Teddy Cruz, who fits the technical definition of "Hispanic" American? Could it be the latest version of his immigration policy? The one where he sends law enforcement agents to knock down doors and round up immigrants for deportation, even if that means arresting them in front of their children?

Appearing on Fox News in February, Teddy told Bill O'Reilly that's exactly what Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is intended to do. "We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws that apprehends and deports them," Teddy said.

To his credit, O'Reilly did press Teddy on the issue, detailing a specific situation that often engenders sympathy for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States: A parent who has overstayed his visa and now lives in the country with his American-born children. O'Reilly asked Teddy whether he would "send the feds to his house, take him out and put him back on a plane."

"You better believe it," Teddy replied. Tough guy.

This, of course, is a departure from the way that Teddy had previously talked about immigration enforcement - back when he was identifying as less Trumpian and more libertarian. Just a month earlier, in January, Teddy suggested that ICE agents shouldn't be going door to door to track down immigrants, arguing that it would transform the U.S. into a police state.

"No, I don't intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That's not how we enforce the law for any crime," Teddy told CNN at the time. Good ol' Teddy Flip-Flop.

Later in the day Teddy was scheduled to appear at a Bronx charter school. Apparently he was under the impression that his support for charter schools would somehow help him with the black and Hispanic students there. Wrong, again:
Ted Cruz came to New York Wednesday talking about education, but he's the one who got schooled.
The lesson came from a group of Bronx high school students who told the Republican presidential candidate to stay away.
Cruz was scheduled to speak at Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy until students wrote a letter to the principal asking her not to let Cruz come, prompting staffers to cancel the appearance.
"We told her if he came here, we would schedule a walkout," said Destiny Domeneck, 16. "Most of us are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds. Ted Cruz goes against everything our school stands for."
Destiny and her classmates communicated that sentiment to Lighthouse Principal Alix Duggins.
"A group of students will be leaving during 4th period, as (an) act of civil disobedience in regards to the arrival of Ted Cruz to BLCPA," the letter said. "We have all considered the consequences of our actions and are willing to accept them."
"The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive," the letter said. "His views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love."
Also read: Cruz woos the "Washington Cartel"

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