Recently Gov. Susana Martinez posted a link on her Facebook page to an online petition asking people to "Sign the petition if you agree that we need to end the dangerous practice of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. We will make sure your voice is heard loud and clear in the legislature."
During yesterday's debate in the Senate Public Affairs Committee's debate of Senate Bill 521, the immigrant driver's license compromise sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Stuart Ingle and Sen. John Arthur Smith, freshman Sen. Jacob Candelaria did just that. He read some selected comments about the issue posted on Martinez's page.
Loud and clear.
Candelaria was not claiming that the governor or most people who support her on this issue were racists. He was not saying that Martinez endorsed the hateful comments. (I sure don't endorse much of the bad craziness that gets posted in The New Mexican's comments section in the name of free speech and open discussion.)
His point was that the issue is divisive and stirs some dark emotions.
I took a look at the comments myself. At this writing there are more than 1,600 comments on that post. More than 15,000 people "liked" the post about the petition (which does not mean all of them liked all the comments) and more than 2,600 who "shared" the petition (posted it on their own Facebook page.)
Most of the comments there aren't hateful. Many of those posting disagree with the governor's position (and some of those are over-the-top in blasting Martinez for it). And, as is common in Internet forums, the comments go off topic into other areas, such as gun control.
But indeed some of the comments are disturbing. I've posted some of these below.
Proceed at own risk:
"Mexicans! Hispanics, Wet backs! Watever, jes go back to yur country and continue to pull yur donkey-carts without a D.L. LOL"
"They are Illegal...that makes them criminals....send them back to THEIR country. They can get all the license from Mexico that they want."
"I say register all the Illegals take the liscense and ship them all back to where they came from, then if they want to come back let them apply the legal way, as a New Mexican I voted for her and I'll back her."
"If you are here illegally You are a Criminal! You are breaking an American Law! Any time anyone breaks a law that DOES make them a Criminal! What part of that don't you Understand??? PLEASE don't be ignorant!"
"deport them with no id kitty. Take any money they have to cover damages."
And here's some of the nastier attacks on Martinez among those comments:
"illegal its not the proper word get educated its undocumented.. no doubt about it that theirs still racism in this country..COME ON SUSAN MAKE PEOPLE SUFFER I HOPE THEY DO THE SAME TO YOUR FAMILY SOME DAY LIKE YOUR DOING IT TO ALL DIZ UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE."
"Too bad Susana's a hypocrit, since her grandparents were "illegal" immigrants. Maybe she should go back to making coffee with her $2300 coffee maker that she just had taxpayers pay for"
"A Mexican republican governer who's against immigration ... Can't believe her people haven't disowned her yet"
Everyone feel uplifted? Have a nice day.