Skip to comments.Minuteman controversy centers in Kansas City
Posted on 09/23/2007 5:01:26 PM PDT by Graybeard58
A week from now, 81-year-old Kansan Robert Baker will be cruising near the border in Arizona in his four-wheel drive vehicle.
Hell have a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun and lots of pepper spray, plus a two-way radio.
When he spots people he thinks are illegal border jumpers, hell alert his fellow Minuteman Civil Defense Corps members.
Theyll call federal Border Patrol agents, who will probably respond and detain the illegal immigrants.
Baker and his group find themselves in the middle of a Kansas City debate that is beginning to go national: Just what does it mean to be a Minuteman?
Baker and supporters say the group is merely trying to secure Americas borders because the federal government hasnt.
But opponents say armed border watches and members harsh words about illegal immigrants make the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps dangerous and racist.
Ground zero has become Kansas City, where Mayor Mark Funkhouser appointed Frances Semler to the park board without knowing that she belonged to the two-year-old Minuteman corps.
Civil-rights groups and some other city council members blasted the choice after her membership became known. But Funkhouser has refused to remove her, saying her views on immigration have no bearing on the parks board.
Now the National Council of La Raza and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons have threatened to move their conventions out of Kansas City.
In the midst of the fight, questions arise: What is the Minuteman organization all about? Is it a vigilante group taking the law into its own hands, or is it a group of citizens banding together to work against illegal immigration?
Words and actions
Robert Baker, a retired World War II veteran from near Dodge City, typifies other Minutemen.
He joined the group about when it was created, he said. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps was started by Chris Simcox, a former private school teacher, in May 2005 after the original Minuteman organization, founded in late 2004 by Simcox and Jim Gilchrist, split into two factions. Gilchrist runs the Minuteman Project.
Baker said he wants to help people who live in border communities keep their neighborhoods safe from illegal immigrants who might be drug runners or criminals, and help outnumbered Border Patrol agents prevent people from coming into the United States illegally.
The firepower he carries is intended to be used defensively, he said, and it has never been pulled out during his border watches.
Minuteman patrols also carry extra water and salt pills for dehydrated immigrants who they fear might not survive until Border Patrol agents arrive.
Nobody down there is going Mexican-hunting or anything, he said.
He said hes fervently against illegal immigration because America has become a dumping ground for thugs and bad guys, and all the illegal immigrants pose an economic burden for our country.
Those people down there are trying to do something better for themselves, and of course wed like to see them do something better for themselves, he said. But, my gosh, we cant take everybody in the world.
The governments Customs and Border Protection has had no problems with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps or similar watch groups along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ramon Rivera, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, said he is not aware of any assaults or unlawful detentions of immigrants by these watch groups.
He said the Border Patrol does not encourage such citizen patrols, but as long as they are in public areas or get permission from landowners before setting up, theyre welcome to do what theyre doing.
Bump and thanks for the update as I no longer count myself in the subscribers of the KC “Scar” crowd!
I wonder if they are going to try and demonize those who belong to a neighborhood watch program.
They can’t have citizens self-governing. It screws up their plans for complete socialism.
Calling the Minutemen “vigilantes” is completely unwarranted, and betrays ignorance as to the nature of vigilante-ism. The Minutemen do not impose non-judicial criminal penalties.
"But opponents say armed border watches and members harsh words about illegal immigrants make the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps dangerous and racist."
These can take and pound sand up their ass. If they want a real fight then let's get on with it. This "war of the words" in the press, that has now been going on for years, where they seek to make it look like supporters of the invaders outnumber those who don't is past the point of accomplishing anything but stirring the pot and giving them more time. I will never concede to the invader SOB's! Never! God Bless America and screw Mexico!
Calling the Minutemen vigilantes is completely unwarranted, and betrays the ignorance of President George W. Bush. There.
Low volume ping list
FReepmail me to be on, or off, this list.
On a personal note, membership in a private organization that believes in securing this nations borders should not be a reason to NOT hold appointed, or elected, office.
I also hope that KC tells La Raza to pound sand.
Unless MCDC changed its rules, it is sidearms only.
“But opponents say armed border watches and members harsh words about illegal immigrants make the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps dangerous and racist.”
People who defend America always seem to be racist.
First of all these people are not racist; and they can’t hold a candle to the traitors we have in this country. Isn’t it odd how all the traitors are like Jane Fonda?
Jane Fonda, John Kerry and others should have been tried for treason. That they weren't just lowered the bar on what liberals are allowed to get away with that would have been hanging offences in past wars such as WW2 and Korea.
Ain’t that the truth?