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“Your vote for me as your Governor in 2006 I will help build a better road to our future here in Tennessee.” So reads a garbled e-message, originally sent out by perennially unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Carl “Two Feathers” Whitaker and passed along the virtual bunny trail by way of conservatives who e-mail. Whitaker, who runs the Tennessee Volunteer Minutemen, a “watchdog” organization aiming to keep illegal Mexicans down in Mexico, wanted to heighten the public’s awareness of Jose Ramirez, a 28-year-old construction worker in Spotsylvania, Virginia, charged with the brutal beating of a 15-year-old girl who ignored the unauthorized alien’s flirtatious advances. Shortly after Whitaker alerted his fellow Tennesseans to an isolated event involving a Mexican and a white girl in another state, Memphis TV station WREG ran an entirely unrelated but strangely resonant story claiming that crimes against members of Memphis’ Hispanic community are on the rise.

Recently, Whitaker rebuffed CNN for suggesting that modern anti-immigrant organizations use the same fear-mongering tactics employed by organizations such as the Klan, saying, “We don’t want to project [the Minutemen] as a hate group.” Clearly they want to “project” it as a group that helps people understand that Mexicans are dangerous, sex-crazed savages out to beat up your daughter.

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