Wednesday, October 8, 2008

N.C. Sheriff Accuses Latinos of "Breeding Like Rabbits"

Sheriff Steve Bizzell
At around the same time Bernalillo County Republican Party Chairman Fernando C'de Baca was forced to resign by members of his own party for saying "Hispanics are Above Blacks," a North Carolina Sheriff came under attach after he was quoted in The News and Observer newspaper accusing Latinos of "breeding like rabbits," and calling Mexicans "trashy."

Sheriff Steve Bizzell in Johnston County, North Carolina:
When people think about illegal Mexicans, you know the first thing they think of? Driving drunk and shooting.
Now, a coalition of progressive groups in North Carolina has asked that the Johnston County commissioners push for Bizzell's resignation.

The National Council of La Raza is outraged: "There no place in the sheriff's office or on the campaign trail for bigotry."

But reporter Brian Haney with the Dunn Daily Record say locals are more forgiving of the Sheriff's comments:
A multitude of voices have echoed publicly in the month since Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell called Mexicans and illegal immigrants "trashy" and said they "breed like rabbits" in a Sept. 7 News & Observer article. Of those voices, few have actually come from within Johnston County.

Civil rights groups like the ACLU and NAACP have called for Sheriff Bizzell to step down. Several groups, including the NAACP and El Pueblo, held a prayer vigil this past weekend on the steps of the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield.

But what of the people of Johnston County? How do they feel about dozens of groups from outside the county involving themselves about a situation that mostly affects only the people within the county. How do they feel about Sheriff Bizzell?

The only group so far to speak out within Johnston County has been the county board of commissioners, who issued a statement of support for the sheriff.

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