The Truth About Glenn Spencer
*Updated, with grammatical erros bolded
The last time I saw Glenn Spencer (founder of the frothingly anti-immigrant American Patrol), the portly man was sporting a huge smile as a race riot erupted around him. The occasion was a Dec. 8, 2001 rally in front of Anaheim City Hall, where Spencer and his amigos were decrying the Anaheim Police Department’s policy to accept Mexican-government-issued identification cards as proper ID for illegal immigrants. Anarchists counter-protested Spencer's ilk--and then, the deluge.
Spencer waddled to the Arizona-Mexico border some time after that incident to set up a Mexican-monitoring service that continues to this day. From somewhere in the desert, he continues to issue bombastic missives about Mexican immigrants--none more louder than the gospel of Reconquista. But his latest screed combines the conspiratorial with the personal as he railed against Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rachel Uranga.
On September 2, Uranga wrote a piece on how anti-immigrant groups are growing in numbers (she calls them "anti-illegal immigrant," but you won't find such PC spinning in this publication). Mentioned in the story are some local Know Nothings: the Huntington Beach-based California Coalition for Immigration Reform and Irvine Assemblymember Chuck DeVore, whom Uranga writes "led the boycott of Mexican President Vicente Fox's speech before the state Legislature." Of Spencer's organization, Uranga says this: "The American Border Patrol, another civilian group that turns immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border over to authorities and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, says donations are up 25 percent."
Spencer went livid. On his site, he posted a photo of Uranga, called her a "sad excuse for a reporter" and accused her of "anti-American bias." All which leads to this: "Spencer says there is no doubt that Uranga is hit-lady for big-money globalists." American Patrol and Spencer offered no proof for the last claim.
But Spencer didn't stop there. Spencer told his website that Uranga "show her bias by calling these invaders immigrants" (irony must escape this chubby gabacho)" and is shocked, shocked! that Uranga "repeats the Southern Poverty Law Center's baseless claim that our high-tech firm is a hate organization." Baseless, Spencer? The Southern Poverty Law Center--the country's leading tracker of hate groups--has investigated Spencer and his group for years, connecting him to folks who make no qualms about their racism. The SPLC is well-respected--and Spencer can't claim they go only after whites.
American Patrol's Uranga harangue concludes by noting she's the current president of the Los Angeles chapter of the California Chicano News Media Association. Anyone who reads Spencer with regularity knows that anything vaguely pro-Mexican is synonymous with traitor. "We're going to see a lot [sic] pro-illegal alien, anti-American propaganda spewing out of the press and some of it is going to have the Rachel Uranga byline," Spencer told his website in a Nixonian tone. Oh, Glenn. Uranga is one of the most measured reporters I know who covers immigration, not just because she's a fair reporter who works for a conservative newspaper, but because the mores of daily papers prevent her from labeling folks like you the bigots quien ustedes son--oops! Sorry for allowing a bit of Reconquista to seep into this post, Glenn!
(Full disclosure: Uranga is a somewhat-friend of mine--more like a friend of a friend. And Spencer once threatened me and Weekly colleague Nick Schou with a lawsuit. His claim went nowhere.)
UPDATES: Turns out Uranga's piece is over a year old. So, not only is Spencer a bigot, he's also stupid. And, for that matter, so am I for believing Spencer without looking at the article's date.
LA blogger Lone Wacko also posts about Uranga's year-old piece (though the smart guy wisely doesn't bother trying to peg a date to her article--the Daily Bulletin version doesn't list one). He (she? Don't know this blogger's gender) describes Uranga as an "ethnic booster" because of the CCNMA connection, an interview she did advocating for more diversity in newsrooms and because she doesn't disclose that some of the folks interviewed in her article supposedly have connections with the Mexican government. Strangley, Lone Wacko doesn't dispute the findings of Uranga or the SPLC--so what's Uranga's sin again?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts