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Welcome to Costa Migra

by John Earl Sunday, Oct. 01, 2006 at 2:32 AM

New progressive newspaper starts in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, Orange County, California. A small newspaper, but packed with hard news about important social and environmental issues. Here's a sample.

By John Earl


Did I have a nightmare or do the road signs at every Costa Mesa border crossing now read "Welcome to Costa Migra?"

I have admit I was worried about the open border policies of our cities one Sunday afternoon, last July, when I witnessed for the second time Costa Mesa's mayor taking official honors from members of the world famous Minuteman Project.

If you never watched CNN "news" anchor Lou Dobbs, you know that the Minutemen are the guardians of America's porous border with Mexico (Canada's border, where 911 terrorists crossed, doesn't matter), protecting us from terrorists. Their leader, Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist, claims that he is "proud to be a vigilante" and warns that he will turn a blind eye to armed rebellion by his imagined 240 million followers.

The Sunday spectacle was a fund raiser for the mayor--who is running for reelection--under the auspices of "Gilchrist's Angels," the women's auxiliary of the Minuteman Project.

About 80 true believers attended. Many came from outside Costa Mesa. The Mayor, who is also a Deputy Sheriff, often complains about immigrant rights advocates who come to his town to complain about how he treats immigrants--which reminds me of the old news reel I saw from the 60's showing a southern lawman, maybe Bull Connor, complain about outside agitators stirring up "our nigras."

These outsiders were the Minutemen, Minutewomen and Minutechildren (are there Minutesperms?), as Gilchrist likes to call them, who came from as far as Temecula to show moral and financial support for the "courageous" mayor, their hero, as he pretends to save Costa Mesa and the nation from what they say are murdering, gang banging, child raping illegal aliens. Nevermind that almost every police officer in the nation knows that the Mayor's plan to mix police and immigration enforcement will result in more unsolved crime.

Among the honored guests was local congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who hates undocumented immigrants so much that he might blame them for global warming when he finally learns that humans, not termites, are destroying the delicate balance of the earth's atmosphere.

Another honored guest was Newport beach city councilmember Dick Nichols, who was censured by his council colleagues in 2003 for making ongoing racist insults about Mexicans.

Nichols had told a reporter that he was concerned about a proposed expansion of the park area at Corona Del Mar State Beach because "with grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs, and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day."

Not introduced, but present, was Ray Herrera of Victorville, the official spokesperson for the Minuteman Project. Not too long ago, Se ñor Herrera warned the Mayor spoke to the Costa Mesa City Council to warn about the "immoral invasion of Costa Mesa and all America" of Mexican immigrants, explaining that Americans are a "divine" and "moral" society based on an Anglo-Protestant creed of "common decency, respect, freedom of religion and equality. Mexican society (full of Catholics), however, is based on the Spanish culture of "rape, oppression and the desecration of the people of Mexico," he said.

"As you know," he continued, "when you look at the child, you will see the parent. The same thing can be said for a nation. Look at the people, you will see the nation. The American creed, the Mexican creed."

Notably absent from the gala in body but not in spirit was Costa Mesa activist Martin H. Millard, who the mayor and other council members voted to appoint to a community redevelopment committee on two separate occasions. Mr. Millard writes for several white supremacist web sites, including, which was formed by breakaway members of the neo-Nazi group, National Alliance.

Millard says that oppressed whites are being exterminated by blacks and calls on whites to learn race and gene consciousness in order to prevent "devolution" and annihilation of the superior white race through contamination of the white gene pool.

Millard resigned from the committee under public pressure last winter. After months of additional pressure the Mayor recently disavowed Millard, but the two men still seem eerily alike when it comes to issues like immigration.

For example, at a recent community meeting held by the Costa Mesa PD's anti-gang squad, Millard referred to the city's Chicano neighborhoods and suggested that the best way to get rid of the city's gangs was to "close down" its "slums."

Just minutes after disavowing Millard at a city council candidates' forum held in August, the Mayor, speaking about "quality of life" issues related to crime control, said that "If you have vending trucks that are honking their horn to the tune of La Cucaracha all night long or all day, who wants to live next to that in a residential neighborhood?"

A few weeks earlier, Mansoor reacted to a drive-by killing by telling the Daily Pilot that "It shows we still have work to do, but it takes time to remove the welcome mat."

The Mayor elaborated.

"When you have job centers, soup kitchens and a high concentration of downscale rental units it drives the city down, and I favor a multi-faceted approach to include stronger gang enforcement and overlay-zone revitalization, and I also think a social worker holding the hand of a hardened gang member has not worked in other cities."

At the same forum, the Mayor denied that he joined the Minuteman Project, the group that his anti "illegal" immigrant and pro "law and order" rhetoric pandered to while he voted to close down the Day Labor Center and use the police to enforce immigrant law.

The Mayor recalled the January 25th meeting of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform in Garden Grove, where he spoke to 150 cheering Minuteman Project members and their allies. "They made me an honorary member," he said, "I did not join. They said 'We want to make you an honorary member.' I said 'Thank you.'"

But the Minuteman initiation ceremony that I saw the Mayor at was a lot more elaborate. Gilchrist himself was there that night to bring the mayor into the fold. The Mayor walked up to the stage accompanied by the wild cheers of his Minuteman fans. Gilchrist turned to him and said, adoringly, "You're a dream come true, Mayor."

"Mayor Mansoor," Gilchrist gushed, "on behalf of everyone in this room, all these Minuteman women and children, and about 200 million supporters [soon to be 240 million, by Gilchrist's count] of the Minuteman Project, you are hereby by the power vested in me as founding member of the project, an honorary Minuteman and I wish to give you a hat."

Allan Mansoor took the hat and became the Minuteman Mayor of Costa Mesa.

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