Postings condemn wanted list |

Postings condemn wanted list

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF People posting messages on a racially charged Internet site in January condemned the Park City Police Department in a blistering critique of its most-wanted list, a controversial compilation of criminal suspects almost all Latinos — that has now been rebuked by both the political left and the right.

The messages appear to have started after the Police Department announced that Sean Blair, who is white and accused of dealing cocaine and marijuana, was placed on the most-wanted list. Before Blair’s inclusion in January, the list was exclusively Latino.

American Renaissance, an Oakton, Va.-based publication whose Internet site contains the postings, promotes what is known as "racial-realist thought," a theory described by the publication’s editor as one that recognizes that, in a society, race cannot be deemed irrelevant.

Editor Jared Taylor told The Park Record that his organization is not racist nor is it anti-Latino but the postings are wrought with such undertones, some blasting the Latino presence in America.

"There are many simple facts that all you need to do is state and you’re accused of racism," he said, alleging that Latinos are more likely to drop out of school and join gangs than members of other races but acknowledging that not all Latinos are criminals.

People who posted the messages charge that Blair was put on the list as a concession to Latino advocates critical of the racial makeup of the most wanted, saying that the police are kowtowing to the Latino community and trying to be politically correct.

"Maybe this city can trump up some charges against whitey to appease the whiney hispanics. Anything for ‘cultural diversity,’" one person wrote in a message posted on Jan. 9.

On Jan. 10, another person wrote, "A white petty dope pusher ends up there so the cops can deny being racist" and someone, responding to the Jan. 10 posting, agreed, writing, "He is probably right in saying that the authorities booted the No. 10 seeded Jose from the list, and added a white person with mediocre drug charges just to avoid cries of racism." Two days later, someone wrote, "At last, a white guy gets something from affirmative action!"

The comments follow an abridged version of a Jan. 7 Park Record article announcing Blair’s placement on the list that was posted on the site. The police in Phoenix on Sunday arrested Blair on a charge of possession of marijuana. He is awaiting extradition to Park City. The police have not named a replacement for Blair on the most-wanted list.

Taylor claims that at least one of the postings, made on Jan. 9, is a satire. It reads, in part, "What no African Americans, East Indians, Indigenous Americans, Arabs, or Eskimos? Discrimination I say, discrimination most foul!" It also says, "This will not stand that an Anglo male, of all persons, was placed ahead of all of these groups and that no equal opportunities are allowed for these diverse others on that secondhand list!"

When the list debuted in the fall, the racial makeup was quickly criticized by Latino advocates, who were displeased that all 10 people on the most-wanted compilation were Latinos.

But the police countered that placement on the list was not racially motivated. Instead, they said that people were considered based on the seriousness of the charges they face and the amount of bail. The police also weighed whether a person was seen as a threat. The suspects are wanted on a variety of charges and narcotics counts are prevalent.

Taylor, the editor, sees most-wanted lists like Park City’s as evidence for tighter immigration laws.

"Imagine Americans pouring into some other country and doing what Mexicans do here. They’d shoot us at the border," Taylor said.

He does not fault people leaving Mexico for the U.S. because he said America offers a better life. He said once the immigrants arrive, they try to transform America to fit their own values.

"If we wanted to live in Mexico, we’d go there," he said.

The Police Department expectedly discredited the Internet site, challenging the assertions in the postings like those claiming that Blair’s inclusion was a result of political correctness.

"Absolutely unfair. I’m offended by the insinuation we would trump up charges against anyone. That’s not how we operate," said Mike Fierro, a Mexican-American detective who helps compile the most-wanted list.

Fierro said race is not a criteria, said that the police wanted to put Blair on the list when a spot opened and said the authorities were not searching for Blair when the list was released in 2005.

"Had Blair’s warrant been there when we compiled the original list, he most likely would have been on there," he said.

Lt. Phil Kirk, whose ancestry is Puerto Rican, said "there was no consideration of him being white or any other race" and that the police were not making Blair a "token white" on the most-wanted list. "This is simply based on his heavy involvement in drug trafficking," Kirk said.

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