Fear and Branding in Santa Bruta (VIDEO)

Here’s my Huff Po blog on the Immigration Debate Front in Santa Barbara.

I took the drive north for the PODER protest against the Santa Barbara News-Press a few weeks ago. The  largely disregarded, mostly irrelevant paper printed some inflammatory headline invoking the “I” word. I posted it on Facebook and someone commented “Don’t take the bait”, which I though was a little cynical. In hindsight it was spot on; the ever shrinking paper with a history of race baiting was launching a new (re)branding campaign establishing themselves as the voice of white hate in Santa Barbara, and I’m helping them by wrighting about it. Wait, what!? Yup, they are just that good.

The Minuteman Project, last seen spewing their vitriol in Murrieta, took up the cause and showed up in Santa Barbara on MLK day under the name We The People to help spread the hate. Sites Chipsterlife.com and Change.org  along with PODER put it on blast and  it was picked by mainstream media.

The “I” word headline has declared Santa Barbara as new post-Murrieta front line in the immigration stand off. But Santa Barbara isn’t Murrieta. The police, DA Office and Mayor office aren’t publicly supporting the hate. It’s a working class tourist town that historically votes Democrat and rejects racist policy. Because, lets face it, German tourists aren’t going to flock to the new home of white racist hate,  even if it is the American Rivera. It’s just not a good log-line for a vacation destination.

Read the entire post here – Fear and Branding in Santa Bruta

2015-02-03-SantaBarbaraprotest-thumbphoto by Gonzalo Rios Castro

Excerpt from Huff Po Blog: “Santa Bruta, that’s what the homies call it. It means brutal. There’s a brutality about this place,” PODER (People Organized for the Defense & Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth) member Gonzalo Rios Castro said. The young filmmaker and Santa Barbara Eastside native refers to the flagrant race baiting, or possibly just a great marketing strategy, perpetrated by the ever-shrinking News-Press. “[Publisher Wendy McCaw] is dehumanizing people with the use of the ‘I’ word, so we’re going after her advertisers with the boycott.” The News-Press presses on despite AP dropping the term “illegal” from its stylebook in 2013 acknowledging its racist and dehumanizing connotations.

video by Gonzalo Rios Castro


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