Mexican Living: Lets Be Perfectly Clear

Readers often send me interesting and exciting e-mails about the op-ed pieces I write and manage to publish. As a writer, I get all sorts. Some are actually encouraging. Then there are those who say, "This is YOUR fantasy, not the reality I have seen." Or, they ask, "Your point is?"

Alas and alack, it is the lot of professional writers to suffer these comments all in the name of trying to write something someone wants to read (and buy!).

In my latest piece on the Minuteman Project, some readers took offense at my attempt to link Chris Simcox, one of the co-founders, with groups run by gomers like Glenn Spencer. In fact, one lady wrote and said,

"Your attempt to tarnish the citizens of the Minuteman Project by linking it to Spencer and the ABP is about as honest and courageous as spreading the stench of MS-13 over the entire illegal population."

And of course, everyone knows what "MS-13" is!

So, I am thinking, perhaps I was not as clear as I could have been. Perhaps this lady has a (small) point and I need to restate my position.

Therefore, your humble columnist is here today to try to right a possible wrong. So here goes, and let me be perfectly clear: What tainted this Minuteman Project from its beginning was that Chris Simcox was one of its co-founders. The evidence supports, in my view, that this man has another agenda.

I did not buy the "Observer and Report" goal of his Minuteman project because of the past behavior and rhetoric of this man. Never once has he recanted, apologized, or generally taken back what he's said and done in the past about the Mexican Immigration issue.

For example:

1. Chris Simcox has a federal arrest record. "Chris Simcox, the co-founder of the group he adulates, was arrested in January 2003, by Federal Park rangers for possession of loaded and concealed weapons, disorderly conduct, and interfering with law enforcement on federal land, according to Ernesto Cienfuegos of La Voz de Aztlan."

2. Los Angeles Times Magazine writer, Dan Baum, wrote on March 16, 2003:

?Chris Simcox won't stop fooling with his gun.

??whenever he is photographed by the media--which is often these days--Simcox makes sure the pistol is in every frame.

??but his body language is all about the gun. Sooner or later he's going to use it, he wants everybody to know, in a showdown with the illegal immigrants and Mexican drug dealers he believes are ruining the United States.

??If Simcox dies in a blaze of border gunfire, so be it, he says.

?At 42, he is owner, editor and publisher (and reporter, ad director and circulation manager) of the weekly Tombstone Tumbleweed, circulation 1,200. His Oct. 24 issue bore the headline: "Enough is Enough! A Public Call to Arms!" The paper invited readers to join a "Citizens Border Patrol Militia."

Let me ask the questions America should be asking:

Does Chris Simcox, from his past rhetoric, seem to be just an "Observe and Report" kind of guy? Has he once admitted and recanted this rhetoric? Has he admitted to any of this?

I would like to hear Mr. Simcox's public explanation of what he's said "on the record" and if he still believes it. I would also love to know why this man's past hasn't been reported in the press and especially on the "Fair and Balanced" cable news network, Fox News?

There is an expression, "The Fish Rots From The Head Down."

Let us watch and see what happens.

Doug Bower is a freelance writer and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico.

His new book, Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country, can be seen at

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