Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The most under-reported story of the year so far?...

I normally argue that the mainstream press spends way too much time on crime stories. The nightly news is filled with stories of this or that murder trial, not because they are all that relevant to the general public interest, but simply for the sensationalism factor. So it is truly perplexing, that when a murder trial comes around that actually highlights truly important social issues there is a virtual media blackout on the event.

Yesterday, in a Pima County, Arizona courtroom, Shawna Forde was convicted of the brutal murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her dad, Raul Flores after breaking into their home in 2009. Forde is a leader of Minutemen American Defense, a organization affiliated with the anti-immigrant border vigilante group the Minutemen. She is also an activist in the Tea Party movement in Arizona and with FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform). On May 30th 2009 Forde and two accomplices broke into the home of Raul Flores and executed Raul at point blank range. They than executed nine-year-old Brisenia who was begging for her life. Forde and her friends also tried to kill Brisenia’s mother Gina Gonzalez, but she survived.

The case seems to be a clear cut example of the danger represented by the anti-immigrant movement and the increasingly violent views of the American right wing. But there has been almost no coverage of the case in the mainstream press. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search for yourself and see how few stories from mainstream press sources you find. What is really disturbing about this is the fact the media has spent a great deal of time over the past few years reporting on cases of violence by drug smugglers, immigrant smugglers and undocumented immigrants along the border against ranchers and Border Patrol agents. The lopside coverage smacks of racism and plays into the hands of the growing, militant anti-immigrant movement. If the press is not going to report on this story, WE NEED TO!

Earlier today the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), held a press conference at Casa Michoacan in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood to issue an organizational statement on the case. For audio of the full press conference go here (it alternates between English and Spanish)...

Here are links to a few articles on the case. Note they are mostly from independent, non-mainstream news sources. Those from mainstream sources are tiny, back page type stories...


  1. Ms. Forde is not and never was associated with FAIR in any way. Please read http://www.fairus.org/site/News2/856933113?page=NewsArticle&id=20731&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1741

  2. Numerous reports in the press have connected her to FAIR. It was on those reports I based my statement. Regardless of whether she was a member of FAIR or a FAIR activist, she was motivated to commit her heinous act by the misinformation and xenophobia that is FAIR’s stock-in-trade. So don't feel your responsibility or conscience is so easily assuaged.