In the New Bedford local paper, The (Double) Standard Times, Catholic Social Services Rev. Marc Fallon accused me of being exactly like the 1930s German Nazis. Apparently if you state publicly or otherwise that American immigration laws need to be enforced, you are a genocidal bigot. Earlier last week in New Bedford two illegal alien Mayan men were mugged by hispanic attackers who know the likelihood of their targets having large wads of cash on them. In each of these crimes the criminals were correct.
Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that me, Ken Pittman a pro-life, pro-Catholic Doctrine, pro-Christmas, pro-charity, pro-family Roman Catholic become a victim of slander by a Catholic priest. Amazingly, the Rev. Mark Fallon who serves the church at Catholic Social Services of New Bedford, feels that my immigration position and the conversations on the radio and television qualify me as a card carrying Nazi racist. Before I went on the air on Tuesday November 20, I tried to reach the priest and see why he said this or if he was somehow misquoted (the liberal paper is infamous for this, although not this particular reporter). After leaving a message before he came to work, I left four more messages. While I was on the air my cell phone rang from the Catholic Social Services office and I went to a commercial break and called them back. I was able to reach Rev. Fallon and when I told him who I was he then hung up on me. Hmmm.”Can you hear me now?” I tried back but this time I used my Comcast Digital* phone for a different response. Nope, I got the undignified ‘click’ once again. Go figure.
The Good Reverend is apparently readily available to slander but not to confront this ‘evil’ or qualify the obscene comparison to Nazis or even the accusation of racism. Now I normally like to ensure that I am on the right side of the issues so I immediately called other local Roman Catholic priests and the Diocese of Fall River, MA itself to get their take on it. I was asked to lightly tread on this and I heard some apologetic explanations of his “liberal politics” but in each case, the church separated from Rev. Fallon on his “over the top” remarks.
As far as my being racist, I could embarrass him and go into just who it is that my family gladly chooses to sponsor overseas and show him what I actually say about the immigration issue on TV or even have him walk into my show during air time and just take a look around to see who is on my hand picked team. The priest went on to somehow suggest that my show inspires Hispanic criminals to target illegal aliens and mug them. I just think it is criminals doing what they always have done; target the vulnerable. He insists that my show is racist and xenophobic yet he literally hides from me to answer my questions of how and why. I have always recognized the church and her rightful role in dealing with the human plight and confusion that is sure to follow in the aftermath of a federal raid with the magnitude of that at Michael Bianco Inc. I’ve provided for the children while separated from their incarcerated parents (something even Frank, Delahunt, Kerry and Kennedy didn’t do when they visited them). What I stand firm on is the rule of law. If Reverend Fallon believes we should legalize these people to make them safer, when is he going to agree that doing that very thing for abortion was also the “right thing”? Although he refuses to qualify any of these derogatory remarks, he continues to slander me. I realize that many hundreds of people who read his words will believe him and I don’t enjoy that thought but I know who I am and what I am and so does my family and friends. Father, I’m not happy with you and your abusive language but I forgive you.
Here is what Father Fallon had to say earlier this week; Rev. Fallon said their plight is made worse in an increasingly xenophobic society that seeks to dehumanize immigrants and strip away their dignity.
“People who commit these crimes see people of education and influence just teeing off on people who are the brown-skinned indigenous population of Central America,” he said.
“The wider climate is so insidious and hateful. We see a clear connection. There’s no roundabout route to this. These crimes don’t happen by accident.”
Rev. Fallon said bigotry is rampant in many radio and television broadcasts.
“Every time you listen to WBSM, the vitriolic statements you hear there, there is no distinction between them and what was being said in Germany during the 1930s,” he said.
In Thanksgiving’s Standard Times edition, Rev. Fallon was once again available :
By Rev. marc fallon
The Rev. Fallon is a caseworker with Catholic Social Services
in New Bedford.
November 22, 2007 6:00 AM
This week of Thanksgiving, local schoolchildren commemorate the generosity of the Wampanoag, Massasoit and other First Nations of North America toward the British Pilgrims, the first of the 17th-century European migrants to arrive in their midst. As Sojourners’ Jim Wallis points out, subsequent relationships between the indigenous Americans and European migrants served as the tragic basis of the United States’ original sin of racism, and ultimately genocide, instead of sustained cooperation and mutually supportive relationships.
Revisiting this tragedy over the centuries, this week Organization Maya K’iche’ of New Bedford once again responds to senseless street violence directed against two of its community members. No one intends to suggest that any single public policy or law enforcement strategy will ever preclude street crime. In the post-industrial setting of widespread drug addiction and constant need for a fix, burglaries and assaults may be considered likely to occur, perpetrated by an identifiable sub-group of the addicted population.
It is, however, a profound social sin and crime against the human condition to participate in a culture of tolerating the systematic dehumanization of a particular class of persons on the basis of their race, language, culture or ethnicity.
Nationally, the Fox fascist cable channel fosters a climate of hatred directed against Latin Americans working productively in the United States without the benefit of proper administrative immigration documents. Locally, Fairhaven fascist radio participates in this by specifically targeting the indigenous Mayans and others of Central America who live in the shadows of our triple-deckers and community.
All will be called to accountability for their complicity in this systematic and sustained campaign to dehumanize our brothers and sisters.
Federal legislation pertaining to migration is administrative, subject to the discretion of the legislature, of Congress. It is civil law. This is the same level of moral culpability as paying that fine for driving an automobile faster than the posted speed limit. While this may be a difficult concept for Lou Dobbs and his local acolytes to grasp, the federal law of migration has never had anything at all to do with criminal law.
Once again this spring, Congress failed to remedy this disconnect between the labor demand of our economy and the presence of 10-12 million persons here without the proper administrative documents.
One does not need to look too far into the past for a systematic campaign using the press and public airwaves to dehumanize an entire class of human beings.
I do not anticipate that Sen. Clinton, nor any candidate, will be soon questioned over the subsequent effects of Mr. Clinton’s neo-liberal North American Free Trade Agreement. This nation refuses to acknowledge or accept any moral responsibility for the profound disruption of previously sustainable local economies in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
One of the hideous premises of the anti-immigrant hatred is the fiction that the migrants would ever want to leave home in the first place. At home, they knew warm and supportive extended families in towns focused on sustainable local agricultural economies. When cheap corn and grains, the by-product of U.S. price supports, are dumped on the Mexican market, young people must choose: Stay and starve, or leave to work in the north and survive.
For five weeks in the summer of 2006, I worked with Esteban Tum Chach, of San Andres Sajcabaja, K’iche’, Guatemala and New Bedford, to recover his brother Margarito’s body from the medical examiner’s office in Boston after Margarito died in an automobile accident. The delay was due to a lack of medical or dental records to verify identification.
In September, the medical examiner received Esteban’s body. The report specified that this kind man, so devoted to his family and the recovery of his brother’s remains, was “eviscerated” by an assailant one night on a North End street when Esteban went to the aid of a friend harassed over a ball cap.
In the course of this ongoing social sin, we know of Irish and Ukranians who overstay travel visas and can spend extended periods here without sanction. In contrast, the brown-skinned, Spanish-speaking, indigenous poor of Latin America, who have suffered social and economic dislocation due to the economic policies of the United States, are sought out and specifically targeted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement women and men. I consider this a cuestion de pigmentacion, an issue centered on skin color.
There is a direct, linear connection between the hate speech of the Fox cable channel, Fairhaven racist radio, and other providers and a perception of “open season” immunity for street thugs who target local Guatemalan Mayans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and other vulnerable populations. Some of the most odious return huge profit margins for their corporate daddies, showing how they play on the innate insecurities of the majority population in the age of terrorism.
All who participate in and perpetrate this affront to civilization will be held accountable for their actions and decisions.