By Stephen Webster
For: The Lone Star Iconoclast,
Photo by Stephen Webster
Brian Burns, a member of the Texas Minuteman Project, spoke at the Republican Women's Club of Denton County on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.
“We should get some of them crazy Florida ‘gaters’ an’ put ‘em in the river,” said an old, wrinkled woman. She reached up to her overlaid, curly, gray bowl-cut and goosed it with the base of her right palm. “That way, when them Mexicans come runnin’ across the border, they’ll git eat’n up. And it’ll be good ‘cause our boys in the patrol’ll be able to see ‘em an’ hear ‘em. Heh-heh. They’ll just run up on ‘em and put one b’tween they eyes real easy.”
“Yeaap,” said the old woman’s equally old and wrinkled husband, his mostly-hairless chrome dome dotted with liver spots and cancers. “Gett’um,” he concluded in a guttural tone. The crowd laughed and clapped and rolled their heads. Women with makeup so thick their faces looked like mannequins hee-hawed and stomped their feet; elder, burly-looking husbands sitting in the corners of the Republicans Women’s Club, snickered and held their heads down slightly, keeping at eye-level with each other. The day’s speaker, Brian Burns – a member of the Texas Minuteman Project – smiled and looked down. A much more cordial and well-spoken man, he seemed uneasy with this type of speak, but joined in the chorus of laughter nonetheless.
On Wednesday, May 17, the Denton County Republican Women’s Club met at Golden Corral in Denton to hear a guest speaker from the Texas Minuteman Project. Burns, who owns a home inspection company in Dallas, is a member of this group of vigilantes who have taken it upon themselves to patrol the Texas/Mexico border in search of Mexican citizens attempting to cross illegally.
“However, everyone,” said Burns. “You should know that Golden Corral is one of the top employers in the U.S. for hiring illegal aliens and Mexicans.” Several of the organizers frowned and glanced around the room nervously. “And you can find out the others by going to ‘www.wehirealiens.com.’ Okay? Everyone get that address?”
Roughly 25 party faithful were in attendance, including Denton County’s new District Attorney Paul Johnson. Diane Edmondson, the party’s chairwoman for the region, introduced Burns to the group, calling him ‘a hero’ and ‘a brave and honorable man.’
“The President and our Senators are ignoring us, ladies and gentlemen!” said Edmondson. “Bush is a phony and a liar if he thinks he can just send a few National Guard people down there for a year. He’s in bed with Vicente Fox. Now look, I don’t really think you came to hear me speak, so take a listen to our guest today. He’s a Texas Minuteman and has spent lots of time on the border. Please welcome Brian Burns.”
The audience applauded. One man whistled.
Burns introduced himself by giving the audience a brief history of his professional career. Though presently the owner of Burns Home Inspections, LLC, he spent six years prior as an Air Medic pilot for Children’s Medical Center. “I first got interested in this problem with the Mexicans when I was making flights over El Paso,” said Burns. “We started picking up pregnant illegals who had just crossed the border that day and wanted to have their children in the county hospital – which is paid for, for free.”
Several present gasped, shaking their heads and covering their mouths in disbelief.
“One trip costs us about five-grand in the aircraft I flew. Five thousand going there and five thousand going back. So, about ten grand. But that is just for the flight. Then, it is about seven to ten thousand for the birth. So, we’re talking anywhere between ten, fifteen, twenty thousand dollars … ah, every time they come across. Yeah. Got my interest.”
On the tables in the banquet room, the group had laid pamphlets and business cards with contact names and phone numbers for various Texas Minutemen “officers.” There were several pamphlets lying around. One, titled “Common Sense on Mass Immigration,” depicts the New York City skyline shrouded in clouds, three bright rays of light shining down. Under the rays of light, the clouds are burned away, revealing where the twin towers once stood, remembered in this image draped in American flags.
A single-sheet flyer the group was circulating reads, “Don’t give up the fight against guest worker/amnesty legislation!” It lists eight bullet points, most one sentence or less, that it calls “strong evidence,” but provides no substantiation or reference. Evidence such as, “In a shocking [revelation], the Senate’s ‘immigration reform plan’ would: Let an estimated 103 million immigrants into the U.S. over the next 20 years – that’s over one-third of the current population of the United States. Grant immediate amnesty for 10 million illegal aliens … Open the door for nearly four times as many permanent worker visas as are now issued” … and “[p]rovide for the largest expansion of the welfare state ever and cost the American taxpayer $46 billion per year. … [H]alf of all adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have less than a high-school education. In addition, recent immigrants have high levels of our-of-wedlock childbearing, which increases welfare costs and poverty.”
“You know what,” said Burns. “Every single time Bush opens his mouth about immigration, I swear to you, border traffic, people coming in illegally, it increases by about 25 percent.” Again, the audience seemed shocked. Riveted, even. Several men stood together, shaking their heads and holding their plates. They walked out and headed back for the buffet. They returned with apple pie and ice cream.
“I am very upset with the fact that he said … He, he wants to please everybody,” continued Burns. “He wants to look at Vicente Fox and say, ‘I’m not being bad!’ But then he wants to turn to the American people and say, ‘Oh, ah, I’m being tough on illegal immigration. Bush can’t have it both ways. His plan is completely watered down. If you talk to any military man and you tell him, ‘You can’t carry any weapons, and you can’t enforce the law,’ they’re gonna be extremely frustrated.”
Burns’ conclusions? “We need military intervention. They need to go in there and do what they do. They need to be keeping our laws. These are foreign nationals coming in our country … This has no conflict with Posse Commitatus. Everyone knows that Posse Commitatus says the military cannot act in a role of law enforcement. And they’re not. They’re not turning around and arresting American citizens. They would be turned around, facing Mexico. Faxing the national border. There should be no excuses for this!”
“What we need is a bio-metric social security card,” concluded Burns. “We need a national database and a new type of social security card with a finger print, the number, your photograph and a smart chip inside.”
This reporter raised his hand, as other had prior, to ask a question.
“Yes sir?” said Burns.
“You’re talking about a National I.D. card? That is exactly what Tom Ridge proposed a few years ago. A new type of ‘social security.’”
“Ah, no. No it isn’t,” said Burns. “That’s … That’s something totally different. I’m not even gonna touch that one.”
I shrugged and Burns continued on.
“Some say we have to deport all of them and raid the workplaces and punish the employers. I don’t know that is possible. There are others that actually want to give American citizenship to these people for free. Well … I don’t think so. But nobody ever mentions the other solution: attrition. Ya see, if you just cut off our social services to them over night, that would do the trick. If you stopped educating their kids, stopped providing free health care of any kind, if you stopped letting them go to work … You’d just about solve the problem overnight. If they can’t work they can’t eat. And if they can’t eat, they’ll probably just leave.”
“Here here!” shouted the old woman with the bowl-cut. “Burns for president!” Several in the audience chuckled.
Walking out of the meeting, a woman named Cindy Lou flagged this reporter down and asked to go on the record. “Hey, you with media? I wanna talk to you. I’m Cindy. Hi. I live in Denton County,” she said. “Sort of between Sanger and Denton. So it’s the county. Just say Denton County, okay?”
Cindy Lou boasted that she is one of “the original Minutemen,” and explained that she had quit two jobs to join the Arizona Minutemen on the border for 97 days. “I only saw a few of them commin’ across, you know? They’re sneaky. But I called I.C.E. [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] on ‘em. I love taking credit for that. I call I.C.E. on every illegal ‘Messy-can’ I can.” She laughed, apparently amused by her rhyme.
“I think these Mexicans should be considered felons and deported,” she insisted. “I think the best way to get the wall built and secure our nation better is to make the deportees, prior to being deported … they should make them prisoners for a while, and put them in prison labor camps. Put the prisoners in tents, like Sheriff [inaudible] does in, um … um … Arizona. Like he does. Put the prisoners in tents, in the desert, and make them work for their food. I think all them Mexicans should be deported, but prior to being deported, they should be put in prison camps in the desert so they can build the wall for us. That way they can pay for their food and their way … their crimes against OUR Homeland.”
A brown-skinned man wearing a Golden Corral apron and torn, dirty, white baseball cap took a seat about five feet behind her, leaning over a plate of food. He glanced up at her several times, paying special attention when she said the words “Mexican” or “illegal.” He said nothing, choosing to continue eating instead.
“Yeah, and once we deport them, if they come back they need to be held a lot longer so they get it,” continued Cindy Lou. “We’ll make ‘em clean up the landscape. We have hundreds and hundreds of miles of beautiful desert that has nothing but dirty clothing, trash, toiletries … I’ve seen big piles of plastic bottles full of urine. It is disgusting. Make the ‘Messy-cans’ clean up their piss!”
I chuckled and said, “You know, truckers … American truckers … they do that thing with the urine in the bottle, too. They call ‘em ‘Trucker Bombs.’ Ever see that?”
She laughed uncomfortably. “Yeah. It’s gross. These Mexicans are everywhere. I can’t believe it.” She seemed to miss the point.
“It’s like a dog that shits on the carpet,” she said with a snort. “Before you pick up the shit, you take the dog and put his nose in it and give ‘em a few swats on the behind. You gotta tell ‘em ‘NO!’ and stick they nose in it. Look, if they are coming over to love America and be Americans, why would they trash our land? Would I come in to your country and shit on your back porch? No. Why would you do that to us?”
The Golden Corral employee was drinking from a translucent red cup. When Cindy Lou said this he slammed it down on the table, soda splashing out onto his hand and plate. He collected his things hurriedly and stood up. As he walked away, he turned and cast a dagger gaze at her over his right shoulder. She didn’t notice.
“You mean an illegal immigrant did that on your back porch?” I asked.
“Well … no, but you know what I mean,” she replied, again laughing. She reached out and touched my right arm with two fingers, as though she had known me for more than a few moments.
“They should be jailed,” she said. “They should be kep’ in tents, under guard with automatic rifles, they should be used to build the wall and if they come back again, then they need to get out there and clean up their trash. I couldn’t be happier that Halliburton is building these camps already. But I don’t think they’ll enforce it. Bush is strong on talk. He loves to talk like he’s a big, strong man and tough on crime, when he’s not. He is obviously in bed … with … you know, ah, their president. Fox. He’s just trying to make Fox happy. He’s in bed with Mexico. Bush is selling out America.”
Before walking away, she made sure to plug her blog, leaning into this reporter’s recorder. “I do the blog regularly,” she said. “All the time, actually. There’s lots of good information there. I blog at h-t-t-p, um … forward-slash. Or is it backward? I don’t know about these things, uh … Anyway, its ‘goonface.blogspot.com’ right? Check it out. I think you’ll like it.”
On Cindy Lou’s blog, titled “Un-American ‘Goonage,’” one can find a host of photographs of demonstrators from the last couple months of civil action among the Latino community. Some shots depict protesters, most of them white-skinned Americans, as “people [that] SUPPORT ILLEGAL ALIENS!” Others show convicted criminals of Latino descent. One such post shows a man who killed a police officer. The caption reads, “That’s right! Illegals doing the job Americans won’t do!” The blog’s introductory paragraph claims, “the faces you see on this page, only a mother could love,” and goes on to assert that the Mexicans plan to “take over America” and that “using violence isn’t a problem with their agendas.”
In spite of Cindy Lou’s claims, no arrests were made in Dallas on April 9, when over 500,000 people marched. No arrests were made at Dallas city hall on May 1, when 15,000 showed up for the May Day Boycott. And no arrests were made in Washington D.C., when over a million men, women and children of all colors marched in solidarity with the new civil rights movement.
“You better believe I call I.C.E. every time I see one of them. Every time,” said Cindy Lou.
“But how can you tell who is a citizen and who isn’t?” I asked.
“Well … I