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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gringo Mask - Yeah, This Should Work

Gringomask.com appears to be a real, not spoof, website in protest against the Arizona immigration bill. (h/t)

The site proposes that as a protest people wear a mask featuring a blond-haired white person's face (image right). According to the website:

The objective of this action is to dignify and support the Hispanic community, with the firm intention of taking it to the streets and confronting Arizona’s statute SB 1070. Proud of where we come from, and what we do and are for this country.
These people need lawyers, not masks.

Because wearing a mask in public is illegal in many states, so the wearing of the Gringo Mask in and of itself would be grounds to be stopped by the police (and a resulting identity check?).

In many states, these laws grew out of the desire to have a legal basis to prohibit the wearing of hoods at Ku Klux Klan rallies. In New York, interestingly, the law "can be traced back in substance to legislation enacted in 1845 to thwart armed insurrections by Hudson Valley tenant farmers who used disguises to attack law enforcement officers." (Citation, at 10)

New York Penal Law § 240.35(4), which has been upheld by the federal Court of Appeals (in a decision in which now Justice Sotomayor participated) makes it an offense of "loitering" for a person to be masked in public:
Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities.
Here is a list (a/o 2005) of states which criminalize the wearing of masks (Arizona is not on the list, having repealed its anti-mask law in 1978).

I wonder, though, whether in states like Arizona where it is not illegal to wear a mask, the wearing of a mask combined with other factors, e.g. walking into a bank, could provide grounds at least to question someone.

So while "driving while brown" or "looking Hispanic" or any of the other alleged grounds for racial profiling remain illegal as a basis for stopping and questioning someone, wearing the Gringo Mask could be a lawful ground in many states for a police officer to question someone.
The Gringo Mask, another bad idea gone bad.

14 comments:

  1. since the term gringo is racist I guess its just the other side of the "driving while spic" coin ...
    oh wait ... I can't say spic ...

    from a f'ing gringo ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. RACIST!!! That'd be profiling blue eyed blonds!

    Get the hell outa my country!! Illegal means you are breaking our laws... in ENGLISH!!

    Obtener el infierno outa mi país! Ilegales: usted está violando nuestras leyes. in Illegal Mexican

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  3. Ghost - It's only racist if directed against someone other than white BY somebody who is white. Therefore, paragons of virtue like Al Sharpton, barack hussein obama and Jessie Jackson (for example) could never be racists -- and apparently neither can wetbacks (can I use that term?).

    I don't think you'll find legions of masked Hispanic people marching into banks in Los Angeles wearing masks, or you'd see those same legions being carried out in bags and hoisted into the meat wagons - irrespective of their immigration status.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lived in NY for years before moving to Texas, but I wasn't aware of that New York mask law?   Hmmmmm?   Somewhat OT, but I'd guess that pretty much rules out wearing the niqāb in NY, does it not?
    .

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  5. And another Hot Air link! This is exciting. I love your blog. You do important work, the more people that know about you and your blog, the better. Same will Hillbuzz - get the word out!

    @Martywd: I am a week shy from moving to NY to TX...I've heard that TX has gotten quite a few NY transplants as of late...Not too surprising, seeing that this state is going to hell in a handbasket. I can't be the only New Yorker wanting to swing the pendulum to the complete opposite side and see what life (and paychecks) are like under a sane, limited state govt!

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  6. you can't fix stupid, especially if you hire illegals to do it. %-)

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  7. I knew a few weeks ago (May 1?) who was behind this, and pointing that out - and trying to have an impact on their business - would be a better way to do things. Plus, there's the fact that "gringo" is basically a slur. Plus, the fact that a small number of Mexicans look like the masks or their brunette cousins, and that's especially true of those in the Mexican elite (the ones who are most profiting from the illegal activity that the masks group is enabling). And, in addition to going after the mask group, go after their promoters (like, IIRC, Sharry).

    However, the better thing than going after cheap publicity stunts is to go after those who have actual power: the MSM and politicians. They're incredibly vulnerable to being discredited over the wider issue, but few want to help me do it.

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  8. These people need to get a clue, "The objective of this action is to dignify and support the Hispanic community,". You don't dignify something by making a mockery of yourself wearing a mask.

    The most dignified act I have seen to date was the Hispanic girl you outed her mother as an illegal. I am not suggesting children turn to being a snitch, but adults in the Hispanic community should be doing so in their own self interest. Pride of community is reinforced when that community is above reproach. But that only occurs through self policing.

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  9. LL, you CANNOT use "wetback" as it does not necessarily apply to all Mexican immigrants: my family crwled under the fence, and prefer the term "scratchback"...

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  10. Kelly,

    Welcome to Texas. However, please be aware that you will be missing some things and encountering some unfamiliar ones:

    --The pizza is lousy
    --Most places are closed at night
    --There are still lots of places you can't buy alcohol
    --Church is both serious and social
    --There are, for all practical purposes, no cabs
    --Horses have the right-of-way
    --You should assume that any individual you meet is armed, legally or otherwise
    --Stay in your lane, especially in town
    --People wearing Stetsons are probably richer than you are
    --Rodeo is serious
    --There really are Rangers. No, Walker isn't one
    --No, you needn't learn Spanish, but it's polite to know a bit
    --A one-ton dually pickup truck is a useful tool, not an extravagant waste of fuel
    --Texans really, really, do not want to be New Yorkers, even if it would mean better pizza

    Keep that last (especially) firmly in mind, and you'll do fine.

    Regards,
    Ric

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  11. "These people need lawyers, not masks."
    I would put psychiatrists at the top of the list.

    "... wearing a mask in public is illegal in many states,"
    Ouch. That's gonna make the Lone Ranger's job a lot harder. Also the Green Hornet, Batman, and a couple of other folks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The objective of this action is to dignify and support the Hispanic community."

    Hmm... why doesn't wearing a white mask sound like dignity to me?

    Another mindless protest against a bill no one's even read.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "These people need lawyers, not masks."
    I would put psychiatrists at the top of the list.


    I disagree. Topping the list should be "a clue".

    ReplyDelete
  14. So if I throw a Halloween party and the people arrive outside the house with masks, that's a violation of law? Does a burqa constitute a mask that is outlawed under this provision?

    ReplyDelete