Illegal painters target Santa Barbara newspaper

January 9, 2015

B62144xCEAAIjeJThe Santa Barbara News-Press offices became a target this week for protesters and vandals who objected to the newspaper’s use of the word “illegals” in a front-page headline.

On Saturday, the News-Press published a headline stating, “Illegals line up for driver’s licenses.” The headline referred to long lines that had begun to form at the California Department of Motor Vehicles following the implementation of a law allowing illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

Critics responded to the headline with an online petition calling for a retraction, and on Thursday, graffiti appeared on the News-Press building and nearby sidewalks. Vandals painted “fight back” and “the border is illegal not the people who cross it” next to the News-Press office entrance. [KEYT]

They also fired paintballs at the building. The damage totaled nearly $1,500, according to Santa Barbara Police.

Officers have not yet caught any suspects. They say the amount of damage to the building and sidewalks could amount to a felony.

On Thursday night, about 100 protesters gathered outside the News-Press offices. Demonstrators threatened to return on Jan. 19 if the newspaper did not issue a retraction or make a change in editorial policy.

Earlier in the day, News-Press Director of News Operations Don Katich released a statement defending the use of the word “illegals” in the headline and saying it appropriately describes people who are in the country illegally.

“You have to look no further than the White House website to see the term ‘illegal’ used when describing the 2,000,000 illegal immigrants President Obama has deported since taking office for being in the U.S. illegally,” Katich said in the statement.”

The vandalism of the News-Press office followed a fatal attack on the offices of a French satirical magazine by less than one day. Gunmen opened fire at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on Wednesday, killing 12 people and injuring several others, in apparent revenge for the publication’s satirical depiction of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Many individuals and governments across the world, in turn, have rushed to the defense of freedom of the press over the past two days. While the protest against the News-Press was occurring, other demonstrations were taking place in honor of the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists.


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60 Comments

  1. choprzrul says:

    I could care less if they are Asian, African, Arabian, or Canadians from the Arctic; if they haven’t followed legal pathways to be here, they are breaking the law.

    If ‘illegal’ or ‘illegal alien’ is somehow misconstrued to be a slur against any ethnic group, then I propose we adapt a more accurate description.

    “Criminal Occupier” would seem much more accurate….regardless of country/region of origin.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. Slowerfaster says:

    A little dated, and a different ‘race’, but the same attitudes apply:

    http://www.tinadupuy.com/column/how-to-seem-racist-a-guide/

    (-11) 11 Total Votes - 0 up - 11 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Sort of like, “Here this is completely different and dated, but proves my point so it is okay”.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  3. pigsrule says:

    That the Santa Barbara News-Press had the balls to call out illegals for what they are is to be commended.

    Think about it. The first thing an illegal alien does is break the law. Then they get illegal documents to fake who they are and often are paid under the table. What respect do they have for our laws and how can these people ever be law-abiding citizens if all they do when there here is break laws?

    Illegal aliens are what they are and if that offends people, maybe they should read up on the laws of the land. If we aren’t a law abiding country – we’re screwed.

    (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
  4. DonDiego says:

    Wow! It’s always a sign of low intelligence when someone goes straight to calling others a racist for voicing concerns over illegal activity. I think you need to review the true definition of the word “racism”. People illegally entering this country and stealing from the citizens of this country are ILLEGAL ALIENS. Why is this so hard to understand?

    “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so
    much that isn’t so.” -Ronald Reagan

    (25) 31 Total Votes - 28 up - 3 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      ” The trouble with our Republican and conservative neighbors is that they ARE ignorant racists” – Me

      (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
  5. guest says:

    The irony is that pro -La Razas racist don’t care about the affect illegals have on the African American community.

    Does anyone want to comment on the affect illegals have on African American community?

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
  6. mkaney says:

    “My great, great grandparents came to America and quickly learned English to survive. Why can’t today’s immigrants do the same?”

    http://www.news.wisc.edu/15801

    (18) 26 Total Votes - 22 up - 4 down
  7. mkaney says:

    You can all choose to focus on whatever irrelevant part of this situation you want, I know the truth and that is that this town is overrun by racist (specifically anti-poor Mexican) sentiments. I have lived here for 42 years and I know this town and its people pretty well. You all come up with all these other reasons that you are upset by illegal immigrants, and give all these excuses about what you’re not racist, but it’s lies damn lies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    (-34) 40 Total Votes - 3 up - 37 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Never heard a better statement of facts without any facts.

      (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down

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