I had not noticed that the discussion about the proposed Triumph Foods pork processing plant in East Moline had stirred up some racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican sentiments but several Moline residents whose parents were born in Mexico have told me that they most certainly had. Although they had initially been as concerned as I was about a smelly plant, built in the flood-plain when they started hearing hateful rhetoric in opposition to the plant that became the deciding issue in their minds and they are now in favor of the plant being built.
If you are in opposition to the plant and are not a racist you probably do not want your reasons for opposing the plant to become irrelevant as the deciding issue becomes whether you are for or against Mexicans in the Quad Cities. If you speak against the plant be sure to emphasize that your reasons have nothing to do with the ethnicity or nationality of the people that might work there. Do not allow your desire for a winning political coalition make you complicit with racists and xenophobes.
Some of my friends are so concerned about the anti-immigration rhetoric they have been hearing they are organizing a "Stop the Hate" rally in Moline next Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 4 pm at the Moline Community Center, 1515 5th Ave. More details to follow.