Laura Ingraham: English is "in decline" because of Mexican "jingoism"

The Fox News contributor and radio host seems to believe Mexican immigrants want to reconquer the U.S. southwest

Published January 30, 2014 10:05PM (EST)

Laura Ingraham
Laura Ingraham

When right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham says she opposes comprehensive immigration reform, she means it. As the Huffington Post's Jared Gilmour once put it, Ingraham is on something of an anti-reform "crusade."

Her animosity doesn't just extend to a potential immigration reform bill (or series of bills), though. Surprise, surprise — she seems to not particularly like immigrants, either.

Speaking on her radio show on Thursday, Ingraham registered her agreement when a caller said immigrants "have learned to game the system." But when the caller went on to complain that she couldn't go into parts of Colorado (presumably her home state) because she doesn't speak Spanish, Ingraham took it a step further.

"No, your language is gone," Ingraham told the caller. "Your language -- in fact, your language is not only in decline, the English language, Chris; it's actually a sign of jingoism."

If you're baffled by Ingraham's contention that a (nonexistent) decline in English is a sign of "jingoism," allow her to explain:

Because, remember, the La Raza is all about — the movement underneath La Raza, which ... translates as "The Race" is: This is our land. You took our land. We're coming to take it back.

That's what the fanatics really think ... And Nancy Pelosi and La Raza are licking their chops about this immigration reform.

Make sense, now? No? Well, here's our best guess at what Ingraham was trying to say.

Among some of the most passionate opponents of immigration reform — and immigrants, in general — there is a fringy belief that Mexicans are immigrating to the southwestern United States in order to effectively "take back" the land lost in the Mexican-American War of the mid-19th century. (And, to be fair, among an even fringier subset of pro-immigration activists, this is a fanciful goal.)

In other words, Ingraham's belief that pro-reform advocates are secretly trying to annex vast swathes of the United States to Mexico is nonsense.

She's wrong about the translation of La Raza, too. According to the organization, its name is better translated as "the people" or "the community."

Other than that, though, Ingraham has made another valuable contribution to the nationwide debate on immigration.

You can listen to the segment below, via Media Matters:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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