Dan Patrick's Long History of Toxic Immigrant-Bashing - 2019-08-06
Within hours, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was on Fox News. But Patrick didn't focus on the safety of Texas' 4.6 million immigrants and 10.7 million Hispanics; instead, he zeroed in on an upcoming event in El Paso supposedly organized by "antifa." The next day he was back on Fox, and while he did acknowledge the shooting was likely a hate crime, he spent the bulk of his airtime blaming video games, social media, and the paucity of prayer in public schools.
It's standard for conservatives, in the wake of mass shootings, to deflect attention to chimerical causes like mental illness. But Patrick—even more than other statewide Republicans in Texas—may have a deeper motive for distraction: his own yearslong record of inciting anti-immigrant hatred.
From the beginning, Patrick staked his political fortunes on xenophobia. Way back in 2006, when he was transitioning from radio shock jock to candidate for a state Senate district in the Houston 'burbs, Patrick was busy telling audiences that immigrants are pathogenic marauders. "The No. 1 problem we are facing is the silent invasion of the border," he once told a small golf club gathering. "They are bringing Third World diseases with them," he added misleadingly, citing tuberculosis, malaria, polio, and leprosy.