Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Voces de la Frontera, an advocacy organization, planned to protest the Brewers' game with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
The purpose of the protest is to pressure Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to move the All-Star game from Phoenix, Arizona to somewhere out of the state. According to their website, moving the game would make a powerful statement against extremism and discrimination. If Voces is successful and the All-Star game is moved, it will cost a battered Arizona economy $60 to $120 million in revenue.
Brewers' Vice President of Communications told El Conquistador that the protest staged by Voces Monday night stayed within the designated area and was conducted peacefully.
In Voces' press release, they stated that "boycotting Arizona's SB1070 is one of the major civil rights struggles of our generation."
But they aren't really boycotting an inanimate law named SB1070. Voces de la Frontera is boycotting the people of Arizona, 33% of which are Latino. Moving the All-Star game from Arizona to another state will disrupt an already vulnerable economy. And the businesses most at risk are resorts, hotels, restaurants, and traveling services, all of which are saturated with Hispanic workers. Essentially, Voces de la Frontera would harm the very community they are professing to help.
When El Conquistador called Voces to ask about the Brewer protest, Christine Neuman-Ortiz was blunt. She asked, "Have you ever called me about my opinion on the border?" When I said no, she replied, "Next time you print something about me, call me first." She hung up before I could respond.
Ironically, Neumann-Ortiz instructed me to call her next time I plan to write about her in the paper, but she refused to talk with me when I tried to do just that. Unfortunately, when you hang up on a reporter, you leave the impression that your organization is unprofessional and vulnerable to criticism.
As an advocacy group, Voces de la Frontera exists so they can oppose those that don't share their political views. Back in October, they staged a protest in front of Paul Ryan's office in Racine because the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) had listed Representative Ryan as attending their rally. Voces considers FAIR to be a racist organization, and therefore took offense that their Representative attended.
Only one problem, Ryan never attended the rally. FAIR mistakenly put his name on their roster, which Ryan had instructed them to remove shortly after.
Christina Neuman-Ortiz should have taken her own advice and called Ryan before staging a public protest in front of his office. She had nearly a month to check her facts, and to the best of our knowledge, she did not call Ryan's office. As a result, his good name was tarnished in the Racine Journal Times over a simple misunderstanding.
In politics, you can't expect to bully representatives using political gimmicks and not be able to take a punch yourself. Thick skin is not just a trait required by politicians, you can't always expect positive press.