Santa Clarita Councilman Calls Himself ‘Proud Racist’

Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, January 24, 2010

In a heated speech at an anti-illegal-immigration rally, a Santa Clarita city councilman called himself a “proud racist”–a comment that has outraged some residents and political opponents.

Bob Kellar, who has served on the Santa Clarita council for 10 years, made the remarks at a Jan. 16 rally in Santa Clarita, attended by anti-illegal immigration groups and posted on YouTube.

Kellar stood by his remarks in an interview, saying they reflected his frustration with illegal immigration, but weren’t intended to express animosity against nonwhites.

“It doesn’t mean I’m going to saddle up the horses at midnight,” he said.

At the rally, Kellar first referred to a statement from President Theodore Roosevelt that says the United States only has room for one flag and one language. He said he had quoted it at a past City Council meeting.

“The only thing I heard back from a couple of people was ‘Bob, you sound like a racist.’

“I said, ‘That’s good. If that’s what you think I am because I happen to believe in America, then I’m a proud racist. You’re darn right I am.”‘

Some Democrats seized on Kellar’s remarks as symbolic of the Republican Party’s attitudes toward immigration in general.

{snip}

The rally, held at the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, was attended by members of several groups that are against illegal immigration, including the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen.

Kellar said he went not as a councilman, but as a resident of Santa Clarita and a concerned American.

In the interview, he said government officials need to stand strong on immigration and good people have been hurt by those who cross the border illegally.

{snip}

Also speaking at the rally was Jamiel Shaw Sr., an African-American whose 17-year-old son was gunned down two years ago allegedly by a 19-year-old illegal immigrant and gang member.

Shaw said he felt as Kellar does.

His son, Jamiel Shaw Jr., was a football player and honor student on his way to UCLA, when he was slain near his Arlington Heights home in 2008. A member of the 18th Street Gang and convicted felon, allegedly in the country illegally, is awaiting trial for the slaying.

“My son was murdered by an illegal alien that was released from L.A. County jail on a Saturday night and on Sunday night, he had murdered my son,” Shaw said during the rally. “No one called (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). No one cared.”

“If this makes me a racist, then hey, I’m going to be the best one I can. It’s not racist to be pissed off, and I’m a pissed-off dad. I miss my son.”

Such rallies against illegal immigration–as well as those on the other side seeking amnesty and immigration reform–are expected to increase in frequency in coming months as a new reform bill is debated in Congress.

{snip}

Raymond Herrera, a former spokesman for the Minuteman Project and founder of his own anti-illegal-immigration group, said he opposes amnesty for the undocumented {snip}.

Still Herrera, whose group is called We the People, California’s Crusader, agrees with Kellar’s views.

{snip}

Herrera, who said his grandfather came to the United States from Mexico and was a legal citizen, said other Latinos sometimes call him offensive names. {snip}

“I’m called a racist and a coconut for saying this,” he said, “but we are invaded by illegal aliens that are Hispanic.”

{snip}

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