Okay, first - Claudia Alvarez is an idiot for saying what she did in a Santa Ana city council, taking on one of the commercial landlords - who happens to be Jewish - by comparing him to Adolf Hitler and accusing him of "ethnic cleansing," the latter meaning he wants to bring in new tenants to his buildings that will, in all likelihood, replace the Mexican-owned businesses there with non-Mexicans. Que lastima, but areas go through changes and a man has the right to do with his private property what he wants.
Okay, so Claudia apologized - to practcially all media except Irv Chase personally. About that, she had this to say:
Oh, well, that's really . . . punk ass. Really? Claudia, if you can't be grown up to face an opponent and apologize for poor choice of words, then maybe you're not grown up enough to be a politician.She will not, however, be apologizing personally to Irv Chase and his son, Ryan, both of whom were the target of her caustic statements on Wednesday. "As you know, it's not an amicable relationship, but my apology has been everywhere," Alvarez said. Given "the issues between the personalities involved," she added, "I think it's best for us to stay apart from each other at this point."
But were her comments racist or anti-Semitic? I noticed a link to a blog written by Theo Hirsch who offers this as a defense:
Well . . . that was random.Claudia Alvarez did NOT make anti-Semitic remarks; she did not, she did not, she did not! I am going to kick and scream like a little girl until people realize that the ADL and Erv Chase Are Both full of shit; but trust me, while I am ripping and “defaming” certain political and money grubbing figures around here, I am going to make some logical points. And Carlos Bustamonte, You sound like a little pussy (and please imagine a high pitched nosy voice when reading this quote, which I am paraphrasing, although it’s pretty spot on): “What she was saying was so outrageous and so, em, Vial, I was really *Gulp* shocked that she would say a thing like that”… LOL!!!! Oh my God, you are such a little pussy Carlos! You call yourself a man? You actually said that in front of the entire state of California and probably the nation? LoLoLoL… That is sooooooooooooooooooooo fucking hilarious it makes me want to upchuck my lunch in laughter.
But I will say this. It was reported that when Claudia delivered wat she thought was her coup de gras against Irv Chase, perhaps she wasn't seeking to insult him for being a Jew - but I think it was fair to say that what she was doing was trying to align those opposing gentrification in downtown Santa Ana - who, by default, are largely Mexican - with her against the "greedy" landlord. The exchange occurred thusly:
“Ryan and Irv Chase … are very much interested in continuing the ethnic cleansing that is going on downtown,” Alvarez said as she began her comments on the PBID, setting the tone for what was to come.
Alvarez said she had inquired about why Downtown Inc. has its offices in one of the Chases’ buildings and was told it was because the organization got “a great deal” on the rent. “So if Hitler rents you a place, gives you a great deal, you take it?,” she said.
At that point, Irv and Ryan Chase walked out of the council chambers to shouts of “get out of town” and “stop taking our money” from anti-PBID partisans.
After the meeting, Alvarez was unrepentant about having compared a Jewish man to Hitler. “I’m not calling him Hitler,” she said. “I used it as an example. Maybe an extreme example, but if the shoe fits …”
So how about this? How about if Claudia knows there are those in the audience who want to see the Jew "get out of town", by pandering to them and going for the shock value to get them riled up - that is her racism. And don't say it is not about race, when she starts by using a term ethnic cleansing. Claudia framed the issue that way, and then delivers a sure crowd-pleaser - and gets what she wants, judging by the audience's reaction.
So Theo can kick and scream like a little girl - although I am not really sure what that gets him or how that serves as a defense to Claudia - but using the racism of others for your own purposes is as bad as believing it yourself.