Kaiser Health News' Andrew Villegas passes along word about an appeal from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists that the news media not "scapegoat" Mexican immigrants as they cover the flu outbreak.
NAHJ's board of directors issued a statement yesterday. It reads, in part, that:
We have come to expect immigrant bashing from the usual suspects — commentators who use purposefully inflammatory rhetoric to seek attention and to suit their agenda. And they haven't disappointed, now using the swine flu as cause to decry immigration and immigrants. Immigrants, of course, have long been favorite and convenient scapegoats for some for everything from high taxes to infectious diseases. Facts haven't much mattered.
But we trust that credible journalists will cover what is undeniably a big national story with more fairness and accuracy than we are hearing from these talking heads. We would ask that these stories be written as if facts did matter. Because they do.
The association adds that "there are more than 4,000 flights per week from the United States to Mexico. Mexicans are not the only people on those flights. About 80% of visitors to Mexico in 2008 came from the United States."
Question to consider: Have Mexicans and Mexican immigrants been "scapegoated" by some in the news media?