Wednesday, June 2, 2004

What’s Spanish for “Twit?”

From the Sun-Sentinel:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A radio station suspended its airing of an ad for black Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson that rails against illegal immigration and signs off in Spanish with the words “Yo, Gringo!”

WSJS-AM said it made the decision over the holiday weekend because it was unclear if the sponsor was clearly identified in the otherwise-English ad, which contends the prevalence of Spanish spoken in the United States can make Americans feel like they’re in “The Twilight Zone.”

Only the final line is in Spanish, in words that translate to: “Yo, Gringo! This episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ was paid for by Robinson for Congress.”

Robinson said Tuesday that the tag line was intended as a way to underscore his message, but he grudgingly agreed to let the station edit it into English. The catchphrase “Yo, Gringo!” – a contemptuous Spanish term for Americans – remains.


In a statement, Robinson said the flap over the last line does not change the overall message of the ad: “To show the importance of securing our borders, stopping the illegal immigration invasion and making English the official language of the United States.”

A Winston-Salem city councilman and regular candidate for office, Robinson is a black Republican seeking the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Richard Burr.

In campaign mailings, Robinson has often invoked the name of one of the state’s conservative icons, proclaiming: “Jesse Helms is back! And this time he’s black.”

Good luck, fella, you’re gonna need it.