On Monday, March 6, 2017, Juan Jesus Castillo-Reyes did more than cause the traffic-related death of a U.S. airman station at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. He provided local radio host Austin Rhodes with an opportunity to unfairly paint all undocumented immigrants as potential instruments of death. Unfortunately, in America his response is typical. When minorities of color are involved in an unfortunate incident, neo-conservative extremists, like Rhodes, react in the same way as a hungry shark reacts to blood in the water.
Castillo-Reyes is an undocumented immigrant who has been charged with vehicular homicide first degree, reckless driving, failure to signal when turning or changing lanes, and driving while unlicensed. However, he is only one individual and his actions are not applicable to all undocumented immigrants. However, that does not matter to a political extremist like Austin Rhodes.
In his narrow mind those types of people are all the same.
Moreover, emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, Rhodes has rarely missed an opportunity to entertain his predominately white, far right radio audience with undocumented immigrant bashing balderdash.
For Austin, it is a matter of survival. Stoking racial division and intolerance has been his modus operandi and accounts for his longevity in the Augusta broadcasting market. Moreover, his type of hate whispering is nothing new. Just like the traitor, as described by Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), who “Appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men”, so does Rhodes who appeals to the xenophobia, bigotry, racism, and intolerance of his faithful radio fans.
To be sure, as long as there is an undocumented immigrant hating demagogue occupying the White House, neoconservative extremists, like radio host Austin Rhodes, will seize every opportunity to use undocumented immigrants, like Castillo-Reyes, as fodder to appeal to the ugliness that lies deep in the hearts of his affluent, snobbish, hypocritical listeners.