To The Deceased Icon Of Arizona’s Right Wing, An ‘Illegal’ Was A Human Being

The death of Robert Krentz last march, allegedly at the hands of drug smugglers (no one knows for sure), became a rallying cry for right-wing proponents of Arizona’s recently passed draconian, anti-‘illegal’ immigration law.

The Arizona Republic paper reports that there is evidence that Krentz was providing assistance to an “illegal” immigrant in need when he was shot and killed.

That day, according to the June 16th article , “Krentz radioed his brother and asked him to contact authorities because he was with an immigrant in need of help.” The article adds that several people “heard that transmission.”

Krentz was a leading white rancher who was concerned about ‘illegal’ immigrants and complained publicly about damage they did to his property. Yet he had a reputation for providing significant aid for the immigrants:

the soft-spoken rancher bore no ill will toward illegal immigrants, according to friends and family. They say Krentz sympathized with their desire for a piece of the American pie. He gave them food and water if they were in distress, and sometimes he’d call the U.S. Border Patrol, which meant deportation but also guarantees of medical assistance and escape from possible death. “If they come and ask for water, I’ll still give them water,” Krentz once told PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly in 1999. “You know, that’s just my nature.”

When faced with a fellow human being in trouble, his decency did not falter. He did the humanitarian thing. It might be good, too, if our white politicians would follow his humanitarian lead and not retreat to screaming nativism.


    • José Cobas Author

      when i was a kid in Cuba, i heard this maxim many times: “no hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver.” a rough translation would be: ‘the blind person with the worst eye sight is the one who does not want to see.’ both extremist whites and mass media don’t ‘see’ because they aren’t interested in [or prevented from by the white-created racial frame] ‘seeing’ the complexities of racism.

  1. libertyspeaks

    I want to know who kill this man. If he complain of property being damage by immigration people, was it immigration people who kill him because want to smuggle drugs? Was it others white peoples who do not like because he kind person who help immigration members? This is confuse to me. Hard to live in poor country like Mexico. Was hard for me to live in Africa.Must be legal to enter here if want to come. If hurt someone property maybe they afraid,and not mean to. But must be legal or rasism worse than is now.

    • José Cobas Author

      the identity of the killers is not known, but many speculate that it could have been drug smugglers for unknown reasons. krentz’ complain about property damage was about ‘illegals,’ not the border patrol.


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