MADD warns off foe of il­le­gal aliens; says name im­plies af­fil­i­a­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Va­lerie Richard­son

Michelle Dal­lacroce was hop­ping mad when she re­ceived a let­ter from Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing de­mand­ing she change the name of her or­ga­ni­za­tion, Moth­ers Against Il­le­gal Aliens.

“I couldn’t be­lieve it,” Mrs. Dal­lacroce said. “I don’t know who would be con­fused by this. We don’t even have the same acro­nym.”

Mrs. Dal­lacroce, pres­i­dent of the Phoenix-based ad­vo­cacy group, re­ceived a cer­ti­fied let­ter Oct. 10 stat­ing that MADD owns the rights to the name “Moth­ers Against” and giv­ing her 10 days to stop us­ing it.

“While we do not op­pose the name of your or­ga­ni­za­tion as a whole, we can­not per­mit the term ‘Moth­ers Against’ to be used in such a man­ner since it cre­ates a like­li­hood of con­fu­sion to the pub­lic as to any af­fil­i­a­tion with Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing,” the let­ter stated. “MADD can­not be as­so­ci­ated with your or­ga­ni­za­tion and the use of ‘Moth­ers Against’ gives a strong im­pli­ca­tion of a re­la­tion­ship with MADD.”

Mrs. Dal­lacroce fired back with a terse re­ply: “No!”

An of­fi­cial from MADD could not be reached for com­ment.

There are dozens, if not hun­dreds, of or­ga­ni­za­tions that use the name “Moth­ers Against,” in­clud­ing Moth­ers Against War, Moth­ers Against Can­cer, Moth­ers Against Guns and Moth­ers Against Med­i­cal Er­ror.

Why MADD would sin­gle out MAIA isn’t clear, al­though Mrs. Dal­lacroce has her own the­ory. She con­tends that MADD fears run­ning afoul of im­mi­gra­tion ad- vo­cacy groups, and at least one MADD of­fi­cial agrees with her.

Vir­ginia Fair­cloth, pres­i­dent and founder of MADD’s York County, S.C., chap­ter, re­signed two weeks ago af­ter learn­ing of the threat against MAIA, say­ing that MADD has turned a blind eye to the prob­lem of drunken driv­ing by il­le­gal aliens.

She said she was told by na­tional lead­ers to re­move a link on her Web site to the Jack­son-Avery Foun­da­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion she started with a friend whose hus­band was killed by an il­le­gal alien driv­ing drunk.

“They said their big­gest con­cern was they didn’t want any­one to think MADD was tak­ing a stand on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion,” Mrs. Fair­cloth said. “They worry too much about pol­i­tics and they for­get why they’re there.”

She said she con­fronted MADD Na­tional Pres­i­dent Glynn Birch, who ad­mit­ted the group hadn’t sent let­ters to any other “Moth­ers Against” or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“I said, ‘You say you don’t want to take a stand on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, but by send­ing that let­ter [to MAIA], you have,’ ” Mrs. Fair­cloth said.

At one time, MADD tack­led head-on the prob­lems sur­round­ing drunken driv­ing among His­panic new­com­ers. In the fall 2001 is­sue of Dr iven mag­a­zine, a MADD pub­li­ca­tion, an ar­ti­cle dis­cussed “how crit­i­cal it is for MADD to reach out and ed­u­cate the His­panic com­mu­nity about pre­vent­ing drunk driv­ing.”

The ar­ti­cle quoted a study by the Al­co­hol Pol­icy Group in Berke­ley, Calif., show­ing that “His­panic driv­ers are more likely than An­glo driv­ers to con­sume more al­co­hol more fre­quently and have been shown to be more likely than An­g­los to drive with a blood al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion (BAC) level over .05 per­cent.”

The ar­ti­cle also dis­cussed how drink­ing was more com­mon in Mex­i­can cul­ture, adding that traf­fic laws are dif­fer­ent and seat­belt re­straints are “al­most un­heard of.”

That same year, ac­tor Ed­ward James Ol­mos, a His­panic, and Raul Yza­guirre, then pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Coun­cil of La Raza, a His­panic ad­vo­cacy group, joined MADD’s Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Board. The plan was to help MADD reach out more ef­fec­tively to His­panic com­mu­ni­ties.

MADD’s crit­ics say the re­sult has been to ig­nore the con­nec­tion be­tween il­le­gal aliens and drunken driv­ing.

“You’ve got La Raza in­fil­trat­ing MADD. MADD’s now into seat­belt safety in­stead of de­port­ing il­le­gal drunk driv­ers,” Mrs. Dal­lacroce said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.