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Hannity

Miss USA Heckled at Pageant. It's Not the First Time We've Been Treated This Way by Mexico

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 30, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

RACHEL SMITH, MISS USA: … When I traveled to South Africa to volunteer the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

I'm very passionate about education. And being there in South Africa just sparked my interest even more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was a clip from the Miss Universe pageant, where the mostly hometown crowd relentlessly booed Miss USA, Rachel Smith. The hostile reaction is being taken by many as a sign of ever-increasing tensions between the U.S. and Mexico. This isn't the first time our neighbors to the south have been hostile. In 2005, a Mexican audience serenaded U.S. soccer players with chants of "Usama" during the singing of the national anthem.

Joining us now is the author of "Ask a Mexican," Gustavo Arellano. Gustavo, welcome to the show.

Is it whether or not we agree with the booing or not. Of course, it's inappropriate. But certainly we can understand it. We talk about building walls, sending the National Guard to the border, a new immigration bill that separates families. It's certainly understandable, isn't it?

GUSTAVO ARELLANO, "ASK A MEXICAN" AUTHOR": Hola, Alan. Yes, and what we have to realize here is this was an international competition. And whenever you have competition, there's going to be a lot of hurt feelings.

Now, what happened was that Miss USA went into the finals, and Miss Mexico didn't. So, of course, there was going to be animosity towards Miss USA. Then put that into effect also along with the historical relationship between the United States and Mexico, it really isn't a surprise that Miss USA was booed. It's unfortunate, but it's not a surprise.

COLMES: I mean, the whole idea is that my country versus every other country, and we're going to win, and it's kind of patriotic thing to rally around your particular contestant, Miss USA versus Miss Mexico. She stumbled and still was in the top five. Miss Mexico was not. Do you think the policies toward Mexico, or this country and the administration have anything to do with this?

ARELLANO: Of course. Mexico has a lot of grievances against the United States. And whether they're true or not, we have to admit that reality.

But, again, going back to this idea of competition, us and the United States, we used to do the same chants and boos against Russia whenever we'd play — or the Soviet Union, rather, when we used to play them during the Cold War. So we have to put these things into consideration. This isn't an idea of how Mexicans despise the United States, how we have no respect for it. It's just international competition.

COLMES: You know, we have this holier than thou attitude, and people are outraged, "How dare they?" Of course, we do have something in this country called free speech. And booing, of course, would fall under that. But as you point out, Americans acted sometimes inappropriately in international competitions because of the animosity between countries that we were not friendly with.

ARELLANO: Well, not only that, I'm a Chicago Cubs fans. If I'm seeing a White Sox game, I'm going to be booing the White Sox a lot, too. This is international competition. We can't say that all of Mexico hates the United States just because people from Mexico City hated them. That's like saying all people from Philadelphia — you know, the United States hates Santa Claus because Philadelphia Eagles fans booed Santa Claus when he came out way back when.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: But, Gustavo, wait a minute. They were booing the American contestant in this race. And I'm thinking...

ARELLANO: Sure.

HANNITY: ... we have a lot of people from Mexico. They literally spend their fortunes; they risk their lives to come here illegally. Why boo us?

ARELLANO: Well, that's one of the interesting things that Mexico, the Mexican government has indoctrinated into Mexican citizens, that somehow the Yankee, you know, the giant to the north, it's the cause of all their ills. So whenever you have those competitions, Mexicans are going to take out their frustrations on the United States.

But let's get real. Obviously, the United States has given a lot to Mexicans in this country, whether they're legal or illegal. And Mexicans here in the United States, they understand that. That's why so many of them want to become citizens, so many of the illegal immigrants who are Mexicans want to become citizens.

HANNITY: But if anybody should be mad, shouldn't it be the U.S. towards Mexico, that we have to build the fence, the cost to our health care system, our educational system, our criminal justice system? You know, I kind of think that, you know, so many people from Mexico — and the Mexican government has assisted — they haven't respected our sovereignty. They haven't respected American laws.

ARELLANO: Yes. We don't have to build a wall, obviously.

HANNITY: No, I think we do, actually.

ARELLANO: No, I don't think we do at all. I think what we have to realize, is understand what the root cause of illegal immigration, and that is big business that's always trying to drive down American wages.

HANNITY: No, the root cause of immigration is that people don't respect American laws and American sovereignty.

ARELLANO: Well, no, then, you know, you could talk about that with big businesses and capitalists who bring in these illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants come to this country because there are jobs that they are able to take.

HANNITY: Explain the incident with "Usama, Usama, Usama," because I want people to know, because we're debating a very important immigration bill in this country. Explain — and I think if people hear this, it may actually shift their opinion. Explain that incident at that soccer game.

ARELLANO: I explained that in my book, "Ask a Mexican," and what happened, obviously, Mexican soccer fans were chanting, "Usama, Usama." Again, we have to put it in context.

HANNITY: After 9/11?

ARELLANO: After 9/11, exactly. Soccer is one of the most nationalistic sports in the world. You have the most disgusting, grotesque examples of this. For instance, in the 1966 World Cup final, a British columnist wrote that — they were playing West Germany — so they said, if tomorrow West Germany beats us at our national sport, it's fine, because we've beaten them twice at theirs.

COLMES: Gustavo, we...

ARELLANO: So there's always going to be these crazy examples in soccer, and that's what happened with, "Usama, Usama."

COLMES: We thank you very much for being with us.

ARELLANO: Thank you.

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