Ted Hayes: American Hero

Chicago Tribune

Ted Hayes is no dilettante. Since the mid-1980s, he has been Los Angeles’ most visible homeless activist, voluntarily living among the poor on Skid Row.

Hayes, 55, has been described as an urban Moses for the destitute. At 6 foot 3 and weighing the same 145 pounds since high school, Hayes has cultivated a made-for-TV image; with large, languid eyes, he has grown his gray hair into dreadlocks, topped with a skullcap “because Jesus was a Jew,” he says.

Now, his evolution from Democrat to independent to Republican has taken him to new ground that has rankled many blacks and Latinos.

Explanation for stance

Hayes is publicly denouncing illegal immigration, saying that undocumented workers are harming his efforts to secure limited public resources to fight homelessness. He says they take away low-skilled jobs that the black working poor often filled.

A longshot candidate for mayor in 1993, Hayes has the background that draws attention to his condemnation of the nation’s illegal immigration. He calls the issue “the greatest threat to U.S. black citizens since slavery.”

His indictment is extensive:

“There was a time when black folks did a lot of the work that illegal immigrants are taking. They came in here and undercut our salaries in their desperation for survival. … They say to an employer, `I can do that for half,’ and the `emplo[yer]-slavists’ says, `You’re on.’ Goodbye, black man.

“The only way we can get those jobs is to undercut their pay, and if we undercut their pay, my God … we’re in the white man’s slavery again.

“When they used the word `civil rights,’ they woke us up. Wait a minute. The words `civil rights’ belongs to our ancestors who suffered and died for our freedom dating 1964, ‘65, backward to 1866.

“We poor black people can’t get housing anymore because the illegals are coming here, and they’ll pile up in a house. … They won’t let blacks in. … If you can’t speak Spanish, you’re not working, you can’t get a house.”

Hayes’ remarks are dismissed as grandstanding by some critics, but his willingness to march with Minutemen last month has made him an open target of reprisals that reduced him to tears, he said.

Aside from what he charged were racial slurs uttered by Latino activists, he has been called “an Uncle Tom sellout” and a “racist,” he said.

In a homeless shelter right off a freeway in downtown Los Angeles, Hayes was sipping morning coffee under a dense stand of ficus trees. His Hayes’ Dome Village is a collection of 20 fiberglass igloos that house 22 adults and nine children, all homeless.

At the end of July, his village will have to relocate; the landlord is evicting him because of his newfound Republican leanings, he alleged. But on this morning last week, Los Angeles County’s chief administrative officer was visiting because Hayes was seeking $2 million in public funds to relocate.

Hayes insisted he is sensitive to the plight of Latino illegal immigrants, whom he calls companeros, but he stills wants to send the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants back to their home countries–”and take the children with them,” he added.

Hayes, who said he will go to Washington this week to press his case with Congress, said the migrants must seek adequate jobs and living standards in their home countries, whose lands he said have been exploited for centuries.

“Companeros, we’re going to work with you to get civil rights–in your home country,” Hayes said.

“This is the time to have a revolution in Meso-America, to undo the corruption of the sons and daughters of the Spanish conquistadors. That’s who the oppressors are.”

21 Responses to “Ted Hayes: American Hero”

  1. Proud2bAmerican Says:

    You go TED! Don’t let yourself get down you’re fighting for justice just like the other great black leaders! We’re behind you and we won’t back down!

  2. Eddie B. Says:

    Some day light. Can the rest of Congress get vision or will they still be wearing bi-focals…..

  3. Educated American Says:

    Ted Hayes is such an unusual guy. I remember the first time I saw video clips of him. I said: “What’s that rasta guy doing at a Minuteman rally?” The strange thing is, his philosophical journey that the article describes is very much like the one I’ve taken! I used to be a real lefty. There are still a few social issues that I sort of end up with the left on. But I’ve also grown toward a more Libertarian stance on some things. I could also describe some of my beliefs as Jeffersonian Republican in nature. (i.e. “classic” little-”r” republicanism of the 1780’s - 1810’s). There are things about the American Independent and Constitution parties that I like.
    Yet strangely, I’m still a registered Green. That may change in the near future, however.

    Winston Churchill said something like: “If you are 20 and you are not a Socialist, then you have no heart. If you are still a Socialist by age 40, then you have no brain.” That pretty much describes my journey, although I never delved into Socialism/Communism too much. That is primarily because when I was 20 the Berlin Wall had fallen the previous year, Tianamen Square had occured around the same time, Eastern European nations were in the middle of shedding decades of Communist oppression, and the Soviet Union only had about a year left of life in it. I just looked at all that and said: “Well, it appears Marx and Engels are NOT the answer.”

    People like Ted Hayes and myself are frankly a bit stunned to find ourselves on this side of the illegal immigration issue. But it is really just a matter of cutting through all the PC bullsh*t, the MSM lies, and finding where the truth is. For me, illegal immigration feeds into the attempted deletion of U.S. self-determination and national sovereignty by people like the Bilderberger Group. Elites of society who would like to see America 3rd-world-ized for profit. Global Corporatism vs. the Nation-States of the World is pretty much what is going on. I liked it when Ted said at the recent march: “Yes, civil rights - but in Mexico. In Guatamala. In El Salvador.” That’s just it - there is no where left to run from Global Corporatism. We all have to fight it from where we stand. I just wish we could get that message through to the “campaneros” who think we are racists. Not to mention American liberals who don’t quite understand that us white people have not cornered a monoply on racism! ANYONE can make a swift judgement or false generalization about someone of another race.

    Ted Hayes does noble work. Say, wasn’t there a guy named Jesus that also hung out with homeless people? Ted is also a fellow truth seeker.

  4. Educated American Says:

    (Damn . . . it appears my LONG first essay got lost in the cyber-ether.)

    Basically, I said that I’ve gone through a similar philosophical journey like Ted Hayes. I used to be a lefty, and have since broadened and deepend my views on things. Ted is a real interesting person, a fellow truth seeker, and does noble work with the homeless. The first time I saw clips of him I said: “What’s this rasta guy doing at a Minuteman rally?” We all support Ted Hayes.

  5. Mary Says:

    Tacoma, WA man gets 10 months in prison for hiring illegals:


  6. Masashell Says:

    Ted Hayes of more of an example of what most blacks think about immigration. We are not against immigration, illegal immigrants should be deported, we need to build the wall and put troops on the border. There will have to come a time when both will happen, and troops will be ordered to shoot to kill. There’s a fence and Capitol guards at the White House to protect those who are inside, there should also be a fence or wall; with guard to protect the Citizens of this country.

  7. Ed Says:

    yeah I watched Ted on hanity& colmbs he articulates very well I dont think he’s a racest I believe he’s a huminest he cares about people,he cares about blacks & and all americans.the [politicans the president,big business have been members of the one world socity for years.is there any one on this site that watched david frosts’interview with the sha of Iran after his excile? well what he told david was “do you think that little old man had thepower to over through me?No he did’nt.You can check the records hennery kissenger told me that his formwer boss Rockerfeller wahnted to get the price of gas higher, we need a fall guy & you are it” the sha told him. kissenger was rockerfellers right hand man.who do you think founded the world bank & the imf old rock did it’s one way he controled the world countries he’s a one worlder.as his bushhow many time has bush stated “My number one job is to protect rhe american people” has he hell no he spends billions of dollars to protect the airlines not the american people yet he ignored the southern board for all these years since 9/11they have purposely corrupted or senate & congress.if we dont clean house this coming november we ill surely lose our fight.Keep fighting Ted we’re with you.

  8. Harrison Bergeron Says:

    Mr. Hayes is right. What needs to happen is for the people of Mexico to take control of their own government, and reform it and their economy.

    I’m going to say something a little controversial, but I believe it to be true. I think the people of Mexico are cowards. They will flee to the US. They will take our tax-payer funded social services. They will protest in the streets and demand rights that they don’t have. But they will not take that energy and drive and reform their own government. They will not take back their own country and make it better. They know that would be the harder path. And so instead they do what’s easy and invade out country and steal from us. They would rather be criminals and thieves than reformers and Mexican patriots. It’s cowardice. And I don’t want to hear from such people about how much they love Mexico. They don’t. They don’t give a damn about Mexico. If they did, they’d do something to make it place people don’t want to flee from.

  9. Harrison Bergeron Says:

    Mr. Hayes is right. Central American people need to seek civil rights - in their home countries.

    I’m sorry. But I believe most illegal immigrants to be cowards. They will sneak in to our country. They will march in the streets and demand rights that they aren’t entitled to. But the one thing they apparently won’t do is stay at home and fight to reform their country. That would be hard. That would be risky. Which is why it’s something they won’t do. They would rather make themselves criminals and thieves in America than stay at home and become patriots and reformers. I don’t want to hear about how much they love their native land when they can’t be bothered to stay there and fight to make it a land from which people don’t want to flee! Don’t wave your Mexican flag in my face when you’ve turned your back on Mexico! If you’d rather steal from other people and break their laws than fight to help your fellow citizens back home, you’re definitely not someone I want as a citizen of my country! Who would want an honorless coward like you?

  10. Anna Says:

    Well said, Harrison!

  11. DavidDiaz Says:

    Mexican Americans, Mexicanos, Hispanos, Chicanos, and Tejanos (or Tex-Mex) have been the target of most discrimination and prejudice, and are the poorest of all Hispanic/Latino groups. They are the most rapidly-growing minority group in America. A significant event in Mexican American history was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the war between Mexico and the U.S. According to terms of the treaty, Mexicans remaining on U.S. land became U.S. citizens and would receive a parcel of land to live on and Spanish would be recognized as a legitimate language. These terms of the treaty were never honored, and about 500,000 Mexicans who chose to convert found themselves in the unusual situation of renting their own land from the U.S. government. The next wave of immigration came between 1890 and 1900, when about 500,000 Mexicans crossed the border in response to U.S. corporations who advertised for cheap labor. Many more escaped to the U.S. during the 1910-1917 Mexican revolution. U.S. policy allowed unrestricted immigration until 1930 when our special “open door” relationship with Mexico came under heavy criticism. Since then, there have been various repatriation efforts to get Mexicans back to Mexico, such as Operation Wetback in 1954 and the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Operation Wetback gave the Border Patrol extraordinary powers, and IRCA fined employers $3000 for each illegal alien they hired but set up a green card lottery. It’s estimated that the Border Patrol and the INS return back at least 1 million Mexicans a year under these programs, but an estimated 3 million a year slip through

  12. DavidDiaz Says:

    My friend use the following information against the treaty of guadalupe, that says that America did not honor the Treaty so why should the Mexicans?

    I was wondering anybody who can answer this question to SO i can tell him. Specifically Juan who is good at this. It also mentioned that the United states only payed Mexico half of the 15 million it promised them. WHat would you say Juan to my friend?


  13. Sherri Says:

    Ted Hayes is a true American. He is making a stand to save our country and help those who need it the most. And he’s right—if people from other countries want rights, they need to fight for them IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES! There are enough poor and homeless here that need help! We don’t need more coming here to leech off of the system. I also like Harrison’s post. Excellent!

  14. Sherri Says:

    Ted Hayes is a true American! God Bless him! He stands up and fights for those who can’t fight for themselves! He’s right—let these people demand rights in THEIR OWN COUNTRIES and not come here and demand things they are not entitled to. I also like Harrison’s post. Excellent!

  15. Sherri Says:

    God Bless Ted Hayes—a true American!

  16. BoilingPoint Says:

    I really like Ted Hayes. I think he makes a good point man in our fight against illegal immigration. He articulates his message well and he resists the urge to retaliate against these racist illegals by keeping his message clean. The only thing I didn’t like about the Hayes’ article was his reference to “the white man’s slavery”. I found that comment to be divisive and an unwelcome reminder to an ancient period of American history. He should be uniting all American citizens and that comment was anything but.

    Anyway, moving on, our fight against these illegals should be vigilant, which makes us vigilantes. We should wear that label PROUDLY! IF we lose this fight, America the Beautiful is TOAST. Slowly but surely, she will deteriorate into a 3rd world country.

    And one thing I want to emphasize is that, while most of these illegals MAY seem like law abiding, hard working types, it would only take a small minority of this group to get them all worked up into being revolutionaries. Right now, these Aztlan zealots see American citizens as sheep. They see a prime opportunity to not only gain amnesty, but also to wreak havoc with our political power base and become a major player in our political system.

    They have hispanic political leaders opening doors for them, giving them access to the soft underbelly of America’s benefit and welfare systems. They also have Vicente (spit!) Fox doing all he can to flood our country with Mexicans. The more Mexicans that come to the U.S., the more political clout Fox has in this country. That’s a scary thought!

    Bottom line, these illegals do not have a benign agenda. They want it all and they will easily follow these Aztlan nutjobs as far as U.S. citizens will allow. Again, IF we lose this fight, our future is nothing short of a nightmare. None of us should sleep well until every last one of these illegals, AND THEIR CHILDREN, are removed from this country.

    el Presidente Jorge Bush thinks we can’t remove all these illegals? Well, I think there are plenty of U.S. citizens who would help in achieving this task.

  17. kate Says:

    Well said Harrison…….couldn’t have said it better……………And GOD be with Ted Hayes………….He is a true American……………………………………..

  18. Juan Says:


    the link did not work. In all disputes amoung nations, ( and there have been many) there is always some disagreements on terms and actions based on an agreement, treaty or doctrine. As in all contracts, we all strive to enforce the terms and sometime they are not. Look on a smaller scale, in a divorce or in a settlement. There is alwasy disputes AFTER signing somehting. As for this specific item, I cant comment since I can read the info. Besides, looks like you doing reasearch on the Mexican-American war and some other topics that are of interest to you. It is a very veru interesting period and illuminates or discussiosn about immigration here. One thing that I undestand is that Mexico has a very very tough stands on immigration because they were invaded and conqured by the Spanish, the French and the Americans. In reponse to these historical events, they want to keep Mexico as a single nation. On the other hand, the US was never conquered like Mexico and we have a very relaxed view of our immigration laws and, likewise, the language and political attitude does not lean in this direction. We are not as protective of our nation, in terms of laws and enforcement, as is Mexico because we never suffered such national humilation 3 times in our history. I think this is why we have such a mangled debate about immigration reform and why Mexican nationsl are taking advantage of this perspective because they know we are not as serious about this as they are in Mexico.

    Anyway, show me the link David

  19. Sarah Says:

    And show me the link too, David. It didn’t work. I don’t believe it anyway. Mexican are just looking for any justification that they can find for their lawbreaking actions. Even if it goes back to the 1800s!!!!!! How ridiculous. This is 2006 and MEXICANS are crying over something so long ago. Move on to the present.

    As for the article. This man is awesome. He is speaking up for the Black community the way no one else has. Haven’t we noticed that the black community has been silent. If one good thing comes from this, it will united whites and blacks in a way that will be glorious.

    In the article, he also states that Mexico needs a revolution. I agree with the comment that they are really scaredy cats and won’t change their country. Wouldn’t it be something if both countries have a revolution at the same time. Both countries sure do need them.

  20. Harrison Bergeron Says:

    Lets get in to an argument over a more than century old treaty that no one in the present day was alive to be involved with. Yes, that’s a productive use of our time. Very relevant.

    Deflect, dodge, avoid, obfuscate, rationalize …

    … they want what we have. They aren’t willing to fight to have it in Mexico. They would rather flee here and become criminals. Because it’s safer and easier.

    The end.

  21. John J Says:

    Bergeron - You make some awesome points. There are too many people stuck on what happened in the past. Get over it.

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