Hating Hispanics: Has Arizona Ignited Firestorm After Decade of Simmering Tension?

Signs of Anti-Hispanic Bias Popping Up Across the Country

Last week's publication of a list of illegal immigrants in Utah, complete with names, addresses and the due dates of pregnant women, was lauded by anti-immigration activists, but labeled a "witch hunt" by those on the other side of the debate.

Distributed to media and law enforcement by Concerned Citizens of the United States, the list of 1,300 names, and the residents addresses and phone numbers, has caused widespread panic after supporters demanded "immediate deportation."

Utah is considering a bill similar to Arizona's. In other states, including South Carolina and Nebraska, town councils have pass their own versions of anti-immigration laws, banning hiring or renting to illegal immigrants.

In other corners of the country, there have been signs of anti-Hispanic bias that, at the very least, sting members of the Latino community.

In Florida, hackers were accused of getting into the digital highway signs and changing messages over the Palmetto Expressway to read "No Latinos" and "No Tacos."

And in Idaho, the Bonner County Republican Central Committee was castigated by its opponents for refusing to acquiesce to this year's Bonner County Fair theme, "Fiesta at the Fair." The committee objected to the Spanish word fiesta.

Committee President Cornel Rasor explained their decision in a June 29 letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in which he told her his membership had voted to affirm the state's immigration law and that their stance on the word "fiesta" was evidence of their support.

"The Republicans at BCRCC want to make it very clear that English is our primary language, and call our booths 'Celebrate!,' he wrote. "We'd like to display some Arizona license plates if you have some to spare. Please let us know where we might obtain a couple."

In an e-mail to ABCNews.com, Rasor said the rally against the Spanish word "didn't seem to be a big deal." He pointed out his support for a local Latino congressman and said his opposition was to illegal immigrants only and not all Hispanics.

"This simple intent to support Arizona has been taken completely out of context," he wrote. "There were some in our committee who though the 'Fiesta' theme was poorly timed because of the illegal immigration issue."

But Gilchrist said some of the activists proclaiming the Arizona law unfair or unconstitutional need to think of the other side. He pointed to the recent rallies in protest of SB1070 and the images of Latinos taking to the streets waving flags from Mexico and other countries, calling the demonstrations "outright insults to our people."

When Latino communities respond in outrage to beatings and murders, he asked them to consider the murders of Americans at the hands of illegal immigrants.

"This is the wakeup call we as a nation need," he said. ""We're going to win this contest. It's a contest, not a war."

ABC News' Ray Sanchez contributed to this story.

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