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Friday, December 22, 2006

Latino group blasts Rizoli's sign

FRAMINGHAM

rizoli.jpg

Rizoli at the recent protest
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

A national Latino group has criticized a sign that Jim Rizoli, a controversial critic of illegal immigration, displayed at a recent protest.

Jim Rizoli's sign shows a mock "Mexifornia" license that includes the image of a bandit wearing a sombrero and has an "X" in place of the signature. Rizoli has said he plans to display the large sign in other locations around town to raise awareness of illegal immigrants using false identification documents.

But Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the sign was "race baiting."

"It's totally offensive and exploits stereotypes of Latin Americans," Wilkes said.

Despite the criticism, Rizoli said he plans to display his sign again this weekend, weather permitting. He denied that he was stirring up racial tension.

I dont hate anybody. They are wrong 100 percent, and all they can do is come after me, attack the person, he said. The sign is a parody. Its just making fun of a situation that exists.

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