Mexican-Bashing OC Politicians of Days Past: Ronald Caspers

caspers.jpg
Photo courtesy Orange County Archives
Caspers, at the park which would bear his name
One in an occasional, ongoing, eternal series...

All I ever knew about former Supervisor Ronald Caspers is that there's a Wilderness Park named after him and that he mysteriously disappeared at sea. Why didn't anyone ever tell me he was Mexican-bashing bigot?

But that's what happened in the fall of 1972. Caspers, annoyed that a Mexican-American group of county employees were demanding affirmative action (he had accused one of the leaders of not being an American citizen), called them "bandidos" during a board meeting, then asked county counsel to explore moving the county seat from SanTana to whiter environs because "we are in an area which does not have a normal ethnic balance."

But wait, Barbara Coe! I thought SanTana was a gabacho paradise in those days, and that they liked Mexicans! No racism until the illegals, and they deserve it because they're ILLEGALS.

Back to reality, Caspers ended up apologizing for his gaffe during a board meeting, and the other supervisors reprimanded him publicly. Caspers claimed he didn't know bandido was an offensive term to Mexicans, a bullshit excuse considering Chicanos had just successfully axed the Frito Bandito the year before.

Funny aside: a Caspers staffer at the time was Tom Fuentes, who would eventually become the longtime chair of the GOP and has always proudly stated he has Spanish blood in him, not wab.

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