Controversial Anti-Immigrant Network Invades the Nation’s Capitol

September 14, 2009 by Eric Ward
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 
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KKK_DCIn 1925 the white supremacist organization the Ku Klux Klan held its largest demonstration in the United States. Tens of thousands of Klan members marched down the streets of Washington D.C. The march was a call to war against immigrants, African Americans, and Catholics.

When it comes to white supremacy much has changed in nearly 85 years. After a devastating loss to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s it is no longer accurate to describe the movement as “supremacists” but rather “nationalists”, yet some things do remain the same.

In 2009 the white nationalist movement spent September 12th marching on the nation’s capitol railing against immigrants, Catholics, and the country’s first Black U.S. President. Of course the racist caricature of the President of the United States as a “reverse minstrel” abounded while mainstream media chose to ignore the racist connotations of Obama as nothing more than man in Black Face. The blog Politico reports that pre-printed signs read ‘Bury Obamacare with Kennedy‘ while the New York Times tells readers that despite the claims of being an “anti-tax” march many in the crowds carried anti-immigrant messages.

Now, coming on the heels of the march on Washington D.C., a group with ties to white nationalism, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) will enter the Capitol in an attempt to influence congressional lawmakers. In Special Bulletin: Pulling the Curtain Back on FAIR released in early September the civil rights organization Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that “From September 14-16, 2009, FAIR will host its annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ conference, to broadcast its dangerously xenophobic message to Congressional Representatives and the American public.”

Along with attempts to pressure Congressional Representatives, the FAIR event will include a “We the People” Awards and Reception to be held Wednesday, September 15th, 2009 from 7-9 PM at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. The National Postal Museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution which can be reached at 202.633.1000. Allen R. Kane is the Director of the National Postal Museum. The reception will feature Lou Dobbs, a controversial CNN news host who has used white nationalist material in his “news” show and falsely accused immigrants of spreading leprosy in the United States.

While the ADL first expressed its concerns about FAIR in 2000, in 2007 the Southern Poverty Law Center listed FAIR as a hate group. The release of its September 2009 Special Bulletin joins a growing chorus of civil rights institutions who have expressed concerns about FAIR. Concerns include:

• FAIR sponsored advertising campaigns with John Vinson’s American Immigration Control Foundation (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Vinson is an advisor to the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens).

• FAIR solicited and received over $1.2 million from the white supremacist Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans. The Pioneer Fund uses its financial largesse to fund groups who promote “race-betterment” – a controversial theory that claims there is a biologically-caused IQ difference between white and non-white people.

• In response to public concern and confusion about FAIR’s solicitation of funding from the Pioneer Fund, FAIR president Dan Stein has been quoted as saying, “I don’t give a shit what they do with their money, my job is to get every dime of Pioneer’s money,” according to an article published by The Progressive in 1993.

• Two of FAIR’s former staffers have been associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the reconstituted, segregationist White Citizens’ Councils. FAIR’s former western field representative, Rick Oltman, is also listed as a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

• In 1997, FAIR (along with other extremist anti-immigrant groups) published an advertisement in the Citizens Informer, the flagship publication of Council of Conservative Citizens, to recruit supporters to attend its events.

• FAIR founder John Tanton works closely with Wayne Lutton to edit his publication, The Social Contract. Lutton is also a Board of Director for the Charles Martel Society, an anti-Semitic organization that publishes the Occidental Quarterly.

As the pivotal player in the John Tanton Network, a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, FAIR pulls the strings of today’s anti-immigrant movement. The civil rights organization, Center for New Community, based in Chicago says in a new release on its website that “the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) - while claiming to represent the ‘mainstream’ of the American anti-immigrant movement - is a carefully crafted entity whose mission is to achieve the goal of zero immigration to the U.S. by blaming immigrants as the cause of economic, population and environmental problems.”

In 1924, as it marched on Washington D.C., the Klan used similar language to accuse Irish immigrants of destroying American culture and the economy. Today white nationalism merely exchanges the word “Irish” for “Latino” and white hoods for business suits.

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