Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Hardcore Racists Flock to NumbersUSA’s Campaign


Chris Bober • Mar 22, 2010

NumbersUSA deployed its counter-action to the immigration reform march in Washington D.C over the weekend. The plan, S.T.O.P Amnesty in four days, contained carefully crafted talking points that tea party and hard-core, anti-immigrant activists used to lobby state and federal lawmakers. NumbersUSA’s anti-immigrant rhetoric was used once again to demonize immigrants and create the illusion that Americans are strongly opposed to immigration reform.

numbersusa_tweets

In order to facilitate its efforts, NumbersUSA re-tooled its home page to include webcasts, detailed action alerts, and a social media feed. Not surprisingly, its attempt to create a web-based community backfired as its action alerts and website brought out racists, bigots, and the worst of the anti-immigrant movement. Even though NumbersUSA and the John Tanton Network claim its anti-immigrant agenda does not fuel hateful rhetoric, here are some recent examples of how NumbersUSA’s message once again created an environment where individuals and groups have felt comfortable using hate speech.

Near the end of last week, a disturbing tweet was seen on the NumbersUSA web-site. The tweet read, “Thanks@NumbersUSA we need somebody to stand up for the rights of white people. JUST SAY NO TO DIVERSITY.” This tweet echoes a common message found in the white nationalist community which claims that diversity and multiculturalism is the root of all our nation’s problems. NumbersUSA removed this tweet from its feed but failed to publically disavow the message.

In a members-only section of its website that evaluates members of Congress, NumbersUSA assigned Senator Dick Durbin an F and Senator Roland Burris an F minus on their immigration record. Under a picture of Illinois Congressman Roland Burris, a NumbersUSA member wrote, “You have disgraced yourself and the (sic) all the people of IL, especially the Black citizens. We should welcome you home with Tar and Feathers.” Another member wrote, “Only when the people show up to REMOVE these treasonous crooks will justice be served! Bring back the rope!” Despite the fact that Roland Burris is African-American and the history lynching and torture has played in our country, these horrible threats remained on NumbersUSA’s website for nearly a month before being removed.

NumbersUSA seems to be popular throughout the white nationalist and skinhead communities. At the beginning of the week NumbersUSA’s campaign was promoted by white nationalist David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. On Vinlanders Social Club, NumbersUSA is promoted on the home page with a direct link to its website. Vinlanders Social Club is a midwest coalition of racist skinhead groups with a history of violence against members of the black community.

On Stormfront, in a thread entitled, “Obama Begins Immigration Reform and Amnesty” a posting which reads like a NumbersUSA advertisement cites the details of the S.T.O.P Amnesty campaign and directs Stormfront members to the NumbersUSA website. Stormfront is the leading white nationalist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and skinhead social networking forum. The website was started by former Ku Klux Klan leader, Don Black, in 1995. NumbersUSA’s campaign was promoted on Stormfront the same week that a member of Stormfront wrote of his plans to carry a concealed weapon to a similar immigration reform rally in Utah.

Although NumbersUSA has actively tried to distance itself from the extreme far right, its message stills resonates deeply with these communities. Even the group’s own Executive Director, Roy Beck, has spoken to a white supremacist organization, the Council of Conservative Citizens in the past. Therefore, until NumbersUSA strongly condemns the comments made on its web-site and the promotion of its messaging on skinhead and white nationalist sites, they are not a credible voice on the important issues surrounding immigration in our country.

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