After Rachel Maddow’s credibility crippling exposé on the Federation for American Immigration (FAIR), the anti-immigrant movement’s linchpin is still finding ways to sneak comments into mainstream media stories on immigration. Although many news outlets have avoided citing the group since Dan Stein’s embarrassing debate with Maddow, the organization continues to pop up in national papers such as The Washington Post and USA Today. Rarely do newspapers describe the group for what it really is, an anti-immigrant hate group. Instead mainstream media seems more comfortable describing it merely as an organization that desires less immigration.
Pretty tame depiction for an organization that took $1.2 million from the white supremacist Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans.
One thing’s for sure, it would be difficult for reporters to briefly sum up the controversy surrounding FAIR. But if they did, they could start by telling readers about FAIR’s former staffers who’ve been associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the reconstituted, segregationist White Citizens’ Councils.
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. 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.
Concerns about FAIR have been continually raised and gone unanswered for close to two decades. As far back as the early ’90s, civil rights groups have asked FAIR founder John Tanton to account for his promotion of racial eugenics. In response to public confusion about FAIR’s solicitation of funding from the Pioneer Fund, FAIR president Dan Stein was quoted saying, “I don’t give a sh*t 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.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dan Stein’s controversial remarks. Dan Stein let slip his contempt for Latinos and anti-Catholic views when he told an interviewer, “Certainly we would encourage people in other countries to have small families. Otherwise they’ll all be coming here, because there’s no room at the Vatican… Many [immigrants] hate America, hate everything the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”
FAIR has figured out a sly little trick in dealing with Dan Stein’s periodically tarnished image. The group merely serves up unknown spokespersons for journalists to quote, folks like Bob Dane and Jack Martin. The names may be different, but the message is the same.
No doubt when memories of Stein’s indefensible lies to the American public fade, the president will be back in the limelight - spreading FAIR’s hateful agenda.