Last week, the anti-immigrant organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) held its annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington, DC. Despite FAIR’s best efforts, the event garnered little press and was sparsely attended. The two day event included lobby training, an awards reception and a “Radio Row” event.
Most of the action took place at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC, which is across the street from FAIR’s offices. Though the event was meagerly attended, the individuals who did show up indicate that FAIR hasn’t learned its lesson when it comes to affiliating with bigots.
FAIR put out a call for activists who attended the event to put their pictures on FAIR’s Facebook page. One attendee, James Johnson from the North Carolina based anti-immigrant group NCFIRE, obliged.
In one picture, Johnson is shown with anti-immigrant politician Tom Tancredo, founder of the House Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC) and another man by the name of Roan Garcia-Quintana. At the Tea Party National Convention in Tennessee in February 2010, Tancredo stated that President Obama was elected because “we don’t have a civics, literacy test” to vote. Tancredo has also contributed to the website VDARE.com, founded by white nationalist Peter Brimelow. Tancredo’s racism and anti-immigrant sentiments have been well documented but little has been written about Garcia-Quintana.
Garcia-Quintana is a board member for the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a white nationalist organization which has called African Americans “a retrograde species of humanity.” Garcia-Quintana has spoken at many CofCC events including its 2010 conference where he stated, “there are three types of people in the world, Negroids, Mongroids, and Caucasians.”
Another Hold Their Feet to the Fire attendee with a racist past is Marcus Epstein. Epstein was arrested in Washington D.C. in 2007 for attacking an African American woman and calling her the N-word.
Here is a picture of Epstein with his arms around white nationalist Jared Taylor at a 2006 white nationalist gathering. It’s not surprising that Epstein would attend the FAIR event, especially with his old employer Tom Tancredo in attendance.
Pat Buchanan also made an appearance at the event according to a picture on FAIR’s Facebook page. Buchanan, like Tancredo, has a history of racist remarks as evidenced by his controversial commentary on MSNBC and his own blog.
Another FAIR event comes and goes - attracting unashamed racists who are welcomed by FAIR. From FAIR’s founding in 1979 by a white nationalist all the way up to last week, the group continues to not only spout bigotry but also openly embrace it.