On Wednesday the Eagle Forum hosted a telephonic briefing on proposed immigration legislation currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
Speakers for the briefing included a veritable who’s who in the orbit of discredited immigration “experts” and organizations including Stephen Miller, Communications Director for Senator Jeff Sessions (AL); Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations at nativist group NumbersUSA; Dr. Betsy McCaughey, former Lt. Governor of New York State and author of Beating Obamacare; and Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at right wing think tank, Heritage Foundation.
The purpose of the conference call was to educate anti-immigrant activists and provide specific action steps; instead the hour-plus call became an open platform of alarmist and unfounded rants against immigration reform and attacks on government programs like Social Security and Medicare. The briefing took an even more alarming turn during the question and answer session.
It was during this portion that a caller named Bob asked what he should do when he meets Senator Susan Collins at a local town hall event. Senator Collins is a Republican representing Maine who has been in office since 1996. Without hesitation, an unknown caller or speaker chimed in with “Shoot her!” What followed was nearly 10 seconds of laughter before the moderator, Eagle Forum’s executive director, Colleen Holcomb, laughing, said they should instead “shoot her [Collins] with data.”
It’s extremely irresponsible of these organizations to promote violence as a means to effect political discourse. Especially at a time when gun deaths almost outnumber traffic fatalities, and families are still mourning the loss of 20 young lives in Newtown, CT. We also know what this kind of anger-fueled hatred can lead to when unchecked. Senator Gabriel Giffords is still recovering from an attempted assassination.
The Eagle Forum was founded in 1972 by Phyllis Schafly as one of the first new right organizations run by and for women. She galvanized support by successfully organizing against the Equal Rights Amendment. Schafly wrote, “Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would…deprive the American woman of many of the fundamental special privileges we now enjoy, and especially the greatest rights of all: (1) NOT to take a job, (2) to keep her baby, and (3) to be supported by her husband.”
Schafly still speaks on the circuit. Just last year she went on record saying that “ . . . the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share those values, and who have high rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, and gang crime, and they will vote Democrat when the Democrats promise them more food stamps.”
How ironic that an organization founded by women who fought for their own conservative political voice to be heard, now use their platform to advocate violence against other women.