Nativism Watch

There Goes the Neighborhood: October 14, 2016

Imagine2050 Staff • Oct 14, 2016

There Goes the Neighborhood is a weekly series from Imagine 2050 staff highlighting upcoming nativist events.

This week, nativist leaders are speaking in states across the country including California, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Carolina.

On Saturday, October 15, anti-immigrant group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) will hold it’s annual “Pizza and Politics” event in Salem, Oregon. The annual event provides an opportunity for those seeking elected office to meet with OFIR activists. On its website, OFIR claims to have invited “many of Oregon’s best candidates” to attend the event. In August, OFIR held a meeting featuring an anti-refugee presentation by Paul Nachman, a Montana-based activist and regular contributor to white nationalist website

On Sunday, October 16, anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America’s founder and president Brigitte Gabriel will speak in Chino Hills, California. The event, organized by the Corona, California chapter of ACT, is being promoted as a “national security update” similar to those Gabriel has delivered this year in places including Idaho, Ohio, and Virginia. Gabriel has previously claimed Muslims cannot be loyal citizens to the United States and that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She spoke at another California venue last week.

On Tuesday, October 18, anti-immigrant group Texans for Immigration Reduction and Enforcement (TFIRE) will hold a meeting in Houston, Texas. TFIRE’s featured speaker will be Tea Party activist Ray Myers. According to a Facebook page TFIRE created to promote the event, Myers will give a presentation entitled, “The Border Invasion.”

Also on October 18, anti-Muslim speaker Usama Dakdok will speak in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Dakdok, who has described Islam as a “wicked cult” and claimed “every Muslim is a demon,” is not a stranger to the upper Midwest. As the Bluestem Prairie reports, he has held speaking engagements in Minnesota recently—with at least one other being cancelled. He also interrupted a “meet your Muslim neighbor” event in Minnesota. Dakdok’s South Dakota appearance are being organized by a primarily anonymous group calling itself “Americans First, Task Force.” The group emerged this year and has previously hosted anti-refugee and former border vigilante Ron Branstner. As Dakota Free Press reports, the group recently established a PAC to raise funds for future speaking events. Dakdok will also speak in Aberdeen on Thursday, October 20.

Additionally on October 18, disgraced former FBI agent and anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo will speak in Bagley, Minnesota. The event appears to be organized by evangelical activist Tammy Godwin, who, as Bluestem Prairie notes, previously invited Usama Dakdok to speak in Bagley.

On Wednesday, October 19, paranoid anti-Muslim activist Diana West will speak in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. West’s appearance is part of the ongoing ICON Lecture Series, which has previously attracted nativist speakers like John Guandolo and anti-refugee zealot James Simpson. West is a close associate of anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and, along with James Simpson, spoke at the 2015 Writers Workshop—an annual event organized by white nationalist and eugenicist John Tanton’s U.S. Inc.

Finally, on Thursday, October 20¸ The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., will host a lecture by Matthew O’Brien, Director of Research for the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). O’Brien joined FAIR’s staff earlier this year. Previously, he worked for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services focusing on national security matters.

Additional information on these nativist events and others can be found in the map below. A red star indicates events scheduled for next week.

Know of any nativist events not located on this map? Please contact us or fill out this form:

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