The Racist Roots of Anti-Immigration Activists Part II: UnFAIR

From guest blogger Santiago J. Valenzuela

(For part I of this series, click here.)

The Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a major player in the immigration reform and anti-immigration activist community. For over 20 years it has agitated against immigration levels (even legal levels) as being far too high, and predicted all sorts of dire consequences for not reducing immigration to "sustainable" levels. In recent years, their work has paid off. FAIR, along with Russell Pearce, has had a huge hand in setting the current tone for immigration laws with the 2007 Arizona act prescribing the "business death penalty" for businesses that "knowingly" hire illegal immigrants more than once and the more recent SB 1070, both authored with the help of FAIR.

In their own words:

FAIR spokespersons are interviewed regularly on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, in the New York Times, USA Today, hundreds of radio stations, and in hundreds of other newspapers, magazines and websites annually.

In addition, FAIR officials have been brought before Congress to testify on immigration issues over 30 times. More recently, FAIR presented its case to Colorado Republicans at an immigration summit. It is not unreasonable to say that FAIR has a major hand in the current immigration debate.

I wonder, do the people who support and parrot FAIR's ideas about immigration understand who they’re dealing with? The following quotes were found by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

American secessions have rarely been viewed with alarm [but] in the 1990s ... we are more inclined to consider them a serious threat to national unity, especially since that unity is being stretched to the breaking point by ethnic revanchiste movements fueled by Third World immigration. ... In any major city, the peace is disturbed by Latino, black, and Asian nationalist gangs, which in some cases are only the shock troops of ethnic movements seeking the racial dismemberment of the United States. In refusing to control immigration, the Federal Government is writing a script for ethnic civil war. Why?

- FAIR website, 2002, quoting Conservative author Thomas Fleming, a member of the neo-Confederate hate group, League of the South

I am sick and tired of multiculturalism, meaning, let's celebrate every culture as long as it isn't a European/white culture...[J]ust because one believes in white separatism that does not make them a racist.

-Joe Turner, 2005, former FAIR Western Region Representative, founder of "Save Our State"

I can make the argument that someone who proclaims to be a white nationalist isn't necessarily a white supremacist. I don't think that standing up for your 'kind' or 'your race' makes you a bad person,

- Joe Turner

Far from being the agenda of a kooky fringe element, the idea of reconquest of the American Southwest and the creation of an Aztlan nation, was prominently displayed by millions of illegal aliens all across the United States as they marched earlier this year to demand amnesty.

- FAIR's website, 2006

How many computer whiz kids cancel out one Sirhan Sirhan, a Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman or a Charles Ponzi?

-John Tanton, 1997, criticizing visas for immigrants with high-tech skills

Last week, President Bush met with Mexican President Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Harper to hone their plan for a North American Union that would merge the US with Canada and Mexico. FAIR has been exposing the short-sighted Bush plan to eventually erase the border between the US and Mexico and American sovereignty since 2000.

- FAIR email to supporters, 2007

This is merely a sampling of the paranoid, racist ramblings made by FAIR leadership and members, and contained in official FAIR communiqués. FAIR has had ties to racist organizations and people from its very founding.

John Tanton is listed as the founder of FAIR and still serves on its board of directors:

Dr. Tanton is the original founder of FAIR. He became interested in immigration to the United States through his long-standing concerns about the effects of unplanned and uncontrolled population growth and resource depletion. He was the national President of Zero Population Growth from 1975 to 1977 and was Chairman of its Immigration Study Committee from 1973 to 1975. He was organizer and President of the Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood chapter. From 1971 to 1975, Dr. Tanton served as Chairman of the Sierra Club National Population Committee. He is currently editor and publisher of The Social Contract, a quarterly public policy journal. He was a 1990 recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award. Dr. Tanton is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Medical School.

John Tanton combines racist ideology with an environmentalist outlook of zero population growth. He introduced and was integral in getting a $1 million grant from the racist Pioneer Fund, which encourages research into genetic explanations for racial differences (such as IQ.) In their own words:

The fact that the origins of the Pioneer Fund lie in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition, and the eugenics movement has guaranteed us our share of controversy. Further, we have supported behavioral genetic studies which have shown that the genetic component in human behavior is about 50% and, even more controversial, that it is more likely than not that there is a genetic component to between-group (sex, socioeconomic, and racial) IQ differences.

And from their main page:

Through our grants program, The Pioneer Fund has changed the face of the social and behavioral sciences by restoring the Darwinian-Galtonian perspective to the mainstream in traditional fields such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology, as well as fostering the newer disciplines of behavioral genetics, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and sociobiology. The Pioneer Fund’s biosocial approach recognizes no fixed boundaries between disciplines, only different questions to be asked and answered.

These quotes from their website, I hope, speak quite loudly for themselves what kind of politics are behind the Pioneer Fund. If there is any doubt, however, it should be noted that one of the organizations the Pioneer Fund routinely donates to is American Renaissance. In their own words:

Race is an important aspect of individual and group identity. Of all the fault lines that divide society - language, religion, class, ideology - it is the most prominent and divisive. Race and racial conflict are at the heart of the most serious challenges the Western World faces in the 21st century.

The problems of race cannot be solved without adequate understanding. Attempts to gloss over the significance of race or even to deny its reality only make problems worse. Progress requires the study of all aspects of race, whether historical, cultural, or biological. This approach is known as race realism.

A quick glance of their websites will remove all doubt (if there is any remaining) that these groups are not just part of a kooky, scientific fringe.  They are white supremacist groups.

Lest the Pioneer Fund grant be thought of as merely a mistake, Dan Stein, President of FAIR, was quoted on the subject:

I think [Pioneer Fund officials] support our work because the[ir] trustees agree with what we're doing. But we pitched the funding proposal to them. They give us money because we asked for it.

Given these connections, financial and ideological, to white supremacist, racial separatist groups and population-control environmentalism, some of FAIR's positions take on a clearer meaning:

The last time immigration got this high,the social and economic problems it caused led to a change in the immigration laws, resulting in lower levels of annual immigration.

- FAIR's Immigration 101 Primer, referring to the Asian Exclusion Act, an (obviously) racist law whose explicit aim was to keep the racial mixture in the United States stable.

At that time, the United States was a much emptier country, more capable of handling an expanding population. Now that we have a greater population density, our society is more crowded and our ecology less able to sustain more people.

- FAIR's Immigration 101 Primer, setting the stage for their population-control advocacy

FAIR also charges that immigrants will disproportionately commit crimes and are responsible for increasing poverty, and that to allow more immigration into the United States is to "import poverty." They also claim that current immigrants will fail to assimilate unlike other waves of immigration. Given who supports FAIR (with FAIR’s happy consent), it is very likely that the reason they push the statistical misanalysis and horror-stories of how violent immigrants are (predominantly Latino), is because they believe that that Latinos as a race are violent, poor and stupid.

FAIR, while presenting itself as a sober, rational advocate of what it calls “true comprehensive immigration reform,” is merely a front organization. While they try to hide their racist ideology, their founder is a bigot, many important officers within the organization have publically expressed racist views and it has accepted funds from a clearly racist organization. Given all these very close connections to explicitly racist people and organizations, I think it’s fair to say that FAIR is merely a front group for racists trying to get the ideas they advocate accepted by mainstream of society.  So far, they are succeeding beyond what I thought could be possible in modern-day America.

Please stay tuned for Part III of this series where I will profile John Tanton, founder of FAIR and a white supremacist, and show that he is the puppet master behind almost every major anti-immigration group active in the United States today.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment