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Earlier this month, Ted Hayes, a right-wing African-American street activist from Los Angeles, was presented on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” as the leader of a group of prominent black activists opposed to undocumented immigration.
Trouble was, his group, Choose Black America (CBA), doesn’t really represent black people at all. It is the creation of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a white-dominated and mainly white-led organization that has been agitating for years for lower levels of immigration. FAIR, in fact, has accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that funds writers seeking to prove that black people aren’t as smart as whites.
Last year, Intelligence Report writer Brentin Mock interviewed almost half of CBA’s original members, most of whom had no idea who the other individuals in their coalition were before they showed up for a press conference organized and paid for by FAIR. One said that if he had known the right-wing politics of some of those invited by FAIR, he never would have attended. Since that press conference, CBA has been virtually inactive, although it still serves to help FAIR deflect accusations that the anti-immigration movement is dominated by whites with bigoted attitudes toward Latinos.
On the Aug. 16 edition of “Hannity & Colmes,” Hayes spoke of a recent news conference he held to address the murders of three African Americans in Newark, N.J., by Latino perpetrators — one of whom was undocumented. Hayes claimed he was attacked at that news conference. “They threatened my life,” Hayes said on the show. It was a black person who “attacked” Hayes, but he still blamed it on “a rabble of Hispanics and some white folks.”
More to the point, Hayes was presented as the new “leader” of CBA, taking over from Frank Morris, another nativist African American who sits on FAIR’s board. When Mock talked with Hayes today, Hayes said he was not elected to the leadership position but appointed. “It was a de facto replacement, a joint agreement between me, the people at FAIR, Frank… . It was a consensus thing.” Hayes assured the Intelligence Report that he had “sent word out” to the original members. “They said, ‘go ahead and lead us. We’re right behind you,’” he said.
Choose Black America suggests, in effect, that black Americans chose it to represent them in their struggle against Latino immigration. The reality, no matter how it is presented, is that FAIR chose the group and now has chosen Hayes to lead it.