The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Report: Mainstream Press Keeps Quoting Extremists

By Mark Potok on September 19, 2007 - 12:45 pm, Posted in Media Extremism

Our friends over at the Center for American Progress (CAP), which describes itself as “a progressive think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action,” just posted an important article skewering large parts of the media for their frequent depiction of racist or nativist ideologues as mainstream commentators.

“Know Your Sources,” by CAP Senior Fellow Henry Fernandez, mentions some of the country’s most unpleasant nativists, including hate group leader John Vinson (here and here), Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) founder John Tanton (here and here), and former FAIR official Rick Oltman. Fernandez’s point — and it’s an important one — is that the background of these men and others is rarely mentioned in the mainstream press, which frequently quotes them as if they were legitimate critics or analysts of the immigration situation in the United States. Partly based on Southern Poverty Law Center research, Fernandez also points out several other connections linking nativist groups and individuals to unsavory extremists of the far right.

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  • Vincent Daniels

    I hear Baron crying up a storm about how “none of the other countries have to be multi-cultural. Why do we?!” It just reminds me of the kid always whining to his parents, “Well Joey never has to do A, or Ben gets to do B whenever he wants.”

    Well, to play the part of the sensible parent, here’s the bubble-burster child. We are not Japan. We are not Israel. Just like the warny brat was not Joey, nor was he Ben. What America does in its house should have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel’s house or Japan’s house. Just like how the whiner is raised by his parents has nothing to do with how Ben or Joey is raised nor with what they are and aren’t allowed to do. Part of our national identity is that we choose to do things differently. Go to Ellis Island one day and read the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, sometime.

    However, part of our national identity is a sense that we are all children of God. All of us are created by the same set of omnipotent hands and to call any of His creations inferior for being “shit-skinned” or “a cracker” is in turn calling the Lord Himself inferior. For a creator’s prowess and skill is always reflected in his creations.

    This being true, we believe that all of us are entitled to help when asked. For we learned the lesson of Cain and Abel. And Cain was the first right-winger in a sense for he was the first being to espouse the “looking out for number one” mentality when he questioned the Lord “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The punishment God levied upon Cain would lead me to believe that God’s attitude was a resounding “Yes, you are.”

    So when the citizens of Africa were discovered to be victimized by the same abusive practices as perpetrated on black slaves in America, we helped our brothers and sisters in distress. And if memory serves correctly, the United States government had little involvement in that. It was mainly just the majority of the public conscience taking economic action against oraganizations that sponsored Apartheid.

    But in any case, von Hund, your attitude is that it’s wrong to force a country from its national identity. Well, the indigenous identity of Africa was black or brown people – whites were minority. So you should be happy for the failure of Apartheid. It only re-established control into the hands of the country’s majority identity. Furthermore, I would question your hencewhile silence of the destruction of this country’s idigenous national identity – the Native American Tribes. See, whites nor blacks were the original race on this continent either. The tribes were here long before the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria.

    And as far as Japan being insular, Japan has allowed Americans onto their shores for quite a while now. It’s pretty much how we in America welcome Asians. There are lots of Americans in Japan teaching English courses to Japanese youth. And the westernization of Japan has continued gradually for some time. In fact there has been a type of cultural trade going on for the longest time now. Too bad, you’ve been too blind with hate to see it. Just as a small example, we gave Japan baseball, hamburgers and mini-skirts, they gave us anime, manga, shoten restaurants, and video games.

    Look, the world’s not flat any more. Racism is still out there and it’s the racists and bigots that long for the days of ye geocentric cosmos when only rich white men had a say in European society. Ah yes, and who wouldn’t long for the days of limb amputations with no anesthetic, inflicting extreme blood loss to cure a fever, injecting 20 gallons of holy water into the anus of men and women believed possessed, being buried alived for becoming comatose, and having a mole on yuour left boob could get you a one way trip into the custody of the local prelate (inquisitor). Memories . . .

  • Baron von Hund

    Amazing…Talking about reforming Immigration in our Western countries labels you as a “racist”, a “xenophobe”, “extremists” or some kind of evil “hater”.

    Do I hear anyone claiming such labelling to those in Japan who have racial ideals in thier immigration policies, or for that matter Israel? Do we hear “racist” being yelled out as the Jews deny Ethopian Jews (Blacks) into thier lands? Does anyone cry out “xenophobic” as the Japanese protest against American military personal still occupying their region? Who cries out “extremist” when we hear about the need to remove white rule from South Africa and replace it with Black rulers?

    Why is racism only confined to the expression of European voices againsts Immigration? Why must European nations be forced into multicultral “diversity”, while the homelands of these immigrants are granted national identity and sovriegnity?

    Given the critical state of the European based nations with failing standards due to population increases, why would it not be sensible to look at restriction in Immigration?

    Afterall, if millions of Europeans started to flood into say, Iran, China or Indonesia – would they equally be forced to embrace the load under the fear of being labelled racists?

    Heck, in Indonesia, terrorist groups can target and blow up “white people” in resturants and bars – and no-one screams “racist” for such violent actions against visitng Europeans…

  • Roberto

    Thanks for the valuable link. I keep trying to get my friends to understand the nasty rock from which many of the anti-immigration and (frankly) anti-Latino talking points crawled.

  • Glen

    This demonstrates the the need of those of us with more progressive point of view or more reasoned or more academic or less xenophobic points of view to articulate that information into a format that the mainstream media can understand and use. Press releases need to be written and distributed, speeches made, legislators need to be informed.

    Excellent observations in your post here. Thanks!