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

Simcox Addresses Retired Conservatives

By Hatewatch Staff on December 11, 2007 - 2:06 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

A secure-the-borders, anti-illegal immigrant leader publicly endorsed Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, in his bid for State Senate on Thursday night.

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“Democracy Now!” Host Challenges Lou Dobbs To Stop Reporting Falsehoods

By Hatewatch Staff on December 11, 2007 - 2:04 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

…CNN’s Lou Dobbs has migrated to a pre-eminent position in the debate on immigration in the U.S. Since he identifies himself as a journalist, he has a special responsibility to rely on facts and to correct misstatements of fact. CNN, which purports to be a news organization, touting itself as the “Most Trusted Name in News,” has an equally strong obligation to its audience to tell the truth.
[…]

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Furniture Store Becomes Immigration Flashpoint

By Hatewatch Staff on December 11, 2007 - 2:00 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

Want to see America unraveling? Come here, to Thomas Road and 35th Street, to M. D. Pruitt’s furniture store. Come on Saturday morning and stand near the eight delivery trucks barricading the parking lot, like the wall of an urban Alamo.

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FAIR: Crossing the Rubicon of Hate

By Mark Potok on December 11, 2007 - 8:46 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Hate Groups

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is almost certainly the most-quoted immigration restriction organization in America. In just the last few weeks, its leaders have enlightened cable viewers with their views on such topics as “American ‘Intifada’ in Our Future?” “Driving While Illegal,” “Should ALL Illegal Aliens Be Deported?” and “Economic Impact of Migration.” In the past six years, FAIR officials have testified at least 30 times to Congress. Day in and day out, FAIR is taken seriously as a mainstream commentator on the immigration debate.

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It shouldn’t be. The founder, chief ideologue and long-time funder of FAIR is a racist. Key staff members have ties to white supremacist groups, some are members, and some have spoken at hate group functions. FAIR has accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation devoted to studies of race and IQ, and to eugenics — the pseudo-science of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazi euthanasia program. It spreads racist conspiracy theories. Its political ads have caused numerous politicians, Democratic and Republican, to denounce it.

Much of this has been known for years. But last February, underlining the way that FAIR does business, its leaders met with the leaders of Vlaams Belang — a hastily renamed Belgian party that under a prior appellation, Vlaams Blok, was officially banned by the Belgian Supreme Court as a racist and xenophobic group. It was, for some, a final straw — the Rubicon of hate, as it were. When FAIR officials met with Vlaams Belang leaders to seek their “advice” on immigration, we decided to take another look at FAIR. When our work was done, it was obvious that FAIR qualified as a hate group. Early next year, when the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual hate group list is published, FAIR will be on the list.

The results of our investigation are contained in an article being published today in SPLC’s Intelligence Report and on the Web. In addition to this evidence, the Report in 2002 published a major investigation of John Tanton, who founded FAIR and remains a key player on its board today. A 2001 Report article also included brief profiles of immigration restrictionist groups, including FAIR.

The identification of FAIR as a bona fide hate group is important. FAIR is the hub of the American nativist movement, the group that more than any other has contributed to the rancid turn the national immigration discussion has taken. With FAIR fanning the flames of xenophobic intolerance, hate groups, hate crimes and hate speech directed at foreigners and Latinos continue to rise in America.

Academic Racism: Into the Muck

By Mark Potok on December 9, 2007 - 2:25 pm, Posted in Academic Racism

When Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson suggested in October that Africans are innately less intelligent than others, he was met by an international firestorm of scientific criticism, ultimately resulting in his public apology and later resignation from the Long Island laboratory where he was chancellor. Many experts on intelligence challenged the scientific basis for Watson’s comment, and the director of the Human Genome Research Institute, who took up his post after Watson left it, described Watson’s remark as “a racist statement.” In fact, the weight of current scientific evidence suggests that differences in IQ between racial groups are principally caused by environmental factors.

In the aftermath of the Watson controversy, Slate.com, a normally liberal online magazine, published a three-part series by its science and technology columnist, William Saletan, that suggested strongly that IQ differences were, in fact, related to race. But within days, Saletan had published an essay entitled “Regrets,” in which he admitted that he had done a particularly poor job of summarizing the state of science on the IQ question. (Another Slate writer, Stephen RushtonMetcalf, also posted a major critical response to Saletan’s series.) In fact, as Saletan partly admitted in his apology, almost all of his conclusions came from the work of J. Philippe Rushton — a man who heads up a racist foundation, the Pioneer Fund, dedicated to race and IQ studies. The fund was created in 1937 to pursue policies of “race betterment,” specifically promoting the genetic stock of the white settlers of the original 13 colonies.

Then it was the turn of The New York Times. On Dec. 1, six weeks after Watson’s remarks, a story by Patricia Cohen summarized the controversy, the Slate episode, and the debate over race and intelligence. But Cohen made almost precisely the same Gottfredsonmistake that the unfortunate Saletan did. Quoted prominently in her story was one Linda Gottfredson, identified simply as a sociologist at the University of Delaware, saying that Saletan had nothing to apologize for. Gottfredson hailed Saletan, in fact, for possibly being “the first journalist to so directly acknowledge the scientific evidence” and called the response to his series evidence of a “moral panic.”

Just one little trouble. Gottfredson, along with Rushton, is one of the merry band of Pioneer Fund grant recipients. Since 1988, she has accepted at least $267,000 from the racist foundation. Gottfredson also opposed the 1991 Civil Rights Act because she said it fails to recognize innate differences in intelligence. And she criticized what she called “the egalitarian fiction that all groups are equal in intelligence.”

Highway to Hell? Or Is That Heaven?

By Casey Sanchez on December 6, 2007 - 11:05 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Conspiracies, Nativist Extremist

What’s in a highway? It depends, it turns out, on who you’re listening to.

Jerome CorsiFor years, nativist fearmongers and assorted conspiracy theorists have asserted that Interstate 35 — the highway that traverses the U.S. in a 1,568-mile path from Laredo, Texas, to Duluth, Minn. — is a part of a secret government plan that spells national ruin and an invasion of illegal immigrants. In the words of Jerome Corsi, the architect of the Swift boat attacks on John Kerry and a general conspiracy nut, the Bush Administration and various evil allies are “quietly but systematically” moving forward on “this key piece of the coming ‘North American Union’.” I-35, groups like the conspiracy-minded John Birch Society add, will soon be transformed into a 10-lane corridor designed expressly to bring in workers and products that will destroy American workers’ livelihoods and bring the much-feared union of Mexico, the United States and Canada one grim step closer to reality.

But wait! Now comes a whole new set of people with their own unusual ideas, and they say that I-35 isn’t evil after all — on the contrary, it’s the “Highway of Holiness,” the very same one prophesied in Isaiah 35:8: “And a highway will be there; it will be called the way of holiness.” This amazing news comes courtesy of CBN’s “The 700 Club,” the Christian Right television show hosted by Pat Robertson, who once blamed 9/11 on gays, feminists, abortionists and sundry liberals.

As recounted by 700 Club “reporter” Paul Strand (a tip of the hat to the folks at Pam’s House Blend for capturing this), a group of Texas-based Christian Right churches, “because of recent prophesies, dreams and visions,” are staging “purity sieges” up and down the highway at gay bars, abortion clinics, strip clubs and adult bookstores. Cindy Jacobs, one of the pastors behind the sieges, said she had received instructions from God to “[g]o to these cities and cry out for holiness and purity, and [then] I’ll come down and I’ll invade.” ( continue to full post… )

‘Democracy Now’ Takes On Lou Dobbs

By Mark Potok on December 5, 2007 - 11:58 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Media Extremism

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of “Democracy Now,” a serious radio and television news and analysis program, conducted an hour-long interview with nativist CNN host Lou Dobbs yesterday, and it was a doozie. Dobbs was pounded with questions about the bogus “facts” that he regularly trots out to demonize undocumented immigrants, such as his claim that a “third of our prison population” are “illegal aliens.” (As “Democracy Now” pointed out, the Justice Department says about 6% of state and federal prison populations are non-citizens. The government does not know what percentage of those non-citizens are undocumented.)

Dobbs’ chief reaction was to attack the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), whose Intelligence Report has carried a series of reports on Dobbs’ inaccuracies (see here, here, here and here), his promotion of racist conspiracy theories (see here), and the appearance of hate group members and leaders on his program (see here). (“Democracy Now” relied heavily on that SPLC research to confront Dobbs, who was plugging a new book.) Bizarrely, Dobbs responded to mention of his use of a white supremacist group’s graphic by noting that he had sent producers and reporters to SPLC’s Alabama offices in late 2004 “to make certain this sort of thing doesn’t happen.” But minutes later, he described the very same SPLC as “indulging in pure BS” in order to raise money. On his own show, he has called the SPLC a “fascist” group after SPLC criticized him. The whole thing was reminiscent of the way Dobbs last spring defended his false claim of immigrant-borne leprosy in an on-air debate with SPLC officials (see here). ( continue to full post… )

Minuteman Executive Director: No Need For Immigration Reform

By Hatewatch Staff on December 4, 2007 - 2:31 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

Major progress could be made over the next couple of years in stopping illegal immigration, according to a top leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

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Editorial: Minutemen Patrols ‘A Tragedy Waiting To Happen’

By Hatewatch Staff on December 4, 2007 - 2:27 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

Imagine your neighborhood crime-watch group packing firearms, electronic listening devices and thermal-vision cameras.

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Minnesota State Senator Joins Minutemen On The Border

By Hatewatch Staff on December 4, 2007 - 2:25 pm, Posted in Uncategorized

Dick Day took an unusual campaign trip this month as a Republican candidate in Minnesota’s First Congressional District, which spans the whole of southern Minnesota from Wisconsin to South Dakota.

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