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

The Tanton Files: FAIR Founder’s Racism Revealed

By Heidi Beirich on September 19, 2008 - 1:03 pm, Posted in Academic Racism, Anti-Immigrant, Hate Groups

John TantonANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan is an unassuming place, more like a small-town library than a research institute. But hidden away in 17 cardboard boxes deep inside the simple facility are the papers of John Tanton, the retired Michigan ophthalmologist who has been the most important figure in the modern American anti-immigration movement for three decades. The papers, which include more than 20 years of letters from the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and a batch of other nativist groups, contain explosive material about Tanton’s beliefs. They also show that FAIR, where Tanton still serves as a member of the board, has been well aware of Tanton’s views and activities for years.

Tanton has long claimed that he is no racist — that, in fact, he came to his immigration restrictionism through progressive concerns for population control and the environment, not disdain for the foreign born. He characterizes himself as a “fair person,” and on his website he condemns the “unsavory characters whose views can easily be characterized as anti-American, anti-Semitic and outright racist.”

Fair enough. But what do Tanton’s letters have to say?

As it turns out, quite a lot. Although Tanton has been linked to racist ideas in the past — fretting about the “educability” of Latinos, warning of whites being out-bred by others, and publishing a number of white nationalist authors — the papers in the Bentley Library show that Tanton has for decades been at the heart of the white nationalist scene. He has corresponded with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers and the leading white nationalist thinkers of the era. He introduced key FAIR leaders to the president of the Pioneer Fund, a white supremacist group set up to encourage “race betterment,” at a 1997 meeting at a private club. He wrote a major funder to encourage her to read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to “give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life” — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss the professor’s theories on the Jews. He practically worshipped a principal architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 (instituting a national origin quota system and barring Asian immigration), a rabid anti-Semite whose pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was indicted for sedition in 1942.

As early as 1969, Tanton showed a sharp interest in eugenics, the “science” of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazis, trying to find out if Michigan had laws allowing forced sterilization. His interest stemmed, he wrote in a letter of inquiry that year, from “a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them.” Some 30 years later, he was still worrying about “less intelligent” people being allowed children, saying that “modern medicine and social programs are eroding the human gene pool.”

Throughout, FAIR — which, along with Tanton, refused repeated requests for comment for this story — has stood by its man. Its 2004 annual report praised him for “visionary qualities that have not waned one bit.” Around the same time, Dan Stein, who has led FAIR since 1988 as executive director or president and who was copied on scores of Tanton’s letters, insisted FAIR’s founder had “never asserted the inferiority or superiority of any racial, ethnic, or religious group. Never.” ( continue to full post… )

FAIR Leaders Have 20-Year Track Record of Denigrating Immigrants

By Heidi Beirich on September 19, 2008 - 12:04 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Principals of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), including FAIR founder John Tanton and FAIR President Dan Stein, have been attacking immigrants for 20 years. The quotations below of statements made by FAIR officials reveal their anti-immigrant views. ( continue to full post… )

CCC Denies Hosting Holocaust Denier

By Sonia Scherr on September 16, 2008 - 3:20 pm, Posted in Hate Groups, Holocaust Denial

The leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a hate group descended from the segregationist White Citizens Councils, says that his group did not host an infamous Holocaust denier’s speech in Alabama, although one of its officials promoted it. Hatewatch had reported on Sept. 2 that the CCC hosted the Aug. 26 event in the Montgomery area.

“The Council of Conservative Citizens has never hosted, held, sponsored or promoted any event or meeting at which David Irving has been the speaker,” wrote CCC head Gordon Lee Baum in a letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Nonetheless, Larry Darby, chairman of the Alabama Capital Region chapter of the CCC, promoted Irving’s lecture. While there, Darby handed out copies of the CCC’s racist publication, the Citizens Informer.

It wasn’t the first time that Darby — a Montgomery lawyer who has stated publicly that the Holocaust “never happened” — attended an event with the world’s most notorious Holocaust denier. Darby hosted Irving’s 2005 appearance at a Holiday Inn just north of Montgomery. (That was back before Darby, the father of two biracial girls, began hanging around with neo-Nazi leaders and assorted other white supremacists.) ( continue to full post… )

Sheriff Apologies For ‘Inappropriate’ Remarks About Mexican Immigrants

By Hatewatch Staff on September 16, 2008 - 8:37 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell issued a public apology for saying “Mexicans are trashy” and criticizing Mexican immigrants in his jurisdiction for “breeding like rabbits.”
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Federal Investigators To Audit Controversial Sheriff’s Office Program

By Hatewatch Staff on September 16, 2008 - 8:34 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced that ICE will conduct an audit of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to determine whether it’s violating the terms of an agreement that gives MCSO the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
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Judge Rules Against Immigrant Rental Ban

By Hatewatch Staff on September 16, 2008 - 8:30 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the city of Farmers Branch, Tex. from implementing an ordinance designed to prevent illegal immigrants from renting apartments and houses.
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FAIR Hosts Major Anti-Immigration Event In D.C.

By Hatewatch Staff on September 16, 2008 - 8:27 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ conference drew scores of anti-immigration activists and right-wing talk radio hosts to Washington, D.C.
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Neo-Nazi Magazine to Feature Obama Assassination Cover

By Mark Potok on September 12, 2008 - 10:30 am, Posted in Hate Groups, Neo-Nazi

National Socialist Obama coverNeo-Nazi boss Bill White, long given to swaggering threats and proposals for violence, this week went even further than normal — announcing plans for a magazine cover headlined “Kill This NIGGER?” with a photo of Barack Obama and, two days later, publishing the home address of a juror who helped convict another neo-Nazi leader in a federal conspiracy case.

White, who heads the Virginia-based American National Socialist Workers Party, has issued a series of Internet calls for violence in recent years, including his infamous September 2007 suggestion that followers “Lynch the Jena 6,” a reference to black high school students in Jena, La. But of late, his postings have become even more violent, possibly as a result of White’s deliberate attempts to be provocative in the face of waning public attention.

On Tuesday, White posted on his website a request for money to pay for a special issue of his National Socialist magazine. The mocked-up cover, with a huge “Kill This NIGGER?” headline, shows Obama speaking to a crowd with a rifle’s crosshairs superimposed on his head. White said that the accompanying article would explain the Democratic presidential nominee’s “radical Communist politics and Jewish backers … and how he plans genocide against white working people.”

Then, on Thursday, White posted the name, home address and several phone numbers for an allegedly “Gay Jewish anti-racist” juror who helped convict Matt Hale, then-leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator, of soliciting the murder of a federal judge. Hale was sentenced in 2005 to 40 years in prison.

White does not directly propose violence against the juror. But he told his readers that the man “played a leading role in inciting both the conviction and the harsh sentence that followed.” He also described the conviction as wrongful and said that the prison term handed Hale was a “criminally long sentence.”

White, who lives in Roanoke, Va., has a long history of issuing sneering threats and vulgar, racist attacks. Earlier this summer, on July 22, he verbally attacked what he called “‘respectable’ niggers” in the NAACP and elsewhere in American society. “I am convinced, more and more each day, that the only solution to this problem is to kill all of the niggers involved, preferably with state sponsorship,” he wrote. “When the death squads come, line me up as volunteer number one.”

The Rizoli Twins: The Mask Falls Away

By Casey Sanchez on September 10, 2008 - 10:40 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Holocaust Denial

The Rizoli twins have dropped the charade when it comes to their Holocaust denial.

The latest issue of the Intelligence Report, released Aug. 28, contains a story detailing allegations that Framingham, Mass., anti-immigration extremists Jim and Joe Rizoli have promoted Holocaust denial online using the handles of “jjrizo” and “JoRiz” since at least 2001.

The Rizolis, who spend most of their time these days attacking and demonizing Brazilian immigrants, in the past have vehemently denied these allegations. Contacted by the Intelligence Report for comment earlier this summer, Jim Rizoli, speaking for his brother and himself, claimed he was an innocent victim of online identity theft. “Let me set you straight. My identity was stolen. People were posting things using my name,” he said. Asked his opinion of Holocaust denial, Jim Rizoli said, “I have no interest in that. Nothing. I’m not going to get into that.”

But just two days after the Intelligence Report story was published, Jim Rizoli E-mailed the Report a response that seemed to abandon his earlier denials.

“Great article about my brother and I. You will bring much attention to the Holocaust and people will hopefully see that there are a lot of ‘loose ends’ that need fixin [sic].” Rizoli then suggested that the Intelligence Report should “check out” the website

We know the site all too well. Created by longtime Holocaust denier Friedrich Paul Berg, it refers to the Holocaust as a hoax and claims that “No one was ever killed in gas chambers, and there was NO program to physically exterminate all the Jews.” “Hitler had superb, cyanide gas chambers, but they were used ONLY to keep people alive,” Rizoli’s recommended reading continues. “Those gas chambers were used in many strategic locations throughout eastern Europe to fumigate entire railroad trains, for example, with cyanide gas from Zyklon-B.” also links to Hitler worship websites like, the subject of a previous Intelligence Report story. ( continue to full post… )

Mayor Slams Immigrants: ‘It’s Their Culture Versus American Culture’

By Hatewatch Staff on September 9, 2008 - 9:04 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Wallhalla Mayor Randy Chastain claimed immigrants are overrunning the city—despite demographic evidence to the contrary—while denying that Walhalla police are engaged in racial profiling.
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