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 Campo Minuteman and Tea Party activists are co-hosting a fundraiser in San Juan Capistrano for the family of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was shot to death in Campo this summer.
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Despite John Tanton’s long, documented history of racism, Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), called the founder of his organization a “Renaissance man” of wide-ranging “intellect” in a Washington Post article published today.
It’s hard, of course, for Stein to distance himself from Tanton. After all, Tanton started the organization in 1979 and is still a member of the group’s board of directors. But since the full extent of Tanton’s racist views have been exposed in recent years, Stein hasn’t talked about the founder’s ideas much. But now he is.
Stein told the Post that attacks on Tanton “are out of context and ‘simply do not reflect the true character of the man.” But it’s hard to understand how.
Over the decades, Tanton has repeatedly described contemporary immigrants as inferior. He has questioned the “educability” of Latinos and written that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a letter to Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, Tanton wondered “whether the minorities who are going to inherit California … can run an advanced society?”
It doesn’t stop there. Tanton 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 idolized a principal architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 (instituting a national origin quota system that dramatically favored whites over people of color and barred Asian immigration), a rabid anti-Semite whose pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was indicted for sedition in 1942.
Based on an investigation of Tanton’s views and those of his organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) began listing FAIR as a hate group in 2007. Stein’s defense of Tanton shows one more reason they deserve the label.
Laine Lawless, the Mexican-flag-burning founder of the Arizona-based hate group Border Guardians, admitted last week that she met with fellow nativist vigilante leader Shawna Forde less than 24 hours after Forde allegedly took part in the home invasion slayings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, Ariz., near the Mexican border.
The admission from Lawless came in response to a Sept. 9 Everett (Wash.) Herald article in which Minuteman activist Chuck Stonex revealed that Lawless had accompanied him the night of May 30 when Stonex met with Forde and Jason Bush, the alleged triggerman in the slayings, which had occurred in the early morning hours that same day.
Two weeks later, Forde and Bush were arrested and charged with the murders along with a third accomplice. Soon after their arrests, Stonex went to police and said he’d treated Bush for a gunshot wound at Forde’s request the night after the killings. He said that Forde claimed a ricochet had struck Bush in the leg while he was on vigilante border patrol.
According to law enforcement authorities, Bush suffered the injury when the wife and mother of the victims shot him during the home invasion robbery that was orchestrated by Forde, the founder of Minuteman American Defense.
Everett, a suburb of Seattle, is Forde’s hometown, and the Herald has been following the tangled local-girl-gone-bad story with extensive coverage of the Arivaca killings and their fallout since mid-June.
Meet Mr. End Time Watchman, a gun-waving, violence-threatening, conspiracy-theorizing gent in a white cowboy hat who makes videos in his garage. In this video, he lacks the voice to convey menace the way Clint Eastwood did as Dirty Harry, but he gives it his best: “Are you feeling lucky, New World Order?” he asks, waving an immense handgun. “I’m gonna shove this .50-caliber up your nose.”
So be warned, all of you who are part of the New World Order. When you come to take his guns away, he’s waiting for you. His rant lasts for more than five minutes in this particular video, and at the end there are links to some of his other masterpieces. They’re at once funny and scary, with some emphasis on the latter, because the sentiments he expresses are those making the rounds in right-wing extremist circles these days.
And as the Southern Poverty Law Center reported recently, there are clear signs of a revival of the virulently anti-government “Patriot” movement of the 1990s — paramilitary militias, tax defiers, “sovereign citizens” and the like — united in their determination to oppose President Obama and the socialistic troops of the “New World Order.”
Mr. End Time Watchman is one of their spokesmen.
The Department of Justice has begun an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the dismissal in May of voter intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party, a black separatist group.
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, disclosed the inquiry this week. Smith has been a strident critic of the Justice Department’s decision to dismiss charges against members of the group who stood outside a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day last November in military-style fatigues and berets. The department previously won an injunction against one of the members, who had carried a night stick.
The original incident was captured on videotape and posted on YouTube, where it attracted national attention. The New Black Panther Party — which despite its name has no connection with the original Black Panther Party — is a black supremacist organization listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, based on the anti-white and anti-Semitic views its leaders and members have repeatedly expressed.
The Justice Department had cited insufficient evidence as the primary reason for dismissing the case, but some Republicans have found that unacceptable. Conservative bloggers and commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, have condemned the decision to drop most of the case. And Rep. Smith has called on Senate Republicans to block the nomination of President Obama’s choice to the head the Civil Rights Division, Tom Perez, over the matter.
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For those two or three people remaining in America who are still uncertain if Lou Dobbs is an immigration extremist, the CNN and radio show host has removed any doubts: He is. Dobbs is a headliner next week when the Federation for American Immigration Reform — FAIR — takes its annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” show to Washington, D.C.
Some 47 radio station talk show blabbers are scheduled to broadcast Sept. 15-16 from Capitol Hill. They will interview members of Congress, immigration reform proponents and — best of all — “high profile media personalities and activists,” according to FAIR. FAIR members also will try to buttonhole elected representatives for a chat about immigration issues, and there will be a reception to recognize those who have made “significant contributions towards true immigration reform.”
Dobbs’ scheduled broadcast at the event prompted Media Matters for America President Eric Burns to write an open letter to CNN President Jonathan Klein on Aug. 28. Burns noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR a hate group.
Among other things, FAIR has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups, and promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secretly coveting the American Southwest, and another theory claiming secret plans to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. FAIR was founded in 1979 by John Tanton, whose long history of bigotry toward Latinos and Catholics has been well documented by the SPLC.
Dobbs already has damaged CNN’s credibility by the “attention and legitimacy he gave to the ‘birther’ movement” recently, Burns wrote. [SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote to Klein in July calling on him to remove Dobbs from the air because of his lending credence to birthers’ unsubstantiated claims that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and therefore can’t legally be president]. “CNN’s association with FAIR through Mr. Dobbs is nothing less than a stain on an organization that calls itself ‘The Most Trusted Name in News,’” Burns wrote.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Burns and Media Matters hadn’t received a response from Klein. It seems unlikely the CNN honcho will prohibit Dobbs’ participation in the FAIR event. One need only look at the name of last year’s headliner to see why: Lou Dobbs.
Top aides to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is noted for his harsh anti-immigrant tactics, appear to be the targets of an inquiry into links between the department and the Arizona Republican Party.
A case that initially appeared to be based on ethnic hostility takes a twist. Police say the suspect disputed the church’s religious practices.
Police say the cab driver, a Sikh immigrant, was called “Taliban” and “terrorist” by his assailants.
Fox News commentator Glenn Beck sparked a firestorm in July when he declared on the air (though not on his show) that President Barack Obama possesses “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture” and called him “a racist.” He seemed unchastened even after his own network distanced itself from his comments and advertisers began to flee his show, “Glenn Beck.” (Disclosure: Southern Poverty Law Center board member James Rucker is executive director of ColorOfChange.org, the organization that asked advertisers to boycott Glenn Beck.)
Now, Beck has issued a list of “reasonable questions for unreasonable times” that he wants his viewers and listeners to ask. “It’s vital that we all question with boldness, hold to the truth and speak without fear,” he says on his website.
Trouble is, many of the questions are based on faulty assumptions. Take the question about the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, a nonprofit social justice group whose work includes advocating for better housing. Beck asserts: “The stimulus package funneled billions of dollars to ACORN. How does giving billions of dollars to ACORN stimulate the economy?”
In fact, if Beck actually read the $787 billion stimulus bill, which Congress passed in February with the goal of boosting the economy, he’d learn that it makes no mention of ACORN. Just in case we missed something, however, Hatewatch consulted two nonpartisan sources: the St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact.com and the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org. Both said it’s untrue that any money — let alone billions — is earmarked for ACORN. ( continue to full post… )