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

Nativist Leader Starts Website to Attack ‘Subversive’ Groups

By Sonia Scherr on January 6, 2010 - 2:58 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

A new website purports to expose the machinations of “extremist” organizations that supposedly are trying to stifle debate about immigration. These groups represent “the well-funded far-left anti-enforcement mob that is ‘the other side’ of the majority of Americans,” states the website, Center for Immigration Truth.

What Center for Immigration Truth doesn’t say is that the website is another project of John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who in many ways has been primary architect of the contemporary nativist movement. Tanton, who has a long history of bigotry and racist associations that has been documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is the registrant and administrator of the website, according to the Public Interest Registry database. The address in the registry is that of Tanton’s Social Contract Press, which publishes a quarterly journal featuring articles by prominent white supremacists. (The Social Contract Press is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC.)

The website launched several months ago with the motto “monitoring the subversive La Raza open borders network.” (The National Council of La Raza is a major Latino advocacy group that actually has supported several recent immigration enforcement measures.) The Center for Immigration Truth asserts that “the radical La Raza open borders lobby distorts facts and truth in order to promote their ethnic agenda.” The website cites more than a dozen other so-called members of this lobby, including prominent civil, human and workers’ rights groups such as the SPLC, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Anti-Defamation League and the Service Employees International Union. (For the record, the SPLC doesn’t advocate for open borders, but instead aims to expose bigotry as it occurs in the immigration debate.) The Center for Immigration Truth provides links to several organizations founded by Tanton, including NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Center for Immigration Studies and Pro-English.

Though the website is designed to appeal to mainstream immigration restrictionists, Tanton’s views are far from mainstream. For years, he has described contemporary immigrants as inferior. He has questioned the “educability” of Latinos and written that “for European-American 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?” He has also corresponded with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers and white nationalist thinkers. In an infamous 1986 memo, he wrote: “As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”

  • Gina Holihan

    Endicott makes too much sense for don’t you all know that anyone who is against “ILLEGAL” immigration is a racist. I notice M. Potok on his talk show circuit always mentions those who are anti-immigration, he fails to mention those who are not interested in financially supporting via tax payer dollar and Federal funding those who enter the country illegally. Big difference than those who come here to assimilate, learn the language, take the legal measures like so many of my friends had to do. There are some who come here and demand amnesty as some right that they are entitled too.

    No one has anything racist to say about La Raza who only wants to better the quality of life for the Latinos (no one else, soley their race). I would say that smacks of rasicm since the day of minority is long gone and now that they are the majority I find they are being exploited for their dollar and vote. Which side is worse, this gentleman lawyer, Potok, who gets all of this media play expounding on “Right wing crazies” when indeed he can not even utter terrorist when refering to the Fort Hood terrorist attack on a US military base. He paints a bias to his opinion and “studies”.

    What an irresponsible statement, irreprehensible at best to say that one person who is crazy is targeted as a Right Wing Radical group as evidenced by his CNN statement on the man who flew his plane into the IRS builiding. Why label a political affiliation when he had none other that what is inferred by you. I find liberal dribble so debatable and yet their seems to be only “their comprehension”, “their explaination” and we are supposed to drink the kool aid. Afterall he knows what is best for us. We can’t figure things out for ourselves we need the intellectual to point out this person’s motives before the police do a full investigation. Can’t this INDIVIDUAL just be some nut who had no affiliation. Maybe he is a person who is disenchanted with our current government, he is not alone.

    When I see this group of lawyers with all of their funding I ponder who is their lobbying groups? Who is purchasing their opinion and expertise? I am a centrist but I find these people and their comments just as hate provoking as the “Leftist Liberal Radical Party” and the Extreme Right. Their studies often skewed to spew their “hateful message”.

    Luckily, the audience that watches CNN are brain dead, catering to a Behar crowd of nonsense verbage. They don’t read, they like to be spoon fed.

    I had a great thought, maybe we can spend your funding to take care of all of the immigrators in California who don’t have to take care of themselves. There is no accountiblilty, just pocket the taxpayers money every time they have a protest, or need housing or medical not to mention coagulating the educational system. Why don’t you pay out of your generous surplus and then perhaps we would not be so bitter? You don’t seem to be so concerned that a “white persons” child is being left behind because I can’t afford private school. Don’t forget I can’t meet the lottery’s “ethnicity” requirement. I have been turned down from other districts and magnet schools because we aren’t ethnic enough. I don’t think the ACLU would be very sympathetic to me screaming discrimination, do you? I can’t wait to leave Los Angeles and give the dubious honor of funding all of the free social services available to others excluding my family. Who will pay when no one pays taxes and the disposible income is being wired to Mexico, Honduras, San Salvador ect…???? They have chased the working middle class out of the City by the tune of 150,000 per year. Go figure, must be a bunch of right wing racists eh? What ever helps you sleep at night.

  • jerilyn kay miller

    all these opinions, all these ”groups”………..somebody is pocketing some serious money here. think of what
    human being could accomplish, if this ”%$&*” petty
    bickering would cease. i pray to God every day and
    night that we people use our common sense. jeri

  • Jimmy Peanut

    Imperial hubris* and greedy mostly white Wall Street vultures are rapidly transforming the USA into a failed society. With increasing unemployment and poverty I would be surprised if the USA will continue to be as attractive a destination for immigrants over the next decades as it has been in the past.

    * all hubris -and white supremacy is basically a form of hubris- ends in tragedy.

  • James J. Endicott

    I don’t want it thought that we Americans have no sympathy for Mexicans. I know I do – I certainly wouldn’t want to live in Mexico either. And that’s the whole point. Mexicans have utterly failed to create a country any civilized person would want to live in. All we need to do to know what a majority-Mexican U.S. would look like is peer south across the border. Mexican society is the result of Mexican culture, and Mexican society has failed so spectacularly that Mexicans flee from it as one would flee a plague. That is what is so ironic about racial supremacist groups like La Raza (which has the slogan “For the Race, everything, outside the Race, nothing”) – they are all very, very proud… of a culture and society that is such an unmitigated failure that they themselves fled from it and refuse to ever return, and liken deportation to Mexico to the trains that shipped Jews to Auschvitz.

    We do not blame Mexicans for not wanting to live in Mexico – a sewer of corruption and graft, ravaged by narco-terrorists, mired in poverty, utterly bereft of the great thinkers, statesmen and inventors that are the inevitable products of a healthy, viable culture – so how can they blame Americans for not wanting America turned into Mexico?

    Anyway, it is not just Mexicans whom we should deny entry to. We need a moratorium on all immigration, period. If ever we regain a level of industry that requires an infusion of immigrants, we should favor the countries that are the most culturally similar to us (i.e. that will send immigrants who will assimilate most easily): the Anglosphere nations (U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc) first, followed by the nations of Northern and Western Europe and so on etc. Once we have exhausted the nations that share our Western heritage we should favor the more prosperous nations with higher-IQ populations. People from low-IQ populations, from failure-cultures and from cultures historically antagonistic to the West (i.e. Muslim countries) should come last – or, really, not at all.

  • Jimmy Peanut


    Some racist crazies have taken up the “Solutrean” cause claiming that Caucasians were the first inhabitants of North America, long before the arrival of the Asiatic Native Americans. All of this is to cover up the fact that America has been a nation of immigrants since the Mayflower brought over the first relgious refugees from Europe, who were followed by boatload after boatload of economic migrants from the old continent. The kings and philosophers remained in Europe where they lived in luxury. The American racist movements also like to glorify and appropriate the achievements of Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, etc. ignoring the fact that their glorious European ancestors were probably emptying out the chamber pots of the above figures.

  • William

    Wait a minute…arent we all immigrants? Didnt we all come from some other country or continent? England, Mexico, Poland, Africa, Asia, or whatever it may be. This is America right? Fact is im not even sure of my own ancestry but im quite sure my people came from somewhere else too! Get over it and stop your supremist nonsense!!! Oi!

  • Advocate54

    Not only an advanced society in that regards TonyDoc, but a highly functioning society a couple of thousand years before the US was even thought of.

    Back on point though. Looking at the CIT website, I am struck by how the right wing whackoff’s accuse the pro-reform movement of tactics that they established and perfected.

    It reminds me of the old Pee Wee Herman bit “I know you are but what am I?”

    For the most part, on the pro reform side, I’ve seen nothing but well mannered and orderly discussion and debate, even as groups like ALIPAC and VDARE unleash their legions of trolls to try and hijack discussions.

  • MdeG

    In a perverse way, this is good news. It indicates that JT retains enough contact with reality to notice that there are people who disagree with him, and that he’s concerned by the number of opposing voices he’s hearing. He’s no longer pretending that we’re a few small gnats buzzing around his august ears.

    Maybe no one of us, or no organization, has JT’s level of funding and (at least on paper) organization, but we are myriad and we’re not going away. This is what a groundswell looks like, JT.

    Another joyful subversive!

  • Tonydoc

    I worked for years alongside Chicano workers in the nursery industry. I was extremely pleased by the strong work ethic I witnessed. Since I knew some conversational Spanish, I got along quite well with them (and learned some spare vulgarities as well LOL).

    If any fools ask, “Why are they taking our jobs?” I have a simple answer–too many of us gringos don’t want to do it!

    As for an “advanced society”, let us recall that Mexico abolished slavery before we did!

  • Marisa

    This guy is a complete wacko! Anyone who has any knowledge of him knows that. I find it scary that ANYONE gives him any credibility whatsoever – shows that he has a lot of FELLOW NUTS out there.

  • beholder

    Is there no end to the Astroturf from this guy?