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

Anti-Immigration ‘Labor’ Group Misleads on Job Loss

By Sonia Scherr on May 19, 2010 - 6:59 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

A front group for several nativist organizations is airing television ads in Arizona that link undocumented immigrants to high unemployment.

The Coalition for the Future American Worker is trying to capitalize on momentum from the harsh new Arizona law targeting undocumented immigrants, according to a news release from coalition member Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). The 10-member coalition, which emphasizes immigration’s purported negative effects on American workers, includes two organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers hate groups: the American Immigration Control Foundation and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR’s webmaster, Karl Filippini, serves as the registrant and administrator of the coalition’s website.

The ads — which are running in markets nationwide in addition to Arizona — contend that undocumented immigrants are taking away jobs from Americans at a time of high unemployment. In one ad, an unshaven man sits at a dining room table while a woman holding a child briefly appears in the background. “The president is doing next to nothing about 8 million illegal foreign workers while millions of Americans are jobless,” the man says. “I know. I’m one of them.” In another ad, a man wearing a sports jacket tells viewers that he doesn’t need 30 seconds to explain how to put Americans back to work because the answer is simple: Start enforcing immigration laws. Both ads urge people to call the White House to convey that message.

The ads are misleading, however.  Most scholars haven’t found a link between immigration —legal or illegal — and job loss, according to an article published last week by Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Study after study has shown that immigrants grow the economy, expanding demand for goods and services that the foreign-born workers and their families consume, and thereby creating jobs. There is even broad agreement among economists that while immigrants may push down wages for some, the overall effect is to increase average wages for American-born workers.”

The nativist coalition has rolled out other ad campaigns in an effort to influence immigration policy. In 2007, for instance, the coalition ran an ad featuring a couple sitting at a kitchen table with a baby crying in the background. The husband tells his wife that he failed to get a job because “they hired all foreign workers.” The coalition also uses other approaches. During a 2004 Texas congressional race, it ran television ads that included images of dark-skinned men loitering on street corners and running from police cars. The ads were intended to help defeat candidates who supported guest-worker programs and other immigration reforms. Ultimately, however, both the Republican and Democratic candidates denounce the ads as racially inflammatory and asked that television stations not run them.

Ironically, the Coalition for the Future American Worker counts only one union among its members: The Communications Workers of America, Local 4250. By contrast, the AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 national and international labor unions, has called for the repeal of the Arizona law, which gives police broad powers to detain those suspected of being in the country without documents and is widely seen as the nation’s harshest measure against illegal immigration. The AFL-CIO said the law will lead to racial profiling and “severely undermines workers’ rights.”

Strange Bedfellows See Affirmative Action in Beauty Contest

By Sonia Scherr on May 18, 2010 - 3:36 pm, Posted in Anti-Arab, Anti-Muslim

Does an ardent Jewish neo-conservative ever agree with an anti-Semite who despises neo-conservatives?

We didn’t think so, until the Miss USA contest showed that Muslim-bashing author Daniel Pipes and racist radio host James Edwards do indeed share some common ground. The men suggested on their respective blogs that 24-year-old Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Mich., captured the pageant crown on Sunday because of her Muslim religion (Pipes) or her Arab ethnicity (Edwards).

Edwards, the “Political Cesspool” host who has claimed that white women are physically superior, griped that he wasn’t surprised by Fakih’s win. “It’s pretty much a federal law now that beauty pageant winners have to be non-white,” he wrote in his Monday blog post, “and now that Arabs are the latest ‘oppressed minority,’ they’re finally getting their place at the top of the quota totem pole.”

Meanwhile, Pipes — whose resume includes posts at elite universities, a stint at the State Department, and a presidential appointment to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace — made a remarkably similar point. In an article titled “Affirmative Action in Beauty Contests?” posted on his website Sunday, Pipes posted the names (and photos) of six Muslim women who had won pageants in America and Europe over the past five years.

“They are all attractive,” he conceded, “but this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action. My suspicion is borne out by the selection of Anisah Rasheed as Miss A&T at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University.” Pipes went on to quote from an article about Rasheed’s coronation that described her tiara sitting atop her hijab, the headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women. (None of the other Muslim contest winners in Pipes’ article were pictured wearing the hijab.)

In an update posted Monday on his website, Pipes shared three non-critical responses from readers who wrote to him about the article. They included the following item, which Pipes presented without comment: “No surprise here. Affirmative action was first applied in beauty contests for black women to win in the 1980s, then it was the turn of Latin, brown skinned women, and now it’s Muslims. That’s why most people ignore these rigged ‘events.’ They are money losers and require controversy.” ( continue to full post… )

The FAIR Files: Is Race Destiny? Group’s TV Show Asks

By Heidi Beirich on May 17, 2010 - 9:40 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

In 1996, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) undertook an experiment, creating its own TV talk show about immigration called “Borderline.” The program ran for one year on NET, a satellite TV station put together by archconservative Paul Weyrich, an anti-gay bigot who has also been accused of anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League for claiming the Jews killed Jesus. In all, 51 episodes of “Borderline,” which was hosted by then-FAIR executive director and current president Dan Stein, were aired.

NET was created to push far-right ideas. The network’s mission statement “declared war” on “political correctness,” which it called “a type of ‘cultural tyranny,’” supposedly “rampant” in the television industry. NET was also adamantly opposed to “the modern rules of cultural Marxism by which, for example, homosexuals must be called ‘gays’, bums and beggars must be termed ‘homeless’, and violent criminals have been labeled ‘victims’ of society.” No fan of immigration, the channel ran ads for The Social Contract, a xenophobic journal created by John Tanton, the white nationalist founder of FAIR (who remains on its board today) and the architect of much of the modern nativist movement.

It has been reported before, by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) among others, that “Borderline” featured prominent white nationalists, including the late Sam Francis, who later became the top editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC); and Jared Taylor, who edits America Renaissance, a newsletter that claims blacks and Latinos are intellectually inferior to whites. What is new is the availability of the actual videotaped interviews on “Borderline,” thanks to FAIR’s decision to store many of its materials, including the “Borderline” episodes, at The George Washington University Gelman Library’s Special Collections. The SPLC recently examined these interviews.

The program, which opened with footage of immigrants running across the border or arriving in the U.S. in broken-down flotillas, featured nearly all prominent contemporary nativist leaders, including Tanton; Mark Krikorian and Otis Graham of the nativist Center for Immigration Studies; Roy Beck and Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, another nativist group; and several anti-immigration politicians. “Borderline” repeatedly took up the topic of whether immigrants come to the U.S. to work or invade. For FAIR officials, invasion seemed to be the right answer.

On April 22, 1996, “Borderline” was hosted by then-FAIR Deputy Director K.C. McAlpin and featured the CCC’s Sam Francis, who had recently been fired from his job at The Washington Times for making racist comments, along with Peter Skerry of the Brookings Institution. The topic of the day was, in McAlpin’s words, “the relentless march against our border — is it immigration or colonization?” The question was purely rhetorical for McAlpin, who later in the show asserted that Mexico has been “acting very much like a colonial power.” Francis very much agreed. “This is actually a process of political warfare,” Francis opined. “They encourage immigration to the North, get rid of who they don’t want and create a political lobby in this country as a kind of political bludgeon against the United States.” Skerry, who repeatedly disagreed with these sentiments, was frequently cut off. ( continue to full post… )

Fringe Nativist Sees Conspiracy in Murder Charge

By Sonia Scherr on May 14, 2010 - 3:05 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Crime

Laine Lawless, the Mexican flag-burning leader of the vigilante group Border Guardians, has been one of the few anti-immigration leaders to support accused nativist killer Shawna Forde.

Soon, those who can’t get enough of justiceforshawnaforde.com, Lawless’ unabashedly pro-Forde website, will be able to read her book about the case. The soon-to-be-released Blonde on the Border: The Government’s Case Against the Minutemen promises to dish out more dubious defenses of Forde, who is charged with murder in the killings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter during a home invasion on May 30 in Arivaca, Ariz. Forde led Minuteman American Defense (MAD), an Everett, Wash.-based splinter group of the Minuteman movement, whose adherents conduct armed patrols of the border.

Based on a short excerpt that’s published online, the book appears to rehash Lawless’ theory that Forde is the victim of a government conspiracy and a racist, sexist media campaign. Lawless, who asserts on her website that Forde was “racially profiled” and that she is a “political agenda prisoner,” again suggests in the book’s title that Forde’s prosecution is the result of a government vendetta against the Minutemen. In the excerpt, she also calls the details about Forde’s alleged involvement in the killings a “left-wing media-manufacture.” Lawless is virtually alone in this view: After the murders, Minuteman leaders scrambled to distance themselves from Forde, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the gruesome double murder. Even before the deaths in Arivaca, Forde was a controversial figure in Minuteman circles because of her supposed efforts to take on dangerous drug smugglers and because of her claims — never substantiated — that she’d been the target of a series of violent attacks. (Lawless also has been a lightening rod: In 2006, she privately wrote the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group urging members to harass and assault undocumented immigrants. She later told the Arizona Daily Star that the E-mail was fabricated.) ( continue to full post… )

Remembering Law Enforcement Victims of Right-Wing Extremists

By Sonia Scherr on May 12, 2010 - 2:52 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime

More law enforcement officers were killed last year by right-wing extremists than in any other year since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Six officers were slain in 2009 by those subscribing to far-right views, making the first year of Obama’s presidency the deadliest since 1995 for extremist attacks against police officers. The fallen officers are among those being remembered during National Police Week, which runs through Saturday with events in Washington, D.C. They include three Pittsburgh police officers killed by a racist and anti-Semitic gunman, two Florida sheriff’s deputies who were shot by a man with militia interests, and a security guard who was murdered by a white supremacist at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. (For a complete list of officers slain by radical rightists since 1995, see here and here.)

Since 1990, law enforcement officers have comprised nearly 15% of the victims of far-right killings — or 49 out of more than 400 fatalities, according to a report published last month by the University of Maryland. Local and state officers have accounted for more than 70% of these law enforcement deaths. Only 1995 saw as many officers killed by extremists as last year, with six officers dying, five of them in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Far-right extremists were energized last year by the election of the first black president, concerns about the possibility of tighter gun laws, the immigration debate, and the poor economy. Interestingly, the three killers of law enforcement officers all expressed unhappiness with the president. A friend of Richard Poplawski, who is charged with murdering the Pittsburgh officers, told The Associated Press that the unemployed 23-year-old feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way.” The wife of U.S. Army Reservist Joshua Cartwright, who fatally shot the two Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies before being killed himself, told officials that her husband was “severely disturbed” by Obama’s election. (Cartwright was also interested in militia groups.) And James von Brunn, the 88-year-old Holocaust museum shooter, wrote in a notebook found in his car that “Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do,” according to a police affidavit. ( continue to full post… )

The FAIR Files: Working With the Pioneer Fund

By Heidi Beirich on May 12, 2010 - 7:55 am, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Immigrant

During the heated debate leading up to the 1994 vote on California’s Proposition 187, a punishing anti-immigrant ordinance that would have denied social services to undocumented immigrants had it not been rejected by the courts, an embarrassing truth about the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) was revealed. Press reports disclosed that FAIR, a major backer of Prop 187, was also a major grant recipient of the Pioneer Fund, a racist organization established by Nazi sympathizers in the 1930s to pursue “race betterment.”

As of that year, FAIR had received a total about $1.2 million from Pioneer, which primarily funds race and IQ studies intended to reveal the inferiority of minorities and to this day describes its grant recipients, generally, as “race realists.” Perhaps the press furor would have died down if FAIR had decided to sever its relationship with Pioneer after the fund’s nature was exposed. But it chose not to.

Instead, FAIR, working hand in glove with Pioneer officials, moved rapidly to try to tamp down the criticism and protect its lucrative relationship with the foundation. This is revealed in previously unexplored archival files that FAIR has lodged in George Washington University’s Gelman Library Special Collections.

Writing on FAIR letterhead, Dan Stein — then the organization’s executive director, and today its president — drafted a chummy March 16, 1994, note addressed to “Harry,” meaning Harry Weyher, who was Pioneer’s president at the time, suggesting a course of action. (Weyher also was a well-known academic racist who had publicly opposed desegregation.) “Enclosed is a proposed piece for your consideration,” the note read. “I hope it lays out the case satisfactorily. If not, let me know and we’ll beef it up to your satisfaction. Thanks for this opportunity. Best Regards, Dan.”

Attached to the note for Weyher’s consideration was a two-page proposed statement entitled “Why the Pioneer Fund Supports the Immigration Reform Movement” that was written as if in the first person by Weyher. It said that Weyher’s interest in FAIR came from reading two books. The first was by John Tanton, the original founder of FAIR and much of the modern nativist movement, Rethinking Immigration Policy. The second was Illegal Immigration and the New Reform Movement, by Otis Graham, a close colleague of Tanton’s who was board chairman of FAIR in the early 1980s before Tanton installed him as head of the related Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in the mid-1980s. (Graham is still on CIS’s board.) The draft statement argued that “the two monographs got us thinking about the public policy implications of [immigration] … and ultimately, the [Pioneer] Trustees made the decision that research and education on immigration would be a beneficial and worthwhile application for a Pioneer Fund grant.” It added that FAIR went about its work “responsibly, ethically, and intelligently” and applauded the “excellence” of FAIR’s staff. “We are pleased and proud that through financial support, we’ve made FAIR’s important work possible,” the statement concluded.

For some months after the Pioneer story broke, FAIR remained an aggressive defender of Pioneer. The Gelman documents include a Sept. 9, 1994, letter to Richard Woodward and his pro-immigrant organization “Taxpayers Against 187” claiming that the group was defaming the Pioneer Fund as it distributed information about Pioneer’s grants to FAIR. Written by attorney William W. Chip, who today serves on FAIR’s board of advisors, the letter warns: “Your portrayal of the Pioneer Fund as a ‘white supremacist’ organization is also based on fabrications.” In fact, part of the original 1937 mandate of the Pioneer Fund was to promote the genetic stock of those “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.” Much more recently, Pioneer has funded racist publications like American Renaissance, whose editor wrote in 2005 that “when blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” ( continue to full post… )

An Irritated World Net Daily Denounces Terrible Reviews

By Larry Keller on May 10, 2010 - 11:01 am, Posted in Media Extremism

For an organization that loathes the mainstream media, World Net Daily sure craves their acceptance. The book publishing division of the far-right, Obama-obsessed organization released a new title about the president last week and it’s furious about the contempt with which major news organizations have greeted it. So much so that WND sent out two E-mail alerts last week to complain bitterly about the hostility. And, in a novel marketing ploy, the publisher urges people to buy the book as a means of defying the same traditional media whose approval it covets.

The book — The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott — was among Amazon.com’s top 10 sellers last week; it had fallen to 16th as of this morning. It claims to have uncovered “copious new details” about Obama’s ties to one-time Weather Underground co-founder William Ayers and to a “radical, far-left church” during his childhood, as well as his supposed associations with the Nation of Islam and black political extremists. There also are claims linking Obama senior advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod to communist activists.

“The book seeks to expose an extremist coalition of communists, socialists and other radicals working both inside and outside the administration to draft and advance current White House policy goals,” says a WND press release.

This is standard fare at WND, which continues to obsess over Obama’s birthplace, even though there is no credible evidence he was born anywhere but Hawaii, making him a U.S. citizen.

Klein’s publicist was greeted, not with mere indifference, but downright hostility after she sent press releases pitching The Manchurian President to her list of media contacts. She couldn’t even give the book to some of them. Here were some responses she received, according to WND:

• “Ridiculous crap” — a New York Daily News editor

• “Absolute crap” — a Huffington Post editor

• “Never, ever contact me again” — a Time magazine writer

• “Sensational rubbish” — a Newsweek editor

• “Seriously, get a life” — an AOL writer ( continue to full post… )

Georgia Oath Keeper Charged After Attempting ‘Citizen’s Arrest’

By Hatewatch Staff on May 7, 2010 - 7:50 am, Posted in Patriot Groups

When Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” last October, he argued that the newly formed, rapidly growing “Patriot” group was no threat to anybody – just a collection of police officers and military types who pledge to defend the Constitution and to disobey unconstitutional orders from their superiors. On the group’s website, it identifies such orders as rounding up U.S. citizens, taking their guns and forcing them into detention camps.

“We’re not talking about asking them to go fight,” said Rhodes. “We’re simply saying, Don’t fight.” He then added, “Don’t fight the people.”

One Oath Keeper in Georgia, however, decided to go beyond just disobeying orders. He’s been accused of plotting to take over a Tennessee courthouse and put two dozen officials under “citizen’s arrest.”

( continue to full post… )

Fox Uses Dubious Stats to Demonize Undocumented Immigrants

By Sonia Scherr on May 6, 2010 - 2:44 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Fox News made the alarming claim this morning that 2,158 Americans are murdered every year by undocumented immigrants.

Problem is, it’s almost certainly wrong.

In response to our request for comment, a Fox News spokeswoman said she would look into precisely where that number came from. (We will update this post when we hear from her.) However, the show cited as its source “FSM” which appears to be shorthand for Family Security Matters, a website that frequently publishes breathless “exclusives” such as the one about Latinos titled, “Illegal Aliens Bring A Taliban Culture to the United States.” ( continue to full post… )

Louisiana KKK Leader Pleads Guilty to Killing Recruit Who Wanted Out

By Larry Keller on May 6, 2010 - 11:27 am, Posted in Klan

The murder trial of Louisiana klansman Raymond “Chuck” Foster ended abruptly Wednesday when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying of a new recruit and was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

Foster’s plea brings an end to a case in which seven people were arrested initially and four were indicted in connection with the November 2008 shooting death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, at a remote campsite in St. Tammany Parish about 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Lynch, who lived in Tulsa, Okla., was recruited over the Internet to join the Sons of Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Foster, 45, of Bogalusa in neighboring Washington Parish, was its leader, taking the title of imperial wizard. The Sons of Dixie Knights had about 30 members at one time, but many had quit by the time Lynch was initiated, Foster’s wife, Theresa, told the SPLC’s Intelligence Report last year.  ( continue to full post… )