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 FAIR Files: Attacks On Multiculturalism Will Help

By Heidi Beirich on July 14, 2010 - 1:57 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, White Nationalism

In 1991, Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) sent a report to his board of directors under the subject line: “The Defenders of American culture Rise to the Call to Arms.” In the memo, which is archived at George Washington University’s Gelman Library, Stein, who was then FAIR’s executive director and today is the organization’s president, celebrated a new “disdain” in the media and among intellectuals for “the political agenda of those who openly attack the contributions of Western Civilization.” He was particularly happy that “multicultural and Politically Correct” school curricula had come under criticism.

Stein’s report expressed the hope that mounting criticism of multiculturalism would eventually lead to attacks on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended years of racist immigration policy (under a national origins quota system heavily skewed against non-whites and even darker-skinned Europeans) and initiated a wave of non-white immigration to the U.S. For Stein, the 1965 Act was “a key mistake in national policy” and a “source of error.”

Stein is not the only key FAIR leader concerned that today’s immigrants are harmful to Western civilization. FAIR founder and board member John Tanton has repeatedly made the argument that a declining white population will end in American cultural ruin. In a Dec. 10, 1993, letter to Garrett Hardin, a controversial ecology professor, he said: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” On Jan. 26, 1996, he wrote Roy Beck, head of the immigration-restrictionist group NumbersUSA (and then an employee of Tanton’s foundation U.S. Inc.), questioning whether Latinos were capable of governing California. Referring to the changing demographics in California’s public schools, Tanton wondered “whether the minorities who are going to inherit California (85% of the lower-grade school children are now ‘minorities’ — demography is destiny) can run an advanced society?”

Tanton went so far as to propose creating a “League for European-American Defense, Education and Research” or, to use Tanton’s acronym, LEADERs. LEADERs would defend “ourselves and our tradition against attacks,” counter “the denigration of Western culture” which Tanton wrote is “under siege,” and stop the “reduction of the European-American demographic and cultural majority to minority status.”

The way back to that promised land, apparently, is to erase the legacy of the 1965 Act. As shown in Tanton’s correspondence, which is stored at the Bentley Historical Library at University of Michigan, the FAIR founder is a big fan of the Immigration Act of 1924, which kept the vast majority of non-whites from immigration to the U.S. In a Nov. 3, 1995, memo to Stein and the entire FAIR board of advisers, Tanton mocked the idea that the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration to the U.S. and ultimately was subsumed into the 1924 Act, was racist. He also defended the infamous “White Australia” policy that restricted non-white immigration into that country from 1901 to 1973, saying it was not racist, but intended to protect native-born labor. The Australians disagreed, passing the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act to outlaw racially based immigration quotas in the island nation.

Tanton has long lionized a principal architect of the 1924 Act, John B. Trevor Sr., a man with a seriously unsavory past. In the pre-World War II period, Trevor distributed pro-Nazi propaganda, drew up plans to crush uprisings of “Jewish subversives,” and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America. In addition to founding the anti-immigrant American Coalition of Patriotic Societies, Trevor was an adviser to the extreme-right, anti-Catholic Christian Crusade of Billy James Hargis, who regularly referred to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as Communist documents.

No matter. Tanton has sent Trevor’s unpublished autobiography about his efforts to pass the 1924 Act to numerous friends, including, on Nov. 21, 2001, FAIR board member Donald Collins, who posts frequently on the racist website In a cover letter, Tanton told Collins that the work of Trevor should serve FAIR as “a guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”

One FAIR principal who wasn’t as optimistic as Stein in believing that attacks on multiculturalism signaled the beginning of the end for the 1965 law was Otis Graham Jr., who helped Tanton establish FAIR and now serves on the board of the Center for Immigration Studies, which was once part of FAIR. In a letter dated “97-98” in the Gelman archives, Graham told the FAIR board: “[W]e must remember history. The first immigration reform movement grew out of the 1880s and thus took 40 years to achieve success. And even with much agitation and publication and many groups, the reform movement still needed outside, ‘divine’ help,” which Otis identified as a world war, the Russian Revolution, and labor unrest.

What disasters does Graham suggest it will take this time? “Whatever FAIR does, we need help: an economic downturn or depression, disease from abroad, terrorist attacks on the U.S., Chinese or Haitian boats on the beaches, and much more.” Bring on the apocalypse.

  • tmeckrich

    What Lewis Loflin said.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Lewis, stop throwing a tantrum and please provide a link where the SPLC claims that Latino or Black racism is “ok”, or where “white” automatically means racist. You people are constantly arguing against strawmen.

    And besides, you actually are a racist, as is evident from your comment about Western superiority. Too bad your precious Western civilization seems to depend on the labor of the East, among other places.

  • Norman Autrey

    And you know that mainstream media, read CNN, uses numbers that FAIR puts out re the cost to the taxpayer and government for schooling undocumented workers children. Jack Cafferty quoted FAIR just this week. I wouldn’t trust their numbers if they told me that 1+1=2!

  • JAY

    What Peter said is so ironic in that it is completely divorced from the facts . . . America is importing its scientists, doctors and technicians from abroad, not some “illiterate Third World”.

    Peter – you know what a Third World country is? It’s one where commercial (read that profit-making) concerns can BUY the Government. Perhaps you should get your news from a variety of sources, not just Fox News?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    The immigration bill of 1965 did not exactly open the floodgates to the Third World was it were. There are several important factors to consider. One is that China, and Eastern Europe, prior to 1924 major suppliers of immigrants, were by that time both socialist countries. They had restrictions on emigration and also their conditions were far better than in those days when their people flocked to America. Japan was on its way to becoming an economic power and with the unpopularity of imperialist and racialist ideas following the defeat in WWII, they did not see the need to expand as they did around the early 20th century.

    I would suggest actually taking a look at the process for legal immigration at some time. It can be extremely difficult.

  • Lewis Loflin

    The only reason the SPLC is doing its usual slime job on their political opponents such as FAIR (which is what this is about) is because the racist Latino group La Raza demanded they do it.

    Latino Nationalism and racism is OK.

    Black racism and nationalism is OK.

    White anything is racist, period.

    Multiculturaism is just leftist’ anti-white racism period. As a supporter of leftist racism, the SPLC is racist.

    Western culture is superior so get over it.

  • Herbert E. Larson

    Kate De Braose It is all well and fine to talk of getting the liars out of the news business, but what do you with Rupert Murdoch[?]. He uses his media outlets to start a story further the story along and then it becomes truth when it gets to the last outlet, The Wall Street Journal. Some people are always believe the liars and follow them to the end, look who killed them selves during the fall of Berlin. People in times of unrest will always look for the easy answers, or find a way to suspend their reasoning so it is not their fault. You only have to look at followers of fundamentalist religions it is never their fault it is gods will they are innocent.

  • Jimbo

    Run an ‘advanced society’? Why, if it wasn’t for the Andean Invention known as the ‘Water Meadow’, and the teaching of, by Native Americans, to the ‘Pilgrims’, how to grow the ‘three sisters’ (including the leguimous Beans, which led to the discovery of Fixed Nitrogen, and why it’s important) – and to place a fish here and there amoungst the plants (which led to the discovery of Phosphorous, and it’s role in Plant Reproduction), then most of the Peasants in our own ‘advanced European society’ (the ones in Europe), would have DIED in the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the early 1700’s!!!
    And that’s not to mention the salvation from starvation that led to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
    Oh Ho! We mustn’t ‘revert’ to having rivers so full of Salmon that one could walk across them on the fishs backs! No, no, no we musn’t go back to NOT running an amount of Midwestern Loam that took a MILLION years of Buffalo Pooping to accumulate, down the Mississippi River every 100 years!
    No, no, no – we are far too ‘advanced’ to live in such Harmony!

  • Peter

    Immigration restriction groups dislike the immigration changes in 1965 because it brought the third world into America for us to support. It’s the number of people who can come in not the race. Illiteracy is rising for the first time since the republic began. You can’t invite the entire third world at one time, put them in a segregated area and expect them to act like Americans.

  • Kate De Braose

    Where does this attitude of “I was here first, so everyone else must obey me and let me be the first in everything” come from? Is it from the story of Adam’s creation in the Bible?

    I notice that young men are particularly smitten by their urges to control and use or abuse every other living thing. But the most ignorant among us are the worst of these kinds of little chieftain types.

    We might have reached that moment in History when there are more ignorant and selfish people than the world can allow without some education in how to play nicely with the other children.

    As long as we can keep so many people in prison, maybe they ought to be forced to learn there and in school too. Fortunately, sensible people are still in the majority (I hope!)

    All schools must have a comprehensive plan and committment to ending bullying altogether. Getting the professional liars out of the news business is a good way to start the re education of the world’s people.

  • Peter Blaise

    Thank you for this important research and analysis.

    I regularly search for news and other related web links to similar issues, then I try to reply to presentations and include these important and challenging references.

    I’d like clickable references to source material, please, to assist in sharing these resources without it appearing that such information is “mere SPLC opinion”.

    If the original source not online, perhaps we can dedicate our donations to building an online reference for some of them.

    Dan Stein’s report in PDF format above is great, but the link is not advertised as downloadable. I suggest adding the wording “[PDF]” to such links.

    I read the story and let my mouse pointer hover over each red-colored word and then I look at my browser tray to see where each links to.

    Thank you again, this is a great body of work.

    Peter Blaise

  • American wetback

    What “opit said”.

  • UncleDarrell

    Dan Stein sounds like a good candicate as a Customs and Border Protection manager.

  • opit

    Funny. When you got to the part where he declared the Constitution as Communist I thought for a moment. Certainly if one is to write a promotion for citizens’ rights it should be thought of as a community statement. When it is advertised without enforcement, of course, it merely becomes more sanctimonious bullshit.

  • Anon

    Last stand for hate in America… a new multi-cultured, multi-raced generation of Americans is starting to take power in this country. Lost causers retreat to your caves.