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Once Again, White Nationalists Sully Immigration Debate

By Hatewatch Staff on May 15, 2013 - 1:33 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino

Opponents of immigration reform legislation have been trying to steer clear of white nationalists lately, hoping to keep their opposition to citizenship for undocumented Latino immigrants free from the taint of racism.

But they just can’t seem to run fast enough.

Last week, a major Heritage Foundation report about the supposed costs of illegal immigration was pilloried after the revelation that one of its authors, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine, had earlier claimed that there are deep differences in intelligence among races (with Latinos toward the bottom). Richwine resigned from the conservative think tank amid the outcry.

Now, this week, we discover that ProEnglish, a group with white nationalist ties, has launched an ad campaign against immigration reform. The first target is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed. The group’s minute-long radio ad features a Spanish-speaking character, apparently representing an undocumented immigrant, thanking Graham “for not requiring him to learn English in exchange for amnesty.”

ProEnglish, founded in 1994, is part of the network of organizations founded by anti-immigrant movement architect John Tanton, a Michigan ophthalmologist who, over the years, has corresponded with white nationalists, eugenicists and Holocaust deniers, and written that in order to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority is required.”

Robert Vandervoort, executive director of ProEnglish, also has ties to white nationalist groups. He formerly ran the Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group that supports white nationalist Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance. Taylor has claimed that any kind of civilization disappears when black people are left to their own devices. Vandervoort has also attended events held by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, which distributes books by the late Sam Francis, who was a resident scholar at the foundation and a leading figure among white nationalists who argued for “white racial consciousness.”

ProEnglish board member and spokesman Phil Kent has his own connections to extremists. He is a national spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control (AIC) and director of American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), which pillories non-white immigrants in racist terms. One of the AIC’s past chairmen was Sam Francis, and the group received years of funding from the Pioneer Foundation, a radical-right eugenics organization founded in 1937 that has provided funding for numerous pseudoscientific studies on race and intelligence.

Kent’s articles have run in publications of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which believes that “mixing the races is rebelliousness against God,” and has referred to black people as “a retrograde species of humanity.” He has also, in the past, attended a national gathering of the group. In one Kent article published in a CCC newsletter, he referred to the CCC as a good conservative group that had been “targeted for demonization by the political leadership of the Left and its media allies.”

  • Reynardine

    Sorry, Sam, I misspoke : “Green Grow the Rushes ” was a hymn; “Green Grow the Lilacs” was the “Dear John” song, but it was the latter that was supposed to have figured in the etymology. The most likely source, though, does appear to have been “griego”.

  • aadila

    By the way, concernedcitizen, for some reason when I tried to post a link to the text of the solitary confinement amendment to the immigration bill a few days ago, both times it was deflected. But the good news is the solitary confinement amendment passed committee and will advance to full Senate vote.

    I’d like to point out an effort to destroy the bill by Senator Cruz of Texas, a Tea Party reactionary who hopes to get a Republican nod for a White House bid because of his so-called “Latino” credentials — which of course amount to nothing but a Spanish surname. Cruz’s record of hate is well documented by the SPLC.

    But I am also sorry that really good ideas like the humanitarian proposal from Sen. Hirono of Hawaii to allow immigrants in cases of extreme hardship to request green cards for adult children or siblings was rejected even by other Democrats.

    All that amendment did was enable families to reunite to help one another and was limited to 6% of total worldwide family visas. I don’t see what harm that would have done except of course, anger Republicans who don’t care about the suffering of families, immigrant or otherwise.

  • Sam Molloy

    Thanks, Rey.

  • Reynardine

    “Green Grow the Rushes”wasn’t a hymn, but could have been classed as a “Dear John” song from the Civil War. A more likely explanation, offered to me by a couple of Spanish-speaking friends, is that it derived from “griego”- Greek- as in, “What those americanos are saying is Greek to me”.

  • Sam Molloy

    Steve, the origins of the term Gringo are one of modern life’s mysteries. One theory is that early Anglo Protestant settlers would sing a hymn “Green Grow the Rushes” and with the windows open, passing Hispanics would hear it. BTW, the recent movie “Get the Gringo” is a very good movie if you like action movies with wry humor.

  • Anonymous

    Lieberman has also written that MacDonald even dishonestly made up lines from thework of British Holocaust denier David Irving.


    Never knew MacDonald is THAT big a liar.

  • Sam Molloy

    Concerned, I have read that it is more common in Europe to be able to speak two languages if not fluently at least functionally. Some of the more unskilled undocumented workers now in the US do not even speak Spanish, but some sort of Native Central American language. I say unskilled, but I probably could not match them doing agricultural work. Of course here in Kentucky the English that is commonly spoken in some areas is a correct but much older version known as Elizabethan English. Will these laws mandate that people in Eastern Kentucky also learn English before they get their welfare payments?

  • Doug

    White nationalists believe that anti-racist means anti-white. It seems that anti-immigrant = anti-nonwhite.

  • Tobias A. Weissman

    People are people, all made up of he same desires and issues. Where do these people of the above organizations, (if you can call it that) come up with such ridiculous hootspa as the above.

  • Steve

    He didn’t go after an individual. He only spoke his opinion. It’s called freedom of speech. If someone called me a white cracker, or a gringo, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape on behalf of my race. Now I understand what a bleeding heart really is. It’s you people who get on here with your phony concerns all agreeable.

  • Scott Shepherd

    Those guys are washed up!

  • concernedcitizen

    Which Blumenthal Amendment I am reading several and I am trying to find the one that states the positions that are posted by the ACLU.

    A true and pure American culture is diverse. We are not Europeans, there was a reason the founding fathers fought against and left England. It’s really pathetic for racist to use Europeans as part of their arguments.

    It appears to me that Europeans are far more open and accepting at least in England there appears to be a rather good movement of acceptance. Or maybe I just happened to find the best of the European crop. The worse hate I’ve heard and seen has come from bigoted Americans not the Europeans I’ve known.

    Even my European friends have been subjected to the bigotry of hateful Americans.

  • majii

    After reading this, I can say without reservation that these people don’t know much about history. African kingdoms like Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, lasted for hundreds of years, some more than a thousand years, and were highly developed civilizations. When these kingdoms existed, there were no cities in Europe. This shows that these African civilizations were more advanced than European civilization during the same period in time. When the Greek historian Herodotus visited some of these African kingdoms, he was impressed at how advanced they were. People should educate themselves before sharing their ignorance and hatred with the public. Even the Roman Empire eventually came to an end, so when Vandervoort claims that only civilizations run by blacks ever come to an end, he’s wrong because history shows an entirely different picture.

  • Mitch Beales

    Mike, I’m not usually a defender of Israel and I strongly oppose the illegal occupation of parts of Palestine that have been conquered by Israel in numerous wars since 1948. That said your attempt to equate the state of Israel with anti-immigrant hate groups in the US is at best misguided and perhaps anti-Semitic. Your unsupported claim that Israel kills and displaces non-Jews because of their ethnicity is particularly abhorrent. Put up or shut up.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    I see Mike made the mistake of assuming we’re supporters of Israel here.

  • Erika

    i misread the headline as “Once Again, White Nationalists Silly the Immigration Debate” which might even be more approrpiate :)

  • Sam Molloy

    Mike, you are simply mistaken.

  • Sam Molloy

    We absolutely should welcome the hard working Spanish speaking immigrants, and stop the nonsense about fines and waiting periods. Obviously we should take steps to screen out current gang members and criminals. Like with the gun safety issue, the immigration restrictions we have now only screen out the law abiding people that we want while the criminals ignore the law.

  • Mike

    “in order to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority is required.”

    This is what Israel believes for Israel, that in order to maintain a Jewish state, a Jewish majority is required. To that end, Israel kills and displaces its Christian and Muslim Arabs b/c they are not “pure” – they are not Jewish. Bigotry is bigotry; Israel’s white-Jewish supremacy is as abhorrent as that of these groups here in the USA. All nations should practice tolerance and acceptance, or else it hypocritical and tears at the fabric of society.

  • aadila

    If you are concerned about a real issue related to immigration, what about the use of torture (solitary confinement) in immigration facilities?

    There have been cases where detainees have died while in solitary at immigration lockup due to lack of treatment for existing illness. Children, mentally ill, elderly — all are thrown into solitary which has been widely condemned by the world’s leading experts on torture. While it may seem a humane form of discipline, it is not. Survivors of physical torture around the world have said the deliberate infliction of agony is more tolerable for inmates than solitary confinement.

    People in immigration detention centers have generally not committed a crime. Their visa violations in most cases are simple misdemeanors, and as it is a civil violation (not criminal) they don’t have access to public defenders nor due process. At the same time, they are locked up like criminals and subjected to the kinds of torture routinely employed for the worst offenders in the worst of American prisons, which are among the worst in the world for violations of human rights.

    Those who speak up for those rights are dispatched by “gang association” charges into indefinite solitary, often for years. This unspeakable injustice is done behind closed doors, with no lawyer present, and virtually every case where a judicial appeal has been heard, the mere presence of evidence — which can be as scant as hearsay by the guards, in other words conjured up — is enough to ensure a lifetime of torture behind bars.

    There is no reason for this barbaric practice to exist in our prisons, much less immigration detention centers. Sen. Blumenthal’s Amendment 2 of Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) would restrict the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention facilities. This would prohibit the use of solitary confinement for children, limit its use for those with severe mental illness, and require the Department of Homeland Security to develop effective oversight mechanisms.

    This is not bleeding heart nonsense. Ending torture in America means living up to American values. If you believe as I do, please write to your Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask for their support for the Blumenthal amendment.

  • leona firewolf

    native americans had their own language too, until the europeans got here we had to learn english,and along with the spell check on the computer really helps. firewolf

  • JCF

    Pennsylvania was *officially* bilingual (English/German) through most of the 19th century. Yet somehow democracy survived. ;-/

  • concernedcitizen

    Well put aadila

  • concernedcitizen

    The operative word here being pseudo:

    One of the AIC’s past chairmen was Sam Francis, and the group received years of funding from the Pioneer Foundation, a radical-right eugenics organization founded in 1937 that has provided funding for numerous pseudoscientific studies on race and intelligence.

    Well I guess they have wasted a great deal of money.

  • concernedcitizen

    Taylor has claimed that any kind of civilization disappears when black people are left to their own devices.

    Really Taylor? Because as History teaches us it was not the black community that took boats to Africa stole tribes to bring back here for sale and trade. Nor did the African/Black community enslave the white community hang them on trees, torture them, destroy their family structures and then proceed to commit horrible acts against mankind because of the color of their skin but mostly because they needed someone to do the hard labor and dirty work.

    And Taylor may like to explain to everyone who broke the treaties with the Indians? Where was the civility in that?

    Now given there is a portion of very intelligent White People who did not and would never participate in such gross atrocities, however Taylor I don’t believe you to be amongst that most notable crowd of good people.

    So I would really like to present this to “Taylor” and have him support his argument about who the real monsters are and the true definition of civility. I believe that Mr. Taylor would quickly find out that skin color has little to do with the civility or lack of civility that may be present or absent from any man or woman’s heart.

    Monsters come in all colors.

  • R2SkimMilkMoo

    How can Richwine be taken seriously when he wrote or the same website as Kevin

    MaDonald, Alternative right?

    Lieberman has also written that MacDonald even dishonestly made up lines from the

    work of British Holocaust denier David Irving. Citing Irving’s Uprising which was

    published in 1981 for the twenty-fifth anniversary of Hungary’s failed anti-

    Communist revolution in 1956, MacDonald asserted in the Culture of Critique, “The

    domination of the Hungarian communist Jewish bureaucracy thus appears to have had

    overtones of sexual and reproductive domination of gentiles in which Jewish males

    were able to have disproportionate sexual access to gentile females.” Lieberman,

    who also noted that MacDonald is not a historian, debunked those assertions,

    concluding, “(T)he passage offers not a shred of evidence that, as MacDonald

    would have it, “Jewish males enjoyed disproportionate sexual access to gentile


  • Gregory

    For all practical purposes, the United States has always been a multi-lingual nation. Generally speaking, those who speak only English have been here for several generations. It has been this way for at least 300 years, despite what nativists may say to the contrary.

    While immigrants may speak only their native tongue, with or without limited ability in English, their children born here will usually speak English and their parent’s language. It is often the second generation that lose the language, for a variety of reasons.

    ProEnglish is, at best, the equivalent of a concern troll. Any realistic examination of this group will reveal a racist motivation that is hard to explain away.

  • Reynardine

    What Aadila said.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “Taylor has claimed that any kind of civilization disappears when black people are left to their own devices.”

    This sort of claim is so bogus one doesn’t know whether to laugh or weep. I mean, US blacks currently dominate cultural areas such as music and sports. And if we think about all the other races and cultures, obviously multiculturalism is best. Otherwise you have a very limited monoculture.

    (BTW, I notice you repeat the ad hominem in the third paragraph. Not happy about that.)

    What do white nationalists eat? Mutton stew 3X per day? That’s a serious question that I never seem to get an answer to. The white-English monoculture is really nothing to be proud of. There’s no rock-n-roll, no sushi, no jazz, no bagels. What is there? Morris dancing? Trainspotting?


  • aadila

    American ctizens are not required to speak, read, and write English. Most do of course, but it’s not a requirement of citizenship. Nor do we have a national language specified by law. So on what basis can we require this of visa recipients?

    That aside, the example of Europe shows that most of the nations with the highest per capita income — including Switzerland — have more than one official language. It’s very common throughout the world for people to speak more than one language.

    To me this is almost a non-issue. If first generation immigrants do not have a good command of English, second and further generations will. The only real motive behind this issue is to stir up xenophobia and paranoia about the effects of immigration reform.