The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan is an unassuming place, more like a small-town library than a research institute. But hidden away in 17 cardboard boxes deep inside the simple facility are the papers of John Tanton, the retired Michigan ophthalmologist who has been the most important figure in the modern American anti-immigration movement for three decades. The papers, which include more than 20 years of letters from the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and a batch of other nativist groups, contain explosive material about Tanton’s beliefs. They also show that FAIR, where Tanton still serves as a member of the board, has been well aware of Tanton’s views and activities for years.
Tanton has long claimed that he is no racist — that, in fact, he came to his immigration restrictionism through progressive concerns for population control and the environment, not disdain for the foreign born. He characterizes himself as a “fair person,” and on his website he condemns the “unsavory characters whose views can easily be characterized as anti-American, anti-Semitic and outright racist.”
Fair enough. But what do Tanton’s letters have to say?
As it turns out, quite a lot. Although Tanton has been linked to racist ideas in the past — fretting about the “educability” of Latinos, warning of whites being out-bred by others, and publishing a number of white nationalist authors — the papers in the Bentley Library show that Tanton has for decades been at the heart of the white nationalist scene. He 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 practically worshipped a principal architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 (instituting a national origin quota system and barring Asian immigration), a rabid anti-Semite whose pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was indicted for sedition in 1942.
As early as 1969, Tanton showed a sharp interest in eugenics, the “science” of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazis, trying to find out if Michigan had laws allowing forced sterilization. His interest stemmed, he wrote in a letter of inquiry that year, from “a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them.” Some 30 years later, he was still worrying about “less intelligent” people being allowed children, saying that “modern medicine and social programs are eroding the human gene pool.”
Throughout, FAIR — which, along with Tanton, refused repeated requests for comment for this story — has stood by its man. Its 2004 annual report praised him for “visionary qualities that have not waned one bit.” Around the same time, Dan Stein, who has led FAIR since 1988 as executive director or president and who was copied on scores of Tanton’s letters, insisted FAIR’s founder had “never asserted the inferiority or superiority of any racial, ethnic, or religious group. Never.” ( continue to full post… )
The Washington Post is reporting that four board members of the Institute for Turkish Studies (ITS) have resigned in protest over the apparent forced resignation of former ITS board of governors chairman Donald Quataert, who says he was ousted under pressure from Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy after Quataert reversed his position on whether the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 fits the definition of genocide.
“State of Denial,” a story in the current issue of the Intelligence Report, details the key role that ITS plays in promoting denial of the Armenian genocide. Founded in 1982 with a $3 million grant from Turkey, ITS is housed at Georgetown University, which offers the nonprofit institution space on campus in exchange for its executive director teaching an International Affairs course at the university.
Quataert told the Post that a few years ago, he and other board members were surprised to learn that what they had been led to believe was a blind trust in fact “turned out to be a gift that could be revoked by the Turkish government.” Then, in late 2006, Quataert published a scholarly book review in which he declared, “What happened to the Armenians readily satisfies the U.N. definition of genocide.”
As a result, according to Quataert, he was pressured to quit his ITS post by Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy, who told him that political leaders in Ankara were angered by his book review and were threatening to revoke the institute’s funding unless he either resigned or retracted his statement. ( continue to full post… )
One of the damning pieces of evidence examined in the Report is a letter denying the Armenian genocide that was signed in 1985 by 69 American scholars and published in full-page advertisements in major newspapers paid for by the Turkish government. All 69 of the signers, including Donald Quataert, then an associate professor of history at the University of Houston, had received funding that year from the government of Turkey, mostly from the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS), a nonprofit organization housed at Georgetown University that was founded in 1982 with a $3 million grant from Turkey to promote a pro-Turkey agenda, including denial of the Armenian genocide.
Quataert later served as chairman of the ITS board of governors from 2001 until Dec. 13, 2006. Although the circumstances of his leaving that post were unclear at the time, last week it was revealed that he was forced to resign by Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy after he refused to retract a scholarly book review in which Quataert said “what happened to the Armenians readily satisfies the U.N. definition of genocide.”
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The latest issue of our investigative Intelligence Report magazine is out today, and it is led by a provocative cover story that exposes a network of U.S. scholars, paid by the government of Turkey, many of whom work to cover up the Turkish genocide of as many as 1.5 million Armenians during World War I — an effort that has found success in Congress and the White House.
Despite abundant documentation and eyewitness accounts of the slaughter of Armenians by Turkey’s Ottoman government between 1915 and 1918, the current Turkish government has paid lobbyists and funded the network of American academics, including several who dismiss or rationalize the killing. A consensus of genocide scholars agree that the slaughter was, indeed, a genocide.
“What we are seeing is a despicable rewriting of history aimed at absolving the perpetrators of mass murder and demonizing their victims,” said Mark Potok, editor of the Report, a quarterly journal published by the Southern Poverty Law Center that monitors the radical right (see Potok’s editorial on the genocide, “Lying About History,” here). “It is no different than the Holocaust denial of Nazi sympathizers who claim there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and Treblinka.”
The story, “State of Denial,” recounts a March 2007 event where Guenter Lewy, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, told a Harvard University audience that the Turkish government at the time may have been guilty of ineptness and “bungling misrule” — but not genocide. Lewy, one of the most active members of the network of academics, has made similar revisionist claims in speeches at other campuses and in his 2005 book, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide.
As early as 1985, Turkey bought full-page newspaper advertisements to publish a letter questioning the genocide that was signed by 69 American scholars. All 69 had received funding that year from the Turkish government or its proxies.
As the only Muslim-dominated country in a troubled region to call the United States and Israel its allies, Turkey also has wielded significant political influence in Washington. Last fall, lobbyists on the Turkish payroll stymied a congressional resolution commemorating the genocide by persuading more than 100 lawmakers to reverse their positions. Even President Bush flip-flopped on a 2000 campaign promise to back official U.S. recognition of the genocide.
“Denial is the final stage of genocide,” Gregory Stanton, president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, told the Report. “It is a continuing attempt to destroy the victim group psychologically and culturally, to deny its members even the memory of the murders of their relatives. That is what the Turkish government today is doing to Armenians around the world.”
Also, in the Summer 2008 issue of the Intelligence Report:
• “Secret Identity?” probes the ideology of Shepherd’s Chapel, an Arkansas-based television ministry led by Arnold Murray that has an audience in the millions. Despite a theology that identifies an evil race he calls the “Kenites” as the killers of Christ, Murray says his ministry is not anti-Semitic. Mounting evidence suggests otherwise. Along with the story, we’ve posted an audio file of Potok interviewing writer Casey Sanchez about Murray and his theology.
• “Stalked by Skins” tells the story of twin brothers who have lived in fear since a bloody 2003 encounter with a gang of racist skinheads in Illinois that left one man dead. In an interview, Bill and Roger Larson recount how they and their families have been tormented by gang members ever since.
• “North Meets South” reports on the strange alliance forged by a Vermont separatist group in recent years. Born of the left, the Second Vermont Republic has now partnered with the white supremacist League of the South, which seeks a second Southern secession, to build a national movement. Here, too, we’ve posted an audio file of Potok and writer Heidi Beirich discussing the secession movement.
• “Of Race and Rockets” reveals famed aerospace scientist Walter Kistler’s $200,000 in donations to the Pioneer Fund, a racist foundation that funds controversial studies of race and intelligence. A defiant Kistler says he is “not concerned about battles in society about what is and what is not ‘racist.’”
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Psychology Professor Kevin MacDonald (right) is facing more condemnation from his colleagues for his anti-Semitic research. In the past month, both the Jewish Studies Program and the History Department have issued statements (here and here) specifically distancing themselves from MacDonald’s hateful work. The Anthropology Department also has a statement under consideration. The statements all affirm MacDonald’s right to academic freedom and his tenured position on the CSULB faculty.
MacDonald’s views were outlined in the 2007 Intelligence Report exposé, “Promoting Hate,” which prompted his removal from teaching required undergraduate courses. MacDonald believes that Jews are impelled by genetic factors to undermine the majority populations of the societies they live in. In fact, MacDonald puts it like this in journalist Jon Entine’s new book, Abraham’s Children: “Jews do not act in the best interest of society. We need to systematically put in place some controls, call it discrimination if you will, to restore parity with other groups.” Since the turn of the millennium, MacDonald has also become a white supremacist activist. He has held leadership positions in several white supremacist groups, and in 2004 he was honored with a $10,000 prize for his work on the Jews by The Occidental Quarterly, a white supremacist publication where he currently serves on the editorial advisory board.
The latest twist in the long-running saga of Kevin MacDonald — a man who has bitterly complained that his colleagues and others are trying to suppress his free speech and academic freedom with their criticism — is the professor’s threat to sue faculty members who have negative things to say about him. His legal threats have sown fear on the CSULB campus, causing other faculty members, particularly in the psychology department of which he is a part, to stifle their opinions of his work.
MacDonald’s legal threats were made public in a memo (PDF) written by Psychology Department Chair Ken Green to his faculty earlier this month. Green’s letter was directed to those department members considering issuing a statement that would formally disassociate the department from MacDonald’s work. Several professors feel that the three statements already posted on the department website that reiterate the department’s commitment to diversity and denounce the use of psychological research as propaganda for racist groups are inadequate for that purpose. Green’s E-mail to his fellow faculty members instructed that MacDonald’s threat of legal action “is a factor that should be reviewed and considered.” No offer of a legal defense was made by school officials. ( continue to full post… )
Kyle Bristow, the former chairman of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans For Freedom, is no stranger to erratic behavior. But the MSU junior exhibited a particularly strange emotional schism last week, rhapsodizing about bald eagles one minute, and then branding the national leaders of YAF “cowards” the next.
Bristow’s wild mood swings began last Sunday, February 24, when he announced that he was resigning his MSU-YAF post in a rambling and egomaniacal, but generally upbeat letter that concluded with Bristow graciously “passing the torch of freedom to the next generation of YAF leaders.” Then, on Thursday, February 28—the day after YAF founder William F. Buckley died—Bristow published a bitter screed on the website of the racist magazine American Renaissance. It was titled, “Why Jared Taylor Cannot Speak at MSU.” ( continue to full post… )
Kyle Bristow — the pugnacious chair of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (MSU-YAF), a student organization listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — announced Sunday that he’s resigning “so that the next generation of YAFers can replace me.”
Bristow (right) also confirmed that an MSU-YAF-sponsored lecture by Jared Taylor, the editor of the academic racist journal American Renaissance, would not occur on the MSU campus in March as originally planned. “Though MSU-YAF is not officially hosting Jared Taylor as a speaker this semester, I did see to it that he will be able to speak at a location near MSU and be hosted by another organization (the show will go on!),” Bristow wrote. (As it happens, the three-day biannual conference of American Renaissance, held in Herndon, Va., and featuring former Klan leaders and other assorted white supremacists, wrapped up the same day he spoke.)
MSU-YAF was added to the SPLC list in early 2007, after MSU-YAF attempted to organize a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” contest, held a “Koran Desecration” competition, joked about distributing smallpox-infested blankets to Native American students, and hosted a series of lectures by hate group leaders such as Nick Griffin that drew skinheads and other white supremacists to the MSU campus. Griffin is the Holocaust-denying leader of the extreme-right British National Party. ( continue to full post… )
Psychology Professor Kevin MacDonald (below, right) is facing condemnation from his colleagues for his anti-Semitic research, according to the California State University, Long Beach (CSU-LB), student newspaper, The Daily 49er. This academic year, MacDonald was removed from certain undergraduate courses that had long been taught by him. University sources told Hatewatch in July that large numbers of complaints about MacDonald’s anti-Semitism and racism, which followed the April 2007 publication of the Intelligence Report’s exposé, “Promoting Hate,” spurred the change.
In December, MacDonald held a closed forum to defend his work before the psychology department’s faculty. He was pressed there to explain his research methodology, his ethics and his controversial theories alleging that Jews are genetically compelled to undermine Western societies (for more on MacDonald’s anti-Semitic research, see here and here). He was also asked to explain his many connections to white supremacists. Since the turn of the millennium, MacDonald has held leadership positions in several white supremacist groups, and in 2004 he was honored with a $10,000 prize for his work on the Jews by The Occidental Quarterly, a white supremacist publication where he currently serves on the editorial advisory board.
According to The Daily 49er, CSU-LB’s psychology department’s advisory committee will meet next week to discuss issuing a statement that would formally disassociate the department from MacDonald’s work. The committee has reportedly determined that the three statements already posted on the department website are inadequate for that purpose. Two of the statements reiterate the department’s commitment to diversity and denounce any use of psychological research as propaganda for racist groups. The third includes the expectation that faculty members whose work is controversial will “state that their views may not represent those of the department.”
When Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson suggested in October that Africans are innately less intelligent than others, he was met by an international firestorm of scientific criticism, ultimately resulting in his public apology and later resignation from the Long Island laboratory where he was chancellor. Many experts on intelligence challenged the scientific basis for Watson’s comment, and the director of the Human Genome Research Institute, who took up his post after Watson left it, described Watson’s remark as “a racist statement.” In fact, the weight of current scientific evidence suggests that differences in IQ between racial groups are principally caused by environmental factors.
In the aftermath of the Watson controversy, Slate.com, a normally liberal online magazine, published a three-part series by its science and technology columnist, William Saletan, that suggested strongly that IQ differences were, in fact, related to race. But within days, Saletan had published an essay entitled “Regrets,” in which he admitted that he had done a particularly poor job of summarizing the state of science on the IQ question. (Another Slate writer, Stephen Metcalf, also posted a major critical response to Saletan’s series.) In fact, as Saletan partly admitted in his apology, almost all of his conclusions came from the work of J. Philippe Rushton — a man who heads up a racist foundation, the Pioneer Fund, dedicated to race and IQ studies. The fund was created in 1937 to pursue policies of “race betterment,” specifically promoting the genetic stock of the white settlers of the original 13 colonies.
Then it was the turn of The New York Times. On Dec. 1, six weeks after Watson’s remarks, a story by Patricia Cohen summarized the controversy, the Slate episode, and the debate over race and intelligence. But Cohen made almost precisely the same mistake that the unfortunate Saletan did. Quoted prominently in her story was one Linda Gottfredson, identified simply as a sociologist at the University of Delaware, saying that Saletan had nothing to apologize for. Gottfredson hailed Saletan, in fact, for possibly being “the first journalist to so directly acknowledge the scientific evidence” and called the response to his series evidence of a “moral panic.”
Just one little trouble. Gottfredson, along with Rushton, is one of the merry band of Pioneer Fund grant recipients. Since 1988, she has accepted at least $267,000 from the racist foundation. Gottfredson also opposed the 1991 Civil Rights Act because she said it fails to recognize innate differences in intelligence. And she criticized what she called “the egalitarian fiction that all groups are equal in intelligence.”
The white nationalist world is filled with any manner of oddball schemes, but a recent advertisement in the race science publication American Renaissance for “saving” the white race through the use of “Positive Subliminal Audio Programming” has got to take the cake for kookiest.
Alexander Thiele of the Legion of Joan of Arc blog proposes that for white nationalists to “safeguard [their] ethnic genetic interests,” they must counter destructive PC propaganda, which he calls negative subliminal audio programming, that whites are subjected to every day. That programming supposedly interferes with whites’ ability to understand that their true interests are in saving the white race — not hanging out with people of color.
Thiele came to this understanding of how whites went wrong after reading a 2006 article by anti-Semitic theorist Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State Long Beach, in the white supremacist journal, The Occidental Quarterly. The article argued that although “ethnic tendencies are automatic,” the mass media and our multicultural society’s “cultural programming” is somehow interfering with these natural processes — and thus stopping white nationalism from taking off. (For more on Kevin MacDonald’s anti-Semitic body of work, see here.)
So what does Alexander propose that whites should do? Lucky for white nationalists, Thiele says he has already created a way to bring “self programmed positive subliminal audio into our people’s daily routines.” He created a “subliminal, hypnotic guided meditation called Destiny and another piece, a pure subliminal called Winning.” The audiotapes are composed of tones that supposedly stimulate the frontal cortex and “synchronize both hemispheres of the brain which unifies and protects the mind from the enemies [sic] negative subliminal assault.”
Worried that Thiele’s Aryan tones might not work? Just listen to this American Renaissance conference-goer’s testimonial: “My wife and I had not been doing very well. We were edgy, finding fault with each other and talking about a divorce. … So I did what you suggested; put the CD on the home stereo and let it repeat on track one for a month. After two weeks things smoothed out a little. … After a year we made a good deal on a better house. I have some very interesting new job offers which I have not acted on yet because I want to do it right. My level of political activity has increased considerably. My wife and I have not spoken about divorce since before listening to the CD.”