The Federation for American Immigration Reform Creates Black Front Group
In May, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one of the country's oldest, largest, and richest anti-immigration organizations -- and one with a number of links, including past funding, to white supremacist groups -- organized a press conference to announce the formation of Choose Black America, a new FAIR front group designed to rally black Americans against Hispanic immigration. For the event, FAIR paid to fly 10 black academics, economists, members of the clergy and activists from around the country to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They claimed to represent "the vast majority of American blacks who believe that amnesty for illegal aliens would be devastating to their communities."
The most notable and radical of Choose Black America's founding members are radio talk show host Terry Anderson and longtime homeless activist-turned-anti-immigration firebrand Ted Hayes. Both from Los Angeles, Anderson and Hayes have emerged as leaders in the black anti-immigration movement.
Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist calls Hayes the "icon for the African-American segment" of the border vigilante movement that the Minutemen form the largest part of. After years of running Dome Village, a project that provides shelter for 20 homeless families, Hayes has now formed his own Minuteman offshoot, the Crispus Attucks Brigade, named after the black Bostonian who was the 1770 Boston Massacre's first casualty. In July, Hayes' brigade marched alongside Barbara Coe, founder of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform hate group and a self-described member of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. (The CCC's website that same month proclaimed that the victory of Italy's all-white soccer team in the World Cup tournament shattered the "myth of black superiority in sports.")
While Hayes has offered to march as well with Mexicans in support of their civil rights -- so long as the march is in Mexico -- Anderson is far less sympathetic. He once told a crowd that he would snatch Mexicans "out of the hospital with the IV still dripping" and deport them, but not before scanning their fingers, eyes and rectums for purposes of positive identification. A former auto mechanic who lives in south central L.A., Anderson's Sunday night AM talk radio program "The Terry Anderson Show" is all the rage for thousands of Mexican-haters throughout the country. Fans shout out his familiar refrains -- "If you ain't mad, you ain't paying attention!" and "My job is to make you angry!" -- at rallies from Phoenix to Chicago, mimicking Anderson's urban black inflection.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a black columnist in Los Angeles who's had both Anderson and Hayes on his weekly television show "Urban Policy Roundtable" and who has himself discussed the alleged negative impacts of illegal immigration on black Americans, criticizes the two men for exploiting the issue of immigration, an issue that Hutchinson, like many blacks, views as marginal to his community's larger concerns. "We haven't seen them involved in any issues beyond immigration that impact the black community," says Hutchinson. "Why all of a sudden would you align yourself with groups who have murky ties with other groups that are racist?"
The Intelligence Report put that question to Hayes and Anderson in recent, separate interviews that also covered their involvement in Choose Black America and their views on immigration's effects on American blacks.