The Federation for American Immigration Reform Creates Black Front Group
INTELLIGENCE REPORT: What harm does illegal immigration cause black Americans?
TED HAYES: This illegal invasion, in my opinion, is the greatest threat to American black citizens since chattel slavery itself. They keep saying America is a nation of immigrants. This country is built on the backs of West African black chattel slaves. The immigrants came on top of that. Everything they did was based upon what we already laid down. If they keep saying this country is based on immigrants, basically we will no longer be a people.
IR: Black people will no longer be a people, or Americans will no longer be a people?
HAYES: Won't be no other people. They will have robbed us of our civil rights and everything else. What good are we? What do we have left? You can't take our civil rights because it belongs to our ancestors. And the only way you going to get it, amigo, you got to kill us. It's that serious.
IR: Do statements like that provoke violence?
HAYES: Provoke? They done already did it! They done provoked the white folks. White folks want to tear their heads off. They are getting madder and madder out here. We want them [immigrants] to know the damage you are doing to us poor black people. Now, you can go ahead and do it if you want to, but this will be the consequence of what you do. Here in Los Angeles, it's talked about by our people because we live so inundated around the invaders. They got some brothers running around here like Jesse Jackson and them talking about brown and black unity and ignoring the real issue. It's taken a minute to get started but they starting to come around. We had a march on Hollywood [Boulevard] the other day [a July 8 rally that ended in violence from anti-racist protesters, including the injury of a police officer].
IR: What was your role in that march?
HAYES: We organized it. I led it. I don't know why they kept saying it was the Minutemen. That was a Crispus Attucks production. Along with SOS [Save Our State, an anti-immigration hate group], they put the word out for the people. And the California Coalition for Immigration Reform -- Barbara Coe and them.
IR: How well do you know Barbara Coe?
HAYES: She's a great lady. She was right there with us, right beside us.
IR: Are you aware of her involvement with the Council of Conservative Citizens? [Editor's note: Coe has spoken at conventions of the CCC and recently admitted membership in the group, which has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity." She routinely describes Mexicans as "savages."]
HAYES: I don't know who they are.
I just spoke at a CCIR [California Coalition for Immigration Reform] meeting the other day. I tell you though, even with them rednecks out there, a lot of folks are rednecks because they're scared. When they meet us, some of them cry, man. I remember one day we pulled up on the border -- a bunch of brothers in a van, about seven or eight of us -- to meet Jim Gilchrist and them down there. We get out the van and they were shaking our hands, wanting to take pictures with us and so glad to see us. What we're doing is we're waylaying their fears. We're letting them know we're not the [Black] Panthers; we're not Jesse Jackson; we're not Al Sharpton; we're not Louis Farrakhan. We are a mature breed of brothers who know what the real situation is and we are not trying to hurt [white people].
IR: Do you ever get concerned that perhaps these white leaders, like Coe and Gilchrist, may turn on you after they get what they want out of you?
HAYES: (Singing.) "Thanks for the memories." (Laughs.) Of course I am. When I'm around the leadership, I got to know who leads and who doesn't lead, and when to lead and when not to lead. Sometimes, I got to let them think it was their idea.
IR: What do you know about the leadership behind Choose Black America?
HAYES: Choose Black America was created by an organization in Washington, D.C., called FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform]. They had a news conference a couple months ago [May 23] with who they thought were outstanding black individuals on this issue. So they flew me to D.C. I met with about 10 or 15 of them, and Dr. Frank Morris [who was named chairman of Choose Black America] was there. Dr. Claud Anderson [founder of The Harvest Institute, which aims to empower black Americans economically] was there. I'm due to call [FAIR] today because they have funding for anything that has to do with Choose Black America.
IR: FAIR is funding Choose Black America?
HAYES: Well, Choose Black America ain't did nothing yet. They don't have funding. FAIR has funding for anything that moves Choose Black America. See, and the Crispus Attucks team, we're getting on it.
IR: How many members of Choose Black America do you actually know?
HAYES: I only know one or two. I don't know most of them guys. I just met them at the [May 23 press conference]. And see, I think that we need a more aggressive leadership in there, and that's what I'm trying to put forward. We need to be in contact with each other and we need to meet once a month. We need to come up with a strategy plan.
IR: How many times have you all met since the press conference in May?
HAYES: That's the only meeting we had. And it's a powerful group. It's the new generation of leaders there.
IR: How do you, as one of these leaders, respond to immigrants who say they deserve civil and human rights?
HAYES: Say that to Mexico! Say that to Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras! Say that to the places you running from. Don't come here telling us about our civil rights. These aren't yours; these are ours. And you can maybe holler human rights here, and we'll give you some wiggle room on that. But you can't have them civil rights, brother. Nobody — no country can give up their civil rights. Ask the Russians to give up their civil rights. Ask the French to give up theirs. Ask the Japanese to give up their civil rights. They ain't going to do it. Why should we? Whassup, amigo? What you smoking?
IR: So any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already here...
HAYES: We have to be against that. If you allow illegal invaders to take something from you, then you done lost everything that you stand for. And then the civil rights struggle — all the people who were lynched and beat and shot and murdered and whupped and dogged and sat upon and water hosed, which, by the way, no Latinos were out there. Not one of the Mexicans came up here and tried to fight for black folks' freedom. They just sat there and watched that mess. They even had slaves themselves. So if we let them just have our country, we will have betrayed Martin Luther King and all of the civil rights movement. [Editor's note: After Mexican and Filipino farm workers won an important victory in their efforts to organize in 1966, King sent union leader César Chavez a telegram stating, "I extend the hand of fellowship and goodwill and wish continuing success to you and your members. The fight for equality must be fought on many fronts."]