Strange Bedfellows: Nativists Sponsor, Tout New Black Anti-Immigrant Group

A mysterious anti-immigration group called Blacks for Equal Rights Coalition (BFERC) recently made its debut in Los Angeles with a July 6 “Community Outreach Summit” on “The Impact of Immigration on Black Communities.”

The summit, whose entirely unnamed lineup included “advisors, educators, politicians and activists from the community,” generously offered a free lunch to the first 125 people to sign up.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Though “presented” by BFERC, the summit was sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant group whose founder, John Tanton, wrote in a 1993 letter to controversial ecology professor Garrett Hardin, "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."

This is not the first “black” anti-immigrant group FAIR has sponsored. That honor would go to the now-defunct Choose Black America (CBA), which was billed as a grassroots organization but was apparently a front group funded and founded by FAIR for the sole purpose of putting a black face on the mostly white anti-immigrant movement. FAIR also helped establish other groups that purportedly represented the victims of immigration – the Coalition for the Future of the American Worker, which claimed to be a coalition of blue-collar groups, and You Don't Speak for Me, the Latino version of CBA.

Like CBA, whose leaders appeared at events alongside white nationalists and border vigilante leaders, BFERC has patrons in the strangest of places.

Jeff Schwilk, head of the nativist extremist San Diego Minutemen, recently announced that BFERC had joined his SoCal Patriots Coalition, whose other members include tax-protest groups, Minuteman factions and the California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

“Look out La Raza, your days of playing the race & hate cards against real Americans are coming to an end,” Schwilk wrote in an E-mail encouraging people to donate to BFERC. “The sell-out black politicians and corrupt leaders (Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, etc.) who have sold their souls to La Raza and the Marxist movement at the expense of their black constituents are being exposed, challenged, and will be defeated as black Americans rise up and claim their piece of the American dream. It's a new day.”

Inexplicably, the FAIR/BFERC summit was also promoted on the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist hate group that has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.” Surreally, the notice appeared directly above a paid advertisement for an event sponsored by the racist National Policy Institute, whose mission statement says it aims “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights.”

The sparse BFERC website offers no clue as to its provenance or leadership. Its oddly militant and ungrammatical content does not appear to be the product of FAIR’s professional staff of anti-immigrant spin doctors.

“We are against the devastating impact of Genocidal forces imposed on the Black communities by the taking away of jobs, housing, education and social benefits. It is inevitable that BFERC will work vigorously to maintain our Civil and Human Rights that our forefathers fought so diligently for in order for us to have 'Equal Rights,'” says its mission statement. Elsewhere, the group refers to “Taxation without Representation” – an issue in which FAIR has never shown the slightest interest.

In a particularly dismal section titled “Education,” the website claims BFERC will — at unspecified future dates, times and locations — offer a book club, a workshop on “The Black Family Foundation,” and a writing clinic for “Legal Eagles” seeking to learn how to “Fight Write.” Its title? “The Pen is more Mightier than the Sword.”