John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the immigrant-bashing Los Angeles radio personalities who were suspended earlier this year when they referred to Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” and marveled that the late pop singer “took this long” to die, are back on the air and up to their old tricks.
In the August 3 edition of the “John & Ken Show,” the duo took up for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group since 2008 because of its virulent and false attacks on non-white immigrants.
“The Federation for American Immigration Reform, I think, has been defined by some of these think tank organizations as a hate group,” Chiampou said.
“Really? The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which just researches the facts concerning America’s immigration policies, puts out reports concerning the amount of dollars spent on illegal immigrants, goes up and through that. But because some of their stuff points out the truth, which the other side doesn’t like, concerning how many illegals we have in this country, how much it costs this country, our failing policies, politicians who don’t stand up for our laws, who don’t stand up for border patrol, how they are suddenly labeled a hate group.”
OK, Ken, we’ll bite.
First, a quick factual correction. FAIR doesn’t “just” research “the facts” about immigration policy. It is a lobbying organization. This is no secret. On its own website, under “Our Objectives,” FAIR said it seeks “to influence public policy directly by lobbying (to the extent permitted by our tax status) and by protecting the citizens' rights in the courts.” Its “mission,” in part, is to “advocate immigration policies that will best serve American environmental, societal, and economic interests today and into the future.”
So there’s that.
And then there’s the “facts” FAIR puts out there, the alleged “truth” that, you say, is so disliked by the “other side.”
Sometimes FAIR’s “facts” are true. More often, they’re debatable, culled as they are from dubious sources like FAIR’s sister organization, the Center for Immigration Studies.
The bottom line is, FAIR doesn’t peddle facts; it peddles hate. Its lobbying and legal efforts – such as the campaign that led to Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56 – are based on fomenting fear, on exploiting racial tensions and economic anxieties to convince people that they had better not let any more “aliens” into their country.
FAIR founder John Tanton, a man with a lengthy record of friendly correspondence with Holocaust deniers, a former Klan lawyer and leading white nationalist thinkers, has repeatedly suggested that racial conflict will be the outcome of immigration. In 1998, he told a reporter that whites would inevitably develop a racial consciousness because “most people don't want to disappear into the dustbin of history,” and added that once whites did become racially conscious, the result would be “the war of each against all.”
Dan Stein, FAIR’s president, is no better. “Immigrants don't come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing,” he said in 1997. “Many of them hate America, hate everything that the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”
Need more examples? Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, a longtime member of FAIR's board of advisors, once said that “new cultures” in America were “diluting what we are and who we are.” And Joseph Turner, FAIR’s former Western field representative, once accused Mexican immigrants of turning California into a "third world cesspool.”
Not to mention FAIR’s “suggested reading” on immigration, which includes white nationalist Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation, a book whose central thesis is that America should remain a country dominated by whites.
FAIR also recommends Pat Buchanan’s State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, which argues that America’s shift away from being white-dominated is "one of the greatest tragedies in human history.”
So yes, John and Ken, FAIR is a hate group. Not because it promulgates “facts” and “truths” its opponents would rather ignore but because it promotes hatred of immigrants, especially non-white ones.
By defending racism, encouraging xenophobia and nativism, and giving its all to efforts to keep America white, FAIR has more than earned its place in the pantheon of hate groups. That is where it belongs, and that is where it will stay.