Anti-Immigrant Group ProEnglish Fails With English-Only Effort in Maryland

It’s a bad turn of events for the pro-English crowd.

The Frederick County (Maryland) Council voted 4-3 to repeal its English-only ordinance passed in 2012. This positive step is a blow for the organized anti-immigrant movement and the hate group ProEnglish, a group that actively lobbied to block the county’s repeal.

For decades, ProEnglish and its predecessor English Language Advocates have pushed to implement English-only laws, including in Frederick County.

These laws would require the government operate in English and, ultimately, discriminate against those with limited proficiency in English. While ProEnglish argues that passing these laws is an inclusionary measure designed to promote assimilation, it’s own history of racism undercuts its claim.

ProEnglish was founded in 1994 by white nationalist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, in the wake of his forced resignation from another English-only group, U.S. English. Tanton resigned from the group in 1988 when racially charged memos he authored surfaced. In one memo about an upcoming retreat, Tanton proposed several questions to facilitate discussions at the gathering:

  • "In this society ... will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile?"
  • “Will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs, etc.?”
  • “Will Blacks be able to improve (or even maintain) their position in the face of the Latin onslaught?”

Today, ProEnglish is one of the few remaining groups in Tanton’s network in which he remains actively involved. A number of the group’s board members and staff are also white nationalist.

K.C. McAlpin, a longtime anti-immigrant activist and Tanton’s right hand man in Michigan, sits on ProEnglish’s board. In 2010, an editorial in Tanton’s journal The Social Contract called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States. McAlpin defended the editorial, claiming that banning Muslims would be akin to barring Communists or Nazis in the past.

According to McAlpin, “Congress has used that power in the past to ban the immigration of Communist Party and National Socialist (Nazi) party members who were deemed to be threats to our national security. This case is no different.”

ProEnglish’s current executive director is white nationalist Robert “Bob” Vandervoort. A regular attendee at racist gatherings, Vandervoort is the former head of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a satellite for American Renaissance, a group founded by Jared Taylor, one of the most well known white nationalists in America today. 

In the above picture, Robert Vandervoort, left, rubs shoulders with white nationalist Pat Buchanan. 

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