FAIR Digs Up 20 Year Old Video Series Borderline, An Anti-Immigrant TV Series That Gave Platforms to Numerous White Nationalists
On April 20, the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) began to dive into its vault and upload to YouTube episodes of its 51-episode series “Borderline.” The show ran on NET, a satellite TV station put together by archconservative and anti-gay bigot Paul Weyrich. So far FAIR has decided to upload just two episodes of the series.
As previously reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, FAIR donated some of its archives to the Gelman Library at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In these public archives are videotapes of FAIR’s entire “Borderline” series. The series featured some of the most prominent white nationalists of the past quarter century, including the now-deceased Sam Francis and Lawrence Auster as well as Peter Brimelow and Jared Taylor, two other white nationalists who are now seen as leaders in the rebranded Alt-Right movement.
The program, which opened with footage of immigrants running across the border or arriving in the U.S. in broken-down flotillas, featured racist commentary from guests and hosts alike.
On April 22, 1996, “Borderline” was hosted by then-FAIR Deputy Director K.C. McAlpin and featured Sam Francis, who had recently been fired from his job at The Washington Times for making racist comments, along with Peter Skerry of the Brookings Institution. Francis, in fact, has attracted scores to the white nationalist movement through his hundreds of essays for white nationalist outlets and speeches at racist conferences across the country. Before his death in 2005, he served as chief editor of Citizens Informer, the newsletter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the group Charleston shooter Dylann Roof cited in his manifesto as his gateway into white nationalism. The CCC has also called African Americans a “retrograde species of humanity.”
The topic of the day was, in McAlpin’s words, “the relentless march against our border — is it immigration or colonization?” The question was purely rhetorical for McAlpin, who later in the show asserted that Mexico has been “acting very much like a colonial power.” Francis very much agreed. “This is actually a process of political warfare,” Francis opined. “They encourage immigration to the North, get rid of who they don’t want and create a political lobby in this country as a kind of political bludgeon against the United States.” Skerry, who repeatedly disagreed with these sentiments, was frequently cut off.
In a segment devoted to “ethnic separatists,” McAlpin warned the audience that Mexicans want to take back the Southwest. “This is a serious issue and serious threat,” McAlpin said. “This is not just a bunch of radicals and academics and intellectuals on campuses and if the population of the Southwest continues to change in this dramatic fashion, I think we do have a serious problem.” Francis couldn’t have agreed more, saying, “I think … that you are going to have more and more political and ethnic problems as this demographic shift occurs in the Southwest.” Francis also said that Mexico was meddling in American affairs just as the Soviets and Nazis had in prior periods, “using ideological and ethnic loyalties to manipulate a political force within our own government.”
At other times, “Borderline” advanced ideas popular in white nationalist circles —not surprising, given that white nationalists were often featured on the program. Particularly popular was the idea that immigrants are destroying American culture or displacing Western civilization with degenerate, Third World ways.
Lawrence Auster, a white nationalist who spoke in 1996 to a conference put on by the racist American Renaissance was on the show on April 1, 1996, making the argument that if the U.S. loses its white majority, it will be destroyed. The topic that day, according to host Dan Stein, was to “take a politically incorrect look at American culture and Western Civilization.” Stein added, “America, love it or lose it.” (In more recent years, Stein has repeatedly insisted that neither he nor FAIR have any preference for any one race or nationality or ethnic group.) Auster argued that because of an “invasion,” “America is in the process of dissolving as a nation.” Supposedly drawing on history, Auster warned that as demographic change occurs and “the majority is threatened in its position” the result could be “civil war.”
Auster’s particular concern that day was the loss of “the historic European Anglo American culture.” Stein certainly seemed to agree with his guest’s worries. “How can we preserve America if it becomes 50% Latin American?” he asked. Stein also said that Anglos were leaving Los Angeles because it had become “a foreign country to them.”
Auster died in 2013, but a website with his writings, Views From The Right remains as a repository for his work today.
Another prominent white nationalist who appeared on “Borderline” was naturalized English immigrant Peter Brimelow, who in 1999 would go on to found the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com and author of Alien Nation, a book that argued America should remain white-dominated.
In a discussion about Alien Nation on Aug. 5, 1996, Stein asked Brimelow whether “America’s social and economic elites seem to be writing off the whole idea of the nation-state.” He added: “If they shift their loyalty from the nation-state, what are they loyal to?” Brimelow argued that these same elites are creating the “greatest transformation of any independent state in history” by bringing in “new minority groups that did not exist before.” Brimelow considered these elites to be “treasonous,” people who “hate our traditional culture and they see immigration as a weapon to help destroy it.” “Are they really patriots?” Brimelow asked.
On pro-immigration conservatives, Brimelow claimed that they had been traumatized by the civil rights movement in the 1960s and now support “the idea of the current [non-racist] immigration policy” mostly “so they can demonstrate repeatedly to themselves that they are not really prejudiced.” In another segment, Brimelow said, “they are constantly repressing deep racial feelings.”
Stein asked Brimelow to talk more about his statement “race is destiny in American politics.” Brimelow did, saying, “you really alter the texture of the country by bringing in different ethnic groups.” Endorsing the invasion theory, Brimelow told one caller, “you have areas of South Texas and so on that have essentially gone back to Mexico.” Stein later asked Brimelow whether this all meant “the end of the United States?” Brimelow’s answer: “Sure.”
The one videotape that seemed to be missing from the files at George Washington aired on Sept. 30, 1996 and featured prominent white nationalist Jared Taylor, whom FAIR’s founder, white nationalist John Tanton gave money to personally to start up American Renaissance, which throws annual conferences that are important gatherings on the country’s white supremacist scene. When American Renaissance was still a monthly journal it published screeds like this following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears." The show’s topic was the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which overturned the Immigration Act of 1924 and allowed non-whites to emigrate to the U.S. without being subjected to a racist national origins quota system.
FAIR clearly had no issue inviting white nationalists such as the ones mentioned above as well as former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and Joseph Fallon, a man published in American Renaissance. It remains to be seen whether the group will admit to this particularly ugly part of its history by uploading the episodes of “Borderline” that feature white nationalists to YouTube.