2013 January » ADL Blogs
January 25, 2013 1

Oklahoma Anti-Immigrant Group Blames Jews For Promoting Gun Control

The anti-immigrant group Immi­gra­tion Reform for Okla­homa Now (IRON), based in Jenks, cir­cu­lated its lat­est newslet­ter on Jan­u­ary 11, 2013, with a head­line that blamed Jews for push­ing “gun dis­ar­ma­ment” and asked read­ers not to let Jews “suc­ceed in shred­ding America’s Con­sti­tu­tion.” The newslet­ter then attempted to jus­tify the head­line by pro­mot­ing the anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­ory that Jews con­trol Hol­ly­wood and claim­ing that promi­nent Jew­ish politicians/businesspersons are the most vocal gun con­trol advocates.

IRON tried to blame gun vio­lence on Jews by claim­ing that “Jew­ish mil­lion­aires con­trol Hol­ly­wood enter­tain­ment [sic] feed­ing TV media, vio­lent movies with porno­graphic inserts.  IRON went on to claim, “They must take respon­si­bil­ity for glam­or­iz­ing vio­lence AND GUNS, depict­ing rou­tine gun vio­lence, ter­ror, vig­i­lante rape, pornog­ra­phy, and pro­fan­ity.” The newslet­ter then called Jews “hyp­ocrites” for allegedly want­ing to con­trol guns while sup­pos­edly glo­ri­fy­ing guns in the media.

The newslet­ter also included  a list of “gun con­trol voices,” includ­ing Sen. Bar­bara Boxer (D-CA); Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Frank Laut­en­berg (D-NJ); Sen. Richard Blu­men­thal (D-CT); for­mer Sen­a­tor Joe Lieber­man, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel—all Jew­ish polit­i­cal figures.

The list then sin­gled out Jew­ish bil­lion­aire George Soros, call­ing him the “Agenda 21 finance tycoon.” Agenda 21 is a United Nations action plan aimed at pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, which many anti-government and far-right groups claim will result in the United States giv­ing up its sov­er­eignty.  The list also men­tioned the Jew­ish mayor of New York City, Michel Bloomberg, claim­ing that he “funded [a] super PAC tar­get­ing pro-gun candidates.”

The anti-Semitic rant by IRON is per­plex­ing for a group whose pur­pose is “inform­ing tax­pay­ers of the enor­mous costs of ille­gal immi­gra­tion.” This rhetoric reveals that the group har­bors big­otry beyond anti-immigrant sen­ti­ment.  IRON is listed by the DC-based anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform as a state con­tact for Oklahoma.

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January 25, 2013 1

FAIR’s Susan Tully Promotes Bigotry and Conspiracies on Radio Show

Susan Tully, the national field direc­tor of the DC-based anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) voiced a num­ber of con­spir­acy the­o­ries and made many anti-immigrant com­ments dur­ing an inter­view with a right-wing radio show on Jan­u­ary 17, 2013. Tully spoke for over an hour on “The Ruthie Report,” a show hosted by Ruthie Hendrycks, who runs the anti-immigrant group Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR).  On its web­site, FAIR lists MINNSIR as its local affil­i­ate in Minnesota.

Dur­ing the radio inter­view, Tully dis­par­aged DREAM Act-eligible stu­dents for what she called arro­gance and accused Demo­c­ra­tic politi­cians in Cal­i­for­nia of hav­ing ties to Mex­ico. She also claimed that stu­dents are cross­ing the U.S./Mexico bor­der on a daily basis to attend Amer­i­can schools.

When talk­ing about a poten­tial com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform bill, Tully argued that there should be a study of peo­ple granted doc­u­mented sta­tus in the 1986 to see what became of them since that time, insin­u­at­ing that many may have become crim­i­nals. Tully argued, “Ruthie, it seems to me that before we do this again, we need to find out what the four mil­lion peo­ple who were granted amnesty in 1986 went on to do with their lives in the United States. Are they hard work­ers, are they col­lege grads, have they become cit­i­zens or are they in jail?”

Tully went on to voice the first of her many con­spir­acy the­o­ries claim­ing that chil­dren from Mex­ico are cross­ing the U.S./Mexico bor­der to attend Amer­i­can schools on a daily basis. Tully claimed, “I just got a report that I will be inves­ti­gat­ing later this year that along the bor­der in Ari­zona and New Mex­ico they are run­ning school busses to the bor­der to pick up stu­dents who are com­ing in from Mex­ico to attend K-12 classes.”

Tully also crit­i­cized DREAM Act-eligible stu­dents, assert­ing that “the arro­gance I have seen by the DREAM­ers alone, frankly, and their demands and what they think that they’re enti­tled to sim­ply because they’re here and breath­ing our air is phe­nom­e­nal to me. I don’t know what kind of a cul­ture pro­duces peo­ple that are that arrogant.”

Accord­ing to FAIR’s web­site, Tully’s job is to “edu­cate the media and pub­lic on immi­gra­tion issues.” On “The Ruthie Report” Tully instead voiced unfounded con­spir­acy the­o­ries and used big­oted anti-immigrant rhetoric.

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January 24, 2013 8

Holocaust Imagery Taints Gun Control Debate

Update 1/17/14: The polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol con­tin­ues to be marked by the inap­pro­pri­ate use of Holo­caust imagery by some gun advo­cates. Musi­cian and gun advo­cate Ted Nugent com­pared film pro­ducer Har­vey Wein­stein to a Nazi pro­pa­gan­dist.

Update 3/5/12: The list of inap­pro­pri­ate Holo­caust analo­gies regard­ing gun con­trol con­tin­ues to grow. NRA Pres­i­dent David Keene defended the depic­tion of New York Gov­er­nor Andrew Cuomo as Hitler at a rally in Albany protest­ing new state gun reg­u­la­tions. In an inter­view on March 1, Keene said, “Folks that are cog­nizant of the his­tory, not just in Ger­many but else­where, look back to the his­tory, and say we can’t let that sort of thing hap­pen here.”

The charged polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol in the after­math of the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­ing con­tin­ues to be tainted by inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery.

These com­par­isons, made by polit­i­cal pun­dits on national news pro­grams as well by oth­ers out­side pol­i­tics, are not only mis­placed and offen­sive, rely­ing on fac­tu­ally incor­rect premises and exag­ger­a­tions, but also deflect atten­tion away from an impor­tant national discussion.

One anal­ogy sug­gests that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is some­how rem­i­nis­cent of Hitler because of his gun con­trol pro­pos­als. For exam­ple, on Jan­u­ary 9, the home­page of The Drudge Report fea­tured an image of Hitler and Stalin with the cap­tion “WHITE HOUSE THREATENSEXECUTIVE ORDERSON GUNS.”

A sim­i­lar com­par­i­son was made by Ohio State Board of Edu­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Debe Tehrar, who posted a num­ber of pro-gun and anti-Obama mes­sages on her Face­book page, includ­ing a photo of Hitler with the cap­tion: “Never for­get what this tyrant said: ‘To con­quer a nation, first dis­arm its cit­i­zens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”

Another com­mon theme that has emerged in recent weeks is that if only the vic­tims of the Holo­caust had bet­ter access to guns, the Nazi regime would not have been able to sys­tem­at­i­cally mur­der so many people.

For exam­ple, Fox News’ Andrew Napoli­tano made this argu­ment in a Jan­u­ary 10 col­umn on FoxNews.com. Napoli­tano wrote that, “If the Jews in the War­saw ghetto had had the fire­power and ammu­ni­tion that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more per­sons would have sur­vived the Holocaust.”

Indi­vid­u­als on the fringes of the polit­i­cal debate also have weighed in with this nar­ra­tive. In a Jan­u­ary 15 col­umn for the web­site World­Net­Daily, dis­graced for­mer Major League Base­ball pitcher John Rocker wrote that “the Holo­caust would have never taken place had the Jew­ish cit­i­zenry of Hitler’s Ger­many had the right to bear arms and defended them­selves with those arms.”

It should be noted that the small num­ber of per­sonal firearms in the hands of the small num­ber of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000) remain­ing in Ger­many in 1938 could in no way have stopped the total­i­tar­ian power of the Nazi Ger­man state. When they had weapons, Jews could sym­bol­i­cally resist, as they did in the 1943 War­saw Upris­ing and else­where, but could not stop the Nazi geno­cide machine. Gun con­trol did not cause the Holo­caust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.

Invok­ing the Holo­caust in dis­cus­sions of con­tro­ver­sial issues is noth­ing new. Con­spir­acy the­o­rist Lyn­don LaRouche, leader of a fringe polit­i­cal cult that defies cat­e­go­riza­tion, and his sup­port­ers have con­tributed to the divi­sive­ness sur­round­ing the pub­lic debate on health care reform by pro­duc­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing mate­ri­als com­par­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and other gov­ern­ment offi­cials to Hitler, Nazis and fas­cists.

Offen­sive Holo­caust analo­gies have also been used by Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans alike on a num­ber of issues, and by pub­lic fig­ures from var­i­ous sec­tors of soci­ety when dis­cussing top­ics rang­ing from abor­tion to ani­mal rights to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict to LGBT rights.

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