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February 5, 2014

ProEnglish Attacks Super Bowl Ad Promoting America’s Diversity

The anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is asking its activists to contact Coca-Cola about an ad the corporation aired during the Super Bowl depicting people of different ethnicities singing “America, the Beautiful” in a number of different languages.  ProEnglish claims the ad “directly undermined the spirit of national unity ‘America, the Beautiful’ was intended to foster.” The group went one step further, claiming Coke should “promote civic unity, not disunity.”pro-english-liberty-bell-adl

ProEnglish’s attacks on the Coca-Cola Corporation should be seen in light of its nativist agenda and xenophobic origins and ties. John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, founded ProEnglish in 1994. Tanton once wrote, “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.” Tanton remains on the ProEnglish board to this day and though the organization is based in DC, it remains a “self-governing project” of Tanton’s Michigan-based umbrella anti-immigrant organization, U.S., Inc.

The goals of ProEnglish are to pass English-only bills at the local and state level as well as to make English the official language of the United States. These laws are often divisive. They limit access to the full range of government rights and benefits for immigrants residing in the United States. These laws also do not include steps to establish programs where immigrants can learn English. ProEnglish’s agenda divides communities in the United States over the issue of immigration.

The organization’s staff and activities are also problematic.  ProEnglish’s executive director, Robert Vandervoort, is report­edly the for­mer head of the white suprema­cist group Chicagoland Friends of Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a local chap­ter of the white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Renais­sance. ProEnglish sponsored a panel at the 2012 CPAC conference in Washington, D.C., featuring a number of racist speakers including Peter Brimelow, founder of the racist anti-immigrant website VDARE and John Derbyshire, a racist former National Review contributor who spoke at the 2013 American Renaissance conference. Later in 2012, ProEnglish sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in opposition of the issue of Puerto Rican statehood. A number of racists signed the letter including John Vinson, a found­ing mem­ber of the League of the South (LOS), a racist neo-Confederate orga­ni­za­tion. Vin­son was cred­ited with draft­ing the “Kin­ism State­ment,” a set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples for a mod­ern white suprema­cist inter­pre­ta­tion of Chris­tian­ity called “Kin­ism.”

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March 21, 2013

Extremists Flock to 40th Annual CPAC Conference

Merlin Miller, a white supremacist affiliated with the American Freedom Party, attended CPAC 2013.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 14-16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. attracted a number of individuals on the extreme right of the political spectrum. Attendees at CPAC this year included a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election, members of a “white student union” at Towson University, and a reported white supremacist who currently runs an anti-immigrant group. A prominent member of the anti-government Oath Keepers group presented at the event.

Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, an anti-government activist and member of the Oath Keepers, presented at this year’s CPAC at a session titled “How a Constitutional Sheriff can Protect Your Second Amendment Rights.” The Oath Keepers claim they will refuse to carry out certain “orders” that they expect the federal government to issue, such as putting citizens in concentration camps, assisting foreign troops in invading the country and declaring martial law. During his speech, Mack claimed “the President has no authority in your county” and asserted that “there is no gun control in the Constitution.”

Matthew Heimbach, a former activist with the now defunct racist group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) and the founder of the “white student union” at Towson University in Maryland, attended CPAC with other students. Heimbach and another student, Scott Terry, disrupted a panel titled, “Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” Terry proclaimed that “I feel like my people, my demographic are being systematically disenfranchised” and asked the speaker, K. Carl Smith of the group Frederick Douglas Republicans, “Why can’t we be more like Booker T. Washington Republicans?” Smith responded by talking about a letter written by Frederick Douglas forgiving his slave master. Terry interrupted Smith, blurting out, “for giving him shelter and food and…,” causing a commotion. A few moments later both Terry and Heimbach further disrupted proceedings by shouting that Martin Luther King was a “Marxist.”

Robert Vandervoort, the executive director of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, attended this year’s CPAC. Vandervoort is report­edly the for­mer head of the white suprema­cist group Chicagoland Friends of Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a local chap­ter of the white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Renais­sance. Another extremist in attendance was Merlin Miller, a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election on the American Third Position (A3P) ticket. A3P, now renamed the American Freedom Party, is a white supremacist political party. Miller attended one session titled “Iran and the Islamist Threat to America and the West: What is – What Should Be – Our Strategy.” As reported by ADL, Miller attended an anti-Semitic “Hollywoodism” conference in Tehran earlier in 2013.

Though one of the major themes of the 2013 CPAC was increasing inclusivity in the GOP, extremist elements, though small in number, were still able not only to attend but to participate at this year’s event.

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February 21, 2013

Anti-Immigrant Umbrella Group U.S., Inc.’s New Website Reveals Organization’s Influence

The anti-immigrant umbrella organization, U.S., Inc., founded and run by racist John Tanton, the primary architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, recently established a website for the first time in its 31-year history. The website provides further insight into how the organization works and the “projects” it runs.

In an in-depth interview about founding the anti-immigrant movement, Tanton discussed why he created U.S., Inc.: Since I had been involved over the years in starting a number of organizations, each of them a separate group which required separate accounting and separate filings with the IRS, I got the idea in about 1979 of setting up an umbrella foundation, out of which a number of projects could be run.”

Many of these “projects” founded or nurtured by Tanton developed into some of the leading anti-immigrant groups in the country today, the most notable example being NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA’s founder Roy Beck worked for Tanton for years as the Washington editor of Tanton’s anti-immigrant journal The Social Contract (TSC). Beck founded NumbersUSA in 1996/1997 and the group remained under U.S. Inc.’s umbrella until 2002, when it broke off and became an independent organization.

Another “project” formerly under the U.S., Inc. umbrella was U.S. English, a group devoted to making English the official language of the United States. Tanton resigned as chairman from U.S. English after a newspaper revealed a racially charged memo penned by Tanton asking questions like “will blacks be able to improve (or even maintain) their position on the face of the Latin onslaught?” and “will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe)?”

U.S., Inc.’s website highlights its current “projects,” including Tanton’s publishing house, the Social Contract Press, which publishes racist books, such as Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints, and sells books by racists such as Sam Francis, Wayne Lutton and Peter Brimelow.  Another U.S., Inc. project is the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish. Bob Vandervoort, ProEnglish’s executive director, is reportedly the former head of the white supremacist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a local chapter of the white supremacist organization American Renaissance.

In addition, U.S., Inc.’s website reveals the organization’s financial documents. Each year, it grants funds to anti-immigrant organizations around the country. According to its financial statements, U.S., Inc. provided funding for Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, Californians for Population Stabilization and 9/11 Families for a Secure America in 2011.

U.S. Inc.’s new site provides further evidence of its importance to the anti-immigrant movement. In the past, the umbrella organization developed bourgeoning anti-immigrant groups and helped them get on their feet; today it continues to fund and support well-established anti-immigrant groups around the country.

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