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November 9, 2012 0

ProEnglish Recruits Controversial Signatories for Letter to House and Senate Leadership

The Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Pro­Eng­lish, founded by racist John Tan­ton, recently sent a letter to the lead­er­ship of the U.S. House and Sen­ate on the issue of Puerto Rican state­hood, which  fea­tured a num­ber of con­tro­ver­sial anti-immigrant activists as sig­na­to­ries. The coali­tion of 21 sig­na­to­ries included John Vin­son, of the Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Immi­gra­tion Con­trol (AIC), Rick Olt­man, for­merly of the DC-based anti-immigrant group Federa­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), and Phil Kent, a Pro­Eng­lish board mem­ber. The let­ter they signed calls on the House and Sen­ate lead­er­ship to “include spe­cific Eng­lish lan­guage require­ments in any leg­is­la­tion to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st State.” Vot­ers in Puerto Rico voted on Novem­ber 6 in favor of becom­ing a U.S. state, in a non-binding referendum.

Phil Kent is a long­time anti-immigrant activist based in Geor­gia who once sug­gested that cit­i­zens should be wary of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, stat­ing, “What will be the val­ues and ideas of a mul­ti­cul­tural Amer­ica? What will it mean to be white after ‘white­ness’ no longer defines the cul­tural main­stream?” Kent also spoke at the 2009 Social Con­tract Press Writ­ers Work­shop, a group founded by Tan­ton. The work­shop is held annu­ally and often fea­tures racist speak­ers, includ­ing Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant web­site VDARE.

Rick Olt­man, a for­mer FAIR employee, addressed the 1997 con­fer­ence of the white suprema­cist group Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens (CofCC). When Olt­man spoke at an anti-immigrant rally in 1998 in Cull­man, Alabama, an ad for the rally pub­lished in the Spring 1998 edi­tion of CofCC’s newslet­ter, the Coun­cil Reporter, described Olt­man as a “mem­ber” of the orga­ni­za­tion. Olt­man also has had six arti­cles pub­lished in The Social Con­tract (TSC), an anti-immigrant jour­nal, pub­lished by Tanton’s Social Con­tract Press.

John Vin­son, the pres­i­dent of AIC, also has ties to CofCC.  Like Olt­man, Vin­son spoke at a CofCC con­fer­ence (in 1999) and has had many arti­cles pub­lished in TSC. In fact, Vin­son guest edited the sum­mer 1998 edi­tion of TSC titled, “Euro­pho­bia: The Hos­til­ity Toward European-Descended Amer­i­cans.” The issue fea­tured a num­ber of arti­cles writ­ten by white suprema­cists, such as Jared Tay­lor and Sam Francis.

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October 17, 2012 12

White Supremacist Jared Taylor’s Speech at Texas A&M Is Sponsored by Neo-Nazi

Pre­ston Wiginton

Pre­ston Wig­in­ton, a 48-year-old neo-Nazi and for­mer racist skin­head, is spon­sor­ing a speech by white suprema­cist Jared Tay­lor at Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity on Octo­ber 23, 2012.  In an announce­ment about the speech, Tay­lor claims that there are “ongo­ing efforts to dis­place white Tex­ans at the uni­ver­sity” and refers read­ers to a Texas A&M report that dis­cusses racial diversity.

This will be the sec­ond time this month that Tay­lor has been invited to speak at a col­lege cam­pus. In early Octo­ber, he spoke at Tow­son Uni­ver­sity in Mary­land about the “legit­i­macy of white racial con­scious­ness” at the behest of the White Stu­dent Union.

Wig­in­ton is a famil­iar fig­ure at Texas A&M, where he is a for­mer stu­dent. In Jan­u­ary 2012, he held a demon­stra­tion at the cam­pus against Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.

In the past, Wig­in­ton has brought other con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures to the cam­pus. In fall 2007, he spon­sored an appear­ance at Texas A&M by Nick Grif­fin, who was then the head of the ultra-right British National Party (BNP), a party that attracted many neo-Nazis.  Grif­fin spoke on the spread of Islam in Europe in a speech titled, “Islam, Ter­ror and West­ern Civilization.”

Ear­lier that year, Wig­in­ton also had the idea to bring Tay­lor to cam­pus to speak about diver­sity issues at the school. Wig­in­ton claimed he had attended a diver­sity sym­po­sium set up to address racial ten­sion at Texas A&M and he then chal­lenged the Asso­ciate Provost of Diver­sity at Texas A&M to debate Tay­lor. The cam­pus paper The Bat­tal­ion reported that Wig­in­ton held a 2-by-4 foot sign to pro­mote the debate, which did not take place.

Wig­in­ton is also vir­u­lently anti-immigrant. In Novem­ber 2005, he orga­nized and funded a lec­ture tour for anti-immigration activist Frosty Wooldridge. The tour cov­ered five Texas uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing Texas A&M. The pur­pose of Wooldridge’s tour was to gather sig­na­tures on a peti­tion against Texas House Bill 1403, which gave chil­dren of undoc­u­mented immi­grants in-state col­lege tuition rates if they had grad­u­ated from a Texas high school and lived in the state for three years.

In addi­tion to liv­ing in Texas, Wig­in­ton has spent a lot of time in Rus­sia. In 2007, he addressed thou­sands of Russ­ian nation­al­ists at the Russ­ian March, which pro­moted Russ­ian nation­al­ism and attacked non-white immi­gra­tion. The par­tic­i­pants gave Nazi salutes at the march and shouted, “White power.”  Shortly after this event Wig­in­ton forged ties with Alexan­der Belov, an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant nation­al­ist in Rus­sia.  In addi­tion, that year Wig­in­ton spoke at an annual memo­r­ial rally in Swe­den in honor of a 17-year-old neo-Nazi who was killed by non-Swedes in 2000.

Wig­in­ton was also active in racist skin­head cir­cles. In 2005, he attended a racist skin­head Ham­mer­fest in Drake­town, Geor­gia, and won the “World’s Strongest Skin­head Competition.”

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October 17, 2012 0

Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference Attracts Major Anti-Immigrant Figures

Despite claims by Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform (PFIR) to be a “pro­gres­sive” and “envi­ron­men­tal” orga­ni­za­tion, the appear­ance of sev­eral anti-immigrant activists at PFIR’s third annual con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, DC, ear­lier this month, fur­ther con­firms that the group is firmly entrenched in the anti-immigrant movement.

Pho­tos of the con­fer­ence on the group Face­book page show Roy Beck, head of the Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Num­ber­sUSA, in the audi­ence. Beck is the for­mer Wash­ing­ton edi­tor of The Social Con­tract (TSC), an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton. Dur­ing the years Beck was work­ing as the Wash­ing­ton edi­tor of TSC, the jour­nal pub­lished the writ­ings of known white suprema­cists such as Sam Fran­cis and Jared Tay­lor. Beck also spoke at the 1997 national con­fer­ence of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, a white suprema­cist organization.

Another pic­ture taken at the PFIR con­fer­ence shows John Rohe, vice-president of phil­an­thropy and sec­re­tary at the Col­com Foun­da­tion, in atten­dance. Rohe is report­edly a close friend of Tan­ton, and worked with him at Tanton’s U.S., Inc. orga­ni­za­tion in Michi­gan for a num­ber of years.  Rohe even authored Tanton’s biog­ra­phy. The Col­com foun­da­tion is the pre­mier fun­der of the anti-immigrant move­ment in the United States, and has donated mil­lions of dol­lars a year to anti-immigrant groups such as PFIR, U.S., Inc., Num­ber­sUSA and many others.

A third key anti-immigrant fig­ure iden­ti­fied at the PFIR con­fer­ence is Mar­i­lyn Brant Chan­dler DeY­oung, the chair of the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS). CAPS report­edly received money from the Pio­neer Fund, a foun­da­tion that pro­motes the study of eugen­ics, in 2002. DeY­oung is behind a push this year to get more recog­ni­tion for CAPS. The group aired ads dur­ing the Demo­c­ra­tic and Repub­li­can con­ven­tions and launched a num­ber of new projects in 2012.

PFIR’s claim to legit­i­macy in the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment con­tin­ues to unravel. Its web­site states, “Indeed, it is hard to think of a sin­gle envi­ron­men­tal prob­lem that is not made sig­nif­i­cantly worse by pop­u­la­tion growth, or that could not be more effec­tively met if we could sta­bi­lize or reduce our pop­u­la­tion.” As this quote indi­cates, the group’s real agenda is to cite immi­gra­tion as the major source of envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems in the United States.

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