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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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