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February 5, 2014 0

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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January 10, 2014 9

Racism In The Anti-immigrant Movement in 2013

jason-richwine-racism-2013

Jason Rich­wine

As the estab­lished anti-immigrant move­ment in the United States attempted to derail a push for immi­gra­tion reform last year, a num­ber of racist inci­dents revealed the big­otry that too often comes into play with immigration-related issues.

ADL has com­piled a list of the most egre­gious exam­ples of racist inci­dents in the anti-immigrant move­ment in 2013.

In 2013, both national and local anti-immigrant groups espoused racist and nativist rhetoric, allowed known white suprema­cists to attend their events and dis­sem­i­nated arti­cles by extrem­ists. Anti-immigrant politi­cians also expressed nativism and one scholar resigned from an orga­ni­za­tion after civil rights groups exposed his racist past after he co-authored an anti-immigrant study.

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November 25, 2013 1

Anti-immigrant And Anti-Muslim Groups Join Forces To Host Event In North Carolina

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 22, the Fayet­teville, North Car­olina chap­ter of ACT! for Amer­ica, an orga­ni­za­tion pro­mot­ing the idea that Islam is a back­ward and sedi­tious polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, hosted a screen­ing of the anti-immigrant film, “They Come to Amer­ica.” After the screen­ing, orga­niz­ers have sched­uled a panel dis­cus­sion about immi­gra­tion with James John­son, head of the North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group NC FIRE and Ron Woodard, the founder of another North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group, NC Lis­ten.act-for-america-they-come-to-america-poster

The Fayet­teville chap­ter of ACT! for Amer­ica reg­u­larly posts extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric on its Face­book page, claim­ing Islam is in a war with the world and pro­mot­ing a video titled “Islam and Nazism, the Unholy Alliance.” Both John­son and Woodard are anti-immigrant activists with ties to extrem­ism. Ear­lier this year, Woodard received the “We the Peo­ple Lead­er­ship Award” from the extreme anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) a group founded by racist John Tan­ton. FAIR helped to found and but­tress Woodard’s group, NC Listen.

James John­son of NC Lis­ten has cir­cu­lated arti­cles from racist web­sites such as VDARE and Amer­i­can Renais­sance in the past. In 2011, John­son posted a pic­ture of him­self with Roan Garcia-Quintana, a direc­tor of the white suprema­cist group Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens (CofCC) on Face­book. Both men were attend­ing FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event. 

The screen­ing and panel dis­cus­sion is just one recent exam­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tion between the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim move­ments, both at the national and local level. Both move­ments see immi­gra­tion as prob­lem­atic and pro­mote xeno­pho­bia. Nation­ally, both anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups pro­mote anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion and both move­ments worked to derail immi­gra­tion reform in 2013. At the local level, activists attend and speak at each other’s events and sup­port each other’s campaigns.

Events such as the Boston Marathon bomb­ings, as well as sto­ries about “ter­ror­ists” enter­ing the United States through Mex­ico serve as fuel for both the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim move­ments and indi­cate that fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tion between groups both at the local and national level will not only con­tinue, but increase.

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