national review » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘national review’
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.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,