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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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