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June 30, 2014 1

Children Suffering On Southern Border Fodder For Anti-Immigrant Voices

The plight of Cen­tral Amer­i­can chil­dren flee­ing vio­lence is being used as yet another excuse for inac­tion on humane and sen­si­ble immi­gra­tion reform that Amer­i­cans crave. border-detention-center-humanitarian

While Pres­i­dent Obama responded strongly to the sit­u­a­tion by send­ing a mes­sage to fam­i­lies in Cen­tral Amer­ica not to risk send­ing their chil­dren to the United States,  anti-immigrant groups and the politi­cians that fol­low their cues are using this human­i­tar­ian cri­sis to argue that the bor­der is out of con­trol and that sen­si­ble reform should be delayed.  

The anti-immigrant move­ment and some right wing media dis­miss the high mur­der rates, gang vio­lence, and poverty that drive these migrants to the United States and attempt to use this dire human­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion to cre­ate a cli­mate of fear around immigration.

The uptick in extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric around the issue has focused on por­tray­ing immi­grants as a pub­lic health haz­ard. On June 20, William Gheen of the extreme anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALI-PAC) claimed that the chil­dren are com­ing to the U.S. “in dis­ease and gang infested hoards.”  D.A. King of the Georgia-based anti-immigrant group Dustin Inman Soci­ety (DIS) asserted on June 9 that refugees are “swarm­ing the bor­der and bring­ing dis­ease.” On June 12, James Kirk­patrick, an author for the extreme anti-immigrant web­site VDARE, recently voiced his con­cerns about chil­dren car­ry­ing what he called a “diverse mix of excit­ing mul­ti­cul­tural diseases.”

Many right-wing and far-right media out­lets are also echo­ing the rhetoric of anti-immigrant groups. A June 22 arti­cle pub­lished on the far-right web­site News With Views bemoaned the “hordes of une­d­u­cated, unskilled and too many dis­ease rid­den com­ing from El Sal­vador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.” Using the metaphors “flood” and “tidal wave” to talk about the chil­dren, Dr. Eliz­a­beth Lee Vliet penned an arti­cle in the conspiracy-orientated right-wing online news­pa­per World Net Daily  on June 17 warn­ing that the chil­dren are car­ry­ing “dis­eases the U.S. had con­trolled or vir­tu­ally erad­i­cated: tuber­cu­lo­sis (TB), Cha­gas dis­ease, dengue fever, hepati­tis, malaria, measles, plus more.”

Aside from the dis­ease rhetoric, anti-immigrant and right-wing media out­lets are also espous­ing other extreme themes. Mack­u­bin Thomas Owens, an author for National Review Online (NRO), penned an arti­cle for the pub­li­ca­tion on June 13 titled, “Camp of the Saints, 2014 Style?” In the arti­cle, Owens called for his audi­ence to read the bla­tantly racist French novel Camp of the Saints in the wake of the human­i­tar­ian issue. Camp of the Saints tells the story of Indian immi­grants com­ing to France by boat and tak­ing over the coun­try by vio­lent means.

This mes­sage is not only big­oted and dehu­man­iz­ing to these chil­dren; it dis­tracts from the crit­i­cal fact that the real solu­tion to this human­i­tar­ian cri­sis is to reform our bro­ken sys­tem.  Only a func­tion­ing immi­gra­tion sys­tem can truly fos­ter orderly migra­tion and allow author­i­ties to deter­mine which chil­dren are eli­gi­ble to come to or remain in the U.S. and which are not.

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December 26, 2012 0

Former YWC Leader Taylor Rose Joins World Net Daily

Tay­lor Rose

Tay­lor Rose, the for­mer vice-president of the far-right stu­dent group, Youth for West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion (YWC) recently landed a job at World Net Daily (WND), a conspiracy-oriented right-wing news­pa­per. Rose’s first arti­cle for WND, where he is listed as a “staff reporter,” appeared about a month ago, on Novem­ber 26, 2012.

Rose’s arti­cles cover a range of right-wing issues from oppo­si­tion to immi­gra­tion to anti-Muslim con­spir­acy the­o­ries to seces­sion­ist move­ments in Europe and the United States. Rose is not the first for­mer YWC activist to make the move over to WND. YWC’s founder, Kevin DeAnna, joined WND in early 2012 and also works as a “staff reporter” though his last arti­cle for the site was pub­lished over two months ago, on Octo­ber 14, 2012.

In recent years, Rose spent most of his time in Europe, meet­ing and orga­niz­ing with far-right orga­ni­za­tions and polit­i­cal par­ties.  He par­tic­i­pated in a May 2011 rally “against the Islaminiza­tion of Europe” in Cologne, Ger­many. At the rally, Rose spoke along­side lead­ers of far-right xeno­pho­bic Euro­pean par­ties, includ­ing the Vlaams Belang of Bel­gium, the Free­dom Party of Aus­tria, as well as smaller par­ties from France and Ger­many. More recently, in 2012, Rose pub­lished a book titled, Return of the Right: How the Polit­i­cal Right is Tak­ing Back West­ern Civilization.

 Rose’s move also casts more doubt over YWC’s per­se­ver­ance. It appears that Rose, DeAnna and other YWC lead­ers did not have suc­ces­sors lined up to main­tain the orga­ni­za­tion when the orig­i­nal core group grad­u­ated. YWC’s Web site is down and it appears the chap­ters are inac­tive. Although Rose seems to no longer be involved with YWC, his move to WND shows that he is still an active player on the right.

The one for­mer YWC activist still mak­ing head­way on cam­pus is Matthew Heim­bach at Tow­son Uni­ver­sity in Mary­land. Heim­bach was forced to dis­band YWC at the school in early 2012 when its fac­ulty advi­sor quit after the group was involved in con­tro­ver­sial activ­ity. Heim­bach is still attempt­ing, how­ever, to cre­ate a “white stu­dent union” at Tow­son. He invited white suprema­cists Jared Tay­lor and Mer­lin Miller, from the Amer­i­can Third Posi­tion party, to speak at the school dur­ing the fall 2012 semester.

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December 18, 2012 2

Christian Conservatives Blame Elementary School Massacre On Lack Of Religion In Schools

In the wake of the shoot­ing of 20 young chil­dren and six adults at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Con­necti­cut, peo­ple are search­ing for answers about how and why this tragedy hap­pened. Some promi­nent Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tives are blam­ing the mas­sacre on the lack of reli­gion in schools and the sec­u­lar­iza­tion of Amer­ica more generally.

In an appear­ance on Fox News for­mer Arkansas Gov­er­nor Mike Huck­abee said, “We ask why there’s vio­lence in our schools, but we have sys­tem­at­i­cally removed God from our schools. Should we be so sur­prised that schools would become a place of car­nage?”  He later clar­i­fied that he did not think that prayer in school could have directly pre­vented the shooting.

Bryan Fis­cher, a spokesper­son for the Amer­i­can Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion, a non-profit that pro­motes con­ser­v­a­tive fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian val­ues, echoed Gov­er­nor Huckabee’s sen­ti­ments.  He said, “Here’s the bot­tom line: God is not gonna go where he’s not wanted…We have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God, we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you before foot­ball games, we don’t want to pray to you at grad­u­a­tion, we don’t want any­one talk­ing about you in a grad­u­a­tion speech. We’ve kicked God out of our pub­lic school sys­tem. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey I’ll be glad to pro­tect your chil­dren, but you’ve gotta invite me back into your world first. I’m not gonna go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman.’” 

David Brody of the Chris­t­ian Broad­cast­ing Net­work (CBN) wrote an online col­umn defend­ing Huck­abee and Fis­cher. Brody asserted, “Guess what folks? Huck­abee and Fis­cher are not alone. There are mil­lions of evan­gel­i­cals who believe the same thing. This is not heart­less. It’s based on the bib­li­cal prin­ci­ple of reap­ing and sow­ing. Not that these lit­tle chil­dren sowed any­thing but are our schools left unpro­tected because of the past actions of our nation when it comes to remov­ing God from our pub­lic schools? The con­ver­sa­tion is now all about ban­ning guns but should the con­ver­sa­tion really be about allow­ing God back into pub­lic schools?”  Joseph Far­rah, the edi­tor of World Net Daily, and William J. Mur­ray, the Head of the Reli­gious Free­dom Net­work, made sim­i­lar state­ments blam­ing the shoot­ings on the lack of reli­gion in schools.

For­mer head of Focus on the Fam­ily James Dob­son, cit­ing sta­tis­tics on the num­ber of abor­tions in Amer­ica and the accep­tance of same sex mar­riage, said on his radio show, “Some­body is going to get mad at me for say­ing what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my hon­est opin­ion: I think we have turned our back on the Scrip­ture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judg­ment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.”  Oper­a­tion Save Amer­ica, an anti-abortion group that also opposes homo­sex­u­al­ity, sim­i­larly claimed that “we are los­ing our kids because we are ignor­ing God’s Law.”

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