"... Politico and other news outlets should quit portraying organizations with ties to white supremacists and other extremists as mainstream. ..."
According to its mission, hugely popular political newspaper Politico promotes "journalism that insists on the primacy of facts over ideology." Last week, however, the newspaper provided a platform for activist Roy Beck, an anti-immigrant ideologue with clear ties to white supremacists. And promoting a veiled racist immigration ideology rather than facts is Beck's full-time job.
Beck's anti-immigrant organization, NumbersUSA, is frighteningly effective at appearing to be a mainstream voice in the immigration debate. Even Beck's Politico op-ed makes a seemingly logical argument in favor of E-Verify, a notoriously inaccurate and incredibly burdensome federal database that allows employees to check employees' immigration status that could potentially cost legal workers their jobs and delays in payment.
But NumbersUSA is anything but mainstream. It was started as part of U.S. Inc., a project of John Tanton, a longtime friend and colleague of Beck's. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently called FAIR, NumbersUSA's sister organization and another brainchild of John Tanton, a hate group. Another recent SPLC report outlines Tanton's ties to various right-wing extremists, saying:
Tanton had corresponded with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers, and leading white nationalist thinkers. He introduced leaders of FAIR, on whose board he still sits today, to the president of the Pioneer Fund, a racist outfit set up to encourage "race betterment," at a private club. He promoted the work of an infamous anti-Semitic professor, Kevin MacDonald, to both FAIR officials and a major donor. At one point, pursuing his interest in eugenics, the utterly discredited "science" of breeding a better human race, he tried to find out if Michigan had laws allowing forced sterilization.
Beck frequently publicly obsesses over claims that he is tied to racist organizations, downplaying his relationship with Tanton and even comparing his anti-immigrant work to the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King.
The truth is, despite Beck's claims, white supremacists and other bigots frequently find a home in NumbersUSA and its message. For example, a recent NumbersUSA anti-immigrant video featured Roan Garcia-Quintana, an active participant in the white supremacist organization the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Quintana-Garcia opened his presentation at the CCC's national conference last year by saying, "There are three types of people in the world, Negroids, Mongroids, and Caucasians.”
NumbersUSA also released a 2009 report in conjunction with Californians for Population Stabilization, an organization whose media director Rick Oltman was also active in the CCC and connected to VDare.com, an anti-immigrant/white nationalist website ostensibly named after the first white person born in America. Oltman was also kicked off a Republican political post for publicly supporting the beating of undocumented immigrants in Southern California. And in June 2010, NumbersUSA director Rosemary Jenks spoke at an anti-immigrant rally that began with a motorcycle rally by the White Boy Society, a white nationalist biker gang.
The list doesn't stop there, but Roy Beck's acceptance as a mainstream voice should. Politico and other news outlets should quit portraying organizations with ties to white supremacists and other extremists as mainstream. Tell Politico to quit printing op-eds by immigration extremists like NumbersUSA.
Photo Credit: Imagine2050