Saturday, May 6, 2006

Anti Defamation League issues report on racism in immigration debate.

The Anti Defamation League, one of the nations most respected watchdog groups exposing anti-Semitic and racist activity, recently issued a report on the growing influence of hate-groups in the anti-immigration movement. Entitled, "Extremists Declare 'Open Season' on Immigrants: Hispanics Target of Incitement and Violence", the report documents how these groups are using and co-opting the immigration debate to further their white supremacists and racists agendas.

This report now joins the growing body of evidence, such as that compiled by the Southern Poverty law Center, that not only are these fringe groups being empowered by anti-immigration rhetoric coming from many mainstream sources, but are in fact fueling and inflaming the debate to meet their own agenda.

It has long been know amongst immigrants right activists that one need not play all “six degrees of separation” to link many prominent members of the anti-immigration movement to those on the far fringes of society, a “degree” or two would be all that was needed.

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Spurred in recent weeks by the debate on Capitol Hill and the groundswell of grassroots activism in support of America's immigrant community, extremists have become increasingly emboldened by, and fixated on, the controversy over immigration policy, encouraging their supporters to capitalize on the issue by encouraging anti-immigrant activism, and even violence against all Hispanics.

While white supremacists have for many years attempted to exploit rising anti-immigration sentiments in the U.S., the level and intensity of their attacks against Hispanics has reached dangerous new highs, with right-wing extremists joining anti-immigration groups, distributing anti-immigrant propaganda and holding frequent anti-immigration rallies and protests.

As a result, Hispanics, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, increasingly are becoming the targets of hatred and violence from hardcore white supremacists.

Racists ranging from neo-Nazis to Klansmen to racist skinheads are among the most active anti-immigration activists in the country. Motivating their actions is the core conviction of modern white supremacist ideology: That the white race itself is threatened with extinction by a "rising tide of color" controlled and manipulated by Jews.


(WARNING: The report highlights some extremely troubling, violent and racist hate speech. The excerpts reprinted here are intended to demonstrate, educated and warn the reader. Those who might find this kind of rhetoric too troubling or emotionally hurtful should skip ahead, passing over the quoted passages.)

The fringe groups have picked up on general sentiments and themes in the anti-immigration movement and accentuated those that most align with their own twisted vision. At the same time they manage to move the debate further to the extreme by ratcheting up the rhetoric to ever more racist and hateful levels. They urge Americans to “fight back” against and “invasion” of “white America” by Mexicans and other Hispanics. While the extreme language used by these hate groups gives away their true intent, the general sentiments are not far from many of those expressed in the more mainstream circles of the anti-immigrant movement.

Rhetoric like that of anti-immigration leader Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) when he spoke the Minutemen Project opening day trally in 2005:

Tancredo told the Minutemen that each of them stood for 100,000 likeminded Americans who couldn't afford to make the trip. … we must never surrender our right as citizens to do our patriotic duty and defend our country ... and stop this invasion ourselves."


Quickly turns to:

"These Mestizo invaders are so different from us that by mixing with them or being dispossessed by them we will cease to live, we will cease to be ourselves or have a place to exist to support the lives of our future generations. And that is the crucial reason why this invasion must be stopped."


When filtered through the prism of the neo-nazi and white supremacists.

It is then moved even further to the extreme until it reflects the hate group’s ultimate goals.

"this infestation of cockroaches need deportation or extermination!" If legal means of "stopping this rising tide" were not enough, "then these brown squat monsters should begin to turn up dead all across Amerika…We now have another game animal to add to our list of available targets for our favorite pastime, hunting, and we'll declare permanent OPEN SEASON on these dirty wetbacks! From what I have heard through the grapevine the Skinheads and Klans across the country are more than prepared for this type of action. I say let's play by state and see which state can claim the most kills and let the jewsmedia whores keep score!"


(For a look at just how pervasive the anti-immigrant rhetoric is, here is a link to a “white rock” radio station blog that turned up on my sitemeter on May 1. It is a discussion about that days immigrant right march.Link )

The report goes on to look at the growing incidences of violence and hate crimes that have been committed against Hispanics. Stating that while only a minority of hate crimes are committed by “ideological extremists” it is “The increased willingness of such white supremacists, especially racist skinheads, to attack Hispanics (that) represents a dangerous and disturbing trend.”

November 2005, Tennessee. A federal judge sentenced former Klansman Daniel James Schertz to 14 years in prison for selling pipe bombs to a person he thought would use them to kill Mexican and Haitian immigrants. The person turned out to be an undercover informant. Schertz, a former corrections officer and member of the North Georgia White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, pleaded guilty to making five pipe bombs to be used to blow up a bus carrying Mexican workers. Later, Schertz expressed gratitude that the government had stopped him, but said, "We should have people here who know how to speak English. They are over here illegally and nothing gets done to them."


The report concludes with a look at the growing vigilante border patrol groups movement.

It is not surprising that the most radical anti-Hispanic sentiment is coming from white supremacists; however, there are other groups joining the anti-Hispanic crusade. With mounting public awareness and concern over illegal immigration in America, the issue is also being exploited by extreme anti-immigration activists, some of whom are reaching out to white supremacists. The rhetoric of these activists is largely aimed at Mexicans, not other illegal aliens, and frequently does not distinguish between Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

This extreme end of the anti-immigration movement includes both anti-Hispanic hate groups masquerading as immigration reform groups as well as vigilante border patrol groups, who conduct armed patrols along the borders of the United States. Several border vigilantes have been arrested on weapons charges. Casey Nethercott, for example, associated with border vigilante groups such as Ranch Rescue and the Arizona Guard, is currently serving a five-year prison term on weapons charges stemming from a 2003 incident in which he and others confronted and assaulted two Salvadorans when on "patrol."


The message could not be more clear. As the immigration debate continues to heat up, so does the rhetoric from the anti-immigration camp. Unfortunately that rhetoric is increasingly taking the tone and timber of those at the furthest extreme. In May 2005 over 400 anti-immigrant groups held a summit in Las Vegas. During the "Unite to Fight Against Illegal Immigration" summit “activists gathered at the event to hear speakers describe illegal immigrants as "the enemy within" and "illegal barbarians," while suggesting that America was "at war" with illegal immigrants and urging people to "take America back." And while most in attendance at the summit would never willingly align themselves skinheads, neo-nazis and white supremacists, they cheered rhetoric that was only slightly removed from that of the worst hate mongers.

Not removed by six degrees of separation … but perhaps one or two … and moving ever closer.


DuctapeFatwa said...

As "those who might find this kind of rhetoric too troubling or emotionally hurtful" indulge themselves in the luxury of being able to "skip ahead," they might wish to take a moment to remember a young boy who fights for his life in a Texas hospital.* He, like millions of people around the world, are not so fortunate to simply be able to skip ahead when they find reality too troubling or emotionally hurtful.

Skipping ahead is a popular strategy for denial, and denial and complicity is a marriage of convenience.

That troubling and emotional rhetoric is born of the same hatred that assaults young boys with patio umbrella pipes.

It is, as it should be, protected free speech. And it should be publicized, because it is a heads up, it serves to inform people who may be unaware, that this hatred is now pandemic, this anti-Otherism is boiling over, and it is rapidly consuming any vestigial threads of a former rudimentary social fabric.

So those who skip ahead do so at their peril, and are leaving themselves wide open to being more troubled and emotionally hurt than they ever imagined possible.

*This particular victim made the news. Most don't.

Duke1676 said...

A note about that disclaimer:

I have found that whenever I cross-post this kind of material over at the big community sites inevitably someone mentions that reprinting this kind of racist rhetoric only gives them more expossure and the speech is so hateful it should not be reprinted but merely linked to.

Then the whole discussion degenerates into ethical and 1st amendment debates.

I have found that adding the disclaimer keeps those kind of complaints to a minimum and actual discussion about the issue at hand takes place. (for me as long as the word gets out and people see the truth, no matter how ugly... let the politically correct crowd have their disclaimer)

PS:I just left it on here beause ....I was to lazy to remove it :)

ayoosilver said...

Duke 1676,

Are there any initiative that are being done for voter registration, awareness and campaign. I think the immigrant community in general should make a big difference this coming election cycle. Everyone know whose idea it is for HR 4437 and if we were able to muster that much support during the marches. Then, it should not be impossible also to muster to vote out the GOP.

Again, you put forth the question "What's next" I think we an information for voter registration amongst all immigrant community should be posted here or on another website. Again Tom Tancredo, JD Hayworth, Sensenberenner are belittling the marches that they would get re-elected if they did we could marginalize them by voting out the rest of their cohorts.

I hope as more information comes in post it here so we could spread the information. Federal elections is justa about 6 months away...we have to roll and vote them out.

DuctapeFatwa said...

Ah, I gotcha. And at the risk of hijacking the discussion into ethical and free speech issues, I will be Devil's Advocate and suggest that the more that kind of crap gets exposed to the reading and thinking classes, the better.

Many of them will recognize sentiments that they themselves express, only without their fancy designer clothes.

And others will get a deeper understanding of just what kind of society they live in.

But because of that very hijacking phenomenon, which tends to distract from either issue, what is needed is to just post that stuff without intention or hope that any other issue be discussed, that yes, free speech, but look what kind of speech the free like to commit! This is the reflection of the culture...