Though separated by a span of two hundred years, Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and the American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in 1816 as The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, share a common mission: both want blacks to go back to Africa.
Stein’s sentiments coincide with Associated Press reports from last Friday that Liberia’s democratically elected President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, told a Minnesota audience that “. . . the country is making great progress on [sic] rebuilding infrastructure, debt relief and education after a 14-year civil war.”
We in the United States should celebrate these reports of progress by supporting Liberia’s move towards a multi-ethnic democratic society, not by neglecting a country we helped to create, and by supporting black refugees living in our communities, not by supporting bigots seeking to re-displace refugees to a country that hasn’t yet stabilized its social and governmental infrastructures.
The Obama administration recently affirmed the existence of said instability by extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Liberian refugees in the United States for a 12-month period. This extension of status also protects families that would otherwise be ripped apart by forced deportations, the likes of which Dan Stein and FAIR fully support.
While willfully ignoring information provided by the U.S. State Department on the current status of Liberia’s social order, Stein flippantly told CNN, “It is time for people to go back and rebuild their country.” CNN also reported that Stein even brashly claimed that “. . . for Liberians to stay when their country is at peace would be an abuse of U.S. hospitality.”
Stein and those within FAIR’s ranks crookedly repeat to us, the American public, that they are only concerned with “illegal” immigration; however, Stein has a rap sheet littered with opportunistic attacks on refugees of African descent.
One can trace his record back to the winter 1991-1992 issue of the white nationalist publication Social Contract Press, where Stein argues that any Haitian refugees fleeing the military coup and subsequent overthrow of their democratic government should merely be met with U-turn signs. Stein callously titled his essay, “Haitians Should Follow the Rules.” (Social Contract Press is produced by Wayne Lutton, a leader within the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, the reconstituted White Citizens’ Councils of the 1960s. A hub of white nationalism, SCP was founded John Tanton, who is still acting publisher.)
Due to their extensive links to the white nationalist movement and myriad other political extremists, FAIR is designated as a hate group by the civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes annual listings of such organizations. Just one example justifying SPLC’s designation of FAIR stems from the group’s acceptance of a 1.2 million dollar gift from the Pioneer Fund, a group whose self-mandated mission is to prove blacks inferiority to whites via the racially based study of a faux-discipline of biological science called “eugenics.”
Since 1937 The Pioneer Fund, as stated on their official website, has sought to support and “to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences” under such dubious racial classifications as “Intelligence,” “Behavioral Genetics,” “Group Differences – Sex, Social Class, and Race,” etc.
Perhaps their most infamous endeavor of support funded much of the research that appears in The Bell Curve, a text which is widely cited and revered as a statistical bible of sorts across overlapping cadres and cohorts of fascists and neo-Nazis such as the British National Party (BNP), Holocaust Deniers and white nationalists like David Irving, and even white terrorist groups like Combat 18, World Church of the Creator, Aryan Nations, White Aryan Resistance, etc.
At its core, The Bell Curve attempts to tape together a patchwork thesis in order to proclaim that due to genetic differences blacks can never be as intelligent as whites.
Furthering their own damnation are the Pioneer Fund’s many board members who actively opposed the 1960s civil rights movement. Among these high-ranking members is founding director Wickliffe Preston Draper who himself funded efforts to force blacks back to Africa. Through their ties to FAIR, the Pioneer Fund is attempting to ensure that present day coalitions of hate do not suffer the same fate as their Jim Crow descendants and pre-Reconstruction progenitors, with ACS prominent among them.
Nearly 200 years ago ACS was created to deal with the so-called “black problem” in the United States and did so by conceiving of a final solution of sorts, the country of Liberia. Blatantly ignoring the indigenous Africans already living there in its paradoxical attempts to re-displace all free blacks to Liberia, ACS simultaneously preyed upon white Southerners who feared “black revolt” and exploited the burgeoning anxieties of whites at-large who feared black competition for jobs stemming from migrations into the country’s western and northern regions of industrial economy.
With such history firmly in mind, we can recognize that the rhetoric and propaganda strategies of organizing racists has but subtly evolved over the last 200 years.
Dan Stein and the leaders of hate groups such as FAIR and the Pioneer Fund continue to bleat about the dangers of revolt and economic competition. Today, though, they’re simply substituting the terms “illegal” and “refugees” for “Negro” in their attempts to appear contemporary, i.e. to publicly refer “politely” to those they themselves despise and fear.