Our VoiceImmigration

FAIR Tries to Flee Sinking Anti-Immigrant Ship


Eric Ward • Jun 17, 2009

The racially motivated, premeditated murder of the Flores family by anti-immigrant activists in Arizona continues to stun many Americans. Meanwhile, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one of the nation’s most influential and controversial anti-immigrant organizations, is preoccupied with raising its name from the gutter of bigotry where its existed for thirty years.

Since her murder on May 30th, writers across the blogosphere have been reporting that Shawna Forde, one of nine year-old Brisenia Flores’ accused killers, was in 2006 named as a representative of FAIR. Today, FAIR finally released its own response to the charges, and rather than accepting accountability for helping create and perpetuate the political climate presently feeding anti-Latino hysteria, FAIR, in an Orwellian manner, has instead crafted a press release attacking the well respected civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

With the public-at-large eying not just their press release but also their credibility, FAIR has nothing more than impudently and shamefully dismissed their chance to rebuke the racist cultural conspiracies, e.g. “Reconquista,” that inspired Forde and her two cohorts to commit a politically innerved murder.

What’s more, FAIR seems almost surprised that anyone would ever dream-up that Forde represented an organization of their esteem.

However, when questioned FAIR’s present and former representatives the decrepit bones that structure such “esteem” are revealed.

Was FAIR Field Representative Rosanna Pulido not speaking on the group’s behalf when she made the following anti-Catholic statements on Chicago Public Radio (begins at 43 minutes in)? Was Western Regional Coordinator Rick Oltman not representing the group when he was removed from his Marin County Republican Committee post after publicly agreeing with the beating of undocumented immigrants in Southern California?

Even more damning was FAIR’s failure to blink when the hate group the Council of Conservative Citizens named Oltman as a member of its organization or when notorious anti-immigrant activist Joe Turner was hired as their Western Region Representative. Turner, founder of Save Our State (SOS), is the extremist who infamously tolerated neo-Nazis at anti-immigrant events that he himself organized.

FAIR also doesn’t seem very “concerned” about John Tanton, its current board member and founder who actively maintains associations with white supremacists, who has made several revealing statements over the years such as:

  • “Hitler’s reign in Nazi Germany did little to advance the discussion of eugenics among sensitive persons.” – “The Case for Passive Eugenics,” a memo Tanton authored.
  • “These have generally been pushed by Jewish interests who are offended by those who have challenged the received version of the Holocaust.” – March 14, 1995
  • “It seems that the main market is in the Orient – very interesting, considering that in general, male Orientals are less well equipped than those of some other groups.” – January 30, 1995

With such willfully bigoted espousings in mind, why should we the public not muse to believe that Forde was indeed a representative of FAIR?

After all, FAIR, yet again, seems pig-in-the-mud content to spend its time attacking respected organizations, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, rather than owning up to the bigotry they’re presently sowing in our communities via the mass media and events similar to those organized by the likes of Joe Turner and his predecessors.

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