The hosts of a recent fancy Washington DC event described it this way in a post-soiree email:
“While enjoying a delicious dinner, all attendees solidified newfound friendships, caught up one last time with old friends, and celebrated everything we have accomplished TOGETHER…”
But this wasn’t just any DC party. It was the annual conference of rabidly Islamophobic group ACT! for America. And some of the new and “old friends” being honored were several legislators who make up a coalition of lawmakers working to introduce and pass harsh anti-immigrant laws.
Brigitte Gabriel, ACT!’s founder, presided over the festivities. Gabriel is known for her attacks on Muslims or anyone she perceives as ‘foreign.’
“And the Palestinians—who have no compassion towards children, no compassion to people, because when you’re raised, being taught that a certain group of people are basically beneath animals, and deserve to be killed, you lose all sense of consciousness, and sense of conscience, to feel any remorse when you kill those people.”
Based on the list of ACT! honorees, the strains of xenophobia extend beyond Islamophobia and deep into the anti-immigrant movement.
One of those being honored was Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus. Founded in 1999 by former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, the Caucus’s current chairman Brian Bilbray is a former lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and current co-chair of FAIR’s board of advisors.
Another guest of honor was Rep. Steve King of Iowa – the guy who recently compared immigrants to dogs. Yep, he was there to talk to the crowd about national security. No stranger to sharing a stage with bigots, King sat on a panel with white nationalists at this year’s CPAC conference.
All in all, it looked to be a real ‘fun’ crowd at the ACT! bash. Here’s a list of other legislators who attended:
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX);
- Rep. Frank Wolf (VA);
- Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS);
- Rep. Trent Franks (AZ);
- Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC);
- Rep. Steve King (IA);
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN);
- Rep. Robert Turner (NY);
- Rep. Sandy Adams (FL);
- Rep. Sue Myrick (NC);
- Rep. Allen West (FL)
- Rep. Dan Lungren (CA)
- Rep. Trent Franks (AZ); and
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC).
See one of your lawmakers on the list? Give them a call and tell them how disappointed you are.