Some anti-immigrant activists will try anything to get attention.
Two activists in Florida and California, with ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement, have launched a new website to promote a boycott of The Walt Disney Company for “replacing American workers with foreign workers.”
In addition to the boycott, the activists are looking to stage protests at the company’s two theme parks in California and Florida on Saturday, October 17.
In June, The New York Times reported that Disney laid off 250 American workers, only to replace them with workers from abroad on temporary, specialty occupation H-1B visas. Regardless of the complexities of the debate over H-1B visas and their use by corporations, all sides should be able to agree that anti-immigrant hate has no place in reasonable conversation.
The boycott website, boycottdisneynow.org, was registered by Floridians for Immigration Enforcement’s Legislative Director Jack Oliver in late June and appears to have gone live sometime in the last week. In addition to his role at FLIMEN, Oliver was elected president of another anti-immigrant group, Floridians for a Sustainable Population (FSP) earlier this year. The flagship anti-immigrant organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) lists both FLIMEN and FSP as Florida state contact groups on its website. Houston-based anti-immigrant group The Remembrance Project also lists Oliver as one of its Florida state directors.
Oliver is listed as one of two “boycott organizers” on the website. The other listed organizer, Paul Arnold, was involved in organizing the anti-immigrant “DC March for Jobs” in July 2013. Since then, he has been involved in organizing the National Illegal Immigration Protest Coalition’s ill-fated national demonstrations. Arnold is also the administrator of several Facebook profiles and groups for conservative activists. Perhaps the most prominent being Make Them Listen, which is liked by just over 2,000 accounts on the social networking site.
A Facebook page Arnold operates is also promoting the Disney protest. In case it wasn’t already clear, a post from 2012 makes Arnold’s anti-immigrant stance painfully obvious. The post reads:
“Illegal aliens and those who support them are the scum that drips from the slime which oozes from the puss that seeps out of the Un- American pieces of utter shit dirtbag slimeball assholes !
“This page exists for no other reason than to kick their freeking asses !!!”
On his personal Facebook page, he promised his friends he’d keep his “reight wing extremest comments to the March page.”
More recently, Arnold has worked for another project of Oliver’s, the Floridians for E-Verify Now campaign. The referendum effort seeks to place a constitutional amendment mandating E-Verify workplace enforcement in Florida on next year’s ballot. Campaign finance records from the Florida Department of State indicate that the campaign has paid Arnold $5,500 in “social media consultation” fees since May 14, 2015.
Given the turnout at Arnold’s—and the organized anti-immigrant movement’s—attempts at public demonstrations in recent years, Oliver and other protesters may want to brace themselves. Cinderella’s step-sisters, failing to cram their feet into the glass slipper, may not be the only ones to experience a disappointing Disney defeat.
Photo credit: Jrobertiko (Denis Adriana Macias) via Wikimedia Commons