Sunday, August 15, 2004

White Racist Selected to Advise Arizona Anti-Immigrant Ballot Measure

In a new special report released on August 6 the Center for New Community warned Arizona public and civic leaders that the organization Protect Arizona Now has selected a white supremacist leader to chair its national advisory board.

Dr. Virginia Abernethy is a leader in several white supremacist organizations including the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).

The racist Council of Conservative Citizens is the modern incarnation of the Citizens Councils of America, more commonly known as the White Citizens Councils. The Citizens Councils of America fought to maintain segregation and actively promoted white supremacy. In addition to her leadership in the CCC Abernethy also currently serves on the editorial board of the racist and anti-Semitic journal, The Occidental Quarterly.

The Occidental Quarterly, first published in the fall of 2001 promotes the belief that "Immigration into the United States should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry," according to the Quarterly's statement of principles.

"Abernethy serves alongside a virtual who's who of white supremacist intellectuals," said The Rev. David Ostendorf executive director of the Center for New Community. "Her fellow editorial board members include unabashed white nationalists, anti-Semites, proponents of eugenics, and even an individual who has published over a dozen articles for a Holocaust denial magazine called the Journal for Historical Review," he said.

"With charges of racism already swirling around I-200, the controversial ‘Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act’ ballot initiative, the statewide anti-immigrant group supporting the initiative Protect Arizona Now (PAN) has taken a surprising step of choosing a leading figure in the white supremacist movement to chair its new national advisory board," so begins the newly released report entitled Protect Arizona Now Selects White Supremacists Leader to Chair National Advisory Board by the Center for New Community exposing Abernethy’s involvement with Protect Arizona Now.

The report documents the full extent of Abernethy's connections to white supremacist organizations and alerts both public and civic leaders to the dangers of such an appointment. The report is available on the Center for New Community website at http://www.newcomm.org/pan.pdf.

"This is a critical opportunity for citizens of Arizona to show that bigotry has no place in public policy initiatives," said Center for New Community’s field director, Eric Ward. "PAN’s appointment of Dr. Virginia Abernethy, an individual active in the leadership of multiple white supremacist organizations, has numerous disturbing ramifications. It legitimizes racism and xenophobia in the political arena, helping to “mainstream” white supremacy. It conveys respectability on white supremacist organizations. And, as California’s Proposition 187 campaign demonstrated, it forebodes the likelihood of an even uglier and more divisive situation in Arizona," Ward said.

<>The Center for New Community is a national organization dedicated to building community, justice and equality based in Chicago, Illinois.

This is one of ballot measures circulated by Ralph Nader's signature gatherers in Arizona.

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