Sunday, September 05, 2004

Kolbach Advances Racist Agenda

Chris Kolbach, the hard right challenger to Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore, got precious podium time at the GOP national convention and used it for his anti-immigrant pitch, which along with anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage seems to be the totality of his pitch.

Make no mistake about it, the more you look into anti-immigrant politics, the clearer is the racism at its center .

Take a look at this web-exclusive article by Max Blumenthal on the American Prospect website.

It's hard to fathom that a small journal like the Occidental Quarterly, which publishes articles defending the science of eugenics, claiming that "neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement," contending that Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist pressured into "an unnecessary war," and saying that the United States made a grave error in declaring war on Nazi Germany, could have had much of an impact on American politics.

Yet as the premier voice of the white-nationalist movement, the Occidental Quarterly acts as a roundtable for some of the far right's most influential figures. And with election day only eight weeks away, many of the activists and intellectuals on the Quarterly's board are campaigning -- from Western swing states to backrooms at the Republican national convention -- to reshape the Republican Party in their ideological mold.

Sitting on the Occidental's advisory board is a who's who of the national anti-immigration movement, including Virginia Abernathy, a Vanderbilt University professor and self-avowed "separationist" who is directing a contentious anti-immigrant Arizona ballot measure, Protect Arizona Now. Also on the board is Brent Nelson of the American Immigration Control Foundation. He’s working with a coalition of anti-immigrant groups to support the congressional campaigns of Republican candidates who have opposed more lenient immigration policies. The Occidental’s publisher is William Regnery II, a white nationalist and heir to the fortune of Regnery Publishing Inc., which recently published Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.

America's leading organization pushing a eugenics-cum-biological-determinist agenda, The Pioneer Fund, has apparently arrived at a similar conclusion. Its founders openly sympathized with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, and in the 1980s, it shifted its focus toward supporting the anti-immigrant movement. Between 1988 and 1994, The Pioneer Fund granted $1.3 million to America's premier anti-immigrant pressure group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and from 2000 to 2002, it granted a total of $25,000 to Project USA, an anti-immigrant group that works closely with FAIR.

FAIR is now focusing the bulk of its efforts in Arizona, a flash point of the immigration conflict. According to the Center for New Community, FAIR spent nearly $500,000 this year on its successful effort to get Protect Arizona Now, a draconian anti-immigrant initiative that would restrict public services to undocumented immigrants, on Arizona's November ballot. A citizens' volunteer group that initiated Protect Arizona Now has appointed Occidental board member Abernathy to direct the campaign. Abernathy did not mince words when she explained the motive behind Protect Arizona Now to The Arizona Republic on August 7. "We're not saying anything about supremacy,” she said. “Not at all. We're saying that each ethnic group is often happier with its own kind."

If Protect Arizona Now passes -- and if polls are to believed, that looks likely -- the anti-immigrant movement is likely to translate its momentum into more initiatives nationwide.

"Protect Arizona Now is being used by the anti-immigrant groups as a bellwether," explained Burghart. "If it succeeds in Arizona, that will send a message to the national Republican Party that they need to push more anti-immigrant politics at the federal level. There's so much riding on this for the anti-immigrant groups because, if they're successful, it will put more pressure on the GOP to follow its base."

Meanwhile, FAIR, Project USA, and an assortment of allied groups are backing the campaigns of nine neophyte anti-immigrant candidates running against incumbents with liberal immigration policies. Most prominent among these anti-immigrant candidates is Kris Kobach, a former general counsel in John Ashcroft's Justice Department who’s running to unseat Democrat Dennis Moore in Kansas' 3rd District. Through its political action committee, FAIR has helped fill Kobach's campaign coffers; Project USA and Occidental Quarterly board member Brent Nelson's Americans for Immigration Control, meanwhile, has pitched in with a direct-mail campaign on the candidate’s behalf.

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