The new report out from the Center for Immigration Studies
entitled "Immigration and the SPLC: How the Southern Poverty Law Center invented a smear, served La Raza, manipulated the press and duped its donors
" is, in my opinion, one of the most important reports that you must read if you care about the issue of illegal immigration. Not only must you read it, but you must get as many people to read it as possible - including lawmakers, reporters and the media.
The report was put together by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jerry Kammer, who now serves as the Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.
I have had a hard time winnowing down the report into parts for a review, because the report is all meat and no pudding. I will try however, in hopes that it will whet your appetite and get you to take a bite of it.
The report centers around how the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Council of La Raza and other groups made a coordinated effort to silence those who are calling for immigration enforcement and oppose amnesty, by shutting down legitimate debate through their "We Can Stop the Hate" campaign.
The report clearly notes the timing and coordination between the SPLC and La Raza. The SPLC dubbed the group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) as a "hate group" in December 2007, just a month before the launch of the campaign. It details how the SPLC skewed unrelated and left-wing political information and actions in Belgium to make this assertion. Yes, I said Belgium!
Center for Immigration Studies
The report is quite telling about the true goals of the SPLC when it quotes Mark Potok, mentioning prior to the launch of the campaign to Hispanic Link
, "What we are hoping very much to accomplish is to marginalize FAIR. We don't think they should be a part of the mainstream media."
Kammer details the funding of groups like America's Voice, who are behind We Can Stop the Hate and on whose board sits many pro-illegal alien groups, such as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, American Nursery and Landscape Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The report ties together how these associated groups have sourced other groups in the campaign in written materials to falsely bolster their assertions in an incestuous playground where partnered groups like La Raza will quote the SPLC and the SPLC will in turn quote La Raza. They've both used each other's fabrications as proof that there is rampant racism and hate-groups in organizations opposing amnesty and open borders.
Kammer also exposes that the SPLC doesn't even have a criterion in place for designating a hate group. Rather they use a "we know it when we see it approach". The SPLC's Director of Research and Special Projects, Heidi Beirich, acknowledged "we do not have a written criteria". He also goes into how the media has played its part by not challenging the SPLC.
Heidi Beirich, SPLC
But all of this is just the beginning of the report!
I'm not going to go over point-by-point all of Kammer's factual and revealing information. There are 147 footnotes in the report and my printout of the report looks like there's more ink from a pen from notes in the margins, than ink from the printer. You really must read it yourself.
Trust me though you won't be glazing over. It is an enjoyably written and easy to read report that is filled with tons of information.
I will note a few other things that Kammer covers in the report below, but this is just scratching the surface.
- The origins of the name La Raza
- Did you know that Senator Harry Reid actually once sponsored legislation to reduce legal immigration?
- The SPLC claims to be "journalists"
- Even with the origins of La Raza, the SPLC says noting such would be tantamount to defamation
- In 1994, La Raza gave its "Hero Award" to Jose Angel Gutierrez who once said "We have got to eliminate the gringo ... we have got to kill him"
- The history of Morris Dees, the head of the SPLC
- Dees was so good at raising funds that in 1998 the Direct Marketing Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame
- In 2008 the SPLC averaged $88,755 in donations per day
- Sierra Club Board candidates who espoused reduced immigration for environmental reasons were called by Dees the "greening of hate"
- Did you know that many immigration enforcement groups were founded based off of concern for the environment?
- The history of John Tanton, whom the SPLC and La Raza claim is some sort of puppeteer of hate behind groups like FAIR
- Roy Beck of NumbersUSA's history
And there is even more than that believe it or not.
I urge you to download the report now. Print it out or read it on your computer. Pass it around via links to it in emails, post it to messageboards or put it in your signature, Facebook, snail-mail, word-of-mouth or any other way you can think of. The truth must get out there!
If you care at all about ending illegal immigration in this country you must understand how those in favor of it are playing their game. This report will explain it to you, dirty tricks and all.
Below is a panel held by the Center for Immigration Studies on March 18, 2010 on the release of the report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
There is also a panel transcript for the videos below.
I have summarized some of the content in the videos below.
Mark Krikorian, Executive Director at the Center for Immigration Studies
Krikorian starts things off with his introduction. He introduces the premise of the report saying "it examines not the impacts of immigration but whether we can have a debate on immigration." There are those out there trying to shut down the debate.
He notes that the term racist is so incendiary that even serial killer Jeffery Dahmer would admit that he killed people, but in addressing the family members of his victims he ensured him that he wasn't a worse type of despicable person - a racist. He is quoted as saying that "He was not a prejudiced person. It wasn’t out of race that he killed these young men."
Thus even Dahmer realized that being perceived as a racist carried worse connotations than that of being a serial killer.
This is how Krikorian opened into the discussion of the report at hand. How there is a concerted effort by organizations, most notoriously the Southern Poverty Law Center, to label people and groups as racist and hate-based.
Refering back to the Dahmer quote, "When a taboo is that strong, someone is going to exploit it for political ends. And that’s just what we’ve seen in the immigration debate." Krikorian said.
Mark Krikorian - Introduction
- The rest of the videos are in the extended entry (or below if you aren't on the homepage) -
Jerry Kammer, the author of the report and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies
Kammer starts off by noting that there are extremes on both sides of the immigration debate.
"I think the group that is most active in promoting views that are distorted, false and destructive is the Southern Poverty Law Center," Kammer said referring to why he wrote the report.
He goes into how the SPLC has attacked Roy Beck and tried to turn this once environmentalist reporter into a perceived racist and xenophobe. Kammer relates how the SPLC has attacked a man named John Tanton, someone who has been an organizer at places like the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Zero Population Growth and the Nature Conservancy, trying to spin a narrative that he is a racist puppetmaster of groups calling for immigration enforcement like FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies.
Jerry Kammer - Part One
Kammer then addresses a little on the origins of the name La Raza of which Cesar Chavez said "I hear about La Raza more and more. Some people don’t look at it as racism, but when you say 'la raza,' you are saying an anti-gringo thing, and our fear is that it won’t stop there. Today, it’s anti-gringo; tomorrow it will be anti-negro; and the day after that, it will be anti-Filipino, anti-Puerto Rican and then it will be anti-poor Mexican and anti-darker-skinned Mexican."
The name La Raza descends from Jose Vasconcelos's concept of "La Raza Cosmica", which is "explicitly based on eugenic and racist ideas," Kammer said.
The business of hate, Kammer dubs this the "Jihad For Dollars" is what SPLC head Morris Dees found out early in his career, that he could make more money by exaggerating the existence of hate groups in this country and so that is the tack the SPLC has used ever since.
Jerry Kammer - Part Two
Ken Silverstein, Washington Editor for Harper's Magazine
Silverstein says he was a reluctant contributor to the CIS panel for this report and that as a reporter for Harper's he has done extensive reports on the SPLC. He didn't hold back in his distaste for the organization.
Silverstein described himself as, "I wouldn't say open borders, but my position is very, very different from the Center [for Immigration Studies]."
"I ... think that the SPLC helps squelch free debate and free speech because it does, in my view, frequently resort to smears and distortions in labeling its critics," Silverstein said "I have a great dislike for the SPLC, I do think it is a fraudulent organization headed by a huckster."
Ken Silverstein - Part One
Silverstein discusses below how the SPLC used inflation of the Klan as "scare tactics" for fund-raising purposes.
The SPLC then used those funds to continue raising more, using little for the core goals their organization states.
The SPLC made promises to stop fund-raising when it reached certain levels, the SPLC kept raising those levels year after year.
Ken Silverstein - Part Two
Carol Swain, Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University
Swain speaks on how she was initially reluctant to work with groups like the Center for Immigration Studies because of the smears of the SPLC. She also noted that the SPLC smeared her once she began speaking out on illegal immigration by calling her "an apologist for white supremacists". She notes how the SPLC has had "mission creep" from real hate groups initially, to conservative groups these days. She tells the disturbing story of how the SPLC has ignored groups like the New Black Panther Party and video evidence of their voter intimidation tactics at the 2008 election in Philadelphia.
Carol Swain - Part One
As a side-note to this, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece regarding the slimy slander of Swain being "an apologist for white supremacists" by the SPLC, in an article entitled "In Defense of Carol Swain". Give it a read if you get the chance, but if you have limited time read the report!
Swain notes that the SPLC has not limited their attacks to those for immigration enforcement, but now openly attacks pro-life groups, gun rights groups and patriotic groups. She mentions how they have singled out mostly white Americans that have legitimate concerns on issues, for their targets. Shutting down their free-speech through slander, libel and public ridicule due to the false allegations by the SPLC.
"The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the most intolerant organizations out there," Swain said.
She also mentions how the SPLC has attempted to discredit the Tea Party movement.
Carol Swain - Part Two