Exposing the Racist Roots of Arizona's New Immigration Law

If you thought there was any chance that the new immigration law in Arizona was about anything other than race, watch how Rachel Maddow thoroughly rebukes that notion.

That people like Russell Pearce and members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform have the platforms that they do and can shape legislation is chilling. I was going to add "especially to me, as a WoC" but I am trying to get better about statements like that which imply that racism is primarily the concern of people of color and that white people should not care/worry about it/address it.

Transcript below the fold:

MADDOW: The big deal news headline out of the world of politics today was the Republican Party‘s filibuster of Wall Street reform. But there was supposed to be another big deal thing in politics today. Today was supposed to be the day that Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham announced bipartisan climate change legislation.

That announcement, as you probably noticed, did not happen today. Why didn‘t it happen? Because Lindsey Graham got very mad. He scuttled his own climate legislation because he says he‘s angry that the Obama administration might bring up the issue of immigration reform first.

Quote, “This comes out of left field. We haven‘t done anything to prepare
the body or the country for immigration.” Senator Graham‘s anger has been seconded now by the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who said yesterday, this isn‘t, quote, “the
right time to do immigration reform.”

Republicans are bending over backwards right now, doing everything they possibly can, scuttling their own legislation if they need to in order to make sure that immigration reform does not come up. Remember when George W. Bush wanted to do immigration reform in 2007? Again, it was
his own party, the Republicans, who bent over backwards and delivered their own president a huge political defeat on this issue because they were so desperate to not do immigration reform at the federal level.And the fact that it continues to not happen at the federal level is
all the justification that some states need right now to deal with immigration on their own, which is how we got this—

GOV. JAN BREWER ®, ARIZONA: The bill I‘m about to sign into law, Senate Bill 1070, represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis that we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix.

MADDOW: And so, the state of Arizona now has a new law requiring police officers to demand the paperwork of anyone who looks like they might be an illegal immigrant.

REPORTER: What does an illegal immigrant look like? Does it look like me?

BREWER: I do not know. I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like. I can tell you that I think that there are people in Arizona that assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like.

MADDOW: In the meantime, papers, please. Before this bill was actually signed into law, we told you about the guy who introduced it in the first place. It‘s this guy, Republican State
Senator Russell Pearce. Mr. Pearce is famous in Arizona for having sent an email to his supporters that included a white nationalist screed, accusing the media of pushing the view, quote, “a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish, quote, ‘Holocaust‘ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of nonwhite aliens pouring across the borders.” Mr. Pearce sent that around to all of his supporters, which he later apologized for.

Russell Pearce is also famous for having been caught on tape hugging a neo-Nazi. No, like a real neo-Nazi. Not some sort of metaphorical Godwin‘s law-invoking neo-Nazi guy, but an actual neo-Nazi guy. See, with the swastikas?

Russell Pearce is the guy who introduced this radical immigration bill in Arizona that just became law. But if you want to meet the guy who’s taking credit for writing the new law, that would be the gentleman named Kris Kobach. Kris Kobach is a birther. He‘s running for a secretary of state in Kansas right now. His campaign Web site today brags, quote, “Kobach wins
one in Arizona.”

The guy that helped Arizona‘s new immigration bill is also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute. That‘s the legal arm of an immigration group that‘s called FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. FAIR was founded in 1979 by a man named John Tanton. Mr. Tanton is still listed as a member of FAIR‘s board of directors. Just for some insight into where John Tanton and FAIR were coming from seven years after he started FAIR, Mr. Tanton wrote this, quote, “To govern is to populate. Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile? As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night or will there be an explosion?” That‘s FAIR, who helped write Arizona‘s anti-immigrant law.

After John Tanton got FAIR off the ground, for nine of the first years of the group‘s existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as a group formed, quote, “in the Darwinian-Galtonian
evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement.” For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the
racial superiority of white people. The group‘s original mandate was to promote the genes of those, quote, “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.”

John Tanton‘s organization, FAIR, which, again, claims credit for writing Arizona‘s new immigrant law, John Tanton‘s FAIR was long bankrolled by the Pioneer Fund—which actually makes sense after you read some more of Mr. Tanton‘s writings. Quote, “I‘ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-
American majority and a clear one at that.” In 1997, John Tanton told the “Detroit Free Press” that America will soon be overrun by illegal immigrants, quote, “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.” Defecating is the problem, I guess.

Again, this genius is the guy whose group is behind Arizona‘s new radical immigration law. They take credit for writing it. FAIR is bragging about having, quote, “assisted Senator Russell Pearce in drafting the language” of his Senate bill.

In drafting that language, FAIR may have slipped a little something special in there for themselves. FAIR makes a living off of suing local and state governments over immigration laws. Tucked inside Article VIII of Arizona‘s new law is a provision that if groups like them win their cases, quote, a judge—sorry—a judge may order that the entity, quote, “who
brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees”—which could create a nice financial boon for the formerly eugenics movement-funded, advanced the white majority, promote the genetics of white America anti-immigrant group whose attorneys helped write the new law.
Congratulations, Arizona. This thing is going to make you really, really, really famous for a really, really, really long time.

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