Wednesday, July 02, 2008

White Supremacists and the Anti-Immigration Crowd

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake.]

A story out of New Hampshire tells us everything you need to know about the nature of the wingnuts out fomenting against immigration:
Rob O’Donovan of Haverhill says the group, Northeast White Pride, is holding a "Close the Border" demonstration Saturday to protest illegal immigration. He says the group is not based on hate or white supremacy, but on having "pride" in white history.

"We reject the popular use of the term ‘racists’ or ‘supremacists’ as we don’t hate anyone because of their cultural identity," O’Donovan wrote in an e-mail interview with The Nashua Telegraph. "We do, however, seek to protect our own cultural identity and heritage from being obscured by those of others, especially when those customs clash significantly with the morals and ethics of our American cultural heritage."
Sure, they’re not a hate group. They just want to wipe out brown people. What’s hateful about that?
We’ve known for some time that white supremacists have been promoting immigration as a major recruitment tool, and it has been working. Indeed, the current anti-immigration campaign on the American right is riddled throughout with racists and bigots of various stripes, despite the ongoing and sometimes heated denials by their leaders.

And it attracts them for a specific reason: the campaign is simply a regurgitation and repackaging of their longtime agenda. Which is also why nearly every overt neo-Nazi and white-power rally of recent vintage (see, for instance, the Nazi rally in Olympia a couple of years ago) has been focused on immigration. It has been, after all, their issue for a long time running.

So the recent meeting between leaders of the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and Jim Gilchrist’s Minutemen organization is not exactly a big shocker:
The Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist hate group, publicly announced earlier this week that it was co-hosting an anti-immigration strategy session with Americans4America, the official Las Vegas chapter of Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project.

Despite the Minuteman Project’s oft-touted anti-racist policies, the meeting took place June 24, offering some of the strongest evidence yet of direct ties between the Minuteman movement and overtly racist organizations.

“There’s a lot of overlapping between our two groups,” Nevada CCC leader Don Wassall told the Intelligence Report. “I met a couple of people from their group who are interested in trying to recruit more and get more people active in both of our groups.”
Not every Minuteman is a white supremacist, of course. But the organization’s claims that it is "weeding out" its racists is really just a sham. After all, there’s a reason that it has to "weed them out" in the first place: they really are just a fresh new mask for a hoary tradition of old-fashioned racist nativism.

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