Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Full Circle of Hate

Already, it's gone from a humanitarian crisis to a political football. And now, the usual G-O-TEA suspects want to make #Murrieta into their new rallying cry.

Just keep in mind that this didn't start with the Murrieta bus blockade. This didn't even start with the growing media attention to the Central American migrant children. No, the 21st Century Know Nothings have been around for some time. And they've been making the same arguments against scores of immigrants that they're now using against the migrant children.

In Murrieta last week, the Mayor and anti-immigrant protesters were claiming fear of "diseases". This didn't come from nowhere. For many years, the Federation for American Immigration Rwform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Numbers USA have been spreading their signature message of hate. And it's no coincidence that they're all so eerily on message like this. They can all trace their origins to one John Tanton, a well known racist/white supremacist who's been attacking communities of color since 1969.

During the early years of Tanton's anti-immigrant advocacy, he operated in the dark shadows of American politics. But in 1994, one Barbara Coe launched a campaign that would forever transform California and American politics. In 1994, Coe launched both the California Coalition for Immigration Reform and the campaign for Proposition 187. Suddenly, John Tanton's radical xenophobic "philosophy" was making national headlines and California public policy.

That's because Prop 187 passed in November 1994. But soon after it was passed, it was halted in federal court and later invalidated. Barbara Coe would then go on to embrace "fringe of the fringe" conspiracy theory powered extremism (Hello, Orly Taitz!) before she passed away last September. And as a result of the California Republican Party's then unapologetic support of Prop 187, it's becoming increasingly irrelevant in the multicultural California of today.

Yet even though Prop 187 and its #1 cheerleader have met their demise, their legacy lives on. Barbara Coe essentially launched Jim Gilchrist's political career. Jim Gilchrist encouraged the "unique brand of activism" pushed by Shawna Forde. And the anti-immigrant movement built by the likes of Tanton, Coe, & Gilchrist encouraged Sharron Angle to shock Nevada & the nation with her incredibly xenophobic US Senate campaign.

Oh, and John Tanton hasn't gone anywhere. In fact, Tanton's network of anti-immigrant outfits succeeded in convincing most Congressional Republicans (and even a few conservative Democrats as well) in 2006 to kill a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) proposal that then President George W. Bush championed. And John Tanton's network has deep ties to the Minutemen movement that Jim Gilchrist founded.

Even Gilchrist himself later admitted that his Minutemen movement attracted a number of fringe characters. Those fringe characters include neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and convicted murderers J.T. Ready & Shawna Forde.

The Minutemen movement has also "graduated" "movement leaders" like Connie Foust. She had been part of the Minutemen vigilante patrols along the Arizona Border. But now, she's in charge of the Virgin Valley TEA Party. And earlier this year, her Virgin Valley TEA Party rallied hard behind Cliven Bundy and his radical right militia fueled "Range War" against federal law.

Is it really any surprise that Cliven Bundy is now endorsing the Murrieta bus blockade? Both have been merrily endorsed by Fox "News". Both have embraced dangerous extremists and their radical anti-government ideology. Both are angling for an epic political comeback. And both celebrate extreme xenophobia.

Now, the full circle of hate is complete.

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