January 17, 2020


Times Taps White Nationalist Organization for Thought-Provoking Perspective on Immigration (BEN MATHIS-LILLEY, JAN 17, 2020, Slate)

More concerning than any of these specific problems, though, is the piece's provenance: It's written by someone named Jerry Kammer, a fellow at a think tank called the Center for Immigration Studies. Kammer has made a career out of covering immigration policy, he writes, for two reasons: "I was fascinated by its human, political and moral complexity. I also wanted to push back against the campaign by activist groups to label restrictionism as inherently racist." He expresses regret that "odious people" with white-power affiliations have given the cause of cutting back on immigration a "bad name."

What neither Kammer nor the Times discloses is that the Center for Immigration Studies was in fact founded by these people, most prominent among them a white nationalist named John Tanton who died last year. Tanton, as the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented, believed that the United States needed to maintain a "European-American majority, and a clear one at that"; he founded CIS, he wrote in the 1980s, in order to give his ideas the appearance of independent "credibility." [...]

In 1997, the Wall Street Journal wrote about Tanton in a piece called "The Intellectual Roots of Nativism." It was a scathing article which noted that Tanton had once described the immigrant's contribution to society as "defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs." The piece expressed concern that "otherwise sober-minded conservatives" and "reasonable critics of immigration" were affiliating themselves with his ideas. The author of that WSJ article, a 28-year-old journalist named Tucker Carlson, has since made the career-advancing decision to embrace Tanton-style nativism; he was in the news not too long ago for complaining in his role as a Fox News host that immigrants make the United States physically "dirtier."

Whatever space ever existed between mainstream conservatism and white-power nationalism, Carlson demonstrates, has collapsed. And it turns out that the "odious people" that Kammer references in the Times are actually his colleagues and forebears, who created his organization so that policies intended to perpetuate "European-American" and "Anglo-Saxon" superiority could be laundered into the respectable discourse. What else is there to say but: It worked!

Posted by at January 17, 2020 6:58 PM