The 05/14/07 print copy of The Nation has on the back page an ad by an anti-immigration group calling itself "The Coalition for the Future American Worker" (CFAW). The spokesperson in the ad, T. Willard Fair (who until recently worked for and now works for Charlie Crist as the Florida State Board of Education chair, where he is a strong proponent of charter schools) , claims to be a noted civil rights leader and says that we must fight illegal immigration. (This is all hard on the heels of The Nation's running lots of letters by people who purport to be very liberal yet want to string up illegal immigrants.)
This set off all sorts of alarm bells in my head, so I decided to do some Googling. Follow me past the jump to see what I found.
Here is the Wikipedia entry for CFAW: "The Coalition for the Future American Worker is an umbrella coalition of organizations in America seeking to convince President Bush to change his immigration policy. It includes professional trade groups and grassroots citizens organizations, and has run advertisements in several states, including Pennsylvania. Their spokesman is Roy Beck."
Hmmmm. Roy Beck. Why does his name sound familiar?
Here's the Roy Beck:entry for
The Camp of the Saints puts the white man's dilemma in the most difficult terms: slaughter hundreds of thousands of women and children or face oblivion. Of course, a nation that had the confidence to shed blood in the name of its own survival would never be put to such a test; no mob of beggars would threaten it.
Dark-skinned immigrants loitering on street corners. A dark-skinned immigrant running from a pursuing police car.
Those are just two of the racially charged images flashing across TV screens this election season in a big-money campaign by anti-immigration groups.
The objective: steer voters away from Republicans and Democrats who support guest-worker programs and other immigration reforms, including those proposed by President George W. Bush.
One of the prime targets, Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), condemned the ads as racist; his Republican challenger, Pete Sessions, found them so repugnant he joined Frost in calling for them to be yanked off the air in their district. That opinion has been seconded by the campaign's two most powerful targets, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
The ads were placed on the air by the Coalition for the Future of the American Worker, a front group for radical anti-immigration groups including the nation's largest and wealthiest, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
(These groups' ties run deep. The head of FAIR, Dan Stein, is president of the Coalition. The Coalition's spokesperson is Roy Beck, head of another anti-immigration group created by the founder of FAIR.)
Oh, yes: The Nation isn't the only mag to be running ads from Roy Beck's CFAW. The New Republic has been, too. I strongly suspect that this is all being done because some immigration-reform legislation is coming up before Congress soon, and the racist anti-immigration folks want to play off blacks against Hispanics in the hopes of weakening our side. [UPDATE: And they're doing so using bogus 'statistics' that have been repeatedly refuted.]
Now, The Nation has a long tradition of running ads from anyone who wishes to pay for them, in keeping with their philosophy of encouraging dialogue. That's well and good — in fact, most reputable news and opinion sources (including this one) have similar policies. But even as we let them advertise on our sites, we have a right to point out things about these groups that they don't want you to know.