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Lou Dobbs Just Loves To Spread A Little Hate

Lou Dobbs pays us a nightly visit from up-is-down Planet Bizarro in his weekday show. But this week, his special Bizarro launching pad is the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" anti-immigrant lobbying push — you know, the one sponsored by a hate group.

Sure enough:

DOBBS: Absolutely. And you’re to be commended. The Federation for American Immigration Reform is to be commended. I know that you and I, our fellow radio talk show hosts, all of us who have been involved at the forefront of this issue for years now have taken a lot of heat. We have been called racists, xenophobes, all sorts of nastiness from groups that — like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has become a hate group of its own, referring to FAIR as a hate group simply because they want illegal immigration stopped and border security, port security put in place. How are you being received now?

Actually, if all FAIR wanted was "illegal immigration stopped and border security put in place," no one would object, particularly not the SPLC, which takes no position on either of those issues.

What the SPLC cares about is the xenophobic demonization of immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, in no small part because that kind of scapegoating serves as a major recruitment tool for hate groups that inflict violence on minorities. Watchdogging that part of the scenery is pretty much the SPLC’s deal — and FAIR has indulged it so egregiously that they’ve earned the bona-fide hate group distinction.

How do you earn a "hate group" distinction? The SPLC’s criteria is fairly simple: You have to be involved in the routine degradation and demonization of a target ethnic or other minority group: "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."

How do we know that FAIR does this? Well, there are all the examples cited in the America’s Voice ad, for starters. But we need actually look no farther than the reply to Dobbs given by FAIR’s spokesman, former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock:

HEDGECOCK: Well nationally, we both run up against this. And I’ll tell you, it’s a measure of our effectiveness. It’s a measure of the unhappiness of the average American. The pragmatic middle of the road, problem solving, can-do American who has had it with the impacts of illegal immigration in their community.

The deteriorating schools, the filling prisons, the social costs, all the horrible stories that you know we have all talked about, and so I — you know I wear the badge of their — of their lies about us as an honor because it is an honor to see how much we are troubling these people who are enemies of sovereignty, who are enemies of our country, who want to open borders to the most — in a national security moment, an open border is an invitation to suicide.

That’s right, Lou — because, as you know, these immigrants are bringing filth and disease and crime, lots and lots of crime with them. And terrorists too. No matter how many studies tell us that the case is otherwise, we just know these things to be true because, well, we want them to be.

Now how could anyone think these good folks are a bunch of racists? Jeez.

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David Neiwert

David Neiwert

David Neiwert is the managing editor of Firedoglake. He's a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author/editor of the blog Orcinus. He also is the author of Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, June 2005), as well as Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2004), and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (1999, WSU Press). His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000.