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August 30, 2003

Will Arnie Disown U.S. English?

(Thanks to Atrios for getting me going on this research).

Want to know why the rightwing Wurlitzer is going after Bustamante as a "racist"? Because they need to throw rhetorical sand in the works to cover up and confuse the real links of their guy Arnie to racist networks.

What is serious is Schwarzenneger's continued association with the anti-immigrant U.S. English, which advertises itself as promoting the english language, but whose co-founder, John Tanton, has made clear its racist purpose. In 1988 he wrote the memo detailed in the linked article:

"In this society, will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile. Can homo contraceptives compete with homo progenitivo if our borders aren't controlled. . . .Perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down. As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion."
When the memo was made public, Walter Cronkite resigned from the board and prominent Hispanic conservative Linda Chavez resigned as President.

Schwarzenegger? He's still on the advisory board.

And its spokesman, James Lubinskas (who apparently resigned this month) was a contributing editor of the August 2003 issue of American Renaissance magazine, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists as a hate group. The magazine is published by Jared Taylor, a leader of the white-supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens, which is also listed by SPLC as a hate group.

So let's see-- you have Bustamante having been a student member of a group that's only relation to racism is a few distorted phrases in a document from 1969 versus Arnie's active role TODAY on the board of a group founded by a leading racist and which hires hate group supporters as its spokesperson.

This is the game folks-- real racists are using the smokescreen of charges of "racism" against Bustamante to debase the term and confuse everyone. This is War is Peace, Hate is Love territory.

It's cynical purposeful propaganda in the best Orwellian tradition.

BTW a must read is the Southern Poverty Law Center's profile of John Tanton and his links to white supremacist organizations. Speaking of Vast Right Wing Conspiracies, it becomes clear that all the various anti-immigrant groups have been funded by Tanton's vehicle, U.S. Inc., with "millions of dollars in financing comes from just a few of his allies, far-right foundations like those controlled by the family of Richard Mellon Scaife." (Yes our old friend who funded all the journalistic and legal attacks on Clinton.) While funding the ostensibly narrow-focus groups like U.S. English, Tanton was able to complement that with funding for virulently anti-latino groups like Glenn Spencer's American Patrol (also known as Voice of Citizens Together).

Another book Hispanophobia has analyzied this convergence of U.S. English with anti-immigrant white supremacists. From an excerpt:

Raul Yzaguiree, president of the National Council of La Raza, minces no words: "U.S. English is to Hispanics as the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks." However harsh that analysis may seem, it is the consensus among Latino leaders, from rightist Cubans to liberal Chicanos to radical Puerto Ricans. English Only has united them like nothing else in recent memory.
And don't buy the token immigrant faces at U.S. English, since it's hard to take them seriously as anything other than avowed enemies of their own communities. It's worth noting that the other founder of U.S. English, former U.S. Senator S. I. Hayakawa, was a defender of the U.S. government's decision to intern Japanese in concentration camps during World War II.

This is how Linda Chavez, Bush's initial nominee for Labor Secretary (who ironically lost the nomination for hiring an illegal immigrant), saw the organization she worked for until her resignation in 1988 once she learned the facts:

Linda Chávez remembers "feeling I was in an absolutely impossible situation." She regarded the [Tanton] memo as "repugnant and not excusable," blatantly "anti-Catholic and anti-Hispanic." As for Tanton's defense that he was merely raising issues for discussion, she countered, "There are ways in which you can ask questions that beg certain answers that are not dispassionate and disinterested."...

Linda Chávez divined a more sinister meaning in all this. Putting together Tanton's memo and funding sources, she saw a clear pattern and knew others would see it too: "This nexus of issues – population control, immigration control, and language policy – certainly gives the impression that [U.S. English] is biased against Hispanics."...

Chávez says that, soon after taking the U.S. English job, she received several abusive letters from members who resigned to protest the appointment of a Hispanic president. Subsequently she commissioned an internal attitude survey to gauge the prevalence of such views, which the organization's pollster called "the redneck factor." It turned out that, among regular contributors to U.S. English, a sizable minority harbored anti-Latino biases. When asked what had prompted them to support the organization, 42 percent endorsed the statement: "I wanted America to stand strong and not cave in to Hispanics who shouldn't be here."

Other former employees of U.S. English are even more blunt:
Katherine Holmes, who served as U.S. English research director in 1988-89, is more blunt in her appraisal of Tanton. "My opinion is that the guy is a racist," she says. "Not in the K.K.K. definition, but as someone who sees the world in terms of groups of people of different colors."...

Tom Olson, former P.R. director for U.S. English and another casualty of Bricker's housecleaning, believes the Tanton network does reflect "a bizarre kind of liberalism." He explains, "They feel they are an elite, an intelligentsia capable of providing leadership, using the powers of government to mold the future. But when you get into what motivates them, they are concerned about shaping demographic trends. They see people – cultural, racial, and immigrant groups – as a negative factor on the environment." For these would-be social engineers, it's a short step from the idea that people cause pollution to the idea that people constitute pollution (some more than others).

And while the organization has tried to play down these facts, it has never really backed off from those views, a fact that Linda Chavez confirms.

Arnold Schwarzenegger sits on the board of directors of a group at the nexus of racist white supremacists, part of a funded network of groups with clear racist hate of latinos. Arnie defends Prop 187. I would normally discount his Nazi father, since no one can choose their parents, but Arnold could choose his associates and he chose John Tanton and his racist white supremacist network.

We know very little about Schwarzenneger's views, but we know that this was a key political organization he has chosen to remain in, even when others on the board have denounced it and resigned. That is all anyone should need to know to see he has no role in government.

Update: Apparently Atrios and I were both slow on this story-- Jeanne D'Arc and Kerim were on the story weeks ago.

P.S. This article adds disturbing history on Arnie's racial views. Back in the 1970s, "Schwarzenegger defended the apartheid system and argued that white South Africans could not turn power over to black South Africans without ruining the nation." He told a fellow bodybuilder- "If you gave these blacks a country to run, they would run it down the tubes."

Posted by Nathan at August 30, 2003 07:35 PM