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New skins for old whines…

2 April 2009

Is green the new white?  Via Stace Medellin’s “Dos Centavos” (which focuses on the overlapping fields of Mexican-American and Houston area Democratic Party politics) I learned about “Progressives For Immigration Reform” — which promotes a more environmentally-friendly version of white supremacism.

Progressives for Immigration Reform is the latest in a series of “progressive” front groups set up by John Tanton to  present a plausible excuse for racism and, more to the point, limiting U.S. immigration to the “right kind” of people (white ones from Europe).  The rationale this time is that “those people” aren’t as environmentally conscious as Europeans or white middle-class U.S. nationals, therefore will never be environmentally conscious, therefore are a drain on resources.  This on top of Tantton’s claims that immigrants don’t practice birth control (which has more to do with U.S. health care policy, Mexico… the largest source of U.S. immigrants … having one of the world’s best records on making birth control available to all, and on sex education).

Tanton was originally involved in Zero Population Growth, which was a fairly respectable idea back in the 1970s, but the organiztion veered into racial stereotyping (assuming that high birthrates among non-European countries were somehow innate, and not a reflection of two important 20th century events — the nearly continuous warfare in Europe in the 20th century up unil the 1950s which killed off a lot of “white” people and the emancipation of women… a job being the best birth control life there is).  With ZPG eventually losing progessive support, Tanton moved to the Sierra Club, pushing the idea that non-whites (specificially Latin Americans, and more specifically Mexicans) were environmentally dangerous.  His baleful influence on the Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups is still felt here locally in Mazatlan, where the tuna fleet is harbored.  We can’t sell tuna in the United States because of specific “dolphin safe” rules designed not to save dolphins (Mexican dolfin-safe tuna is available, and Mexican fleets use the recommended nets that prevent dolphin deaths), but because… well… it’s Mexican tuna.  When the Sierra Club got to the point where they were lobbying Congress to prevent Mexican tuna sales on the grounds that cocaine COULD be smuggled in cans of tuna (as opposed to dolphins, which was the whole issue), I don’t think I’m the only one who realized the respected environmental organiztion had gone around the bend.

Tanton went on to found the reasonable sounding “FAIR” — Federation for American Immigration Reform” — the “reform” being envisioned being restrictive immigration, even more arcane legal hurdles for would-be immigrants and outright racial stereotyping.  When last July two Pennsylvania yahoos beat Luis Ramirez to death, in what was a racially motivated hate crime, FAIR was falling all over itself to distance itself from the conclusion that its own inflamatory rhetoric on immigration might have some effect on people.

FAIR’s media outlets being more and more those associated with the far right and the lunatic fringe (Lou Dobbs reguarly includes their information on his television program),  its time for a new, improved, greener and cleaner racism.  So… Progressives for Immigration Reform.  Given that one of the usual side complaints about immigration (the less than legal kind) is that people wandering through the desert leave stuff behind — i.e., litter — I expect they’ll be focusing on that.  It sound better for people to claim they’re not against immigrants, but they are against littering.

I notice, being supposedly “progressive,” the newest whine from this group is that economic stimulus assistance might reach “illegal” immigrants.  So?  The point is to get consumers to spend money.  OH well, idiocy marches on.

It’s not easy being green. Or progressive.

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