Typically, my highly visible calls last week to reduce immigration for the sake of the U.S. environment have been met by attempts to say that my/our environmental concerns are just cloaks to cover up true racist motives. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want to say a few things about NumbersUSA's position on race, and also to appeal to all readers to challenge these words of false witness wherever you encounter them on the internet.
First, one of the more thoughtful blogs in response to my Senate testimony:
Roy Beck says same-sex immigration increases the U.S. population, thus it is not environment-friendly. He needs to kill himself first.
--- Han Lee's website
Here's another one about NumbersUSA:
They can dress themselves up in fuzzy green sheets, they've still got the white ones on underneath. This is a long time neo-nazi run and affiliated organization. Scrubbing their website and changing the public reasons for opposing immigration doesn't change that.
-- a commenter identified as Brillo on the Daily Kos
Beneath the ugly villification by Brillo is one of the most common falsehoods that shows up on these websites. You will see constant claims that NumbersUSA has only recently started making environmental arguments about the need to reduce immigration.
In fact, though, environmental and quality-of-life population arguments have been prominent on the NumbersUSA website since its inception in 1996. And that is the same year that my Immigration By The Numbers video was produced, making these arguments. Along the way, we have added staff and hundreds of thousands of members who approach the need for immigration reduction for a number of reasons. But we don't use any of the reasons to disguise other reasons.
The open-borders people seem to have become unglued by our recent efforts. The jobs video we recently posted on YouTube is full of concern for vulnerable Americans, particularly for Black Americans, with several of the on-camera speakers being Black and Hispanic. The video is so reasonable and so compassionate that it has sent some people over the edge.
From the hatemongering organization, Center for New Community:
For Beck and NumbersUSA bigotry is like an addictive drug. When you're an addict you will lie, cheat and steal to hold on to your drugs. With the launch of NumbersUSA's new video, Beck moves from being a bigotry addict to being its pusher.
-- Eric Ward of the Center for New Community
A NumbersUSA member posted the following as a comment on my Friday blog about blogosphere notice of my Senate testimony on environmental/population issues:
A blog, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/7/739587/-The-charming-racism-of-NumbersUSA is anti- NumbersUSA. . . . He makes a connection between NumbersUSA and white supremacists, which doesn't describe today's NumbersUSA website, whatever its past may have been.
-- William8693 of Utah
I appreciate William's belief in us and willingness to accept that any transgressions in the past have been rectified.
But "whatever our past may have been" was the same as what we are now. NumbersUSA has never had connections with white supremacists -- not in the past, not in the present, not in the future.
The environmental argument against high immigration is so upsetting and challenging to many liberal Americans that they resort to fabricating a myth that those perpetrating the environmental argument are really just racists hiding behind arguments that are acceptable to mainstream Americans.
Neither I nor NumbersUSA can claim liberal purity (since I am a middle-of-the-road Independent and NumbersUSA staff and members run from right-wing to left-wing). But there are many full-scale, politically liberal Americans -- inside NumbersUSA and outside -- who agree with Pres. Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development that environmental sustainability in the U.S. is not possible without U.S. population stabilization, which requires immigration reduction.
Open-borders liberals can't stand it that liberals who agree with them on all kinds of other things nonetheless argue for reduced immigration numbers. So, people like the Daily Kos blogger resort to calling their fellow liberals "racists."
We find this kind of junk all the time on the internet. We have pretty thick skin, but allowing those charges to be unanswered can keep thoughtful and sensitive people from joining our cause.
It seems like the charge of racism caused "William8693 of Utah" to wonder about our past. Even though he was sure from what he sees from us now that we aren't racist, his comment makes it seem like he might think there was a little bit of something to the charge hurled at us.
I want all of you to feel convinced enough that there is nothing to the charge so that you aggressively challenge every time you see something like this anywhere in the blogosphere. (And that is exactly what William of Utah did. Thanks, William.)
A lot of the charges of racism against the immigration-reduction movement have come as the result of almost a decade of investigations by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is part of the large open-border consortium of national groups. It spends a lot of time seeking ways to label groups that disagree with its pro-amnesty agenda as being "hate groups."
Despite the SPLC's years of research on NumbersUSA, it has never found a single action or writing that it has designated as "hateful."
Nor has the SPLC ever described anything that I have ever done apart from NumbersUSA that has been racist or hateful, although it doesn't like some of the environmentalists with whom I have associated who they say have associated with hateful people.
I think intelligent people understand that guilt-by-degrees-of-association is illogical because none of us can be held accountable for everything our friends and professional acquaintances may do -- or accountable for everybody they may know.
The race-mongers have tried for years to undermine NumbersUSA's work with false witness about racism.
But no mainstream media reporters have ever bought the lies. That is telling. Even regular journalists who are biased against immigration reduction have refused to spread racism rumors about us because they are so obviously false. As anybody who reads our website and Alerts can see, we are pretty much the opposite of the race-obsessed creatures the open-borders people describe.
The Daily Kos blogger tries to partly make his case by referring to places on the internet where my blogs have appeared as if NumbersUSA authorized those postings. In fact, we have pretty much given up trying to control where our blogs post. We put our blogs on our website and have nothing to do with who might pick them up in whole or in part.
NumbersUSA from its beginning in 1996 has stated that it does not believe that race should be a consideration in our immigration policies or in our immigration debate. If somebody who does think race should be a consideration happens to post one of our blogs or quote us, that in no way implies that we agree with that person or organization. It just means, apparently, that they agree with us.
I get very agitated when I read blogs like that one on Daily Kos because it amounts to character assassination. Anybody who actually knows our organization or knows me understands that charges of racism are absolute nonsense. The only charges through my career that may have some basis may be that I am biased in favor of the descendants of our country's slavery and native peoples policies who are stuck in the underclass. I do have writing and actions that lend credence to that charge of bias.
I encourage and would sincerely appreciate it if all of you would write comments to challenge these kinds of character assassinations of me and NumbersUSA wherever you encounter them.
Interesting that one of the 10 Commandments that have been revered since the ancient Hebrews is that people should not bear false witness against other people. It stands right there along with the prohibition against murder and stealing. False witness is serious stuff, and I won't sit idly by while our moral-high-ground movement is victimized by it.
The Daily Kos blogger does something that is really common in the blogosphere: Wherever we have said that "immigration" has caused a problem, he substitutes "Mexicans," "brown people," or "Hispanics" to make his case that we are after people because of their race or national origin. In fact, though, we never single out ethnic groups in that way. The blogger also suggests that we don't object to immigration from European countries, when we have always made it clear that we do not seek increases in European immigration and hope to reduce that small component along with the rest.
I'm not going to put up a website called "WeCanStopTheHatemongering.com," but I really do think we can reduce the hateful rhetoric against immigration reduction by challenging it every place it appears.
(If you read the offending Daily Kos blogger, please note that every environmental argument the blogger makes is easily refuted and that I intend to take on one major contention soon.)