Shirley and I were certainly earnest products of the '60s college scene.
We spent a good part of our first date in January 1967 discussing Martin Luther King and getting excited that we shared very similar concerns about racial discrimination.
The recessional that I wrote for the folk group at our wedding in 1970 included lyrics pledging our marriage to fighting the race hatred that so permeated our society at that time.
Yes, we were earnest and I was a little full of myself (well, I guess that may be an immutable trait). But for four decades we have tried to live that and the other vows we made at the wedding. We listened again to the audio tape of the ceremony Friday night as we began celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary weekend. We found ourselves marveling at how our reasonably faithful commitment to a racially tolerant and integrated society is now subject to a nationally concerted campaign of lies by open-border advocates in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of NumbersUSA's grassroots mobilizations.
The idea is to raise doubts among politicians, media and other big influencers about NumbersUSA's efforts by endlessly hurling and printing epithets charging that Roy Beck -- the founder and CEO of NumbersUSA -- is somehow soft on racism and white supremacy (and maybe even a secret guru of these rancid philosophies).
Most of these bloggers have never met me and don't have the slightest idea whether what they are writing has an ounce of truth (which it doesn't). It doesn't matter to these open-borders advocates that the innuendo creates an image that essentially is the opposite of the truth. There is hardly a pro-high-immigration organization or website that does not stoop to this Debate By Epithet now. I'm sure that they believe their cause is a holy crusade that justifies bearing false witness and character assassination. Truth simply does not matter, and the racial epithets against me are repeated even among the large national organizations such as Huffington Post, the National Council of La Raza and the Center for American Progress run by Pres. Clinton's chief of staff John Podesta. All of them seem willing without batting an eye to condone this hateful, race-baiting name-calling as long as it is directed at somebody advocating an immigration policy they don't support.
Many of these groups and websites were at last Sunday's pro-amnesty march. I was accused repeatedly of being a bigot, a purveyor of hate and a white supremacist. These are the same lovely biographical bullet points that they print on fliers distributed every place I speak. These are the libelous vilifications they use to try to intimidate editors, event organizers and other opinion leaders to silence our voice.
A revealing expose of how some of the epithet campaign works was released this month by Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative journalist Jerry Kammer.
I apologize if I appear defensive. But just in case any of you who rely on NumbersUSA for immigration leadership start to wonder if there might be at least something to the slurs against me/us, let me just tell you a quick story of Shirley's and my 40 years of marriage.
- Right off the bat when we went looking for our first house in 1973 in Michigan, Realtors steered us away from "salt and pepper" neighborhoods. We got a new Realtor and said we would ONLY buy in a racially integrated neighborhood.
- In the next three cities and states, we followed the same rule of house-buying and, thus, ended up with our kids in some of the non-Whitest schools of the regions.
- In Dallas, we volunteered our young sons for the court-ordered racial busing program, sending them to a school in the middle of the highest-crime public housing complex in the city. They exchanged sleepovers with the great friends they made there.
- In most months for the last 20 years, individuals hailing from every continent have been present in our home.
- During my 25 years as a journalist, I often aggressively reported where I felt there were racial disparities and worked to break stereotypes where I could.
Seriously, I don't know what the open-borders groups and bloggers know about white supremists or people with "ties to white supremicists," but the above selections of biography just don't match.
Don't get me wrong. We are not pioneers in this area. We have not made big sacrifices. We have simply been deliberate in most situations of our lives about fidelity to the new racial paradigm that began to prevail in the 1960s. Our sons and their wives move effortlessly in multi-racial personal and professional societies that were rare when we were that age.
When reading the racial epithets tossed so casually at me by the high-immigration forces, Shirley often says, "I wouldn't live with the man they are describing."
All of that personal background was there when I formed NumbersUSA in 1996 to carry out the immigration recommendations of Black civil rights champion Barbara Jordan and her bi-partisan national commission. My books and other writings have always emphasized the special importance of not allowing immigration to harm the still-unfinished process of full economic integration of the Black American descendants of slaves. Now that reckless immigration has created a huge Hispanic underclass, I also give special attention to formulating an immigration policy that does not further the disproportionate poverty and suffering among Hispanic Americans.
Not surprisingly, NumbersUSA reflects my pan-racial sensibilities.
NumbersUSA rejects choosing immigrants by race. We reject using immigration to achieve some kind of racial end. We reject categorization of immigrants or anybody else based on supposed racial characteristics.
These have always been NumbersUSA's positions.
And they were part of Shirley's and my wedding vows of 40 years ago.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA