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Ingraham & FAIR Make Strange Bedfellows

Jill Garvey • Aug 10, 2010

The Federation for American Immigration Reform is featuring conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in its new campaign to support the recently enforced anti-immigrant law SB 1070 in Arizona.

On a website called borderbands.com, dedicated to the sale of wristbands to fund anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), is a prominent photo of Laura Ingraham showing off her “border band.” The border bands campaign may have a separate fairborderbandswebsite from FAIR, but don’t let that fool you. As this video featuring FAIR president Dan Stein clearly illustrates, FAIR is driving the fundraising campaign.

At first glance the Ingraham connection may not seem so far-fetched. But it’s an odd endorsement considering FAIR founder John Tanton’s sketchy advocacy of population control and eugenics. John Tanton founded or helped to fund over a dozen organizations commonly referred to as the Tanton Network, and he did it in part with the help of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that supports racial eugenics.

The Tanton Network boasts many groups whose sole purpose is to argue for population stabilization, including Negative Population Growth and America’s Leadership Team for Long Range Population-Immigration-Resource Planning.
Donald Mann, the head of Negative Population Growth once stated, “We should give incentives to low-income people who agree to sterilization.”

In light of Laura Ingraham’s staunch pro-life stance it’s a wonder she would feel comfortable publicly supporting FAIR - founded 30 years ago by Tanton to address his obsession with racial eugenics, population growth, scarcity of resources, and more specifically which population group would have control of said resources. Ingraham is even opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, which is nothing compared to the pseudo-science eugenics. Eugenics has a sordid history in this country. According to the author of War Against the Weak, Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, Edwin Black,

American eugenic crusades proliferated into a worldwide campaign, and in the 1920s came to the attention of Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazis, American eugenic principles were applied without restraint, careening out of control into the Reich’s infamous genocide. During the pre-War years, American eugenicists openly supported Germany’s program.

The same eugenicists who openly supported Nazi Germany also appeared as witnesses before Congress to advocate against immigration in the 1920s. Despite being almost wholly renounced and reviled around the world after World War II, eugenics did survive. Sterilization programs remained intact into the 1980s in some states.

Perhaps Ingraham is unwittingly being used by FAIR as its postergirl. Or perhaps she just isn’t aware of the entirety of FAIR’s ideological proclivities. Either way, this probably won’t square with her conservative compass when she finds out.

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