Our VoiceImmigration

“Leaders” who promote false notion of competition between African Americans and immigrants still connected to anti-immigrant groups

Charlotte Williams • Mar 16, 2011

In 2006, the John Tanton Network of anti-immigrant groups, which include FAIR, Center for Immigration Studies, and NumbersUSA, launched Choose Black America to serve as an African-American front group for the anti-immigrant movement. One of the “leaders” it chose to serve as a spokesperson was Ted Hayes. Jim Gilchrist, head of the anti-immigrant group the Minuteman Project once called Hayes the “icon of the African-American segment” of the border vigilante movement.

Similarly, when the Network’s seed group, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), wanted to appear pro-Latino a few years back, it recruited virulent minuteman leader and Mexican-American Rosanna Pulido to head up its You Dont Speak for Me coalition – a front group that unsuccessfully tried to trick established Latino communities into thinking that immigrants were budging them in line for the American dream.

Back in 2006, Rosanna Pulido and Choose Black America coordinated efforts to generate publicity in Chicago, hosting a “civil rights workshop.” The only black Chicagoan to attend the event had been invited earlier in the day while demonstrating in opposition to Choose Black America. The Center for New Community’s former Which Way Forward organizer, Eric Ward, said he “couldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness firsthand the black face of white nationalism.”

Many others got to witness it as well when Ted Hayes told a largely-white crowd at an anti-immigrant rally in Phoenix on June 5, 2010, that it didnt need to apologize for slavery, stating:

“White people didn’t start slavery, no, it started in Africa. That’s where it started. And we are just as responsible in this as anyone else. And I will say to you, that you my white brothers and sisters have come closer to us black people than we have come to you. And I apologize for that.”

Hayes’ faulty analysis dismisses both the insidiousness of structural racism in this country and offers a reckless apology for the state of race relations.

Choose Black America is now almost completely inactive; however, that hasn’t stopped its “leadership” from continuing to shill for the anti-immigrant movement.

Another Choose Black America leader, Frank Morris, currently sits on the board of directors of the Center for Immigration Studies. He also sits on the board of directors for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Morris is the vice president of Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) (led by a former FAIR staffer), and the Chairman of Alliance for a Sustainable USA. Alliance for Sustainable USA’s executive director, Yeh Ling-Ling, is on FAIR’s national board of advisers. Alliance for Sustainable USA’s vice chair is also on FAIR’s board of advisers.

Morris once held the position of Chairman with Choose Black America. Ted Hayes acknowledged that the group’s kickoff press conference in May 2006 was funded by FAIR, and he was only able to name two other members of the group – Frank Morris, of course, was one of them.

To this day, anti-immigrant groups continue to exploit the false notion that immigrants and African Americans must compete with one another for prosperity.

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