Our VoiceImmigration

Tanton’s Ideology Lives On

Stephen Piggott • May 04, 2011

The debate continues about when and why exactly white nationalist John Tanton left the board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group he founded over 30 years ago. What is not in question, however, is Tanton’s continued influence on the anti-immigrant movement in the United States.

In a recent article on the racist website VDARE.com, a former FAIR board member and current FAIR advisory board member, Donald A. Collins, published an excerpt of a response he wrote to Tanton regarding passing on his ideologies.

Collins stated,

“You are so right about the importance of thinking positively about extending our mortal impact through our successors. You have started so many of us involved in seeking real immigration reform on a path which has been difficult but essential for the nation to grasp and act upon. I am more hopeful now than in some time about gaining real goals.”

Tanton has actively sought to extend his influence and ideology over the groups he has founded and others for years. Tantons papers in the University of Michigan Bentley Library are his life’s work and correspondence put there by Tanton to preserve his legacy. The above quote shows that Tanton is not only concerned with passing on his ideology but his encouraging others who have similar views to do the same.

Though Tanton is now fading from public life and no longer has an active position with FAIR, his fingerprints remain on the anti-immigrant movement. Tanton’s ideologies have been passed down from him and his peers, such as Otis Graham and Donald A. Collins, to a new generation of leadership, all of whom have close connections with Tanton.

The leaders of the three main anti-immigrant groups in the country, FAIR, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA all have lengthy connections to Tanton. Dan Stein, president of FAIR, worked directly with Tanton and called him a “renaissance man.” Roy Beck of NumbersUSA worked as the Washington editor of Tanton’s journal The Social Contract, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of CIS, has written in Tanton’s journal,  attended Tanton’s writers workshop events and was in frequent correspondence with Tanton.

Even in his absence, Krikorian, Beck and Stein will continue to pass on Tanton’s ideology.

Tanton’s statements about non-whites, his promotion of eugenics and his statements surrounding an “invasion” by “the other” constitute an ideology that is disturbing to say the least.  FAIR, NumbersUSA and CIS have clearly been influenced by this ideology.  Each organization has ties to white nationalists, white nationalist organizations, or has expressed blatant racism throughout their decades of existence.

It took over 30 years for Tanton to be exposed by national media outlets like The New York Times and The Rachel Maddow Show…

It shouldn’t take another 30 to expose those who are carrying on his legacy.

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