New evidence has come to light that indicates that Blacks for Equal Rights Coalition (BFERC) is a front group for the anti-immigrant John Tanton Network, and working to manipulate the immigration dialogue within the African American community.
It’s not the first time the Tanton Network has attempted to drive a wedge between Blacks and immigrants.
In 2006, Choose Black America (CBA), a similar front group, was launched by Tanton Network group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The leader of CBA and primary spokesperson was Ted Hayes. At the time, CBA heralded itself as “the voice of Black America.” CBA is now defunct. However, a couple of years later, a handful of CBA members, including Hayes, formed another group, America’s Black Shield.
BFERC, founded by America’s Black Shield member Chanell Temple, raised red flags this summer when it listed FAIR as the sponsor of an African-American community outreach summit on immigration.
And BFERC recently condemned a Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored employment event claiming that the Caucus has “sold out” the Black community and that jobs have been given away to “illegal aliens” for too long. What the group fails to mention is that FAIR, its sponsor, is the cornerstone of a network that has deep ties to white nationalism.
Anti-immigrant leaders place blame for the loss of American jobs squarely on the backs of immigrants; however, according to economist Dr. Steven Pitts, the employment crisis facing Africans Americans began long before the rise in immigration.
Labor statistics shows that there is no correlation between rising rates of immigration and Black unemployment. Lack of job opportunities for African Americans/Blacks is due, in part, to: substandard education across grades K-12, the expansion of the prison industrial complex, attacks on the historical presence of unions, and structural racism and systemic discrimination.
It is unimaginable that real leadership in the African American community would align itself to front groups that have ties to white nationalist organizations.
This new front group appears to be part of a renewed attempt by the Tanton Network to sway the discourse on jobs and immigration. For example:
- Leah Durante, executive director for Progressive for Immigration Reform (PFIR), another Tanton front group, chimed in with anti-immigrant op-ed on “jobs” and immigrants;
- Last week, NumbersUSA ran a “jobs” ad during a national GOP Debate featuring a cast of actors spinning lines like, the immigration debate “should not be about the color of people’s skin;”
- This week, FAIR’s website, ImmigrationReform.com, posted a “jobs” and immigration related article; the third in as many weeks; and
- The BFERC website currently questions if the White House “jobs” plan is for Americans.
Nativist groups NumbersUSA, FAIR, PFIR, and others, purport to be concerned about saving jobs for Americans, particularly for African Americans. Let’s not be duped.
Anti-immigrant nativists have never, and will never, actually care what happens to African Americans ―or any people of color. It’s still about racism, bigotry and discrimination.
BFERC must not be allowed to advance an agenda that spreads dissension between African Americans, Blacks and immigrants. Nor can they be allowed to derail an honest, open and sensible discussion on the impact of immigration in this country.