Fox News and CNN recently hosted Phil Kent of Americans for Immigration Control (AIC) and the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), a group that has ties to white nationalists and “sells ... publications authored by racists and anti-immigrant figures who routinely demonize immigrants,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Moreover, Kent himself has a history of inflammatory rhetoric, including asserting that Barack Obama is a “dangerous, anti-white multiculturalist.”
Fox News, CNN provide platform for Kent to discuss undocumented student
Fox & Friends hosts Kent to discuss undocumented student. On May 14, Fox News' Fox & Friends hosted Kent to discuss a college student in Georgia who was found to be undocumented following a traffic violation. During the segment, Kent criticized the university for allowing the student to attend school and called the university president a “lying weasel” who was trying to get the student to “dodge the criminal charges.” Kent was the only guest during the segment, and at no point did Fox & Friends indicate that Kent's organizations are controversial or press Kent on the extreme claims that he and his groups have advanced.
CNN hosted Kent to discuss student. On May 15, CNN Newsroom hosted Kent to discuss the Georgia college student. Host Don Lemon identified Kent only as “a spokesman for the Americans for Immigration Control” and did not note the controversial backgrounds of Kent's organizations. During the segment, CNN also hosted Angela Kelley of the Center for American Progress, who argued in favor of the student and the university.
Civil rights groups have flagged AIC/AICF as extreme, “hate groups”
Kent works for AICF and AIC. According to his website, Kent “is the executive director of the Monterey, Va.-based American Immigration Control Foundation and the national spokesman for its sister group, Americans for Immigration Control."
ADL: AICF “sells, at a low cost, publications authored by racists and anti-immigrant figures who routinely demonize immigrants.” In a 2008 report titled, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote that AICF "[p]ositions itself as 'a non-profit research and educational organization.' In reality, it sells, at a low cost, publications authored by racists and anti-immigrant figures who routinely demonize immigrants." ADL further noted that “AICF's leader, John Vinson, has affiliated himself with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.” [italics in original]
SPLC lists Kent's organizations as anti-immigrant “hate” groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists “American Immigration Control Foundation/Americans for Immigration Control” as anti-immigrant "hate" groups. SPLC further states:
Founded in 1983, the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF) is an anti-immigration group that has grown more shrill in recent years. AICF's web site suggests that immigrants have “sown the seeds of ethnic strife in America” and that large-scale immigration into America, especially Third World immigration, is “a policy rooted in humanistic pride and the worship of Mammon [a Biblical reference to anti-Christian materialism].”
AICF has been headed by John Vinson since 1990. In the mid-1990s, Sam Francis, who was fired from the conservative Washington Times after penning a racially inflammatory column, was AICF chairman.
Today, Francis is editor of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens' (CCC) monthly tabloid, Citizens Informer. Vinson, who is also editor of the anti-immigration publication Border Watch, often speaks at CCC meetings and is a founding member of the white supremacist League of the South.
AICF is linked to white nationalist groups
AICF is tied to white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC):
- AICF board member reportedly worked with CCC. The American Prospect reported in 2005 that AICF board member Brent Nelson worked with the Council of Conservative Citizens “as director of the council's foundation.”
- Former AICF board chair wrote CCC statement of principles, edited CCC newspaper. Sam Francis, who was reportedly president of the AICF board in the mid-1990s, edited the Citizens Informer, the CCC newspaper, and in 2005, wrote CCC's "Statement of Principles," which states:
We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies. We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
Francis was reportedly fired by The Washington Times in 1995 after stating at an American Renaissance conference, “The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people.” The Washington Times also pointed to Francis's writings “in which he advocated the possible deportation of legal immigrants and forced birth control for welfare mothers,” according to The Washington Post.
- AICF president spoke at CCC conference. According to Political Research Associates, AICF president John Vinson “worked closely with White supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, as a speaker at its conferences and a columnist, and more recently a contributing writer for its publication.” The Winter 1997/98 issue of that publication, Citizens Informer, which was posted by the Center for American Progress, features a photograph of Vinson from a CCC national conference during which Vinson moderated a panel tiled, “Immigration - are we being overrun?” Vinson has also contributed to John Tanton's The Social Contract Press, in which he asserted that “multiculturalism ... subordinates successful Euro-American culture to dysfunctional Third World cultures.”
AICF president wrote for Southern secessionist book. Vinson contributed to The Grey Book: Blueprint for Southern Independence, a publication of The League of the South, a neo-Confederate group. The book argues that “the Southern people” must “secede culturally from a world that is waging cultural genocide against our traditions, our heritage and our values” and then secede politically.
AICF reportedly funded by eugenicist Pioneer Fund. The American Prospect reported in 2005 that AICF “received $180,000 in grants from the Pioneer Fund,” an organization created "in part to promote racial purity" which has "funded research into theories that blacks are genetically inferior to whites," according to The New York Times. Adam Miller reported for Newsday in 1994 that then-president of the Pioneer Fund Harry Weyher “acknowledged that the foundation supports the AICF because the group's political aims coincide with the Fund's ideology.”
AICF contributed to ads in 2004 that some condemned as racial fear-mongering. The Coalition for the Future American Worker (CFAW) is self-described as “an umbrella organization of professional trade groups, population/environment organizations, and immigration reform groups.” Members of the Coalition include AICF, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and NumbersUSA.
According to the April 22, 2004, edition of National Journal's CongressDaily, CFAW ran ads targeting Congress members on immigration reform, which “feature minorities on street corners and sirens in the background.” The Dallas Morning News denounced the ads on April 9, 2004, calling them “as racially tinged as those Willie Horton ads the late Mr. [Lee] Atwater put together for the first President Bush during his 1988 White House bid.” A November 15, 2005, Lincoln Journal Star editorial also said the ads “played upon stereotypical racial fears. They discouraged constructive discussion. Nothing much is going to get done if the dialogue stays stuck at that level.” (articles accessed via the Nexis database)
CFAW ad: “Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together isn't as easy as it used to be.” According to a February 18, 2000, Associated Press article, a 2000 print CFAW ad stated, “Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together isn't as easy as it used to be because many students can't speak English.” Des Moines Register columnist Basu Rekha described the ad as follows: “The children -- mostly black, brown and of indeterminate origin -- look out from the newspaper ad, hands on their hearts, poised to pledge allegiance to the flag. The setting: A classroom in Anytown, America. The twist: The white kids are in a minority.” (articles accessed via Nexis)
AIC has said “mass immigration” is an “effective form” of “ethnic cleansing”
AIC: “Currently, fewer than 15% of our immigrants come from Europe and share the heritage that made America strong.” From AIC's statement on “A Brief History of Immigration” :
Today, the annual tidal wave of over a million immigrants (legal and illegal) is endangering our American way of life. Currently, fewer than 15% of our immigrants come from Europe and share the heritage that made America strong. A majority of today's immigrants are (consciously or unconsciously) undermining our customs, our culture, our language, and our institutions. Instead of remaining in their native lands and emulating the United States, they are descending upon our shores and trying to reshape the United States into the image of the lands they forsook.
Because America's culture, customs, language, and laws are under assault from foreigners who come to live here and, instead of learning the American way of life, choose to impose their own alien cultures, languages, and institutions upon us, we must review our heritage and understand the need to preserve it, lest America self-destruct through ethnic strife.
AIC: “Mass Immigration Is Their Final Solution.” AIC stated in its March 2010 monthly column: “Mass immigration, at least for some of its influential supporters, is an effective form of ethnic and political cleansing -- a demographic 'final solution' for their opponents. And it's not just the case here in America, but throughout the Western world.” The column further stated:
Media propagandists, speaking for Democrat and Republican elites, tell average Americans that we must show “compassion” toward the unending flow of immigration -- which is simply an attempt to manipulate our good nature to serve their evil objectives. If we fail to resist this manipulation, let us be forewarned. As we become marginalized and overwhelmed, we can be sure that the elites and their imported voters will have no compassion on us.
AIC: “You can have harmony, or you can have multicultural diversity, but you can't have them both.” A March 2009 AIC column states that in order for a society to “live and work together without constant hostility and strife,” “a common culture with common values is essential. Mass immigration, and the multiculturalism that inevitably follows in its wake, make harmony impossible... You can have harmony, or you can have multicultural diversity, but you can't have them both.” The column further stated:
Freedom, as our Founding Fathers understood, depends on a society united by common values, particularly those values necessary for the maintenance of liberty such as personal responsibility and respect for the rule of law. Today, thanks to mass immigration, we have a large and growing number of people from countries where our concept of freedom is little understood. And as more keep coming, the less likely it is that they will assimilate to our viewpoints.
Kent has history of inflammatory rhetoric, including calling Obama “the dangerous, anti-white multiculturalist”
Kent called Obama “the dangerous, anti-white multiculturalist.” In an April 29, 2008, column, Kent wrote: “If Obama is the Democrat nominee, Middle American voters must ultimately ask: Is it John McCain or Obama who is the dangerous, anti-white multiculturalist?”
Kent blames “multiculturalism” for gang crime. In a January 4, 2010, column titled, “Multiculturalism's gift: Rising gang crime,” Kent wrote:
Unless there is a moratorium on legal immigration coupled with stepped-up enforcement efforts to significantly curb illegal immigration, then this country will be radically transformed demographically. It will be highlighted by more and more gang atrocities like that at Richmond High which, by the way, rarely occurred in the United States before “multiculturalism” and “open borders” became liberalism's dominant dogmas.
Kent: “Illegal immigrants are wage thieves.” In a May 22, 2005, op-ed published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kent wrote: “Illegal immigrants are wage thieves. America has become less of a middle-class nation because of the quadrupling of immigration
legal and illegal
and has become more of a society of wide economic disparities.” (accessed via Nexis)
Kent claimed Bush's “amnesty” plan would “balkanize” U.S. Discussing President Bush's immigration reform proposal -- which Kent characterized as “amnesty” -- Kent wrote in a January 1, 2004, op-ed in the Journal-Constitution: "[P]assage [of Bush's immigration reform plan] would further balkanize the 'United States' by fostering a Third World underclass that basically does not want to learn English or participate in mainstream American culture." (accessed via Nexis)
Kent: “Isn't it obvious in many areas that Mexicans are pushing out Americans, refusing to speak English and establishing de facto Mexican enclaves?” In a March 28, 2006, op-ed in The Washington Times, Kent wrote: “If our borders are not controlled and immigration law enforced, will we truly be a 'United States' in another 10 years or a completely balkanized, multicultural society with English downgraded as the common tongue?” Kent continued: “The Mexican government promotes reconquista in the Southwest. Isn't it obvious in many areas that Mexicans are pushing out Americans, refusing to speak English and establishing de facto Mexican enclaves?” (accessed via Nexis)
Kent launched sexist attacks against Hillary Clinton, Martha Burk. A July 6, 2003, Journal-Constitution article noted that in his 2003 book, The Dark Side of Liberalism: Unchaining the Truth, Kent wrote that Hillary Clinton is “the Left's supreme battle-ax.” According to the article, Kent also called women's rights activist Martha Burk a “feminist harpie” in the book. (accessed via Nexis)
“Many readers, both black and white, believed Kent to be a racist” when he was editor at GA paper
As head of editorial board of Augusta Chronicle, Kent was seen by “many readers, both black and white” as racially biased against African-Americans. An April 2001 Journal-Constitution article stated that Kent worked at the Augusta Chronicle for “25 years” ; the Chronicle noted in a May 2004 article that Kent directed its editorial page from 1982 to 2000. The Journal-Constitution reported on October 2, 1994, that “many readers, both black and white, believe Kent to be a racist” (articles accessed via Nexis):
Many blacks remain convinced the Chronicle is racially biased. Leslie Pollard, a history professor at historically black Paine College in Augusta, conducted a study of the editorial page several years ago. He found that about 10 percent of the editorials related to racial subjects, and he characterized 96 percent of those as unfavorable to the black community.
“Generally there were terms that were kind of catch words,” said Pollard, citing an editorial that referred to “so-called segregation.”
Pollard also surveyed 291 black professionals in Augusta on their attitudes about the Chronicle, and 97 percent of those who responded said it was unfair to African-Americans, he said.
Pollard has seen no evidence that Morris, who is on the board of directors of his college, is personally antagonistic toward blacks. But many readers, both black and white, believe Kent to be a racist.
One such person is David Johnston, a legal researcher who worked on the University of Georgia newspaper, the Red and Black, in the late 1980s and who studied Kent's 1970s writings at UGA. Johnston said Kent's own columns at the Red and Black, as well as his other activities on campus, reveal a racial intolerance that permeates many Chronicle editorials today.
Kent was a member of a debating club called the Demosthenian Society and was president of the group for one academic quarter. Minutes of Demosthenian meetings from that era, on file in the UGA archives, contain racial epithets and suggestions that conservative students should begin “klanning” together.
At one meeting in 1974, after the Demosthenian members approved a resolution condemning blacks on campus, the evening turned into “a forum for discussion of the Race Problem in general,” according to the minutes. Kent began reading from a book titled “The Rebel Underground,” which predicted integration would “lead to the miscegenation of our race and the destruction of our culture.”
Kent said that at Demosthenian meetings, he often argued for positions he did not personally believe in. For example, he said, he once advocated communism as the best economic system.
When asked if his statements on integration at the Demosthenian Hall reflected his personal beliefs, Kent said, “What's this got anything to do with my role as editorial page editor? All I'm going to say is I consider myself a Christian; I don't hate anybody.”
Participants in Chronicle roundtable “made it clear they believe The Chronicle has been a major contributor to Augusta's racial problems.” A May 9, 2004, Chronicle article stated (accessed via Nexis):
When The Augusta Chronicle kicked off its yearlong project on race relations in January, one of its goals was to examine the perceived causes of racial tension in the area.
As part of that examination, the newspaper decided it had to take a look at the role some people accuse it of playing in creating divisiveness.
In a recent roundtable discussion conducted by the newspaper, most of the 14 area residents and community leaders - eight black and six white - invited to the forum made it clear they believe The Chronicle has been a major contributor to Augusta's racial problems.
Most of the participants' animosity toward the newspaper was directed at the editorial page, particularly when it was under the direction of Phil Kent from 1982 to 2000. Mr. Kent was reviled by many black leaders for what they believe were unfair attacks on minority officials and inaccurate characterizations of them.
Several panelists said the section become more balanced and moderate under Suzanne Downing, who replaced Mr. Kent as editorial page editor in 2000, and that the moderation has continued under Michael Ryan.