I've recently been getting emails like this one:
"I'm sure you guys know but just in case you don't, ALIPAC is scrubbing its site of any and all links to VDARE.COM, including any wording or stories from VDARE.COM, and nothing from VDARE.COM is allowed on the site starting now. That ninnie is going to alienate everybody out there sooner or later!…Sigh. The "ninnie" to whom our reader refers is North Carolina political entrepreneur Bill Gheen, [Email him] who runs ALIPAC[Americans For Legal Immigration] and who has indeed alienated many people in the patriotic immigration reform movement by what I can economically describe as his abrasive self-seeking. Nevertheless, because I think Gheen is in the end on the right side of the immigration issue, I am going to turn the other cheek and retain our own hyperlinks to him, with this explanation.
"Keep up the great work."
Gheen's justification for his behavior:
"Please do not post anymore articles sourced from VDARE. For the last five years, ALIPAC has been supportive of VDARE although VDARE rarely did anything in return to help us. We had to avoid one or two of the authors they published there because their works were too racially charged.(sic various spelling etc. errors. We're rotten proofreaders too.)
"While we still support many of the authors that are published through VDARE, links to VDARE and VDARE exclusive works are no longer welcome in ALIPAC's archives which are the largest and most visited archives on the topic of illegal immigration in existence.
"The decision to exclude VDARE from ALIPAC.us was made after numerous attempts to get Peter Brimlow of VDARE to stop attacks made on ALIPAC from VDARE.
"VDARE not only published false and derogatory accusations about ALIPAC, but did so with a complete lack of journalism integrity citing "anonymous DC insider" sources for their attacks on us.
"We asked Brimlow numerous times to remove the false, offensive, derrogatory, and unprofessionally sources attacks on ALIPAC and he refused.
"Thus, all links to VDARE on our site are being removed and VDARE materials are no longer welcome at ALIPAC."
To deal with these claims in turn:
(1) As I have repeatedly explained to Gheen, VDARE.COM is a 501(c)(3) charity and our lawyers tell us there are serious legal limits on what it can do with a Political Action Committee like ALIPAC, which raises money to support electoral campaigns, or is supposed to.
But we have mentioned Gheen and ALIPAC many times (see hereand here)–for example, ironically, when he attacked GOP publicist Jim Robinson and his FreeRepublic site for banning Gheen himself and other opponents of Bush's amnesty from posting to FR on the grounds that they were racists, extremists blah blah blah.
(2) What Gheen calls our "attacks" on him was actually one (1) reference in one (1) article by our "Washington Watcher" , about the June 5 Phoenix, AZ rally in support of SB 1070. (Tragically, this turned out to be the last rally graced by the oratory of the great African American immigration patriot Terry Anderson.)
Like everybody else in the patriotic immigration reform movement, I knew through email traffic that Gheen had quarreled with the organizers, allegedly because he wanted a different date more convenient to himself. As Washington Watcher reported, Gheen thereupon
"[A]ttempted to derail the protest by parroting absurd guilt-by-association claims made by the violent left wing group One Peoples Project against organizer Dan Smeriglio. The extent of the accusations involved the fact that Smeriglio had accepted Facebook friend requests from people who turned out to be alleged white supremacists. Of course, nobody pointed to anything objectionable that Smeriglio had said or done.(Links in original).
"Whatever Gheen's motivations—personal and/or ideological—his smears have no place in the patriotic immigration reform movement. And they did him no favors. In fact, they led the Left to look at his own Facebook friends and find supposed neo-Nazis as well. Gheen's smears did, however, open the door for the SPLC and Main Stream Media…"
Dropping the atom bomb R-smear on someone because of a couple of his Facebook friends is obviously a pretty crazy thing to do. Smeriglio (who anyway deleted them immediately in approved PC cringe mode) had no doubt accepted all Facebook friend requests automatically, as do many people in public life including me. And who cares anyway?
But Gheen does have a crazy streak, at least when he sees something in it for himself. Thus he has been the only immigration reform patriot reckless enough to try to make an issue of Senator Lindsey Graham's alleged homosexuality.
What is truly reprehensible, however, is that Gheen would do anything that might threaten Rep. Tom Tancredo, America's leading immigration reform patriot and a true gentleman. Yet Gheen's emailsmearing the June 5 rally was gratuitously headed "Tom Tancredo Is Making A Huge Mistake". (With typical generosity, Tancredo ended up speaking at both meetings, Gheen having stomped off completely).
(3) When Gheen began emailing me about the Washington Watcher article, I was intermittently incommunicado on the long trek back from Hans Herman Hoppe's Property and Freedom Society conferencein Turkey. Nevertheless, I told him VDARE.COM would publish a letter from him putting his case.
But Gheen refused my offer. Instead, he demanded I "retract or remove" Washington Watcher's discussion, giving me a 24 hours deadline, by which point I was somewhere over the Atlantic.I still think my offer was fair. And it still stands.
(4) ALIPAC, like FreeRepublic, is one of these websites that makes a living by ripping off others' original work and letting readers comment. I have more or less giving up complaining about this sort of thing, although VDARE.COM never saw much traffic from ALIPAC, which despite Gheen's bombast does not seem to be a heavily-read site (alas).
But it does put Gheen in an impossible logical bind. Either VDARE.COM's material is valuable to immigration reform patriots, in which case he should not be removing it out of personal pique; or it is not, in which case he should not have posted it in the first place. His postings were no mere aberration. In one of his threatening emails, Gheen told me that ALIPAC had "over 1600? (!!!) links to us.
Similarly, judging from the fact that Gheen in his emails to me continued to describe poor Smeriglio as a "neo nazi kid" without offering anything other than his ludicrous Facebook "evidence", I wouldn't put it past him to discover now that VDARE.COM is a "neo nazi" site. But what kind of discovery is this, made after "over 1600? links—and triggered only by our declining to suppress criticism of Gheen's personal conduct?
Bottom line here: if you want to read e.g. Ed Rubenstein's uniqueanalyses of immigrant displacement of American workers, you won't get it on ALIPAC. You'll have to come to VDARE.COM. Better site anyway.
(5) Based on several years' acquaintance, I'd say that Gheen is not a deep thinker or even a particularly gifted political strategist. (He's recently been trying to dig out of the problems caused by his typical newbie error of focusing only on illegal immigration. And anyone so scared of the SPLC –note his cowardly reference above to not linking to our writers who are "racially charged" i.e. address non-PC topics—is not long for the patriotic immigration reform world).
But Gheen is unquestionably an energetic and enterprising activist. And a great political movement, such as the cause of patriotic immigration reform, needs a very wide range of personality types.It also needs a level of wisdom and maturity, which I will now provide: I wish Gheen great success; I think his email bulletins are worth reading, mostly; I hope he elects lots of immigration patriots, when he gets around to spending money on their campaigns; I even hope he personally makes a lot of money doing so—why not, since we hope the same for trial lawyers suing illegal aliens' employers.
VDARE.COM will continue where appropriate to publicize Gheen's work, as we do the work of wimpish Beltway organizations who won't link to us and other immigration patriots who have thrown temper tantrums at us, including one who owes us several thousand dollars.
The patriotic immigration reform movement will get nowhere if it allows itself to be influenced, however hypocritically, by thisextraordinary and paralyzing paranoia.
Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple(HarperCollins - 2003)