In only three months since founding the California grassroots immigration reform organization Save Our State, 27-year old Joe Turner has mobilized two successful rallies—in San Bernardino and Redondo Beach —to protest hiring illegal aliens.
At the same time, Turner is organizing a national boycott of Home Depot to protest its "partnership" with La Raza to recruit more Spanish-speaking employees.
Turner is a rookie compared to most of the grizzled veterans in the movement. Even so, he has been fighting illegal immigration for over a decade. In 1994, Turner gave an impassioned speech in support of Proposition 187 in his high school cafeteria.
Turner recalls that "they loved me"— although his high-school was 40% Hispanic.
Karl Rove, call your office!
Radio talk show hosts John and Ken's "Fire Dreier" campaign in November 2004 catapulted Turner from concerned citizen to activist.
"I just got tired of listening to the show but not doing anything," Turner told me.
All that has changed now.
As evidence of the overnight impact Turner has had on immigration reform, the Anti-Defamation League branded Save Our State an "extremist hate group" during one of its Hate Crimes Workshops.
And Jim Robinson's Free Republic has pulled links to Turner's events while suggesting that Save Our State is affiliated with hate groups and vigilantes.
(The notoriously impenetrable JimRob seems to have learned nothing from the fact that Free Republic itself was once smeared as a "hate group" by his own home city of Fresno).
Turner learned of the ADL smear second hand from an activist who attended both the Redondo Beach S.O.S. rally and the workshop presented by the ADL's Joanna Medelson. [Send her mail]
Since the mid-1990s, the ADL has branched out, so to speak, from worrying about anti-Semitism into the broader and more politically correct arena of "hate crimes."
The ADL appears to have learned at the knee of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
First, the ADL published Danger: Extremism—The Major Vehicles and Voices on America's Far-Right Fringe which it described as "a comprehensive survey of the radical right."
Then in 2003, the ADL turned its attention to immigration. In its booklet, Border Disputes: Armed Vigilantes in Arizona, the ADL managed to "link" Glenn Spencer, Roger Barnett and Jack Foote with the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke and neo-Nazis everywhere.
But Turner dismisses any effort by the ADL to include him, even indirectly, among Nazi groups.
The attempt to smear my organization and myself personally was utterly repulsive. Their claims are easily refuted by fact. We are not racists, bigots or xenophobes. We are grassroots activists from every demographic who have come together to oppose the importation of dregs from the third world.
And while I have no qualms with being labeled an extremist, for I think we all should be steadfastly resolute in our willingness to save our nation from the destruction wrought by the scourge of illegal immigration, I do not think that two incredibly successful and peaceful demonstrations qualifies as such.
Ultimately, I am flattered that our organization that has been in existence for less than three months is already receiving considerable attention from groups like the ADL."
"I suppose you could call me an extremist compared to people who sit around and complain about illegal immigration but do nothing. I like to quote Barry Goldwater: 'Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.' "
What no doubt offends the ADL—and what Robinson points to as his reason for pulling Save Our State threads—is that the website www.stormfront.org posted information regarding the organization's events.
This is the old guilt by association ploy that doesn't stand up in today's Internet world.
Anyone can post anything anywhere with no recourse by the party about whom the information is posted.
I offer myself as an example. During the California gubernatorial recall election in 2003, Stormfront posted an item titled "White Nationalist Files for Governor—Promises to Throw Invaders Out—Asks Our Help."
But I am not a white nationalist. I never promised to throw out invaders. And I never even spoke to anyone at Stormfront, much less asked for its support.
In the ADL's Border Disputes report, concluded that the so-called "anti-immigration extremists":
"…Promote a culture of lawlessness and defiance that will only add to, not solve, America's border problems."
How ironic—because it is the Mexican aliens who are "lawless" and the Mexican government that encourages "defiance."
And, of course, the ADL report conveniently failed to mention that Arizona property owners have for decades pleaded in vain for the federal government to enforce immigration law.
Here's a solution that would satisfy everyone. If illegal aliens stopped crossing into the US from Mexico, then:
(Of course, legal immigration is just as serious a problem, and inextricably interlocked. But it's not as flagrantly outrageous).
None of this is likely to happen any time soon.
And that's why Joe Turner will keep on fighting.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.