Last week, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann(R-MN) called for Congress to reconvene so it could take out parts of the recent Freddie Mac bailout that give $500 million in unmarked grants to far-Left "community development" groups, such as the National Council of La Raza.
Bachmann's stand is symbolic but admirable. The Treason Lobby's tentacles are reaching out to seize the American taxpayer.
When the bailout bill was passed at the end of July, there was little public comment on the money going to La Raza. However, it's not the first time they've tried this stunt. In May, Congressman Barney Frank earmarked $15 million to La Raza in his Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008. The bill was killed—but a number of people on the Hill have told me that they expect La Raza to end up with even more money in the act that subsequently passed.
To put this grant in perspective: even $15 million dollars is greater than the total assets of the three biggest immigration control groups—Numbers USA, The Center for Immigration Studies, and The Federation for American Immigration Reform—combined.
It's not as if La Raza needs taxpayer money. It currently has over $100 million dollars in assets, along with its Raza Development Fund, their "community development lending arm" that has another 53 million. This is before they got their housing bailout money, along with $1.3 million dollars it got from HUD earlier this year, and $16 million dollars that The Wachovia Foundation, associated with the Wachovia Corporation bank, pledged to them in June.
Occasionally I get a call from supporters who suggest we organize a boycott of different companies that contribute to La Raza. The name I hear most is State Farm Insurance.
I tell them that as much I'd love to boycott them, right now there is pretty much nowhere to go. I looked up the sponsors La Raza's last annual conference—there were over 200 of them—and just about every major insurance company was there including, Aetna, Nationwide, Geico, Sharp Healthcare, and Prudential! In addition there were over two dozen government and military agencies; the Republican Party (!); and, most shockingly, a number of charities. The March of Dimes, Foundation for the Advancement in Cancer Research, National Eye Institute, and Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Paralysis Resource Center all were sponsors of the conference.
Many of these organizations will no doubt claim that their sponsorship was used for the purpose of recruiting affirmative action hires—not that it makes it any better. The government will insist that the money given to La Raza is given for specific projects like setting up Spanish Language Charter Schools or giving housing assistance to illegal aliens. Again, not like it makes it any better.
Besides, all funds are fungible.
So before La Raza get new grants, voters, consumers, and donors should ask what exactly La Raza is doing with this money from the U.S. taxpayer, big business, and the March of Dimes?
One of its major projects is a new website called "We Can Stop the Hate" designed to blacklist anyone who opposes their agenda. According to the New York Times, La Raza wants to silence haters "even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights". La Raza's president Janet Murguia justifies this because
"Everyone knows there is a line sometimes that can be crossed when it comes to free speech. And when free speech transforms into hate speech, we've got to draw that line." [ A Call to End Hate Speech, By Ariel Alexovich, February 1, 2008]
So who has crossed the line? La Raza's main institutional targets are the aforementioned immigration control groups: FAIR, CIS, and Numbers USA. Astonishingly, La Raza's mode of attack is to go after them for their source of funding.
We Can Stop the Hate recently posted a YouTube video which opens with an ominous score and text asking "what if all the leading anti immigration groups...were founded by the same man…funded by the same organization…and have ties to white supremacy?" The video proceeds to the lovely Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center (which, by the way, has assets exceeding $219 million) who suggests that all the organizations are both funded and controlled by…Dr. John Tanton!
Of course, Beirich does not quote a single word from any member of the organization saying anything "racist". In fact, she actually claims the lack of overt "hate speech" is what makes them so dangerous. Their whole purpose, she says, is "to present a moderate face that is disconnected from [the extremists], but in reality isn't."
So for La Raza and the SPLC, the line between "free speech" and "hate speech" is crossed before opponents of mass immigration even open their mouths.
As for Dr. Tanton, he deserves a great deal of credit for helping out fledging immigration reform groups. But he is not even close to being the main benefactor of any of the groups, and isn't associated with any besides FAIR. Furthermore, far from being a right wing extremist, he is a conservationist concerned with sustainable growth. (Which is why he is attacked by writers like Jason Riley in the Wall Street Journal as a liberal population controller.)
As frustrating as these baseless smear attacks may be, they should be heartening to patriotic immigration reformers. With a little bit of money, groups like FAIR, CIS, and Numbers USA, along with groups with even less money like VDARE.COM, have managed to halt the agenda of La Raza and many other organizations with income and endowments in the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars.
Imagine what we could do with a little bit more!
On that note—have you contributed to VDARE.COM recently?
Marcus Epstein [send him mail] is the founder of the Robert A Taft Club and the executive director of the The American Cause and Team America PAC. A selection of his articles can be seen here. The views he expresses are his own.