Right Wing Watch reported this summer about the creation of the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), a new anti-immigrant group designed to appeal to African Americans, which is just the latest member of a closely knit circle of anti-immigrant groups tied to Nativist leader John Tanton.
Also part of that circle are the three most prominent groups working to stop immigration reform in Congress: The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Numbers USA.
Our friends at the immigrants’ rights groups America’s Voice, Black Alliance For Just Immigration and Center for New Community have put together a great, short video illustrating the ties between these groups and how they’re working together to try to bring down the new immigration law.
Peterson, who calls himself a “proud member” of the John Birch Society, told Broden that the American dream is “fading” because pro-immigration elected officials are “trying to stay in power, so they’re trying to appease the Hispanics.”
And anyways, Peterson argued, undocumented immigrants don’t even want citizenship. “I even personally know some illegal aliens who have been here for a long time, Hispanics, and they don’t want amnesty, because they’re saying, ‘Oh, it’s gonna mess with our jobs,’ you know, at the car wash and places like that,” he said.
“It’s not that they love the illegals, they’re bringing them in because they know that a lot of these people will become Democrats, and that’s going to give them a path to power.”
What immigration reform is, the two agreed, is a “malicious” attempt to put African Americans under government control.
“What we’re perhaps looking at is a deliberate attempt to put them on the government dole,” said Broden. Peterson agreed: “Yes, sir, it’s to put them on the government, because you hook them to the government, then you can control them.”
He also took issue with First Lady Michelle Obama: “We have an angry black female in control and if you want to know what an angry black female can do to you, go to the Post Office.”
Later, Peterson claimed the president “wants to take power away from the white man and give it to people who [want] handouts, with socialism mentalities.”
He encouraged the John Birch Society members to push back against Obama’s black “mission” against white people by acting like parents who sometimes have to punish rebellious children: “if you don’t stand up to your kids they will take over your household and they’ll put you out if you allow them to have their way.”
Peterson wasn’t just a speaker at the event. He also said he is a longtime member of the John Birch Society and considers the organization to be like family.
“Whenever I come to speak at the John Birch Society I feel like I am coming home to family,” Peterson said. “I am a proud member of the John Birch Society, I have been a member I’ve forgot how long.”
Hundreds of anti-immigrant activists marched from Freedom Plaza to the Capitol yesterday as part of the “DC March for Jobs.” The rally, sponsored by the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), was organized as a protest against immigration reform legislation.
Below are images of some of the most expressive signs and the best dressed demonstrators from the rally.
On Monday, a brand new group called the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) will be holding a march on the National Mall in opposition to a new immigration policy. Michelle Cottle at the Daily Beast today explains that BALA, far from being the grassroots group it claims to be, consists of “a dozen or so…seasoned activists who have long been conducting this same anti-immigration crusade by means of an evolving series of similar groups.” Last month, when BALA first emerged, we profiled some of its leaders and their deep connections to the anti-immigrant network stemming from white nationalist John Tanton.
As Cottle puts it: “As a result of the many links between BALA’s leaders and the Tanton network, hate-group watchdogs have expressed concern that the organization is merely the latest in a series of minority front groups providing anti-immigration extremists cover from charges of racism.” We wrote about the anti-immigrant movement’s persistent but largely unsuccessful attempts to drive a wedge between black and Latino communities in this 2011 report.
Unsurpisingly, anti-immigrant congressional leaders are jumping to associate themselves with BALA and take part in its rally. The speakers list so far includes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Rep. Allen West, and, somewhat ironically, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
And we just noticed the addition of another fringe speaker to the list: Florida pastor O’Neal Dozier. Dozier made national headlines last year when, while serving as state chairman of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, he announced that Mitt Romney’s Mormonism would “taint the Republican Party.” A profile of Dozier by Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein highlights some of the pastor’s worst anti-gay, anti-Islam rhetoric, dominionist rhetoric, which ultimately caused him to lose favor with the state's Republican establishment:
As Republicans courted him, Dozier continued to express some of his most extreme views. At a Reclaiming America convention in 2003, Dozier declared that "We should take control of every facet of society." He added that God was "100 percent for capital punishment. Oh, yeah, God knew some were going to slip through, a few innocent ones. He knew that. But you cannot have a society without capital punishment."
He reserved his greatest fervor for that "paramount of sins," homosexuality—which he declared was "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit."
In 2006, he declared war on a local Islamic group trying to build a mosque in the neighborhood. "One day," he intoned, "our grandchildren will live under the grips of sharia law. It's coming our way. Islam has a plan, a 20-year plan, to take over America from within. And they're doing it." The feds charged a charity that Dozier and local Republican activists had supported with swindling $3 million from Haitian immigrants. And Dozier started asking Florida judicial nominees if they were "God-fearing" and in favor of anti-sodomy laws. The GOP establishment began to sour on Dozier. By the summer of 2006, Crist and Jeb Bush had both dumped him.
Earlier this week, a group calling itself the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) sent a letter to members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight and to members of the Congressional Black Caucus urging them to abandon immigration reform, claiming that reform would lead to “higher unemployment, more poverty, and a lower standard of living for many in the black community.”
BALA didn’t provide much information about itself in its press release…in fact, the group doesn’t seem to have existed until very recently (one indication is that it joined Facebook on May 13). The Anti-Defamation League reports that this is because BALA is just the latest incarnation of a shifting series of front groups for the anti-immigrant nativist group FAIR, which has been trying for years to drive a wedge between African Americans and Latinos. Until its recent name change, BALA was known as the African American Leadership Council (AALC), which itself, according to our friends at the Center for a New Community, was “simply a redressing of FAIR’s old front group, Choose Black America.”
In fact, the Center for a New Community notes, BALA seems to be running entirely through another FAIR front group, one of many stemming from white nationalist John Tanton, misleadingly called “Progressives for Immigration Reform” (PFIR). In a fact sheet on PFIR [pdf], the Center notes, “PFIR emblazons its public image with symbols and rhetoric that profess support for environmental causes. But under this veneer, PFIR faults the ills of American society on ‘mass migration,’ and in fact, immigrants in general—sharing more with the bigotry of the far-right than any ‘progressive’ cause.”
A look at the twelve signers of BALA’s letter gives a clear picture of the new group. Of the twelve signers, two are longtime anti-immigrant activists entrenched in the Tanton network – including groups like PFIR, FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies– and four are vocal conservative extremists who have appeared on these pages before:
Frank Morris, who identifies himself as a former director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. But these days, Morris is tied up in a number of Tanton-connected anti-immigrant groups, including sitting on the boards of FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies and serving as the vice president of PFIR.
Leah V. Durant, who left her position as a staff attorney at FAIR’s Immigration Reform Law Institute [pdf], which writes anti-immigrant laws, to become the executive director of PFIR when it launched in 2008 [pdf].
Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a columnist and talk show host who:
Complains society is being run by “women who look like men, act worse than men, and who have essentially sacrificed their womanhood at the alter [sic] of ‘achievement.’”
In case it’s not clear, he’s really not a fan of the women’s movement: “There is a war against beautiful women, and it’s being waged by the Women’s Movement, ironically….Let’s face it, the women who rise through the ranks in Leftist politics look like dudes. In fact, if you put high-ranking female political Plutopians against their “male” counterparts, it would be the CHICKS WITH…well…CUPS, and I’m not talking bras. ….Women on the Left secretly wish to build a society of powerful ugly women…to match how they feel (and are) inside. A beautiful Liberal woman (not that I’ve ever seen one) might as well be fitted for knee pads and given Bill Clinton’s ‘How to Pleasure a President While On Your Knees Under a Desk” manual and a box of Cuban cigars.’