Supporters of the law point out clauses that rule out investigation “based solely on race, color or national origin.” Skeptics note that there are two potential problems with trusting the good will of the state in this regard. First, the term “based solely on race, color or national origin” applies to the Attorney General of Arizona or the many county attorneys conducting investigations, not to the officers themselves. Second, there appears to be some wiggle-room. Might an attorney investigating a case (or a police officer on the beat, if this prohibition actually applies) base their suspicion on race and color, or national origin and color, or race and national origin? Such a loophole, placed with care into a bill written by Nativist Hedgehogs, should worry any Fox.
And, given the historical record of some proponents of the law, such concerns seem to have merit.
Meet The Hedgehogs
The bill’s main sponsor, State Senator Russell Pearce, while claiming to be acting in the best interest of all Arizonans, has a deeply-stained record when it comes to racial politics. In what has become political argot, he could rightly be accused of having “palled around with white supremacists” throughout his tenure in government. In 2006, he forwarded an email that he had received from a group called “The National Alliance” to his political supporters. The email, titled “Who Rules America?” was critical of Blacks and Whites “intermixing,” and the “Jews in the media” for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality. It further complained of the depiction of “any racially-conscious White Person as a bigot,” and of any presentation of the Holocaust as fact. Reportedly, the email also contained racially inflammatory cartoons of Blacks and Jews. When called to account for the email, Pearce quickly apologized, saying he would not have sent it had he read it in its entirety and that he disavowed anyone who held such beliefs. Yet, he neither explained why he had received the email in the first place, nor why he was on a National Alliance email list.
Equally damning is a photograph of a smiling Pearce with one of those political supporters, Mr. J.T. Ready, a member of the “Minuteman Civil Defense Corp.,” the recently disbanded group that would be replaced by a state funded “vigilante force” if the companion bill to Senate 1070 is passed. Ready is also the founder of the nativist extremist organization, “Americans First.” According to a story published online by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mr. Ready, a former president of the Mesa Community College Republican Club and current Republican precinct committeeman, is “deeply involved in mainstream conservative politics.” Further, the report states, “He’s an outright neo-Nazi” who recently spoke at a rally put on by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was billed as an “Arizona Republican activist.” He has also appeared at the neo-Nazi “National Vanguard’s Winterfest” in Phoenix in December of 2007.
One of his postings to the white nationalist online forum, NewSaxon, offered the following bit of insight: “The truth is that negroids screw monkeys and rape babies in afreaka [sic]. Then stupid white man who licks kosher jew rear lets negriods in [sic]… Stop Negroid immigration and integration now!!! Nature will take care of the rest.” He has also publicly stated his ideas for ultimate border security. “I firmly believe in having a minefield across the border… This is one hundred percent effective.”
Less tangentially related to Pearce, The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), proudly reports that its legal affiliate, The Immigration Reform Law Institute, played a major role in assisting Senator Pearce in drafting Senate Bill 1070. In and of itself, that is not surprising, as lobbyists often work on the language of our laws. Yet, while FAIR works very hard to minimize its radical roots and ultimate agenda, their mindset can be inferred by considering their founder’s principles.
That founder, John Tanton, is still listed as a member of FAIR’s board of directors. Here are some of his thoughts, unvarnished by a lobbying firm’s spin doctors: In the late 1980s Tanton wrote, “To govern is to populate. Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile? As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night or will there be an explosion?” Another time he opined, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a clear one at that.”