Tag Archives: southern poverty law center

Under Siege: Low-wage Latino Workers Face Injustice in the South

tomatoworkerThe Southern Poverty Law Center released a report detailing the injustice and abuse facing low-wage Latino workers in the South. I grew up in the South and I can attest to the fact that the Latino population in my region is booming. Many of these folks have arrived to escape harsh and impoverished conditions and have, instead, found injustice at every turn.

In Tennessee, a young mother is arrested and jailed when she asks to be paid for her work in a cheese factory.

In Alabama, a migrant bean picker sees his life savings confiscated by police during a traffic stop.

In Georgia, a rapist goes unpunished because his 13-year-old victim is undocumented.

These are just a few examples of the injustices that confront Latino immigrants as they struggle to gain a foothold in the South.

The report finds that in Southern states Latinos are cheated out of wages, subjected to inhumane conditions, subjected to wide-spread racial profiling and are regularly harassed by law enforcement.

For this report, Southern Poverty Law Center researchers surveyed 500 low-income Latinos — including legal residents, undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens — at five locations in the South to take the pulse of a community that is being increasingly driven into the shadows by a sweeping anti-immigration movement. We found a population under siege and living in fear — fear of the police, fear of the government and fear of criminals who prey on immigrants because of their vulnerability.

To read the full report, click here.

UPDATE: FAIR Founder’s Racism Exposed

Almost two weeks ago I posted on the exposure of the Hate Group FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform). The group was upset about an ad that ran in various political magazines and showed the group’s racist ties and roots. FAIR claims that they are victims of a “smear campaign” and deny any racism in their anti-immigration message.

Well, thanks to the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center and their continued research into this topic, there has been even more evidence uncovered that proves FAIR’s racist roots. From the SPLC blog:

…the papers of John Tanton, the retired Michigan opthamologist who has been the most important figure in the modern American anti-immigration movement for three decades. The papers, which include more than 20 years of letters from the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and a batch of other nativist groups, contain explosive material about Tanton’s beliefs. They also show that FAIR, where Tanton still serves as a member of the board, has been well aware of Tanton’s views and activities for years.

Tanton has long claimed that he is no racist — that, in fact, he came to his immigration restrictionism through progressive concerns for population control and the environment, not disdain for the foreign born. He characterizes himself as a “fair person,” and on his website he condemns the “unsavory characters whose views can easily be characterized as anti-American, anti-Semitic and outright racist.”

Fair enough. But what do Tanton’s letters have to say?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

What follows is example after example of John Tanton’s tendencies towards eugenics, white supremacy and racially motivated stances on immigration.

I believe the post speaks for itself – you should all read it.

FAIR Angry about Exposure: Help Stop the Hate!

Yesterday, the Sleuth blog at the Washington Post was the first to report that a full page ad exposing the truth about the anti-migrant group FAIR was run in political newspapers on the Hill.

A coalition of pro-immigration groups is running a full-page ad today in the Capitol Hill newspapers Roll Call and Politico to protest a lobbying blitz this week by the anti-immigration group FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The ad, paid for by America’s Voice and the Service Employees International Union, among others, asks, “When Did Extreme Become Mainstream?” And it notes FAIR has been “designated as a HATE GROUP by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Since the story broke, FAIR (which has been designated as a HATE GROUP by the Southern Poverty Law Center) has responded to the ad. The group has officially responded with a statement that FAIR is the victim of a “smear” campaign. And also claimed that:

“this coalition of special interest groups uses inflammatory language and stock photos of individuals who have no association with FAIR to incite hatred against anyone who has the audacity to oppose their views on immigration policy.”

To see proof of the association between FAIR and the hate groups featured in the ad, check out Duke’s post at The Sanctuary.

But, as Dave Neiwert at FireDogLake notes: “It isn’t a “smear” by definition if everything that’s said is true.” He also had this to say of FAIR’s official response to the ad (which is included in the post):

Notice what’s missing: Any mention of the actual facts in the article. The only thing that’s “ugly” is the very real quotes from FAIR leaders and officials. Moreover, its listing as a hate group by the SPLC — which is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “radical organization” — goes utterly unmentioned.  

Below is a video from America’s Voice exposing FAIR for what it really is…

Take action: Stop the Hate! Go to America’s Voice online for how to help.

And the Dobbsy Goes To….

Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” introduced a new award for all the spewers of hate speech out there: the Dobbsy. As symsess at The Sanctuary astutely pointed out, its kind of like a Dundie (shout-out to my fellow fans of the Office), but its for media hatemongers, rather than for office workers like Jim Halpert.

Today on CNN, Lou Dobbs kicks off his “Independent Convention” — his answer to the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions of the past two weeks.

We figured this would be a great time to introduce a new tongue-in-cheek award, to be given to “mainstream” figures — politicians, pundits, preachers and pedants — who make utterly false or misleading statements that have the effect of denigrating or defaming an entire group of people.

Naturally, we’re calling it the Dobbsy.

To get us into the spirit of things, we reprint here a short but unforgettable extract of Dobbs’ interview with Lesley Stahl (full disclosure: I criticized Dobbs in that same “60 Minutes” segment”), which aired on May 6, 2007:

STAHL: We checked and found a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying 7,000 is the number of leprosy cases over the last 30 years, not the past three, and nobody knows how many of those cases involved immigrants. Now we went to try and check that number, 7,000. We can’t. Just so you know…

DOBBS: Well, I can tell you this. If we reported it, it’s a fact.

STAHL: You can’t tell me that. You did report it…

DOBBS: Well, no, I just did.

STAHL: How can you guarantee that to me?

DOBBS: Because I’m the managing editor, and that’s the way we do business. We don’t make up numbers, Lesley. Do we?

I think that gives our intrepid readers an idea of what we’re looking for. Go out, be fruitful, and send us your findings. It won’t be long before we award the first Dobbsy. They say they don’t make up numbers. But do they?

I love it. And since I don’t have a pic of a Dobbsy and I don’t want to cop the one from the SPLC website, I’ve posted a Dundie just for fun. Amid all the hate speech, we need a good laugh every once in a while.