Poking the Racist Beehive

The Progressive magazine, January 2009

Just before he was pummeled to the ground and beaten on election night, his attackers shouted "Obama," reports Ali Kamara, a teenage Muslim and black immigrant from Liberia. "I see the car coming... They were not happy. They had hoodies on. They started hitting me with bats, and my body started vibrating," Kamara told reporters. "I was bleeding all over. I did not know them... I think it was a racist crime," said Kamara, who lives on Staten Island, New York. The election of Barack Obama has poked the racist beehive, and we can expect a lot of buzzing around in the months ahead. Read more...

White Supremacists
Seek Teenage Recruits

A Longtime Anti-Racism Activist’s Take on History

The Public Eye, Summer 2009

Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream - By Leonard Zeskind (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009, 656 pages, $37.50 cloth.)

It is so irritating to watch Pat Buchanan on MSNBC. There he was on Morning Joe, blaming the financial crisis on banks lending to people of color. His makeover as a respectable “conservative” pundit – conveniently forgetting his racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic slippages – is a testament to the power of the mainstream media to shape a Wonderland world Alice would have recognized. Read more...

Rebranding Fascism

The Public Eye magazine , Winter 2008

Audio: “The New Fascists” An interview with author Spencer Sunshine by Public Eye editor Abby Scher. - Listen (MP3)On September 8, 2007 in Sydney, Australia, the antiglobalization movement mobilized once again against neoliberal economic policies, this time to oppose the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. Just as during the protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle,Washington, in 1999, the streets were filled with an array of groups, such as environmentalists, socialists, and human rights advocates. And also just like in Seattle, there was a “Black Bloc”—a group of militant activists, usually left-wing anarchists, who wore masks and dressed all in black.

In Sydney, the Black Bloc assembled and hoisted banners proclaiming “Globalization is Genocide.” But when fellow demonstrators looked closely, they realized these Black Bloc marchers were “National- Anarchists”—local fascists dressed as anarchists who were infiltrating the demonstration. The police had to protect the interlopers from being expelled by irate activists. Read more...

Nativist Bedfellows
The Christian Right Embraces Anti-Immigrant Politics

If the September 2007 Values Voters Summit is anything to go by, the Christian Right is now nearly as worked up about illegal immigration as about abortion and same-sex marriage. At that political gathering—sponsored annually in Washington D.C. by such key groups as the Family Research Council and attracting grassroots activists from across the country —the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector used fuzzy math as he told a packed room that low-skilled immigrants from Latin America actually drain, rather than bolster, the U.S. economy. A parade of Republican presidential hopefuls there to court support from right-wing Protestant evangelicals attempted to outdo each other with the aggressiveness of their border security plans and the severity of their proposed policies towards immigrants. Read more…

One Raid at a Time
How Immigrant Crackdowns Build the National Security State

Web only, spring 2008

“He [King George] has erected a multitude of new offices and set hither swarms of officers to harass out people and eat out their subsistence.” - The Declaration of Independence, 1776

I. Building Up the Domestic Security Apparatus

Most explanations of the relentless pursuit of undocumented immigrants since 9/11 view it as a response to the continuing pressures of angry, mostly white, citizens. Read more…

Judicial Watch Glories in Victories over Undocumented Workers
By Eleanor J. Bader
The Public Eye magazine, Spring 2008

To enter the world of Tom Fitton, President of the conservative, D.C.-based group, Judicial Watch, you’re going to need to forget the stories you’ve heard about hardworking immigrants being torn from their U.S.-born children and deported to their countries of origin. You’ll need to forget tales of workplace raids and anecdotes about people deported for driving five miles above the speed limit. You’ll also need to forget about the 185,431 people who were deported in 2006. Read more…

Legacies of Lynching
An interview with On the Courthouse Lawn author Sherrilyn Ifill

The Public Eye magazine, Fall 2007

The memories and legacy of lynchings of African Americans fifty years ago still shape the politics and lives of those living where they happened.

So discovered civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill while she was trying a discrimination case in Maryland. The Public Eye explored the impact in this exclusive interview. Read More...

Defending Immigrants Rights

An Activist Resource Kit

Now Free Online!

For five years, activists have relied on this collection in their organizing. Now PRA makes it even more accessible. The kit includes:

  • Analysis of the anti-immigrant movement's goals, tactics, and factions
  • Examples of anti-immigrant ads & literature
  • Descriptions of common anti-immigrant arguments and suggested responses

AHORA EN ESPAÑOL: Derechos de los Inmigrantes: Luchando por Justicia Racial, Igualdad Económica y Dignidad Humana

Spanish translation of Immigrant Rights: Striving for Racial Justice, Economic Equality and Human Dignity was made possible by a generous grant from The Fledgling Fund.

Order the Print Edition

L.A. Story From the July/August issue of Colorlines
By Tarso Luís Ramos

In a new article for Colorlines magazine, PRA research director Tarso Luís Ramos takes on a deluge of news stories claiming that Latino gangs are "ethnically cleansing" their African American neighbors in Los Angeles. While there is some racially motivated violence, Ramos argues it is far from "ethnic cleansing" and progressives should stop promoting the myth. Read More...

L.A. Gang Violence Not "Ethnic Cleansing" (Audio)

Are Latino gangs targeting blacks in a rampage of "ethnic cleansing"? PRA Research Director Tarso Luís Ramos challenges this myth on the radio show Urban Journal. Audio available here...

On Racial Justice

Racial inequality remains deeply embedded within U.S. social and economic structures, even as its forms and justifications are in flux. Claims to white racial superiority, though not entirely dead, were largely washed aside by the civil rights struggles of the '50s and '60s. Since that time, so-called "colorblind" racism has become the dominant racial ideology in the United States. Opposition to affirmative action, indigenous treaty rights, and other government programs is commonly justified with the claim that equal rights among racial groups have been achieved and that we as a society are, or should be, "beyond race." This belief in the diminishing importance of race makes it more, not less, likely that stark racial inequalities will persist since they will remain unchallenged.

To bolster their colorblind rhetoric, some sectors of the Right promote spokespeople - and provide patronage to conservative intellectuals and institutions - from communities of color.

Growing immigration, especially from Latin America and Asia, threatens whites' numerical majority, and, along with the government's massive post-911 campaign of racial profiling, is inspiring a nativist and white supremacist backlash. Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have also experienced resurgence since the 911 attacks.


White-washing America

The Public Eye, Summer 2002

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