888: The Mark of the Bigots?

 

That’s the number of hate groups in the United States as of 2007: 888. This marks a steep rise in the number of these groups since 2000, driven almost exclusively on anti-immigrant sentiments in the post-9/11 era.

I know that not all of my friends (and others who read my blog) agree with me on the immigration issue. I believe in a path to citizenship for the millions of unregistered workers who are keeping our economy moving forward—not everyone believes in that.

If you don’t believe in “amnesty” or even think that all “illegals” should be deported, and don’t consider yourself to be racist, I encourage you to watch this video from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that attempts to expose the white supremacist roots of the anti-immigration movement in this country and how it is fueling the rise of blatant racist hate groups (like the KKK, which has seen growth in my North Carolina county in recent years):

Now before you get too upset, let me clarify a couple things about the video:

1) The SPLC is considered by some to be a “controversial” group in their own right. I acknowledge that. They have an inherent bias, but that doesn’t mean their information is wrong.

2) Tying all of these things back to one guy in Michigan is a bit of a conspiracy theory way to go. I’m sure it’s much more complex than that, but clearly there are connections that are relevant.

3) Even if you don’t “buy” all the information and connections that the SPLC presents in this video, how do you feel about 888 hate groups in this country? A sharp increase since 9/11? That should make you feel like I do, sad and angry and motivated to do something about it. I’m just trying to raise awareness. We can stop the hate.

If you can handle more of these videos, check out:

Code Words of Hate

Fear and Loathing in Prime Time

If you want to add your voice (with mine and others) to those who are standing strong against hate, check out this awareness campaign from the SPLC:

 

 

Posted on 06-26-2008

Comments

  1. TLB says:

    June 26th, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Say what you want about the Soviet Union, they knew how to take care of hate groups!

    Meanwhile, you might want to read up on LogicalFallacies, specifically GuiltByAssociation.

    There’s more on one of the groups mentioned here:
    http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007434.html

    And, see my name’s link for more on the group behind one of the videos.

    And, guess what: the SPLC has an indirect link to the MexicanGovernment, and they’ve been the subject of at least two exposes. Try a search.

  2. Steve K. says:

    June 27th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    hey TLB, thanks for taking the time to respond. I’m honestly not surprised to see it. The anti-immigrant sentiment in this country is strong, as I acknowledged in my post.

    I went to your blog and read what you wrote, but I guess I don’t see much point in arguing about the definition of “hate.” You say the SPLC and ADL are “hate” groups. I say the groups they are trying to expose are the real perpetrators of hate. We can agree to disagree (or at least, I can).

    My desire is to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which calls me to love the stranger and show hospitality and love to visitors and the “others,” those who are not like me. I firmly believe that is the better way.

  3. Eddie says:

    July 8th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I do not believe in amnesty and i do believe people who are here illegally should be deported. I do not think I am a racist for it either. My wife is not an American and we have gone through the long and drawn out process of her being allowed into the country through legal means. Anybody who is here illegally had the option of coming here legally. Asking the law be upheld does not mean one is racist. Would I be racist if a hispanic man broke into my house and I had charges pressed on him. No it would not. I would also press charges on him if he were white, black or any other color. Please do not confuse racism with asking that laws be enforced

  4. Steve K. says:

    July 8th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Eddie,

    I think your misunderstanding the purpose of my post. I’m trying to expose the rise in hate groups in this country. I think that’s a different subject altogether. Are you concerned at all about that?

    Secondly, I’m glad to hear that your wife was able to get citizenship through the existing system. That doesn’t mean the system isn’t broken and in desperate need of a major overhaul. Your wife had the privilege of having a home and a safe environment in which to live while she waited (how long??) to go through the legal system. Other people who come here seeking work and money to support their families don’t have that luxury. Do you care about them at all? I’m sure you do, but you say you think they should all be deported. How is that showing love and compassion to them? How is that helping them? And how is that helping the U.S. to become a better nation?

    You see, I fundamentally disagree with you that “anybody who is here illegally had the option of coming here legally.” I don’t think the millions of illegal immigrants felt they had an “option” to get in line and wait years and years before they could earn some money to put food on the tables to feed their families. That’s the issue here.

    And here’s some pushback on your analogy of the “home invasion”: Driving over the speed limit is illegal too, Eddie. When I drive over the speed limit, does it affect you in any way? I don’t think so. 99.9% of the time it has no impact on you when I do it or the 99.9% of other people who drive over the speedlimit do it. (I acknowledge that there might be some time when I crash my car into yours, but that’s .1% of the time, let’s say, for argument’s sake.) That’s what illegal immigration is analogous to, Eddie, a crime that doesn’t affect your life 99.9% of the time. (But for 100% of illegal immigrants this broken immigrant system is a problem 100% of the time.)

    America is not your “house” that is being invaded. That’s anti-immigrant propaganda you’re passing along there (consciously or unconsciously). That’s all I’m trying to say. Racism goes deeper than “personal prejudice.” You may not think you’re “racist,” but if you support discriminatory policies and unjust systems that perpetuate oppression on people then, well, that’s a serious moral problem …

  5. Eddie says:

    July 9th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    It is not my house but it is my country and I have no problem with anybody who comes here legally. My grandparents on both sides came he legally and now my wife came here legally. It can be done as it has been in the past. It does not matter if they “feel” that that is not an option. It is a fact that it is an option so they are without excuse.

    Your right…most of the time when you speed it does not affect me. So….since speeding does not affect others most of the time then by your logic why not just do away with the speed limit law. That would be absurd because then you would have everybody speeding and with that many cars on the road without laws being enforced it will have an affect on other people.

    When you say that I am supporting discriminatory policies and unjust systems then I am perpetuating oppression on people and that is a serious moral problem….I have to disagree with you. You are coming at it from the viewpoint that the current policies and systems are unjust. I would say they are not…in fact they are no different than any other countries immigration policies for the most part. I think it is perfectly fair for countries to have a system in place that allows for immigration though some sort of legal means. Nobody is saying that other races and cultures should not be let in. We are just saying that they need to fulfill certain requirements and go through the same channels as everybody else did.

  6. Steve K. says:

    July 9th, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Eddie, thanks for coming back to me on this and continuing the dialogue.

    “It is not my house but it is my country” — I think I addressed that in the last paragraph of my last reply. I fundamentally disagree with you taht illegal immigration constitutes an “invasion” of America that should be feared or fought with deportation.

    To clarify the speeding analogy, because I guess I wasn’t clear: I’m not saying we should “do away with the speed limit law,” just as I’m not say we should “do away” with immigration law. I’m saying the immigration system is broken and it needs to be fixed. There needs to be a path to citizenship for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are in this country, working, raising families, etc.

    To say “they should all be deported” shows a total lack of compassion and nuance to a highly complex reality.

    What I believe is “unjust” about the current system is that it is completely failing to address the serious issues facing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in this country. They need a path to citizenship so they can continue living and working here, contributing to our economy, contributing to the richness of our cultural tapestry, but politicians in Washington can’t come to any kind of agreement on how that should be done. And folks like you, Eddie, believe that deportation is the answer? “Just send ’em all back where they came from”?

    Again, I guess I’m still wondering, HOW LONG did it take for your wife to get citizenship through the existing legal system? And, considering the answer to that question, do you think that’s a reasonable amount of time for someone to wait who can’t earn a living wage in their home country, who can’t afford to put food on the table for their starving children? Because that’s the reality for many (if not most) of the people I’m talking about.

    And what about the children who have been born in this country, and thus have U.S. citizenship? Should their “illegal” parents be deported? What should happen to those thousands of American children? Should they be without parents? Or should they be deported also (even though they are *legal* U.S. citizens)? These are the kinds of questions I am asking you to consider.

  7. Eddie says:

    July 9th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I would not be opposed to a path to citizenship for people who are already here illegally if included in that was a clause that it would not be granted to people in the future who came here illegally. If it was agreed that anybody who come into this country illegally in the future would be deported then I would be o.k. with providing a way for people who are already here with some path to citizenship. That being said they should also be required to pay some type of resitution…not much but say $100.00 per person.

    For my wife to get here it is a long and drawn out process that we are in fact still in the process of. Thats the way it is. I do not have a problem with it and if other people do and feel that they cannot wait and that gives them the right to break the law then they should be deported once they arrive. It is a long process for anybody to get into any country that is not their country of birth.

  8. Steve K. says:

    July 9th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Eddie, I think we’re closer on this issue than we are apart. I really do. Because what I’m advocating is a path to citizenship for people who are already here, which would included paying some kind of fee as you said.

    I think where we probably still disagree is on whether everyone else who enters the country illegally in the future should be deported. I’d rather focus on changing the immigration policy so that MORE people can actually enter this country legally. And if someone is caught committing a crime (e.g., robbery, rape, drunk driving, etc.) who has entered this country illegally, then they should be deported. I think there needs to be another way to deal with illegal immigrants who are law-abiding, working, contributing people besides deportation. Fine them. Get them enrolled in the system. Put them at the end of the line. But let’s first make it easy enough for them to legally enter this country that the pressure to do so illegally becomes a non-issue. I guess that’s my hope and my prayer.

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