Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seattle Times Gives Hate Group A Megaphone

The state legislature in Washington has a proposal before it to expand the opportunity for higher education to undocumented students. Ahead of the national curve, a form of the D.R.E.A.M. Act was advanced in the state a few years ago, qualifying some for in-state tuition. The new plan would extend eligibility to financial aid programs. All good things - we should want to educate as many people in our midst regardless of which piece of earth they happened to be born upon.

In its coverage today of the new proposal, however, The Seattle Times allowed the spokesperson for the hate group FAIR to give a rebuttal.

But those concerned about the impact of illegal immigration in this country say it's also not fair to ask families struggling to educate their own children to subsidize the education of those whose parents broke the law in bringing them here.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, asked: "What about that kid you'll never hear about, who also worked hard, who has dreams and aspirations ... a kid who may not be able to go to college because the money is going to someone here illegally?

"I guess the Legislature and governor can't find enough ways to spend all the surplus money they have."

The Seattle Times

The staff writers at The Seattle Times are just one of the many hydra heads that give these extremist groups a megaphone to share their rancid form of nativism. Those of us who follow media coverage of the immigration debate know the names Ira Mehlman and FAIR well, but it should be repeated each and every time their viewpoints are masqueraded as credible that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated their operations as proponets of hate:

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is almost certainly the most-quoted immigration restriction organization in America. In just the last few weeks, its leaders have enlightened cable viewers with their views on such topics as "American 'Intifada' in Our Future?" "Driving While Illegal," "Should ALL Illegal Aliens Be Deported?" and "Economic Impact of Migration." In the past six years, FAIR officials have testified at least 30 times to Congress. Day in and day out, FAIR is taken seriously as a mainstream commentator on the immigration debate.

The founder, chief ideologue and long-time funder of FAIR is a racist. Key staff members have ties to white supremacist groups, some are members, and some have spoken at hate group functions. FAIR has accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation devoted to studies of race and IQ, and to eugenics - the pseudo-science of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazi euthanasia program. It spreads racist conspiracy theories. Its political ads have caused numerous politicians, Democratic and Republican, to denounce it.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The topic of immigration reform is highly complicated because the status of undocumented workers differs from person-to-person. We, the People, deserve an assessment and plan to move forward that involves grown-ups who are capable of understanding nuance. It would also help that they have a functioning human heart that recognizes the importance of family unity and basic human rights.

Ira Mehlman and FAIR do not meet this criteria. They do not behave as adults in the conversation; rather, they are tantrum throwers that deserve to be sent to their room to think over their unacceptable behavior.

Are you listening, Seattle Times? Stop allowing hate to be broadcast through your pages.

Crossposted from The Sanctuary

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