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Hate Group Holds Own Feet to Fire

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Cross-posted on AlterNet

In an unusual move, the hate group FAIR denounces itself for using “inflammatory language” to “silence proponents of immigration reform.” That’s right, hold onto your hats, the Lou-natics © (TV pundit Lou Dobbs aficionados) and anti-immigrant activists are at it again. This time, however, they’re directing their vitriol… at themselves?

Let’s back up.

A recognized hate group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has been busy rallying its army of anti-immigrant activists to descend upon our nation’s Capitol this week as part of its annual ‘Hold their Feet to the Fire’ Lobby Days. The group’s ‘HTFTTF’ (worst acronym ever?) Lobby Days promise to be a big draw for Lou-natics©, grumpy retirees, and folks who just can’t seem to keep their fingers off the Caps Lock key (if I say ILLEGAL ALIEN in all caps, it’s even scarier!), alike.

In fact, today ‘HTFTTF’ Lieutenant General Lou will host the CNN ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight’ show live from the FAIR grounds, alongside Radio DJ’s that have been imported from across the country to drive home an extremist, anti-solution message on immigration.Yet even as FAIR and Lt. Dobbs try, through HTFTTF, to bully members of Congress into chickening out on common sense immigration reform, the group has begun to feel their own share of the heat.

Yesterday a Coalition of concerned organizations, including America’s Voice and SEIU, launched a campaign to call attention to what FAIR is really about. They unveiled full-page ads in newspapers on the Hill, which were written up in the Washington Post and circulated on the internet to spur action. The ads present disturbing quotes from the hate group’s founders and leaders and ask a very simple question: “When Did Extreme Become Main

Well, FAIR responded immediately with one of its signature, grammar-impaired press releases, in which it vaguely but categorically denies any ties to racism or extremism. Next FAIR attempts to brand the organizations who dare to question its motivations as constituting an “open-border lobby” (we’ve yet to encounter this open-border lobby, but we’re sure it exists- really, they swear!)

Let’s take a quick look at the FAIR release:

Each of the organizations responsible for placing the ads invested heavily in failed lobbying efforts to pass the 2007 Senate amnesty bill. In the first half of 2007, America’s Voice alone spent $420,000…

The thing is… America’s Voice didn’t exist in 2007. But if FAIR wants to cut us a check for back pay, we’ll take it!

The tone and content of these ads demonstrates that their strategy to silence proponents of immigration reform has resulted in the ugliest and most negative public relations campaign in the history of American politics.

Really? The ugliest in American history? Wow! Well, the thing is, the tone and content of these ads was made up of the quotations from FAIR founders and leaders, which is to say, FAIR’s tone and FAIR’s content.

As cited in the Washington Post:

The ad includes three racially explosive quotes; one from John Tanton, founder of FAIR, saying, “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?”

Now, we know that’s ugly, but we are a little surprised FAIR is so eager to agree and to later go so far as to call the language “vitriolic.”Perhaps we should adapt those HTFTTF Lobby Days to be ‘HOOFTTF’ Days (unfortunately the acronym isn’t much prettier).

HOOFTTF—that’s ‘Hold Our Own Feet to the Fire,’ which is precisely what the hate group is doing by critiquing it’s own “tone, content,” and “vitriol.”