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Top Trump Adviser Sebastian Gorka Denied A Report That He Belongs To A Nazi-Allied Group – BuzzFeed News

Sebastian Gorka, a top national security adviser to President Trump, has denied reports that he is a member of and took an oath of loyalty to a Nazi-allied group.

On Thursday, The Forward reported that Gorka is a member of Historical Vitzi Rend, a far-right Hungarian group that had ties to the Nazi party from the World War II era.

When BuzzFeed News reached Gorka by phone on Thursday, he stonewalled when asked about the report. Send a request to White House press, Gorka told BuzzFeed News. Captain Gyula Soltsz, a current leader in the Historical Vitzi Rend in Hungary, later told BuzzFeed News that Gorka is a current member.

Soltsz refused to discuss the initiation process with BuzzFeed News or make public the oath that all members must take.

Later Thursday, in an interview with Tablet magazine, Gorka was quoted, I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend.

The US State Department says the Vitzi Rend was under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany. But Gorka reportedly belongs to a reconstitution of the original group on the State Department list, which was banned in Hungary until the fall of Communism in 1989, according to The Forward.

There are currently two groups in Hungary that claim to be the legitimate heirs of the original Vitzi Rend, and Gorka, according to the groups leader, is a member of the Historical Vitzi Rend.

The Forward report also claims that if Gorka who was born in the UK, lived in Hungary, and became a US citizen in 2012 did not disclose this information when entering the country, it could have implications for his immigration status.

The State Departments Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitzi Rend are presumed to be inadmissible to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act, The Forward reported. The State Department didnt immediately return a request for comment.

Im angered, but not at all surprised, that another person with ties to Nazis and white supremacists is working in a key position in Donald Trumps White House. These views have no place in our country. They certainly should disqualify someone from getting a job in the White House, Rep. David Cicilline, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. Seb [Sebastian] Gorka needs to resign. So does Steve Bannon. And until that happens, Donald Trump will still be sending a horrible message about who hes really fighting for.

These revelations are deeply disturbing, not least because of what they reveal about the kinds of people able to influence the president of the United States, said US Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York.

Its shocking that with these revelations hes not already fired by the president, Nadler said, adding that,Its shocking he was hired in the first place, now with this revelation its shocking he hasnt already been fired.

Nadler also sent a letter to President Trump asking that he release Gorkas immigration applications and his application for citizenship to the House Committee on Judiciary so it can be assured that he did not enter this country under false pretenses.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, an independent US organization, linked Gorkas non-denial of connections to the Vitzi Rend to what Goldstein calls the White Houses weak reactions to the recent spike in antisemitic hate crimes.

This administration has staff with shockingly anti-Semitic pasts and it is hard to imagine that they have nothing to do with the horrifically weak reactions to anti-Semitic hate crimes that we see coming from this administration, Goldstein said. That Sebastian Gorka cannot even deny that he has links with a Nazi-affiliated group is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the Trump White House.

Corey Saylor, the director of the department to monitor and combat islamophobia at the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, The White House should show its commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination, in this case anti-Semitism in particular, by severing ties with Gorka.

If proven true, yes he should resign and we demand that members of the Trump Administration end their hypocrisy that they are looking out for American interests when they are entangled with foreign groups and foreign governments, said Rabiah Ahmad of the Muslim Public Affairs Council told BuzzFeed News.

Obviously this is a complete outrage, said Heidi Beirich, who leads the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Canter. If it turns out to be true that he is a former member of this Nazi founded organization, he should have no role in our government. Its absolutely disgusting.

Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates said, Were not especially surprised at an association like this since this administration has become the nations central organizing body for the nations anti-Semites, racists, and anti-Muslim bigots. Khera added that Gorka should absolutely step down and should have never been hired in the first place.

In television interviews with Gorka during one of President Trumps inaugurations balls, the future White House advisor could be seen wearing a traditional Hungarian bocskai jacket along with two medals.

In a nearly three minute video posted by Breitbart, where Gorka was once an editor, Gorka explained the origins of a medal he occasionally wears. In the video Gorka says that the medal originally belonged to his father and was given in to him in 1979 for declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship. Gorka said he wear the medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American.

At no time in the video does Gorka discuss any claims that he is a current member of the Historical Vitzi Rend.

According to a Talking Points Memo report on the clothes and medals worn that night, wrote that some Hungarians who came across the interview interpreted the getup as a nod to the knightly order of merit Horthy founded in 1920, the Order of Vitz.

Horthy is in reference to Admiral Miklos Horthy, founder of the Vitzi Rend and the ruler of Hungary for over 20 years. While the article points out that not all Hungarian scholars agree that the medals could definitively be identified with Horthys Order of Vitz, they did agree that Gorkas regalia is popular today among Hungarys nationalist conservatives.

Gorka told Tablet magazine on Thursday that he wears his fathers medals to honor his struggle against totalitarianism.

Mate Halmos contributed reporting from Hungary.

Other perspectives on this story

*jeff foxworthy voice* “if you say ‘no comment’ when someone asks if you are a nazi, well, you might be a nazi.”

You don’t see why, if the allegation is entirely untrue, he might not want to dignify it with a response?

A guy who is a secret nazi immigrant is advising the President about how dangerous immigrants are to national security? I’m not sure if there’s a word for the emotion of “spitting-out-your-coffee” level of surprise but somehow also expecting this sort of thing. That is my default emotion for the Trump administration now.

He’s just honoring his family history. Kinda like people who revere the Stars and Bars. Same values. One day they may assimilate

He could get deported LMAO. Nice vetting.

The presumptive ineligibility language derives form sec. 212(a)(3)(E)(i), which refers specifically to membership in the listed nazi-affiliated organizations between March 1933 and May 1945, i.e. when the Nazis were in power in Germany. The presumptive ineligibility does not apply to the post-war period. At any rate, it is a lot more complicated than ‘if he lied, he’s now an illegal alien.’

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Mich. man who led anti-immigration fight nearly forgotten – The Detroit News

John Tanton, who has helped launch a dozen groups, is a study in contrasts.(Photo: Starbright Media Corporation)

Petoskey Some say John Tanton is a visionary. Others call him an ogre. But the most common response to his name might be a blank stare.

The last is surprising given he single-handedly started a social movement and not just any crusade but one of the biggest in history, one that is roiling American politics today, historians say. He is the father of the modern anti-immigration movement.

And the small-town doctor did it all from this rural outpost in northern Michigan.

He lived an extraordinary life at every level, said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington immigration-reduction group. To do something great, one needs to have passion, purpose, energy. John has all those things.

With President Donald Trump pushing to reduce immigration, these should be heady days for Tanton, the culmination of his lifes work. Trump has vowed to build a wall along the Mexican border and ordered restrictions on entry from several Mideast countries.

Starting in 1979, Tanton helped launch a dozen groups, including three that form the bulk of the anti-immigration movement today: FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies.

But hes rarely mentioned by the media and, when he is, its often as a cartoonish bigot. That stems from some of his writings and associations in the 1980s and 90s that critics label racist.

The real Tanton is far more complex than his public image, according to interviews, books, public archives and his voluminous writings.

Prophet or heretic, he is a spate of contradictions: a farm boy who became a self-styled intellectual, a Renaissance man who holds some provincial views, a liberal activist who founded a conservative social movement.

Tanton, 83, who moved into a nursing home last year, has trouble following the latest developments with immigration, said his family. He has advanced Parkinsons disease, which hampers his ability to process information.

But Mary Lou Tanton surmised her husband of 58 years would feel ambivalent about immigration coming to the fore.

We would like to see less venom. Im a little disappointed at the ill will, she said.

As for their longtime hometown, with its clapboard Victorians in bright hues, Petoskey looks like a throwback to a more innocent time. Its two-block downtown is jammed with quaint cafes, bookstores, gift shops and art galleries.

The old-time reverie is interrupted only by a bracing wind off Little Traverse Bay. The snow-covered resort seems far from the maddening mud fight over immigration.

The architecture isnt the only thing that hasnt changed since the Tantons arrived in 1964. The communitys 5,670 residents remain overwhelmingly white, 92 percent, according to the census.

The towns size was one reason the Tantons moved to Petoskey when John became a doctor, said Mary Lou. A big city would have swallowed them up. Here they could make a difference.

John, whose father was Canadian, was born in Detroit and, at 11, moved with his family to a farm in Sebewaing in the Thumb. He studied chemistry at Michigan State and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan.

Ophthalmology was just one part of what would become Tantons multifaceted life in this woodsy enclave. He saw patients from Tuesday to Friday, using evenings, weekends and Mondays to chase his other pursuits.Workday or not, he was usually up by 4 a.m.

Driven by an insatiable curiosity, he was a voracious reader who developed a stunning breadth of interests and depth of knowledge, said friends.

He learned German by subscribing to German newspapers. He convened weekly and monthly salons, discussing everything from books to public issues. He audited college classes to learn about macroeconomics, aquatic plants and genetic engineering.

Vacations turned into busmans holidays, walks in the woods into botany lessons, said friends. Tapes in his car may play music or they may be lectures on history, politics or philosophy.

Other interests: beekeeping, rock climbing, teaching himself the piano.

Tanton surprises some associates by knowing more about their fields of expertise than they do.

Hes a real Renaissance man, said Don Collins, a retired banker who has known Tanton since 1980. When he sees something, he wants to learn about it: history, culture, religion, politics.

Green beginnings

Tantons concern about immigration sprang from his environmentalism. Living on the farm, he worried about societys impact on the flora and fauna.

Shortly after arriving in Petoskey, he started local chapters of the Audubon Society and Sierra Club and sued to stop proposed developments. He filed lawsuits against proposed developments, sometimes winning, sometimes not.

He helped found the Little Traverse Conservancy, a local preserve that has protected 55,000 acres and 135 miles of waterfront in northern Michigan.

The Tantons gave 20 acres of wetlands to the conservancy, and donated money for the purchase of 236 acres of woods that, in December, was named the Tanton Family Working Forest Reserve.

Boy, when he had an idea, he did something about it, said Tom Bailey, conservancy executive director. He didnt just talk. He acted.

One of the biggest threats to the environment was a growing population, Tanton believed.

During college, when he was supposed to be studying to be a doctor, he read reports by the Population Reference Bureau, a private Washington group that studies population-related issues.

When a 1965 immigration law removed quotas that favored northern Europeans and opened pathways from other nations, Tanton worried the immigrants, and their higher birthrates, would accelerate population growth.

The Tantons, who have two daughters, started a local chapter of Planned Parenthood in 1965. John joined Zero Population Growth, which warns about the perils of overpopulation, in the late 60s and became president of the national group in 1975.

He tried to convince members of the environmental and population groups to fight for restrictions on immigration, but had little luck, said John Rohe, who wrote a 2002 book about the Tantons, A Journey into American Conservation.

So Tanton embarked on the crusade by himself, said Rohe.

Branching out

A solitary voice at first, Tanton searched for allies in academia, politics, labor and the environmental movement, and brought them together in retreats, said colleagues. They exchanged ideas, which he published in his quarterly magazine and small press. He found sympathetic foundations to finance their work.

The fight would have to be waged through federal laws, so he set up a lobbying group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, in a cramped Washington basement in1979. He was chairman for eight years and a board member for 32 years.

The fledgling movement needed a think tank to churn out studies supporting FAIRs goals, so in 1985, Tanton obtained a grant that paved the way for the Center for Immigration Studies, said the center.

In 1997, he helped find the financing for a third group, NumbersUSA, which organized grassroots support for the cause.

Tanton had a knack for organization, said Otis Graham, a retired history professor who served on the FAIR board.

All these ideas came like bullets, Graham said last week. He was about as talented as you can be in spurring organizations into life.

The three Washington groups worked in tandem: FAIR lobbied Congress, CIS testified at government hearings, and NumbersUSA had followers ring legislators phones off the hook.

Despite being vastly outspent by a business lobby eager for foreign labor, the trio have derailed every attempt at immigration reform for 20 years, said activists on both sides of the debate.

For pro-immigration forces, a 2007 loss was especially bitter. A compromise bill that would have granted amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants had bipartisan support and was expected to pass.

But legislators received so many calls against the measure that it shut down the Capitol switchboard, according to news reports. The bill never came up for a vote.

Tanton, who wrote end-of-the-year letters to friends describing his experiences during the previous 12 months, said in the 2007 missive he was heartened to see immigration discussed so robustly.

Mission change

When Tanton created FAIR, he envisioned a centrist group. But it didnt seem to be attracting anyone. After three years, the organization had just 4,000 members.

During a FAIR board meeting in 1982, according to meeting minutes, chairman Tanton said his nationwide travels found little interest in the groups main message: that immigration hurt the environment and working class wages.

On the other hand, he found festering resentment against Hispanic immigrants and the rising use of Spanish in America, according to the minutes. He wanted FAIR to tap into that emotion by opposing bilingual education and demanding that public agencies use only English.

But the board demurred. It had always been careful to focus on the impact of immigration, not the immigrants themselves, said Graham.

I didnt feel comfortable with it, said Graham. I remember thinking, this is diversionary, a mistake, taking time away from us.

And so, just like Tanton started FAIR after Zero Population Growth declined to get involved with immigration, he started U.S. English in 1983 after FAIR declined to take up the language issue.

Direct mail fundraising normally draws contributions from 1 percent of recipients, Tanton told In These Times magazine in 2006. U.S. English got 10 percent.

U.S. English quickly racked up several victories, passing initiatives that made English the official language in Colorado, Arizona, Florida and California.

It became clear that the language question had a lot more emotional power than the immigration question, Tanton told the magazine.

During the language campaign in Colorado in 1988, someone leaked a memo Tanton had written for a yearly immigration retreat. In the seven-page note, Tanton mused on how immigration would affect California.

Will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs, etc.? he wrote.

He also fretted that Hispanics high birth rate would help them gain political power. Perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down! he wrote.

After the 1986 memo was publicized, Linda Chavez resigned as president of U.S. English and iconic anchorman Walter Cronkite quit its advisory board. Tanton, the board chairman, soon followed them.

Biting words

When FAIR was formed, it refrained from setting up chapters around the country. It worried about attracting the coarser elements of the anti-immigration crowd.

We dont want to project an image of racism, jingoism, xenophobia, chauvinism or isolationism, Tanton wrote in FAIRs mission statement in 1979.

Ironically, it would be Tanton whose words would come to haunt the movement.

After he donated his writings to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, an investigator with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, rummaged through them for several weeks in 2008. Heidi Beirichcombed through 17 boxes spanning 20 years of private letters, memos and journals.

Beirich found several snatches of correspondence that echoed the racial comments in the 1986 memo, the law center reported.One was a 1993 letter to ecology professor Garrett Hardin in which Tanton worried about immigrations impact on Americas identity.

Ive come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that, he wrote.

Beirich also discovered several troubling associations Tanton had in the movement.

Among them: Between 1982 and 1993, Tanton had obtained $1.5 million for FAIR from the Pioneer Fund, a fringe group that believed whites were genetically smarter than blacks, reported Beirich.

Tanton also promoted the work of Jared Taylor, whose magazine, American Renaissance, warned that the growing number of blacks and Hispanics were making America more dangerous, said Beirich.

He kept tight relations with those types of extremists, Beirich told The Detroit News last week. week of 3/6 His connections were as radical as they come.

A messy business

Critics used the revelations against the immigration-reduction movement. The SPLC splayed excerpts of Tantons writings on its website and in newspaper ads.

At the same time, the three major groups Tanton helped start distanced themselves from him.

CIS told reporters its only connection to Tanton was during the original funding. NumbersUSA said it had been independent of him since 2002. Tanton quietly left the FAIR board in 2011.

The CIS published a report in 2010 that, while accusing the SPLC of using Tanton to smear the movement, admitted some of the criticism of Tanton was justified. The report said Tanton had a provincial temperament and a tin ear.

Its sad, Pat Burns, a former FAIR deputy director, told The Detroit News. Its like a dead cat in a well. It poisons a lot of good water. Tanton has been that cat for 30 years.

During the 2006 interview on his website, Tanton said building a coalition was a messy business that sometimes involved engaging with people whose extreme views he didnt necessarily share.

There are a lot of slings and arrows that go along with being willing to take on these sensitive topics, he said. You have to have a tough hide to stand up to some of these things.

fdonnelly@detroitnews.com

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Hate Group Leader to Represent United States at United Nations Event – Rewire

News Politics

Mar 15, 2017, 6:16pm Ally Boguhn

The Center for Family & Human Rights has opposed inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination law, while supporting draconian anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia.

The U.S. State Departments delegation to the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) includes a representativefrom an anti-LGBTQ organization designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The State Department announced on Monday that Lisa Correnti, executive vice president of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM), would actas a public delegate tothe event. Grace Melton, the Heritage Foundations associate for social issues at the United Nations, will also be part of the delegation, which isbeing led by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, toldRewire by phone Wednesday that C-FAM has beendesignated a hate groupdue to itsextreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. She pointed to itspresidents opposition to including sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination law,as well as C-FAMs support fordraconian anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia.

Our view is that if an organization thinks people should be thrown in jail for being gay, theyre clearly a hate group, Beirich said. This is not the kind of organization anybody should be taking advice from, nor given a prominent place like this with these heinous views. C-FAMs inclusion in the official U.S.delegation is a travesty, she continued.

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C-FAM was formed in 1997 in order to monitor and affect the social policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions, according tothe organizations website.A2011 investigative series published by Catholics for Choice reported that C-FAM was founded by anti-choice group Human Life International in hopes of gaining access to the UN.

Human Life International has ties to violent anti-abortionists and extreme tactics [that] made it too controversial for the UN, according toa 2014 post onthe Southern Poverty Law Centers Hatewatch blog.

Its founder, Paul Marx, a DC-based Catholic priest, also had a history of claiming that the pro-choice movement was full of Jews, who in his words, were perpetrating another Holocaust, the post said. Human Life International was denied consultative status [to the UN] in 1993, so it set up C-FAM in 1997 as its UN lobbying arm, and the organization shifted its rhetoric to include vague terminology like traditional values and respect for sovereignty (useful for countries that employ repressive policies and wish to avoid scrutiny for human rights violations).

C-Fams website includes attempts to undermine reproductive health care and family planning, including a 2014 petition encouraging the UNnot to include sexual and reproductive health and services and reproductive rights in its post-2015 development agenda. UN development policies should not endorse narrowly focused, controversial health policies that include abortion, the petition said.

C-FAM President Austin Ruse was a member of President Trumps anti-choice advisory council, an attempt during the election to woo voters who oppose abortion rights. Ruse attended a June meeting Trump held with leaders of the religious right. Following the meeting, Ruse suggested that it didnt matter whether Trumpwho hasshifted his views on reproductive rightsreally believed in the anti-choice cause.

Im indifferent to his sincerity, Ruse said, according to Right Wing Watch. He added that with regard to the life issues, Trump would let our side do exactly what we want to do.

Jessica Stern, executive director of LGBTQ human rights organization OutRight Action International, notedin a statement that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ambassador Haley had repeatedly pledged to uphold the right to be free from discrimination as an American value during their Senate confirmation hearings.

The appointment of these organizations to the official US delegation undermines their positions, she said. I urge Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Haley to ensure that the US delegation maintains non-discrimination at the CSW in the face of obvious pressure from these newly appointed members of the delegation.

Many Americans have recently asked themselves, what does foreign policy matter to human rights at home? Now, we have our answer, Stern said. The same groups advocating against womens rights, immigrants, Muslims, the Affordable Care Act, and LGBTI rights in the US are taking these views to the international stage. What the US says about women from around the world at the CSW will be a sign of things to come for American women, so it is essential that the US uphold American values and prevent all forms of discrimination at the CSW. Domestic and foreign policy are two sides of the same coin.

The 61st session of the UNs Commission on the Status of Women is scheduledfor March 13-24 in New York. During the meeting, representatives of the CSWs 47 member governments convene to discuss ways to improve womens lives at an event that also features the active participation of civil society representatives from around the world, according to the State Departments press release.

Public delegatesto the CSW under the Obama administration included leaders from the International Womens Health Coalition, the International Center for Research on Women, the Guttmacher Institute, and the Girl Scouts Council of the National Capital.

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Richard Spencer’s White Nationalist ‘Nonprofit’ Punished By IRS For Failing to File Tax Returns – The Root

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So, this isnt the same or even as exciting as Richard Spencer getting punched in the face, but we should all feel some sort of satisfaction that this dude is getting something else he deserves. The IRS has stripped Spencers nonprofit organization of its tax-exempt status because it failed to file financial returns for three years.

The Washington Post previously reported in December that Spencers think tank, the National Policy Institute, had been allowed to operate in financial secrecy since 2013, but on Tuesday, Spencer said he was told by the IRS that the Virginia-based organization had lost its tax-exempt status for failing to submit necessary records when it was supposed to.

Spencer reportedly blamed the mistake on a former bookkeeper, and according to the Post, he has already begun the reapplication process, which could take months.

From WaPo:

The institute, which promotes a form of American apartheid, has functioned as a public charity that relies heavily on contributions. The IRS almost always requires such organizations to file returns that detail where the money comes from and how it is spent. For reasons the agency still hasnt explained, Spencers group had been categorized among those not obligated to file any returns whatsoever, according to an examination by the Post.

Tax experts asked to review the case by The Post last year said they believed the classification was erroneous and should be fixed and, when it was, they predicted that the institute would lose its tax exemption.

Despite the IRSs miscue, the experts added, Spencer still had a duty to provide the documents, known as Form 990s. The error allowed the institute to avoid public scrutiny at a time when the alt-right the term Spencer coined to describe a movement seeking a whites-only state had garnered international attention.

According to the Post, when Spencer was first asked about the tax issue, he said he didnt know about, but that the blunder and its fallout had prompted him to fire the firm handling his accounting.

The people I delegated this task to really screwed up. Ill take responsibility, Spencer said. We solved the issue, but now were facing the consequences.

Spencer said that the institute will temporarily halt its fundraising until we get all of our is dotted and our ts crossed, a task that he predicted would take anywhere from one to six months.

Spencer does not believe the revocation is politically motivated, and said he would only question the IRSs motivation if his reapplication is rejected.

Im obviously going to respect their decision because mistakes were made on our end, Spencer said.

According to the Post, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors Spencer and other white supremacists, were not aware until they were informed by WaPo that the IRS had not demanded that Spencers organization file returns, and they immediately objected.

SPLC spokeswoman Heidi Beirich told the Post, If theyre going to claim tax breaks for their donors, we should know where the money is coming from and what the money is being spent on. Its important for the IRS to hold them to the same standard they hold the rest of us.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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America’s LGBT Centers Are Under Attack – Advocate.com

On Sunday afternoon, a visitor to theCasa Ruby LGBT Community Center in Washington, D.C., physically attacked a worker, threw a brick through a window, and let loose a string of verbal assaults.

“I’ll kill your motherfucking ass. Ya’ll tranny motherfuckers think somebody won’t fuck y’all up,” the man screamed, according to a police report of the incident.

Two weeks earlier, a different man entered the same facility, made sexual advances toward LGBT youth, and then punched a hole in the wall. He was arrested, but returned the following week to repeat the crime, reports DCist.

TheCasa Ruby center is far from alone in being the target of attacks. Last week at least one armed person shot 13 pellets at theDennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa, Okla., reports theTulsa World. Hours later, a man entered the facility and began yelling expletives at the staff, telling them, I wish you would all die.”

“We’re getting reports like this from all over the country,” said Toby Jenkins, the center’s executive director. “Gay community centers being vandalized; welcoming churches being vandalized; gay businesses being vandalized. Now it’s happened in Tulsa.”

Two days earlier, a pair of men in Asbury Park, N.J., shattered the glass door of Garden State Equality, the state’s largest LGBT organization. Christian Fuscarino, the group’s executive director, said the building was no random target the broken glass was meant to send a message of terror to the LGBT community in New Jersey and beyond.

“This kind of incident shows that hate knows no boundaries. It is not restricted by geography, even in a state as historically progressive as ours,” he told the Asbury Park Press.

Since the presidential election, hate crimes have spiked, confirms the Southern Poverty Law Center. This uptick includes an increase in attacks on LGBT centers, mosques, and Jewish cemeteries, which as symbols of their respective communities, have become targets in a divisive political clime.

The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community,”Heidi Beirich, a director of SPLC, toldVocativ.

Last month, Vocativ counted at least five reported attacks on LGBT centers, including a smashed window at Equality Florida in Orlando and transphobic slurs scrawled on the side of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Three occurred after the Trump administration rolled back education guidelines protecting transgender students.

We see the same pattern, Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward.

Kelly Love, a spokesperson for the White House, told the Washington Blade that President Trump denounced these attacks.

President Trump condemns hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms, including attacks against the LGBT community, Love said.

However, activists worry that anti-LGBT legislation and directives, such as the rumored “religious freedom” executive order, will exacerbate these crimes. JoDee Winterhof, the senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, saidTrump must be more vocal in condemning such hatred, and become the ally he promised to be on the campaign trail.

Many LGBTQ Americans are scared right now theyre scared of their rights being taken away, scared for their families, and scared that they may no longer be protected in the country they live in,” Winterhof said.

“The president has done little to calm those nerves. He owes it to the LGBTQ community to not only disavow these acts of hate, but also to restore protections for transgender kids and totally rule out his license to discriminate executive order.”

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US Rep. Steve King Tweets In Favor Of White Nationalism, Gets Little Pushback From Colleagues – Huffington Post

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has made no secretof how he views people who arent white, Christian or American-born. His latest public remarks are being critically viewed as a paean to white nationalism by Democrats and independentsbut not, evidently, by many of his Republican colleagues in Congress.

On Sunday afternoon, King suggested that Muslim children were preventing our civilization from being restored.

The tweet was in response to a cartoon tweeted out by an account that supports far-right European candidates and platforms. The cartoon depicts Geert Wilders, a candidate for prime minister in the Netherlands, sticking his finger in a dam labeled Western Civilization to stop a flow of green ooze with stars and crescent moons a color and set of symbols widely associated with Islam.

A representative for King did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

His remarks, however, align with ones made last September when heappeared with Wilders and Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the far-right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, saying, Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.

In anexplainer on white nationalism last year, Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at Birkbeck University in London, told The New York Times the ideology centers around intertwining national identity with ethnicity and the belief that whites should preserve a demographic, social and political majority.

Yet more than five hours after King issued his remarks, most of Kings Republican congressional colleagues were conspicuously quiet. State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Minn.) was one Republican to condemn King, whom he called a fake conservative and a fake Republican.

Evan McMullin, who ran as an independent presidential candidate in Utah, and Democrats like Rep. David Cicilline (R.I.) called out King for his endorsement of white nationalism.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) was not so much outraged as dismissive, calling King an ignoramus whom nobody takes seriously.

One person who did take Kings words to heart and applauded them was former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke a figure whos arguably the strongest litmus test for whether a political position or worldview is on the wrong side of history.

UPDATE: March 13 During an appearance on CNN Monday, King doubled down on his commentsin a fiery interview with Chris Cuomo.

I meant exactly what I said, King told Cuomo. You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody elses babies. Youve got to keep your birth rate up… You need to teach your children your values and in doing so, then you can grow your population, and you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life.

Heidi Beirich, an expert on extremism for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and extremist activity,on Monday called Kings remarks just a flat-out statement of white nationalism.

In [Kings]comments on civilization and babies, he sounds no different than your standard white supremacist people likeJared Taylor and whatnot, Beirich told The Huffington Post. (Taylor is the editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance.)

Its amazing to think that you can get away with that kind of rhetoric today, given the damage that this kind of racism has done over the years, Beirich went on. Youd expect it to be widely condemned, including by people of [Kings]own party.

By Monday morning, several Republicans from Florida had indeed condemned Kings words. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, born to Cuban parents, asked if King considered him somebody elses baby, while Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told King to get a clue.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said that the sentiment expressed by Steve King doesnt reflect our shared history or values.

This post has been updated with remarks from King, Beirich and multiple Florida Republicans.

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US Rep. Steve King Tweets In Favor Of White Nationalism, Gets Little Pushback From Colleagues – Huffington Post

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LGBT Centers Keep Being Attacked; Why Aren’t Trump & The Media … – Instinct Magazine

Instinct Staff | March 12, 2017

Have you guys noticed that there’s been an increasing number of attacks on LGBTcenters across the country since the November election and no one in the Trump administration is talking about it?

Vocativ notes:

A wave of attacks against LGBT community centers spanning coast-to-coast cropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president.

Since President Donald Trump withdrewfederal protections for transgender studentsin late February, three LGBT centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBT people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community, Beirich said, noting that LGBT people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targetedfor hate crimes in the United States.

Here at Instinct, we’ve reported on these attacks as they’ve occurred–check out our posts on LGBT center attacks in Tulsa, New Jersey, and Los Angeles–so the information’s out there. Why is the Trump administration being silent as the LGBT community faces these assaults?

These attacks range from graffiti to drive-by shootings. Why aren’t these attacksbeing covered more widely by the mainstream media?

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LGBT Centers Keep Being Attacked; Why Aren’t Trump & The Media … – Instinct Magazine

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LGBTQ centers are getting vandalized and no one’s talking about it – The Daily Dot

BY RYAN BECKLER

A wave of attacks against LGBTQ community centersspanning coast-to-coastcropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president.

Since President Donald Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students in late February, three LGBTQ centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBTQ people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBTQ community, Beirich said, noting that LGBTQ people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targeted for hate crimes in the United States.

Most recently, at least one person riddled the Equality Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a pellet gun. Hours later, an enraged man came into the same building, cursed out the front desk crew, and allegedly told staff, I wish you would all die.

The [shooting incident] made us mad and concerned, but that scared us to death, Toby Jenkins, the centers executive director told the Tulsa World on Monday. They cant hold in their bigot, and it just explodes on us like a volcano.

On the East coast, two men were seen on surveillance footage shattering the glass door of the Garden State Equality office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And just a day after Trump announced his new transgender policy, vandals shattered a window of the Equality Florida office in Orlando.

Earlier in February, Milwaukees Diverse & Resilient Center was reportedly vandalized for the third time in two months, with F*g being graffitied in the most recent incident.

We cant be certain of the motives behind the vandalism or if the incidents are related, but we are aware that such attacks have increased across the country since the election, Gerald Coon, the president of Diverse & Resilient, told NBC News. We remain undeterred and will continue our work.

Out West, a Los Angeles LGBTQ center was spray-painted with the words F**k Trannies.

We see the same pattern, SPLCs Heidi Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward.

The recent rise in attacks against the LGBTQ community come alongside an even sharper rise in threats to Jewish Community Centers. Those incidents were finally, explicitly condemned by President Trump in late Februaryafter many criticized his weeks-long silence.

Also in late February, the president backtracked on his promise to fight for transgender people, by rolling back an Obama administration rule to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. A report in December found that a majority of trans people in America were already avoiding public restrooms.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

This story originally appeared on Vocativ and has been republished with permission.

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LGBTQ centers are getting vandalized and no one’s talking about it – The Daily Dot

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LGBT Centers Are Getting Vandalized And No One’s Talking About It … – Vocativ

A wave of attacks against LGBT community centers spanning coast-to-coast cropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president.

Since President Donald Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students in late February, three LGBT centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBT people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community, Beirich said, noting that LGBT people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targeted for hate crimes in the United States.

Most recently, at least one person riddled the Equality Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a pellet gun. Hours later, an enraged man came into the same building, cursed out the front desk crew, and allegedly told staff, I wish you would all die.

The [shooting incident] made us mad and concerned, but that scared us to death, Toby Jenkins, the centers executive director told the Tulsa World on Monday. They cant hold in their bigot, and it just explodes on us like a volcano.

On the East coast, two men were seen on surveillance footage shattering the glass door of the Garden State Equality office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And just a day after Trump announced his new transgender policy, vandals shattered a window of the Equality Florida office in Orlando.

Earlier in February, Milwaukees Diverse & Resilient Center was reportedly vandalized for the third time in two months, with F*g being graffitied in the most recent incident.

We cant be certain of the motives behind the vandalism or if the incidents are related, but we are aware that such attacks have increased across the country since the election, Gerald Coon, the president of Diverse & Resilient, told NBC News. We remain undeterred and will continue our work.

Out West, an Los Angeles LGBT center was spray painted with the words F**k Trannies.

We see the same pattern, SPLCs Heidi Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward.

The recent rise in attacks against the LGBT community come alongside an even sharper rise in threats to Jewish Community Centers. Those incidents were finally, explicitly condemned by President Trump in late February after many criticized his weeks-long silence.

Also in late February, the president backtracked on his promise to fight for transgender people, by rolling back an Obama administration rule to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. A report in December found that a majority of trans people in America were already avoiding public restrooms.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

Continued here:

LGBT Centers Are Getting Vandalized And No One’s Talking About It … – Vocativ

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Top Trump Adviser Sebastian Gorka Denied A Report That He Belongs To A Nazi-Allied Group – BuzzFeed News

Sebastian Gorka, a top national security adviser to President Trump, has denied reports that he is a member of and took an oath of loyalty to a Nazi-allied group. On Thursday, The Forward reported that Gorka is a member of Historical Vitzi Rend, a far-right Hungarian group that had ties to the Nazi party from the World War II era. When BuzzFeed News reached Gorka by phone on Thursday, he stonewalled when asked about the report. Send a request to White House press, Gorka told BuzzFeed News. Captain Gyula Soltsz, a current leader in the Historical Vitzi Rend in Hungary, later told BuzzFeed News that Gorka is a current member. Soltsz refused to discuss the initiation process with BuzzFeed News or make public the oath that all members must take. Later Thursday, in an interview with Tablet magazine, Gorka was quoted, I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend. The US State Department says the Vitzi Rend was under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany. But Gorka reportedly belongs to a reconstitution of the original group on the State Department list, which was banned in Hungary until the fall of Communism in 1989, according to The Forward. There are currently two groups in Hungary that claim to be the legitimate heirs of the original Vitzi Rend, and Gorka, according to the groups leader, is a member of the Historical Vitzi Rend. The Forward report also claims that if Gorka who was born in the UK, lived in Hungary, and became a US citizen in 2012 did not disclose this information when entering the country, it could have implications for his immigration status. The State Departments Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitzi Rend are presumed to be inadmissible to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act, The Forward reported. The State Department didnt immediately return a request for comment. Im angered, but not at all surprised, that another person with ties to Nazis and white supremacists is working in a key position in Donald Trumps White House. These views have no place in our country. They certainly should disqualify someone from getting a job in the White House, Rep. David Cicilline, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. Seb [Sebastian] Gorka needs to resign. So does Steve Bannon. And until that happens, Donald Trump will still be sending a horrible message about who hes really fighting for. These revelations are deeply disturbing, not least because of what they reveal about the kinds of people able to influence the president of the United States, said US Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York. Its shocking that with these revelations hes not already fired by the president, Nadler said, adding that,Its shocking he was hired in the first place, now with this revelation its shocking he hasnt already been fired. Nadler also sent a letter to President Trump asking that he release Gorkas immigration applications and his application for citizenship to the House Committee on Judiciary so it can be assured that he did not enter this country under false pretenses. Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, an independent US organization, linked Gorkas non-denial of connections to the Vitzi Rend to what Goldstein calls the White Houses weak reactions to the recent spike in antisemitic hate crimes. This administration has staff with shockingly anti-Semitic pasts and it is hard to imagine that they have nothing to do with the horrifically weak reactions to anti-Semitic hate crimes that we see coming from this administration, Goldstein said. That Sebastian Gorka cannot even deny that he has links with a Nazi-affiliated group is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the Trump White House. Corey Saylor, the director of the department to monitor and combat islamophobia at the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, The White House should show its commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination, in this case anti-Semitism in particular, by severing ties with Gorka. If proven true, yes he should resign and we demand that members of the Trump Administration end their hypocrisy that they are looking out for American interests when they are entangled with foreign groups and foreign governments, said Rabiah Ahmad of the Muslim Public Affairs Council told BuzzFeed News. Obviously this is a complete outrage, said Heidi Beirich, who leads the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Canter. If it turns out to be true that he is a former member of this Nazi founded organization, he should have no role in our government. Its absolutely disgusting. Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates said, Were not especially surprised at an association like this since this administration has become the nations central organizing body for the nations anti-Semites, racists, and anti-Muslim bigots. Khera added that Gorka should absolutely step down and should have never been hired in the first place. In television interviews with Gorka during one of President Trumps inaugurations balls, the future White House advisor could be seen wearing a traditional Hungarian bocskai jacket along with two medals. In a nearly three minute video posted by Breitbart, where Gorka was once an editor, Gorka explained the origins of a medal he occasionally wears. In the video Gorka says that the medal originally belonged to his father and was given in to him in 1979 for declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship. Gorka said he wear the medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American. At no time in the video does Gorka discuss any claims that he is a current member of the Historical Vitzi Rend. According to a Talking Points Memo report on the clothes and medals worn that night, wrote that some Hungarians who came across the interview interpreted the getup as a nod to the knightly order of merit Horthy founded in 1920, the Order of Vitz. Horthy is in reference to Admiral Miklos Horthy, founder of the Vitzi Rend and the ruler of Hungary for over 20 years. While the article points out that not all Hungarian scholars agree that the medals could definitively be identified with Horthys Order of Vitz, they did agree that Gorkas regalia is popular today among Hungarys nationalist conservatives. Gorka told Tablet magazine on Thursday that he wears his fathers medals to honor his struggle against totalitarianism. Mate Halmos contributed reporting from Hungary. Other perspectives on this story *jeff foxworthy voice* “if you say ‘no comment’ when someone asks if you are a nazi, well, you might be a nazi.” You don’t see why, if the allegation is entirely untrue, he might not want to dignify it with a response? A guy who is a secret nazi immigrant is advising the President about how dangerous immigrants are to national security? I’m not sure if there’s a word for the emotion of “spitting-out-your-coffee” level of surprise but somehow also expecting this sort of thing. That is my default emotion for the Trump administration now. He’s just honoring his family history. Kinda like people who revere the Stars and Bars. Same values. One day they may assimilate He could get deported LMAO. Nice vetting. The presumptive ineligibility language derives form sec. 212(a)(3)(E)(i), which refers specifically to membership in the listed nazi-affiliated organizations between March 1933 and May 1945, i.e. when the Nazis were in power in Germany. The presumptive ineligibility does not apply to the post-war period. At any rate, it is a lot more complicated than ‘if he lied, he’s now an illegal alien.’ View this embed ID: 10716686 Outside Your Bubble is a BuzzFeed News effort to bring you a diversity of thought and opinion from around the internet. If you dont see your viewpoint represented, contact the curator at bubble@buzzfeed.com. Click here for more on Outside Your Bubble.

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Mich. man who led anti-immigration fight nearly forgotten – The Detroit News

John Tanton, who has helped launch a dozen groups, is a study in contrasts.(Photo: Starbright Media Corporation) Petoskey Some say John Tanton is a visionary. Others call him an ogre. But the most common response to his name might be a blank stare. The last is surprising given he single-handedly started a social movement and not just any crusade but one of the biggest in history, one that is roiling American politics today, historians say. He is the father of the modern anti-immigration movement. And the small-town doctor did it all from this rural outpost in northern Michigan. He lived an extraordinary life at every level, said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington immigration-reduction group. To do something great, one needs to have passion, purpose, energy. John has all those things. With President Donald Trump pushing to reduce immigration, these should be heady days for Tanton, the culmination of his lifes work. Trump has vowed to build a wall along the Mexican border and ordered restrictions on entry from several Mideast countries. Starting in 1979, Tanton helped launch a dozen groups, including three that form the bulk of the anti-immigration movement today: FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies. But hes rarely mentioned by the media and, when he is, its often as a cartoonish bigot. That stems from some of his writings and associations in the 1980s and 90s that critics label racist. The real Tanton is far more complex than his public image, according to interviews, books, public archives and his voluminous writings. Prophet or heretic, he is a spate of contradictions: a farm boy who became a self-styled intellectual, a Renaissance man who holds some provincial views, a liberal activist who founded a conservative social movement. Tanton, 83, who moved into a nursing home last year, has trouble following the latest developments with immigration, said his family. He has advanced Parkinsons disease, which hampers his ability to process information. But Mary Lou Tanton surmised her husband of 58 years would feel ambivalent about immigration coming to the fore. We would like to see less venom. Im a little disappointed at the ill will, she said. As for their longtime hometown, with its clapboard Victorians in bright hues, Petoskey looks like a throwback to a more innocent time. Its two-block downtown is jammed with quaint cafes, bookstores, gift shops and art galleries. The old-time reverie is interrupted only by a bracing wind off Little Traverse Bay. The snow-covered resort seems far from the maddening mud fight over immigration. The architecture isnt the only thing that hasnt changed since the Tantons arrived in 1964. The communitys 5,670 residents remain overwhelmingly white, 92 percent, according to the census. The towns size was one reason the Tantons moved to Petoskey when John became a doctor, said Mary Lou. A big city would have swallowed them up. Here they could make a difference. John, whose father was Canadian, was born in Detroit and, at 11, moved with his family to a farm in Sebewaing in the Thumb. He studied chemistry at Michigan State and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. Ophthalmology was just one part of what would become Tantons multifaceted life in this woodsy enclave. He saw patients from Tuesday to Friday, using evenings, weekends and Mondays to chase his other pursuits.Workday or not, he was usually up by 4 a.m. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, he was a voracious reader who developed a stunning breadth of interests and depth of knowledge, said friends. He learned German by subscribing to German newspapers. He convened weekly and monthly salons, discussing everything from books to public issues. He audited college classes to learn about macroeconomics, aquatic plants and genetic engineering. Vacations turned into busmans holidays, walks in the woods into botany lessons, said friends. Tapes in his car may play music or they may be lectures on history, politics or philosophy. Other interests: beekeeping, rock climbing, teaching himself the piano. Tanton surprises some associates by knowing more about their fields of expertise than they do. Hes a real Renaissance man, said Don Collins, a retired banker who has known Tanton since 1980. When he sees something, he wants to learn about it: history, culture, religion, politics. Green beginnings Tantons concern about immigration sprang from his environmentalism. Living on the farm, he worried about societys impact on the flora and fauna. Shortly after arriving in Petoskey, he started local chapters of the Audubon Society and Sierra Club and sued to stop proposed developments. He filed lawsuits against proposed developments, sometimes winning, sometimes not. He helped found the Little Traverse Conservancy, a local preserve that has protected 55,000 acres and 135 miles of waterfront in northern Michigan. The Tantons gave 20 acres of wetlands to the conservancy, and donated money for the purchase of 236 acres of woods that, in December, was named the Tanton Family Working Forest Reserve. Boy, when he had an idea, he did something about it, said Tom Bailey, conservancy executive director. He didnt just talk. He acted. One of the biggest threats to the environment was a growing population, Tanton believed. During college, when he was supposed to be studying to be a doctor, he read reports by the Population Reference Bureau, a private Washington group that studies population-related issues. When a 1965 immigration law removed quotas that favored northern Europeans and opened pathways from other nations, Tanton worried the immigrants, and their higher birthrates, would accelerate population growth. The Tantons, who have two daughters, started a local chapter of Planned Parenthood in 1965. John joined Zero Population Growth, which warns about the perils of overpopulation, in the late 60s and became president of the national group in 1975. He tried to convince members of the environmental and population groups to fight for restrictions on immigration, but had little luck, said John Rohe, who wrote a 2002 book about the Tantons, A Journey into American Conservation. So Tanton embarked on the crusade by himself, said Rohe. Branching out A solitary voice at first, Tanton searched for allies in academia, politics, labor and the environmental movement, and brought them together in retreats, said colleagues. They exchanged ideas, which he published in his quarterly magazine and small press. He found sympathetic foundations to finance their work. The fight would have to be waged through federal laws, so he set up a lobbying group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, in a cramped Washington basement in1979. He was chairman for eight years and a board member for 32 years. The fledgling movement needed a think tank to churn out studies supporting FAIRs goals, so in 1985, Tanton obtained a grant that paved the way for the Center for Immigration Studies, said the center. In 1997, he helped find the financing for a third group, NumbersUSA, which organized grassroots support for the cause. Tanton had a knack for organization, said Otis Graham, a retired history professor who served on the FAIR board. All these ideas came like bullets, Graham said last week. He was about as talented as you can be in spurring organizations into life. The three Washington groups worked in tandem: FAIR lobbied Congress, CIS testified at government hearings, and NumbersUSA had followers ring legislators phones off the hook. Despite being vastly outspent by a business lobby eager for foreign labor, the trio have derailed every attempt at immigration reform for 20 years, said activists on both sides of the debate. For pro-immigration forces, a 2007 loss was especially bitter. A compromise bill that would have granted amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants had bipartisan support and was expected to pass. But legislators received so many calls against the measure that it shut down the Capitol switchboard, according to news reports. The bill never came up for a vote. Tanton, who wrote end-of-the-year letters to friends describing his experiences during the previous 12 months, said in the 2007 missive he was heartened to see immigration discussed so robustly. Mission change When Tanton created FAIR, he envisioned a centrist group. But it didnt seem to be attracting anyone. After three years, the organization had just 4,000 members. During a FAIR board meeting in 1982, according to meeting minutes, chairman Tanton said his nationwide travels found little interest in the groups main message: that immigration hurt the environment and working class wages. On the other hand, he found festering resentment against Hispanic immigrants and the rising use of Spanish in America, according to the minutes. He wanted FAIR to tap into that emotion by opposing bilingual education and demanding that public agencies use only English. But the board demurred. It had always been careful to focus on the impact of immigration, not the immigrants themselves, said Graham. I didnt feel comfortable with it, said Graham. I remember thinking, this is diversionary, a mistake, taking time away from us. And so, just like Tanton started FAIR after Zero Population Growth declined to get involved with immigration, he started U.S. English in 1983 after FAIR declined to take up the language issue. Direct mail fundraising normally draws contributions from 1 percent of recipients, Tanton told In These Times magazine in 2006. U.S. English got 10 percent. U.S. English quickly racked up several victories, passing initiatives that made English the official language in Colorado, Arizona, Florida and California. It became clear that the language question had a lot more emotional power than the immigration question, Tanton told the magazine. During the language campaign in Colorado in 1988, someone leaked a memo Tanton had written for a yearly immigration retreat. In the seven-page note, Tanton mused on how immigration would affect California. Will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs, etc.? he wrote. He also fretted that Hispanics high birth rate would help them gain political power. Perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down! he wrote. After the 1986 memo was publicized, Linda Chavez resigned as president of U.S. English and iconic anchorman Walter Cronkite quit its advisory board. Tanton, the board chairman, soon followed them. Biting words When FAIR was formed, it refrained from setting up chapters around the country. It worried about attracting the coarser elements of the anti-immigration crowd. We dont want to project an image of racism, jingoism, xenophobia, chauvinism or isolationism, Tanton wrote in FAIRs mission statement in 1979. Ironically, it would be Tanton whose words would come to haunt the movement. After he donated his writings to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, an investigator with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, rummaged through them for several weeks in 2008. Heidi Beirichcombed through 17 boxes spanning 20 years of private letters, memos and journals. Beirich found several snatches of correspondence that echoed the racial comments in the 1986 memo, the law center reported.One was a 1993 letter to ecology professor Garrett Hardin in which Tanton worried about immigrations impact on Americas identity. Ive come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that, he wrote. Beirich also discovered several troubling associations Tanton had in the movement. Among them: Between 1982 and 1993, Tanton had obtained $1.5 million for FAIR from the Pioneer Fund, a fringe group that believed whites were genetically smarter than blacks, reported Beirich. Tanton also promoted the work of Jared Taylor, whose magazine, American Renaissance, warned that the growing number of blacks and Hispanics were making America more dangerous, said Beirich. He kept tight relations with those types of extremists, Beirich told The Detroit News last week. week of 3/6 His connections were as radical as they come. A messy business Critics used the revelations against the immigration-reduction movement. The SPLC splayed excerpts of Tantons writings on its website and in newspaper ads. At the same time, the three major groups Tanton helped start distanced themselves from him. CIS told reporters its only connection to Tanton was during the original funding. NumbersUSA said it had been independent of him since 2002. Tanton quietly left the FAIR board in 2011. The CIS published a report in 2010 that, while accusing the SPLC of using Tanton to smear the movement, admitted some of the criticism of Tanton was justified. The report said Tanton had a provincial temperament and a tin ear. Its sad, Pat Burns, a former FAIR deputy director, told The Detroit News. Its like a dead cat in a well. It poisons a lot of good water. Tanton has been that cat for 30 years. During the 2006 interview on his website, Tanton said building a coalition was a messy business that sometimes involved engaging with people whose extreme views he didnt necessarily share. There are a lot of slings and arrows that go along with being willing to take on these sensitive topics, he said. You have to have a tough hide to stand up to some of these things. fdonnelly@detroitnews.com Read or Share this story: http://detne.ws/2mHwjVj

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Hate Group Leader to Represent United States at United Nations Event – Rewire

News Politics Mar 15, 2017, 6:16pm Ally Boguhn The Center for Family & Human Rights has opposed inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination law, while supporting draconian anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia. The U.S. State Departments delegation to the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) includes a representativefrom an anti-LGBTQ organization designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The State Department announced on Monday that Lisa Correnti, executive vice president of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM), would actas a public delegate tothe event. Grace Melton, the Heritage Foundations associate for social issues at the United Nations, will also be part of the delegation, which isbeing led by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, toldRewire by phone Wednesday that C-FAM has beendesignated a hate groupdue to itsextreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. She pointed to itspresidents opposition to including sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination law,as well as C-FAMs support fordraconian anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia. Our view is that if an organization thinks people should be thrown in jail for being gay, theyre clearly a hate group, Beirich said. This is not the kind of organization anybody should be taking advice from, nor given a prominent place like this with these heinous views. C-FAMs inclusion in the official U.S.delegation is a travesty, she continued. Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis. DONATE NOW C-FAM was formed in 1997 in order to monitor and affect the social policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions, according tothe organizations website.A2011 investigative series published by Catholics for Choice reported that C-FAM was founded by anti-choice group Human Life International in hopes of gaining access to the UN. Human Life International has ties to violent anti-abortionists and extreme tactics [that] made it too controversial for the UN, according toa 2014 post onthe Southern Poverty Law Centers Hatewatch blog. Its founder, Paul Marx, a DC-based Catholic priest, also had a history of claiming that the pro-choice movement was full of Jews, who in his words, were perpetrating another Holocaust, the post said. Human Life International was denied consultative status [to the UN] in 1993, so it set up C-FAM in 1997 as its UN lobbying arm, and the organization shifted its rhetoric to include vague terminology like traditional values and respect for sovereignty (useful for countries that employ repressive policies and wish to avoid scrutiny for human rights violations). C-Fams website includes attempts to undermine reproductive health care and family planning, including a 2014 petition encouraging the UNnot to include sexual and reproductive health and services and reproductive rights in its post-2015 development agenda. UN development policies should not endorse narrowly focused, controversial health policies that include abortion, the petition said. C-FAM President Austin Ruse was a member of President Trumps anti-choice advisory council, an attempt during the election to woo voters who oppose abortion rights. Ruse attended a June meeting Trump held with leaders of the religious right. Following the meeting, Ruse suggested that it didnt matter whether Trumpwho hasshifted his views on reproductive rightsreally believed in the anti-choice cause. Im indifferent to his sincerity, Ruse said, according to Right Wing Watch. He added that with regard to the life issues, Trump would let our side do exactly what we want to do. Jessica Stern, executive director of LGBTQ human rights organization OutRight Action International, notedin a statement that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ambassador Haley had repeatedly pledged to uphold the right to be free from discrimination as an American value during their Senate confirmation hearings. The appointment of these organizations to the official US delegation undermines their positions, she said. I urge Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Haley to ensure that the US delegation maintains non-discrimination at the CSW in the face of obvious pressure from these newly appointed members of the delegation. Many Americans have recently asked themselves, what does foreign policy matter to human rights at home? Now, we have our answer, Stern said. The same groups advocating against womens rights, immigrants, Muslims, the Affordable Care Act, and LGBTI rights in the US are taking these views to the international stage. What the US says about women from around the world at the CSW will be a sign of things to come for American women, so it is essential that the US uphold American values and prevent all forms of discrimination at the CSW. Domestic and foreign policy are two sides of the same coin. The 61st session of the UNs Commission on the Status of Women is scheduledfor March 13-24 in New York. During the meeting, representatives of the CSWs 47 member governments convene to discuss ways to improve womens lives at an event that also features the active participation of civil society representatives from around the world, according to the State Departments press release. Public delegatesto the CSW under the Obama administration included leaders from the International Womens Health Coalition, the International Center for Research on Women, the Guttmacher Institute, and the Girl Scouts Council of the National Capital.

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Richard Spencer’s White Nationalist ‘Nonprofit’ Punished By IRS For Failing to File Tax Returns – The Root

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images So, this isnt the same or even as exciting as Richard Spencer getting punched in the face, but we should all feel some sort of satisfaction that this dude is getting something else he deserves. The IRS has stripped Spencers nonprofit organization of its tax-exempt status because it failed to file financial returns for three years. The Washington Post previously reported in December that Spencers think tank, the National Policy Institute, had been allowed to operate in financial secrecy since 2013, but on Tuesday, Spencer said he was told by the IRS that the Virginia-based organization had lost its tax-exempt status for failing to submit necessary records when it was supposed to. Spencer reportedly blamed the mistake on a former bookkeeper, and according to the Post, he has already begun the reapplication process, which could take months. From WaPo: The institute, which promotes a form of American apartheid, has functioned as a public charity that relies heavily on contributions. The IRS almost always requires such organizations to file returns that detail where the money comes from and how it is spent. For reasons the agency still hasnt explained, Spencers group had been categorized among those not obligated to file any returns whatsoever, according to an examination by the Post. Tax experts asked to review the case by The Post last year said they believed the classification was erroneous and should be fixed and, when it was, they predicted that the institute would lose its tax exemption. Despite the IRSs miscue, the experts added, Spencer still had a duty to provide the documents, known as Form 990s. The error allowed the institute to avoid public scrutiny at a time when the alt-right the term Spencer coined to describe a movement seeking a whites-only state had garnered international attention. According to the Post, when Spencer was first asked about the tax issue, he said he didnt know about, but that the blunder and its fallout had prompted him to fire the firm handling his accounting. The people I delegated this task to really screwed up. Ill take responsibility, Spencer said. We solved the issue, but now were facing the consequences. Spencer said that the institute will temporarily halt its fundraising until we get all of our is dotted and our ts crossed, a task that he predicted would take anywhere from one to six months. Spencer does not believe the revocation is politically motivated, and said he would only question the IRSs motivation if his reapplication is rejected. Im obviously going to respect their decision because mistakes were made on our end, Spencer said. According to the Post, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors Spencer and other white supremacists, were not aware until they were informed by WaPo that the IRS had not demanded that Spencers organization file returns, and they immediately objected. SPLC spokeswoman Heidi Beirich told the Post, If theyre going to claim tax breaks for their donors, we should know where the money is coming from and what the money is being spent on. Its important for the IRS to hold them to the same standard they hold the rest of us. Read more at the Washington Post.

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

America’s LGBT Centers Are Under Attack – Advocate.com

On Sunday afternoon, a visitor to theCasa Ruby LGBT Community Center in Washington, D.C., physically attacked a worker, threw a brick through a window, and let loose a string of verbal assaults. “I’ll kill your motherfucking ass. Ya’ll tranny motherfuckers think somebody won’t fuck y’all up,” the man screamed, according to a police report of the incident. Two weeks earlier, a different man entered the same facility, made sexual advances toward LGBT youth, and then punched a hole in the wall. He was arrested, but returned the following week to repeat the crime, reports DCist. TheCasa Ruby center is far from alone in being the target of attacks. Last week at least one armed person shot 13 pellets at theDennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa, Okla., reports theTulsa World. Hours later, a man entered the facility and began yelling expletives at the staff, telling them, I wish you would all die.” “We’re getting reports like this from all over the country,” said Toby Jenkins, the center’s executive director. “Gay community centers being vandalized; welcoming churches being vandalized; gay businesses being vandalized. Now it’s happened in Tulsa.” Two days earlier, a pair of men in Asbury Park, N.J., shattered the glass door of Garden State Equality, the state’s largest LGBT organization. Christian Fuscarino, the group’s executive director, said the building was no random target the broken glass was meant to send a message of terror to the LGBT community in New Jersey and beyond. “This kind of incident shows that hate knows no boundaries. It is not restricted by geography, even in a state as historically progressive as ours,” he told the Asbury Park Press. Since the presidential election, hate crimes have spiked, confirms the Southern Poverty Law Center. This uptick includes an increase in attacks on LGBT centers, mosques, and Jewish cemeteries, which as symbols of their respective communities, have become targets in a divisive political clime. The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community,”Heidi Beirich, a director of SPLC, toldVocativ. Last month, Vocativ counted at least five reported attacks on LGBT centers, including a smashed window at Equality Florida in Orlando and transphobic slurs scrawled on the side of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Three occurred after the Trump administration rolled back education guidelines protecting transgender students. We see the same pattern, Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward. Kelly Love, a spokesperson for the White House, told the Washington Blade that President Trump denounced these attacks. President Trump condemns hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms, including attacks against the LGBT community, Love said. However, activists worry that anti-LGBT legislation and directives, such as the rumored “religious freedom” executive order, will exacerbate these crimes. JoDee Winterhof, the senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, saidTrump must be more vocal in condemning such hatred, and become the ally he promised to be on the campaign trail. Many LGBTQ Americans are scared right now theyre scared of their rights being taken away, scared for their families, and scared that they may no longer be protected in the country they live in,” Winterhof said. “The president has done little to calm those nerves. He owes it to the LGBTQ community to not only disavow these acts of hate, but also to restore protections for transgender kids and totally rule out his license to discriminate executive order.”

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

US Rep. Steve King Tweets In Favor Of White Nationalism, Gets Little Pushback From Colleagues – Huffington Post

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has made no secretof how he views people who arent white, Christian or American-born. His latest public remarks are being critically viewed as a paean to white nationalism by Democrats and independentsbut not, evidently, by many of his Republican colleagues in Congress. On Sunday afternoon, King suggested that Muslim children were preventing our civilization from being restored. The tweet was in response to a cartoon tweeted out by an account that supports far-right European candidates and platforms. The cartoon depicts Geert Wilders, a candidate for prime minister in the Netherlands, sticking his finger in a dam labeled Western Civilization to stop a flow of green ooze with stars and crescent moons a color and set of symbols widely associated with Islam. A representative for King did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His remarks, however, align with ones made last September when heappeared with Wilders and Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the far-right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, saying, Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end. In anexplainer on white nationalism last year, Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at Birkbeck University in London, told The New York Times the ideology centers around intertwining national identity with ethnicity and the belief that whites should preserve a demographic, social and political majority. Yet more than five hours after King issued his remarks, most of Kings Republican congressional colleagues were conspicuously quiet. State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Minn.) was one Republican to condemn King, whom he called a fake conservative and a fake Republican. Evan McMullin, who ran as an independent presidential candidate in Utah, and Democrats like Rep. David Cicilline (R.I.) called out King for his endorsement of white nationalism. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) was not so much outraged as dismissive, calling King an ignoramus whom nobody takes seriously. One person who did take Kings words to heart and applauded them was former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke a figure whos arguably the strongest litmus test for whether a political position or worldview is on the wrong side of history. UPDATE: March 13 During an appearance on CNN Monday, King doubled down on his commentsin a fiery interview with Chris Cuomo. I meant exactly what I said, King told Cuomo. You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody elses babies. Youve got to keep your birth rate up… You need to teach your children your values and in doing so, then you can grow your population, and you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life. Heidi Beirich, an expert on extremism for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and extremist activity,on Monday called Kings remarks just a flat-out statement of white nationalism. In [Kings]comments on civilization and babies, he sounds no different than your standard white supremacist people likeJared Taylor and whatnot, Beirich told The Huffington Post. (Taylor is the editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance.) Its amazing to think that you can get away with that kind of rhetoric today, given the damage that this kind of racism has done over the years, Beirich went on. Youd expect it to be widely condemned, including by people of [Kings]own party. By Monday morning, several Republicans from Florida had indeed condemned Kings words. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, born to Cuban parents, asked if King considered him somebody elses baby, while Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told King to get a clue. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said that the sentiment expressed by Steve King doesnt reflect our shared history or values. This post has been updated with remarks from King, Beirich and multiple Florida Republicans.

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

LGBT Centers Keep Being Attacked; Why Aren’t Trump & The Media … – Instinct Magazine

Instinct Staff | March 12, 2017 Have you guys noticed that there’s been an increasing number of attacks on LGBTcenters across the country since the November election and no one in the Trump administration is talking about it? Vocativ notes: A wave of attacks against LGBT community centers spanning coast-to-coast cropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president. Since President Donald Trump withdrewfederal protections for transgender studentsin late February, three LGBT centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBT people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community, Beirich said, noting that LGBT people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targetedfor hate crimes in the United States. Here at Instinct, we’ve reported on these attacks as they’ve occurred–check out our posts on LGBT center attacks in Tulsa, New Jersey, and Los Angeles–so the information’s out there. Why is the Trump administration being silent as the LGBT community faces these assaults? These attacks range from graffiti to drive-by shootings. Why aren’t these attacksbeing covered more widely by the mainstream media?

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

LGBTQ centers are getting vandalized and no one’s talking about it – The Daily Dot

BY RYAN BECKLER A wave of attacks against LGBTQ community centersspanning coast-to-coastcropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president. Since President Donald Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students in late February, three LGBTQ centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBTQ people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBTQ community, Beirich said, noting that LGBTQ people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targeted for hate crimes in the United States. Most recently, at least one person riddled the Equality Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a pellet gun. Hours later, an enraged man came into the same building, cursed out the front desk crew, and allegedly told staff, I wish you would all die. The [shooting incident] made us mad and concerned, but that scared us to death, Toby Jenkins, the centers executive director told the Tulsa World on Monday. They cant hold in their bigot, and it just explodes on us like a volcano. On the East coast, two men were seen on surveillance footage shattering the glass door of the Garden State Equality office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And just a day after Trump announced his new transgender policy, vandals shattered a window of the Equality Florida office in Orlando. Earlier in February, Milwaukees Diverse & Resilient Center was reportedly vandalized for the third time in two months, with F*g being graffitied in the most recent incident. We cant be certain of the motives behind the vandalism or if the incidents are related, but we are aware that such attacks have increased across the country since the election, Gerald Coon, the president of Diverse & Resilient, told NBC News. We remain undeterred and will continue our work. Out West, a Los Angeles LGBTQ center was spray-painted with the words F**k Trannies. We see the same pattern, SPLCs Heidi Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward. The recent rise in attacks against the LGBTQ community come alongside an even sharper rise in threats to Jewish Community Centers. Those incidents were finally, explicitly condemned by President Trump in late Februaryafter many criticized his weeks-long silence. Also in late February, the president backtracked on his promise to fight for transgender people, by rolling back an Obama administration rule to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. A report in December found that a majority of trans people in America were already avoiding public restrooms. The White House did not return a request for comment. This story originally appeared on Vocativ and has been republished with permission.

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March 12, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

LGBT Centers Are Getting Vandalized And No One’s Talking About It … – Vocativ

A wave of attacks against LGBT community centers spanning coast-to-coast cropped up in the first months of 2017, receiving little national media coverage and no words of condemnation from the president. Since President Donald Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students in late February, three LGBT centers have been vandalized, bringing the total to at least five in the past month. But hate crimes against LGBT people have been on the rise since Novembers election, according to Heidi Beirich, the Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The truth is theres been a lot of groups of people victimized since the election [in November], especially the LGBT community, Beirich said, noting that LGBT people continue to be the groupmost likely to be targeted for hate crimes in the United States. Most recently, at least one person riddled the Equality Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a pellet gun. Hours later, an enraged man came into the same building, cursed out the front desk crew, and allegedly told staff, I wish you would all die. The [shooting incident] made us mad and concerned, but that scared us to death, Toby Jenkins, the centers executive director told the Tulsa World on Monday. They cant hold in their bigot, and it just explodes on us like a volcano. On the East coast, two men were seen on surveillance footage shattering the glass door of the Garden State Equality office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And just a day after Trump announced his new transgender policy, vandals shattered a window of the Equality Florida office in Orlando. Earlier in February, Milwaukees Diverse & Resilient Center was reportedly vandalized for the third time in two months, with F*g being graffitied in the most recent incident. We cant be certain of the motives behind the vandalism or if the incidents are related, but we are aware that such attacks have increased across the country since the election, Gerald Coon, the president of Diverse & Resilient, told NBC News. We remain undeterred and will continue our work. Out West, an Los Angeles LGBT center was spray painted with the words F**k Trannies. We see the same pattern, SPLCs Heidi Beirich said. Trump will attack a group of people and then we see incidents of hate crimes afterward. The recent rise in attacks against the LGBT community come alongside an even sharper rise in threats to Jewish Community Centers. Those incidents were finally, explicitly condemned by President Trump in late February after many criticized his weeks-long silence. Also in late February, the president backtracked on his promise to fight for transgender people, by rolling back an Obama administration rule to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. A report in December found that a majority of trans people in America were already avoiding public restrooms. The White House did not return a request for comment.

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March 11, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed


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