PFIR`s Leah Durant (!) Latest Victim Of “White Nationalist” Smear

Pretty soon we will need a scorecard to keep track
of all

the charges of

against Americans who dare favor patriotic
immigration reform rather than amnesty.

As a Democrat, I have favored a rational debate on
immigration reform for many years. I was outraged when
Arizona`s SB1070 law was challenged by the US Justice
Department—on the narrow technical of
namely that Federal law always trumps state statutes.
But I

thought a serious debate might be the silver lining

It may still be. On Friday, the
Washington Post
put on its front page some questioning by the Federal
judge in Phoenix as to the merits of the Feds` case”

federal judge pushed back Thursday against a contention
by the Obama Justice Department that a tough new Arizona
immigration law set to take effect next week would cause
"irreparable harm" and intrude into federal immigration

can`t Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people
who have entered or remained in the United States?` U.S.
District Judge Susan Bolton asked in a pointed exchange

Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler
Her comment came during a rare federal court hearing in
the Justice Department`s lawsuit against Arizona and
Gov. Jan Brewer (R).

“Bolton, a Democratic appointee, also questioned a core
part of the Justice Department`s argument that she
should declare the law unconstitutional: that it is
`preempted` by federal law because immigration
enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.

is there a preemption issue?` the judge asked. `I
understand there may be other issues, but you`re arguing
preemption. Where is the preemption if everybody who is
arrested for some crime has their immigration status

on Arizona immigration law begins
By Jerry Markon, July 23, 2010

The judge said she is taking the case
. The law is supposed to take effect July

But of course the real motif of the

attacks on Arizona`s law

from the Administration and others in Congress and the
MainStream Media was its alleged

And the level of these
charges has not reduced down one whit. Apparently,
anyone who believes that we should have less
immigration, legal (one million work visas were given
out to foreign workers this past 12 months, during our
current deep recession) and illegal (how does this
condition favor the alleged job creation priority of the
Administration?), is going to end up the victim of
racism charges—either publically or silently, by

I have just learned of one example of this silent
suppression from

Leah Durant,

Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration
Reform (PFIR).

As its website (
makes clear, PFIR`s four main principles are legitimate
main stream concerns which most Americans share. I

1. Due to unsustainable growth and high consumption
rates, the US must consider the impact that over
population has on the environment,

2. Concern that current policies which flood the market
with low-wage workers create unfair competition and
reduce wages for all workers,

3. To date the US has become the 3rd most populous
nation in the world and has the fastest growth rate of
any industrial nation;

4, Because the US is growing at an unsustainable rate,
US population growth and over consumption have enormous
implication for worldwide sustain ability.

Gee, these seem to be issues which deserve careful
consideration and urgent action, don`t they? The world`s
population has grown from just over 1 billion a hundred
years ago to almost 7 billion today, and may go over 10
billion by 2100—if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
don`t intervene.

Since its founding, PFIR has pursued its goals by
publishing materials on these issues. But these
thoughtful intellectual forays immediately attracted
charges of racism.

By simply going to Goggle, one quickly finds two
articles attacking PFIR from several well known voices,
who are against any reasoned discussion of the
immigration reform issue.

(It is worth
mentioning that PFIR has
no connection
with the Federation for American
Immigration Reform [FAIR]—except that

it and all other entities favoring patriotic immigration

have been dubbed racists by

vigilante gangs

like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC—
to VDARE.COM. )The SPLC`s record has been recently well
documented in The
Social Contract
magazine`s Spring 2010 Special Issue

"The Southern Poverty Law Center – A Special Report"

On Friday, PFIR`s Executive Director wrote

Stuart Whatley, the Associate Blog Editor

of The Huffington
, a letter which bears reproducing, as it
reveals the dangerous institutionalized soft
totalitarianism which has crept into this immigration


Mr. Stuart Whatley, or whomever it may concern:

name is Leah Durant. I am the Executive Director of
Progressives for Immigration Reform, a Washington-based
non-profit organization.

little over a month ago,
Huffington Post
began publishing guest blog pieces written by me and
our staff twice per week. Our pieces were widely
accepted, and the comments following our posts indicated
that readers were genuinely eager to discuss the issues
being raised.

a week ago, our staff was confronted

with a piece

by Stephen Piggott, a writer at
Imagine 2050.
The piece announced that PFIR`s postings on Huffington
had been "pulled" due to PFIR`s


"connections to white nationalists".
 Although after
several successful and immediate posts, we noticed that
Huffington had discontinued publishing our blogs, the
Imagine 2050
article was the first we learned of Huffington`s
decision to "cancel" our featured blog spot.

In my opinion, if this is in fact the case, it is not
only unethical for Huffington Post to pull our
commentary based on the accusations of a single interest
group like Imagine 2050, it is also highly disappointing
that no one at the
Huffington Post had the decency to inform us that our commentary
would be pulled, or to provide us with an explanation.

We also regret not having an opportunity to respond to
the false and slanderous allegations made by Image 2050.
Although Imagine
is diametrically opposed to the goals of PFIR,
progressives, liberals and people from all political
persuasions can have legitimate and thoughtful
disagreements on the nation`s immigration policy,
without harboring racist motives.

As an
African American, (and clearly not a "white
nationalist"), I am highly offended by the tendency of
some media outlets to assume that anyone concerned with
limiting immigration is racist, while presenting no
evidence to that effect.

late Congresswoman

Barbara Jordan,

a liberal Democrat and the first African American woman
elected to Congress from Texas, led an

entire Congressional Commission

calling for reducing immigration to the US. Would this
logic dictate then, that Barbara Jordan be labeled as
racist too?

As for Imagine 2050`s central allegation of PFIR`s having ties to white
nationalists, not only are these charges patently false,
they are almost certainly actionable. Imagine 2050 has
its own agenda concerning illegal immigration, one which
stands in stark contrast to Progressives for Immigration
Reform`s. This provides no basis, however, for anyone`s
willingness to silence a legitimate view point within
the liberal community.

Huffington can find anything in our previous posts that
indicates PFIR`s alleged racist or white nationalist
motives, I would be happy to discuss this with you. I
can assure you there will be no such references. I ask
that Huffington staff reconsider the pulling of PFIR`s


V. Durant

Executive Director

Progressives for Immigration Reform

16th Street NW, Suite 800

Washington DC, 20006

Telephone: 202-543-5325

1-866-331-PFIR (7347)

How disappointing that Huffington`s editorial staff
apparently did not look carefully into PFIR`s legitimate
role, but just accepted its opponent`s claims—despite
(or because of?) the popularity of its blog posts.

Did they buckle to calls from some on the other side to
cut out even moderate voices?

Are we talking about another

Shirley Sherrod debacle
this time one which is sub rosa, harder to argue against
as it is sotto
, possibly repeated against many others (such as


true racism

exist? Of course. And it is

not pretty
But when we are discussing policy issues, legal issues,
constitutional issues, looking for the best way to
benefit our nation, we must focus on facts, fairness,
basic integrity—none of which are served by overt or
covert charges of racism.

As we have seen so often lately. the racist card is easy
to play and has enormous power to intimidate,
particularly when backed by huge political power.

I have watched the level of these

ad hominem



for years. But I know the basic fairness of American
people will in the end prevail. Those who use this
dangerous weapon indiscriminately will in the end be
unmasked for the thugs they are.

Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.