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A Tale Of Two Press Conferences
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April 15, 2008, 05:34 PM
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This past Tuesday VDARE editor Peter Brimelow appeared at a press conference sponsored by the Social Contract Press on a new study [PDF] put out by VDARE columnist Ed Rubenstein. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists both VDARE and the Social Contract Press as hate groups. The other panelist was Wayne Lutton, editor of said "hate publication" and they tied him to a number of "hate groups" as well.

The report was on the relatively uncontroversial topic of the fiscal costs of immigration, so the Southern Poverty Law Center—not known for any policy work—had little to say about study except to say that it is higher than other estimates (why else would they publish it?) and that "no mention whatsoever is made of what most economists agree on —that immigrants, legal and otherwise, help grow the economy in ways that actually increase jobs for native Americans." (Well, that is outside of the scope of the study, and in fact Rubenstein addressed that argument at the press conference.)

Brimelow, Lutton, and Rubenstein are not racists—whatever that means, but they are willing to make arguments about culture and demographics that some immigration restrictionists try to avoid lest they be tarred as racists. The next step of fear is to avoid being associated with such unkempt individuals and organizations. Of course this allows for the SPLC and the other smearmongers to set the terms of the debate.

The naming of FAIR, the largest immigration reduction organization that has done a great deal of outreach to the minority community, as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center should dispense any notion that this makes any difference.

With this in mind, look at the Southern Poverty Law Cente's expose of a Townhall meeting in Alabama about immigration:

"Clearly aimed at riling up nativist fury, the fliers for the event allege that “the average illegal immigrant household receives approximately $30,000 in government benefits each year but pays only $9,000 in taxes.”

The problem, as is often the case with the “facts” nativists dredge up to illustrate the evils of immigration, is that these calculations are wildly misleading at best."

While the SPLC’s words are nearly identical to the attack against the Social Contract Press, the group they are referring to is the Eagle Forum, and the study they are tarring is by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. The Eagle Forum is one of the largest grassroots conservative organizations in the country, and is headed by Phyllis Schlafly who is one of the most respected conservatives in the movement. The Heritage Foundation is the largest and most respected conservative think tank, and as the architect of welfare reform, Rector is one of their star scholars.

The "links" that the SPLC used against the Eagle Forum were to other mainstream conservative groups like Accuracy in Media and the Swift Boat Veterans.

The sooner more and more conservatives and immigration restrictionists start ignoring the SPLC, their influence will wane.