separated by a span of two hundred years, Dan Stein the president
of the Federation for American
Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the American
Colonization Society (ACS) founded in 1816 have something in
common. They both want blacks to go back to Africa.
of Liberia’s political struggles today are the result of ACS, a
U.S. organization that finally shut its doors in 1964. Last Friday
Press reported that Liberia’s democratically elected president
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a Minnesota audience that “. . . the
country is making great progress on rebuilding infrastructure, debt
relief and education after a 14-year civil war.”
United States should celebrate this progress, not by turning our
backs on a country we helped to create, but by supporting Liberia’s
move towards a multi-ethnic democratic society. We accomplish this
by supporting those black refugees among us, not forcing them out
of the United States into a country that is not yet completely stable.
the Obama administration recognized that the nation of Liberia is
still stabilizing after two bloody civil wars, when he extended
the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of Liberian refugees in the
United States for a 12-month
period. The extension also served to protect black families
in the United States who would have been ripped apart by the forced
deportations that would have occurred.
the weeks leading up to the extension of TPS for Liberians, the
only opposition to it appeared in the form of the notorious anti-immigrant
organization the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Ignoring information provided by the U.S.
State Department on the current status of Liberia, Stein flippantly
“It is time for people to go back and rebuild their country.”
reported that Stein went further stating that “. . . for Liberians
to stay when their country is at peace would be an abuse of U.S.
hospitality.” While Stein and FAIR falsely claim in public that
the organization is only concerned with “illegal” immigration, this
is not the first time that Stein has attacked refugees of African
the winter 1991-1992 issue of the white nationalist publication
Contract Press, Stein argues that Haitian refugees fleeing a
military coup that resulted in the overthrow of the democratic government
should be sent back. In the midst of the Haitian crisis Stein callously
titled his essay “Haitians Should Follow the Rules.” Social Contract
Press is produced by Wayne Lutton, a leader with Council
of Conservative Citizens, the reconstituted white citizens’
councils of the 1960s.
FAIR is designated a hate group by the civil rights organization
Southern Poverty Law Center which publishes annual listings of such
organizations. One of the reasons listed is FAIR’s acceptance of
1.2 million dollars from the Pioneer
Fund, a group that works to prove that blacks are inferior to
whites because of genetics.
Pioneer Fund supported much of the research used in the pseudo-scientific
book, The Bell Curve which attempted to argue that blacks
were less intelligent than whites. Many board members of the Pioneer
Fund were opposed to the 1960s civil rights movement including founding
Preston Draper who also funded efforts to force blacks back
200 years ago the American Colonization Society (ACS) was created
to deal with the so-called “black problem” in the United States,
the country of Liberia. Blatantly ignoring the indigenous Africans
already living in the territory, ACS decided that the solution for
maintaining white supremacy was to remove to Liberia those blacks
who had been formerly enslaved in the U.S. Predictably, ACS support
included white Southerners who were afraid of “black revolt” and
whites who feared black competition in the Northern economy.
that time not much has changed. Hate groups like FAIR and their
leaders like Dan Stein continue to rail about the dangers of revolt
and economic competition. The only difference is that they’ve simply
substituted the terms “illegal” and “refugees” for Negro.
Guest Commentator, Eric Ward, is currently the national field director
with the Center for New Community based in Chicago. He began his
evolution as a human rights leader in 1989 in the Pacific Northwest.
A former staff member with the non-profit organization Clergy and
Laity Concerned (CALC), Eric founded and directed a community project
designed to expose and counter hate groups and respond to bigoted
violence. Eric began this work during a period when the national
white supremacist movement was shifting its focus from the South
to the Pacific Northwest. He is the editor of three published works:
Conspiracies: Real Grievances, Paranoia and Mass Movements;
Second Civil War: States Rights, Sovereignty and the Power of the
County and American Armageddon: Religion, Revolution and the Right.
to contact Mr. Ward.