Race Bait and Switch

Devin Burghart, TPMCafe (Talking Points Magazine), December 7, 2009

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Ferris State University [in Michigan] was in the process of planning a debate on immigration policy scheduled for the spring of 2010. They’d already lined up a local immigration attorney, to represent the “liberal” side in the debate. To find a representative of the “conservative” position, a faculty member contacted The Social Contract Press–the anti-immigration publishing house headquartered just up the road in Petoskey–requesting a speaker.

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In a letter dated September 21, 2009, TSC editor Wayne Lutton replied to the Ferris State request made by Dr. Barry Mehler, “I have travel plans for the Spring and can not[sp] commit to any programs at this time. Jared Taylor, of American Renaissance, would be pleased to debate Mr. Kessler or yourself.”

{snip} American Renaissance first described itself as a “literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility.” It claimed that “White people” had lost their voice and that the United States was in danger of losing its “national and cultural core.” Capturing the centrality of anti-immigration activism to white nationalism, Taylor wrote in a 2001 AR piece that,

Undoubtedly the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration. Racial preferences, guilt-mongering, anti-Western education, even anti-white violence are manageable problems compared to a process that is displacing whites and reducing them to a minority. With a change in thinking at the right levels, anti-white policies and double standards could be done away with practically overnight, but that would still leave us with nearly 100 million non-whites living in the country.

Taylor has enjoyed using university events like this to promote American Renaissance, legitimize himself, and bask in the attention created by the campus controversies that ensue when racists have a platform. {snip}

Lutton describes himself as a “right-wing green” to camouflage his decades of white nationalist activism. Far from being a conservative environmentalist, Lutton has a long-standing relationship with Jared Taylor and his white nationalist group American Renaissance. For instance, Lutton spoke at the first two conferences of American Renaissance in 1994 and 1996 and is scheduled to speak at the 2010 AR conference next February. He also serves as a trustee of the American Renaissance’s parent organization the New Century Foundation.

Lutton and Taylor have also worked together in other white nationalist organizations. Lutton was a senior fellow at the white nationalist think-tank, the National Policy Institute, where Taylor was a board member. They’ve been editorial advisors to the Council of Conservative Citizen’s publication, the Citizen Informer. The two sat together on the editorial advisory board of the racist and anti-Semitic journal, The Occidental Quarterly, while the editor was Lutton’s TSC colleague Kevin Lamb.

{snip} The relationship between The Social Contract and American Renaissance goes both ways. Jared Taylor has written for The Social Contract, first as a letter-writer, then a full-fledged contributor. Taylor attended TSC founder John Tanton’s exclusive WITAN meetings, the controversial gatherings of hand-picked attendees which took the name from an Old English term, witenagemot, or council of wise men. At Taylor’s request, Tanton even provided early input on the direction of American Renaissance.

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Wisely, Ferris State University didn’t take the bait. The university chose not to extend an invitation to Taylor. As the immigration issue once again starts working its way to the fore, the experience is a reminder to colleges, universities, and other organizations (including media outlets), to take a much closer look at nativist leaders.

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