Racism, Anti-Immigrant Sentiment, White Nationalism and Islamophobia, Is This the GOP’s Future?

Imagine 2050, February 19, 2010

The 37th annual Conservative Political Action Conference kicked off today in Washington DC. This year’s event is featuring big players in the conservative movement, but more concerning, the extreme right are also prominent. During my first eight hours at the event I heard examples of Islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-Semitism and some flat out racist and extremist comments coming from both speakers and attendees.

The first session I attended was entitled “Student Activist Workshop” was sponsored by the Leadership Institute and the Alliance Defense Fund, a group that defends students freedom on college campuses. {snip} As the discussion came to an end, the main speaker, Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, finished his remarks with a bizarre Islamophobic rant–warning students that if they aren’t careful the United States will be taken over by Muslims like Western Europe has. {snip}

{snip} Instead of using his allotted time to rant about immigrants, J.D. Hayworth instead attacked his opponent in the upcoming Senate race, John McCain. Hayworth did bring up immigration at the end of the panel discussion when Chad McDonald, Director of Social Media Marketing for the anti-immigrant organization NumbersUSA asked a question directly to Hayworth about the border. Hayworth said something to the affect of “our borders are about as secure as we are close to finding another galaxy.”

I headed over to the main ballroom to see a very interesting speech by house minority leader John Boehner. {snip} After leaving this event I ran into Hannah Giles and the now infamous James O’Keefe, who was arrested recently for attempting to wiretap Sen. Landrieu’s phone. After his arrest, reports surfaced about O’Keefe attending a white nationalist forum in 2006, featuring Jared Taylor, the head of white nationalist organization American Renaissance. {snip}

The final workshop of the evening I attended was perhaps the most disturbing. It was a screening of the film Border War which looks at immigration on the southern United Sates border. J.D. Hayworth introduced the film in which he plays a major role before promptly leaving as the movie started. About 5 minutes in the film showed some undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the border. As this scene went on, a man sitting to my left said “shoot them” loud enough for the people around him to hear. Instead of eliciting condemnation or shock, the other attendees merely continued to watch the film. If this had happened just once I would have given the other attendees the benefit of the doubt of not hearing him, but the man went on to say it two more times during the film!

{snip}

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