Last month, Media Mouse published an article showing how white supremacist organizations are supporting Proposal 2/the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI). The Michigan chapter leader of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, John Raterink, has used his organization to actively support the campaign and has even highlighted a photograph of himself shaking the hand of Ward Connerly, the primary financial backer of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI). In addition, Media Mouse documented the fact that two Ku Klux Klan groups in Michigan have also supported the MCRI, both in campaigning for the proposal now that it is on the ballot and in collecting signatures to place it on the ballot. An article based on our research was published last month in the Grand Rapids Press that cited Jennifer Gratz, the Executive Director of the MCRI, saying that “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” essentially stating that while they did not ask for the Council of Conservative Citizens support, that they are right to oppose affirmative action. Ward Connerly, similarly stated that these issues of racism are a distraction from the real issue. However, the support given by white supremacist organizations cannot be ignored, both in terms of the what it says about the intent of the proposal and because it keeps coming up. An article published last month in the Detroit Free Press highlighted the fact that the Ku Klux Klan recently distributed literature supporting the MCRI in southeast Michigan. According to the article, the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan distributed copies of the March 2006 issue of the Klansmen’s Voice, a nationally distributed Ku Klux Klan newspaper, that features quotes Jennifer Gratz of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.
Moreover, the Michigan Council of Conservative Citizens is currently running a campaign of letter writing in support of the MCRI. According to the organization, they are writing letters to the editor of Michigan newspapers in support of Proposal 2. These letters have appeared in The Grand Rapids Press (October 8) and the Battle Creek Enquirer (October 8). It is worth noting that in the case of the Grand Rapids Press editorial, it was signed “John Raterink, Chairman, Michigan Council of Conservative Citizens,” with no disclaimer stating that the Council is a white supremacist organization. Raterink has also posted on the American Renaissance website about how the Michigan Council of Conservative Citizens will be “doubling its efforts” on the issue. The American Renaissance is a racist newspaper that attempts to develop a scientific justification for racism while ignoring the more overt forms of racism practiced by the Ku Klux Klan and neo-nazi groups.