Over the past few years, Mediamouse.org has occasionally written about the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), John Tanton. Tanton, who resides in Petoskey, Michigan, is a primary architect of the anti-immigrant movement and has been instrumental in both creating organizations in the movement and setting some of its agenda. However, despite numerous connections to organized racism–including accepting grants from the eugenicist Pioneer Fund–Tanton and FAIR have always denied that they are racist despite persistent connections to the racist right.
Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center published an article titled “The Tanton Files: FAIR Founder’s Racism Revealed” that reviews years of personal correspondence undertaken by Tanton. The correspondence–archived at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan–includes 20 years of letters. Those letters contain “explosive material” about Tanton’s beliefs according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In them, Tanton writes to prominent white nationalists including Jared Taylor of the American Renaissance, as well as prominent anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald. Moreover, far from just being personal correspondence–members of FAIR’s board are often included on the correspondence.
The letters provide further justification for labeling FAIR a “hate group” which the Southern Poverty Law Center did in 2007.