Larry Pratt's association with Pat Buchanan goes back many years. Pratt runs an assortment of far-right outfits out of an office in the D.C. area, including Gun Owners of America and English First, and has ties to anti-abortion groups as well. Pratt led an anti-abortion walkout from a Presidential conference on the family. His Gun Owners of America, which provided key funding to elect pro-militia Congress-members in the 1994 Republican take-over of Congress, was an early endorser of Buchanan's 1996 campaign. Pratt is himself a former elected official. He served as a right wing Virginia state legislator. Far from simply having made an error in judgment in attending one meeting with Klansmen and racists, he has been a key figure straddling the line and providing links between the "mainstream" right, Christian Reconstructionism, and the openly neo-nazi forces of Christian Identity and the Aryan Nations. He has spoken, for example, at the Jubilee "Jubilation," a California gathering sponsored by the leading Christian Identity newspaper, along with Aryan Nations "ambassador" and former Texas Klan leader Louis Beam. He was a repeated guest on Christian Identity minister Pete Peters's talk show.
Opposition to gun control, based on "biblical principles" more so than the second amendment, is a key aspect of Pratt's public stance. In a bizarre footnote to the police beating of Rodney King, Pratt suggested in a letter to the NY Times that King would've fared better had he been armed to defend himself. This is apparently a manifestation of Pratt's self-proclaimed "color-blindedness," but in fact expresses his blindness to the reality of racism.
Pratt exposed the racist character of his leanings by participating in the Estes Park, CO gathering called by Christian Identity "Reverend" Pete Peters to organize support for white supremacist Randy Weaver, who was arrested after a shoot-out with federal marshals in Idaho. Pratt, who is a Christian Reconstructionist, brought to the meeting his proposal, based on his book Armed People Victorious, for starting armed Christian militias in the U.S. The book is a study of efforts he was involved in in Guatemala, to promote the development of civilian armed patrols. These groups were armed and evangelized by U.S. based Christian right groups, in order to supplement the repressive power of the Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios-Montt when Congress restricted some military aid to the genocidal Guatemalan Army. Pratt's book also reported on similar efforts carried out by retired Gen. John K. Singlaub to arm and train evangelical Christian groups in the Philippines as a "counter-subversive" force under the Aquino administration.
This also exposes the true nature of Buchanan's and Pratt's foreign policy, not isolationism but dominationism. Pratt is an officer of the Council on Inter-American Security, (CIS). This hard-right think tank was the author of most of Ronald Reagan's Latin American policy and repeated the favor for George Bush. The CIS has extensive ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, a cult-like, anti-democratic religion which seeks political influence within the right wing movement internationally. CAUSA, a funding arm of the Moonies with big economic interests in Latin America, is one important link between the two groups. Pat Buchanan is a leading member of the CIS, along with Singlaub and Adolfo Calero of the Nicaraguan Contras. In addition to his efforts in the Philippines and his own involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, Singlaub is head of the former World Anti-Communist League (WACL), now re-named the World League for Freedom and Democracy. WACL was an amalgam of U.S. and European nazis and neo-nazis, Latin American death squads and Asian dictatorships.
CIS is extremely paranoid about the revolutionary potential of Latin America. The group defined Sandinista Nicaragua as "the fuse" leading to "the bomb" of Mexico. This hostility extends to Hispanics inside the U.S. In a paper called "Creating a Hispanic America: Nation Within a Nation?", the CIS virtually equated bilingual education and services with terrorism. "Bilingual education," it declared, "has national security implications." The paper compares the U.S. southwest to French speaking Quebec, with its potential for separatism. It sees the Mexicano and Spanish speaking population as in themselves a threat to U.S. national security and unity.
The paper also indulges in more blatant racism. It describes the Indian ancestors of Latinos as "uncivilized barbaric squatters" with "a penchant for grotesque human sacrifices, cannibalism, and kidnapping women." This is the ideology that connects Buchanan's foreign and domestic policies, and that guides English First leader Pratt in his fund-raising appeals for the English Only cause.
In one letter soliciting potential donors to English First, Pratt claimed, "Many immigrants these days are encouraged not to learn English. They remain stuck in a linguistic ... ghetto, living off welfare and costing working Americans billions of tax dollars." Buchanan has embraced Pratt's anti-immigrant views, calling for a five-year freeze on all immigration. Pratt's English First group was one of two principal organization behind the "English Only" movement, a cause to which Bob Dole has also signed on in this election year. English First promotes a race- based anti-immigrant hysteria and is, if anything, further to the right than the nexus of organizations connected to English-Only leader John Tanton (U.S. English and the Federation for American Immigration Reform), or at least more open about its rightist orientation. Gun Owners of America similarly positions itself to the right of the National Rifle Association.
The roots of U.S. English, FAIR and others of Tanton's groups, as well as those of English First, become clear when we examine the major sources of funding for the groups. Key funding for FAIR has come from the Pioneer Fund, a little known foundation dedicated to eugenics as a means of "racial betterment." Pioneer was created in 1937 to support what it called "applied eugenics in present day Germany." This was a reference to Hitler's nazi program of forced sterilization of those judged to be "feeble-minded" or "inferior." By 1937, the violently racist, anti-semitic nature of the nazi regime was already clear. So Pioneer's claims to support only scientific, non-racist research, is simply diversionary.
Pioneer has always been linked to the hard right in the U.S. Directors included Rep. Frances Walter of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and die-hard segregationist Sen. William Eastland. In the 1970's, Pioneer funded the racist "genetic" research of William Schockley and Arthur Jensen, which purported to prove that Blacks have hereditarily lower IQ scores than whites. Jensen served on the advisory board of "Neue Anthropologie," a German neo-nazi publication of the time. Pioneer's support for FAIR and Tanton's other groups, which are unrelated to genetics, expose the racist thinking behind the fund. John Trevor, an officer of the Pioneer Fund, testified in Congress against repealing the racial preferences in U.S. immigration law (enacted in the 1920's at the height of Ku Klux Klan influence and anti-immigrant organizing). Trevor warned that eliminating the preference for Northern Europeans would produce "a conglomeration of racial and ethnic elements" and "a serious cultural decline."
In addition to Tanton's groups, Pioneer also funded the work of Roger Pearson, the author of Eugenics and Race, a book which promoted the "Aryan superiority" theories of Hans Gunther, a racial theorist acclaimed in the Third Reich. This and similar pseudo-science funded by Pioneer formed the basis for the recent book The Bell Curve, promoting the idea that differences in "intelligence," and in social standing, are based on genetic differences between the races. Pearson, who had a history of racist activity going back to 1956, later became a national and international leader of the World Anti-Communist League. This takes us full-circle back to Pratt's milieu. (It should be noted, incidentally, that Thomas Ellis, the head of the Pioneer Fund during the 1970's is a presidential campaign adviser himself -- To Steve Forbes!)
Buchanan's and Pratt's Christian-based anti-gay bigotry also draws them toward the fascist right. Christian Identity leader "Reverend" Pete Peters, with whom Pratt has repeatedly associated himself, is a major ideological spokesperson of Christian bigotry against gays. He wrote a book (dedicated to his "friend the Colonel," Bo Gritz, former Populist presidential candidate), called The Death Penalty for Homosexuals, Prescribed in the Bible. Peters was found liable for violating fair election practices laws after putting money raised by his "church" into an anti-gay electoral campaign in support of a Colorado state proposition. As in Oregon and Nevada, such anti-gay organizing has led to violence. Ruth Williams, a psychotherapist who had displayed a pro-gay rights bumper sticker on her car during the campaign, was beaten unconscious in her office. Crosses were cut in her skin and Christian slogans spraypainted on the office walls, which was ransacked. The head librarian at Colorado College, who had displayed a "Vote No on 2" placard in his yard, had his tires slashed, windows smashed a shot fired into his car. A book seller involved with the Citizens Project, a main group opposing the anti-gay initiative, had his business repeatedly vandalized. As in Oregon, cars with pro-gay rights bumper stickers were run off the road. In one Colorado case, the driver of the other vehicle held up a sign reading "Lesbo" at the woman he had forced off I-25. Practically everyone who wrote letters to the editor of local papers opposing the anti-gay initiative received harassing, anti-gay calls, sometimes death threats.
Although Pratt tries to use his membership in Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership as proof against charges of anti-semitism, Buchanan himself has flirted with anti-Jewish rhetoric. Buchanan couched his opposition to Bush's Gulf War mobilization in terms similar to those of Tom Metzger, the former Klansman and head of White Aryan Resistance, as serving Israeli rather than U.S. interests. Buchanan referred to Jewish supporters of the war as an "amen corner for Israel." Buchanan also went to great rhetorical lengths in defending accused nazi war criminals. Abortion is another area where Buchanan's view have mirrored those of Metzger. In his column, he favorably quoted Rev. Paul Marx, a clerical-fascistically inclined Catholic anti-choice leader, that Muslim Turkish doctors in Germany were aborting German women at a feverish pace in order to finance their own burgeoning families. This line, that abortion (and contraception) represent cultural suicide for the Western nations is quite close to metzger's slogan that "abortion is white genocide."
Moreover, Pratt is not the only suspect campaign and personal associate Buchanan has attached himself to. Immediately after Pratt's suspension, a Florida chair for Buchanan's campaign, Susan Lamb, was terminated after her simultaneous position as local leader of David Duke's National Association for the Advancement of White People became known. Duke himself backed Buchanan in the Louisiana primary victory over Phil Gramm that sent his stock soaring. Buchanan accepted the endorsement, saying "He's endorsing me, I'm not endorsing him." Buchanan has also been the favorite of the Liberty Lobby's Willis Carto, who promotes Buchanan as a "populist" and supported him in 1992 and again this year. Carto's "Spotlight" weekly newspaper, which gives Buchanan constant favorable coverage, is considered the most influential voice of anti-Semitism in the U.S. Carto is both a Holocaust revisionist and a supporter of the forced repatriation of Blacks to Africa.
Another top-level adviser to Buchanan, Samuel Francis, was recently fired by the Moonie-owned Washington Times. Francis had used the Bible in his Times column to show that slavery and racism were not sins ( a view shared by Pratt as well in his denunciation of liberation theology in Armed People Victorious). In the conservative journal Chronicles, Francis has urged the prohibition of immigration from "countries or cultures that are incompatible with and indigestible to the Euro-American cultural core" of the U.S. Buchanan himself proclaimed that he would rather see a million Englishmen enter the U.S. "than a million Zulus," claiming this was a cultural and not a racial preference.
Michael Novick with People Against Racist terror, editor of Turning the Tide, a journal of anti-racist activism research and education, and author of White Lies White Power, from Common Courage Press.
Anti-Racist Action Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror (ARA-LA/PART)
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