The Blog

Jul 10, 2014, 8:23
At CPAC 2014, Ann Coulter (left) called for nativist death squads, while white nationalist Robert Vandervoort (right) was allowed to bring his nativist English-only outfit back to the conference.

The Unbearable Whiteness of CPAC

Friday, 21 March 2014 15:17

For years, white nationalists found themselves on the outside looking in, faces pressed against the glass to get a glimpse at the movement happenings at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the times they are a changing. Not since Pat Buchanan’s racially-tinged insurgent campaign at the 1992 conference have white nationalists found a more hospitable environment in the halls of CPAC.

With the rise of the Tea Party, the doors to CPAC flew open wide in 2010. The same year that CPAC gave the “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement, the far-right John Birch Society, a group kept outside for decades, was allowed to co-sponsor the event for the first time. Others on the far-right were welcomed into the fold, and racist rhetoric about president Obama was allowed center stage. Just like that, CPAC became a white nationalist friendly zone.

Despite a more tightly controlled platform this year, the annual conservative confab did little to disabuse white nationalists of the notion that they were at home, particularly when leaders expressed racially-charged rhetoric and calls for nativist “death squads” were met with raucous cheers from the floor.

clockwise from top left: Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin at CPAC 13, Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz speaking at a Government Shutdown rally in Washington DC, Seattle Tea Partiers protest against immigration reform, Tea Party "Day of Resistance" in Salt Lake City, Tea Partiers against the IRS, and Confederate flag flown at Tea Party rally outside White House.

Special Report: The Status of the Tea Party Movement - Part One

Thursday, 09 January 2014 02:50

Special Report: The Status of the Tea Party Movement
Part One: The Tea Party in 2013

During the month of January 2014, IREHR will publish a multi-segment special report on the current status of the Tea Party movement.  We will track the membership of the principal organizations in the movement—a task undertaken by no organization or agency other than IREHR. We will look at geographic regions where this membership is concentrated.  And we will look at some of the money that keeps this movement in the public eye. In the piece below, we follow the Tea Parties over the course of 2013.

Air War: The Anti-Immigrant Establishment’s Battle Plan

Air War: The Anti-Immigrant Establishment’s Battle Plan

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 17:53

Conventional wisdom suggests there are two distinct elements of modern campaigns: the “ground game,” the ability of campaigns to organize and mobilize supporters to get out and engage in the fight; and the “air war,” the money poured into advertising and other passive means of persuading voters to support a campaign. Finding the elusive balance between the two is said to be the key to winning.

In this latest round in battle over comprehensive immigration reform, the anti-immigrant establishment has largely conceded the ground game. One reason: their base of support evaporated.

Keeping the Hard-Core Racist in the Dog House in South Carolina

Tuesday, 04 June 2013 10:33

On May 24, IREHR published an article detailing the white nationalist, Tea Party and anti-immigrant activities of Roan Garcia-Quintana, who South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley had named as a co-chair of her re-election campaign. Four days later, Gov. Haley asked for and received Garcia-Quintana’s resignation from that post.  While it is difficult to know what exact sequence of events led to the rejection of this white nationalist-Tea Partier, we do know that IREHR was the first to publish a catalogue of his misdeedsWashington Post reporter Mary Curtis did cite IREHR’s 2010 report Tea Party Nationalism, which contained the relevant information on Garcia-Quintana, although she did not mention it by name but by inference as a “NAACP-backed report.”

Council of Conservative Citizens Board Member Roan Garcia-Quintana

White Nationalist Tea Partier Co-Chairing South Carolina Governor Re-Election Committee

Friday, 24 May 2013 02:00

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced in February the co-chairs of her statewide grassroots re-election steering committee. Included on the steering committee is, Roan Garcia-Quintana a Tea Party activist who serves at the same on the board of the largest white nationalist organization in the country, the Council of Conservative Citizens—the lineal descendant of the Jim Crow-era white Citizens Councils.

Tea Party Patriots filed for 501(c)(4) non-profit status with the IRS, but have been engaged in questionable political activity since.

Tea Party Group Protesting IRS Has History of Questionable Political Involvement

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:10

Tea Party Patriots, originally formed as a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation in 2009, has a history of questionable electoral activity.  Nevertheless, as one of the largest of the movement’s national factions, it is taking advantage of the so-called IRS scandal to re-ignite the anger of Tea Partiers, encourage their (false) sense of victimhood, and increase their ranks.

Across the country, people took to the streets on May 1, 2013 to support comprehensive immigration reform.

5 Things to Watch for in Immigration Debate

Thursday, 09 May 2013 13:47

On May Day 2013 thousands of people turned out onto the streets in hundreds of cities to march for comprehensive immigration reform. With the process partially underway, IREHR takes a look at five different things human rights supporters should be keeping an eye on as the debate moves forward.

1. Tea Partiers Lead the Counter-Mobilization

In contrast to the seeming “consensus” view that immigration reform is a fait accompli, anti-immigrant forces still think they can kill the bill. Unlike the 2005-2007 battles over comprehensive immigration reform, however, there isn’t a unified opposition lead by a close-knit network of anti-immigrant groups. This time, the situation is much more fluid and complicated.

Tea Party Patriots Pivoting from Guns to Immigration, Protesting Outside Sen. Rubio's Florida office, April 16, 2013

Tea Party Joins Gun Lobby to Kill Gun Background Checks

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 14:24

Defeating immigration reform next on the Tea Party agenda.

On April 17, the Senate failed to overcome the 60-vote threshold necessary to end a filibuster on bipartisan legislation to expand gun background checks to gun shows and internet sales. The bill garnered a 54-vote majority versus 46 opposed, but fell short of the 60 needed to overcome the minority’s filibuster.

The legislation, written by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), was the centerpiece of gun safety efforts in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut murders. Failed amendments to the bill including an effort to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and several GOP-sponsored efforts that weaken existing gun laws.

It took a concerted effort by the gun lobby and their Tea Party allies to block universal background check legislation, which currently has the support of roughly 90% of the American public according to recent opinion polls.

Efforts by gun lobby groups including the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms were fierce. Their efforts were supplemented by national and local Tea Party groups who rallied outside the local offices of several Senators and flooded Senate phone lines with calls and faxes.

The Tea Parties Are Still Strong: Prepare for the Battles Ahead

The Tea Parties Are Still Strong: Prepare for the Battles Ahead

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:10

In Michigan, so-called right to work legislation has been signed. As everyone knows, such legislation has nothing to do with finding and keeping a job, and everything to do with driving down the political power and membership density of unions. Just four short years ago, this measure would have been considered inconceivable in Michigan. Earlier this year, many union officials scoffed at its prospect. Now it has become law.

What has so sharply changed the balance of forces? Simply put: the Tea Party movement has radicalized a large swath of white people and made them immune to any calls for the common good.