Until the 1980s, obedience to our nation’s laws and assimilation to the English language and culture were accepted conditions of becoming an American citizen. And until then, no one described illegal immigrants with the evasive term “undocumented.”
Beginning with the upheavals of the 1960s, multi-billion dollar funding organizations, and in particular the Ford Foundation, came under the direction of liberals and overtly left-wing activists. Despite its tax-exempt authorization to promote the general welfare, Ford created an army of progressive public-interest law firms, e.g. the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund [MALDEF], the National Council of La Raza, and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, specifically designed to advance a left-wing agenda. With Ford’s backing, these activist groups were empowered to transform the public debate on immigration, both legal and illegal, which ultimately shaped national policy to reflect agendas that originated on the political fringe and which, without Ford’s money, would probably have remained there.
MALDEF was founded by Peter Tijerina who preached “brown power” and “Chicano power,” urging Latinos, as an oppressed minority, to embrace their ethnic origins and reject assimilation into American culture. Ford exclusively funded the organization for about thirty years before drawing in funding from foundations like Carnegie and Rockefeller and corporations like Anheuser Busch, Coca Cola, AT&T, and Verizon, helping MALDEF to become a nationally influential advocacy group with offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago and D.C.
The National Council of La Raza was originally billed as a community organizing effort to help the “barrios to help themselves.” Yet, despite the civic sounding mission, La Raza’s agenda, like its leadership, was politically radical, a Latino version of the Alinsky grassroots movement. Maclovio Barraza, the founding chairman of the Board of Directors, had been cited by the federal government’s Subversive Activities Control Board as a Communist Party member. Their first executive director, Herman Gallegos, was a community organizer who worked with Alinsky to set up a local chapter of the Community Service Organization, the California-based Mexican American political action group that served as a forerunner to MALDEF and La Raza. With Fords assistance, La Raza now has become the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
Both MALDEF and La Raza have distorted the concept of citizenship rights, transforming them into “human rights” as though the establishment of such rights had nothing to do with the existence of a nation-state that was committed to those rights. Together these organizations have waged a relentless assault on local and national attempts to enforce existing immigration laws, and have been instrumental in the creation of “sanctuary city” policies that prevent police from checking immigrants legal and criminal status.
Supported by a network of left-wing organizations and foundations, including the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, these left-wing organizations have succeeded in defining the parameters of the immigration debate on their terms by labeling opponents anti-immigrant nativists and racists.
Using the 2008 presidential election, a ‘We Can Stop the Hate’ campaign was launched, with the support of the George Soros funded Media Matters and the Center for American Progress, designed to silence critics of open borders, of the budget breaking economic burden placed on social services and state provided education, the disproportionate crime and gang activity associated with illegals or the push by La Raza to claiming the entire southwestern United States for Mexico.
With the election of Obama, many of these radical Alinsky type groups now had a powerful advocate in the White House. Along with his other left-wing appointees, Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor, an alumnus of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund [PRLDEF], for a Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor had served on the PRLDEF board for twelve years, her entire legal career prior to becoming a federal judge in 1992. During her term at PRLDEF, she promoted the foundation’s core view that Puerto Ricans, despite their exemption from federal income tax even while receiving billions in federal assistance, and their effective dual citizenship even while being exempted from military service, were an oppressed minority in the US.
Ford’s interventions into issues directly affecting the Latino community are but one facet of its unique role in the national debate on sovereignty, ethnicity, and race. The idea at the center of this debate is multiculturalism, a concept that the Ford Foundation played helped push into America’s educational system.
Multiculturalism, the claim that cultures are equal or that their difference do not matter, poses a direct challenge to the idea that there is a distinctively American culture, which makes its pluralistic democracy possible. It is a calculated challenge to America’s exceptionalism as a nation whose identity is built on the integration of diverse ethnicities and their assimilation to a common social contract.
In 1992 the distinguished liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. wrote a jeremiad describing the multiculturalists’ assault on America’s founding, which he titled The Disuniting of America. Schlesinger noted that groups like MALDEF and La Raza had profoundly undermined America’s historical unifying creed of e pluribus unum [out of many, one] in favor of a multicultural ideology where ethnicity and race are irreducible categories.
“Instead of a transformative nation with an identity all its own, American in this new light is seen as preservative of diverse alien identities. Instead of a nation composed of individuals making their own unhampered choices, America increasingly sees itself as composed of groups more or less ineradicable in their ethnic character. The multiethnic dogma abandons historic purposes, replacing assimilation by fragmentation, integration by separatism. It belittles unum and glories pluribus.”
Source: The New Leviathan, by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin