More on John Tanton’s Incredibly Racist Views

More on John Tanton’s Incredibly Racist Views July 22, 2019

I wrote a few days ago about the death of John Tanton, the eye doctor from Northern Michigan who founded most of the major, highly influential anti-immigration organizations. Mark Potok, formerly of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has tracked him for decades and kept a record of him revealing his not merely racist but white supremacist views. His obituary for Tanton lays out some of that evidence.

By the 1990s, that camouflage was wearing thin. One example: In 1994, the Social Contract Press, the publishing arm of Tanton’s empire, republished an English translation of the savagely racist French novel The Camp of the Saints, which Tanton once described as his favorite book. The book that Tanton called “prescient” describes the invasion of France by “swarthy hordes” of Indians, “grotesque little beggars from the streets of Calcutta,” who arrive in a desperate refugee flotilla. It is particularly critical of white liberals, who, rather than bar the immigrants, “empty out all our hospital beds so that cholera-ridden and leprous wretches could sprawl between white sheets… and cram our nurseries full of monster children.”

Tanton wrote that we are “indebted” to author Jean Raspail, “for his insights into the human condition, and for being so many years ahead of his time. History will judge him more kindly than have some of his contemporaries.” Tanton’s edition of the book carried a special afterword from Raspail, who told his readers that “the proliferation of other races dooms our race, my race, to extinction.”…

But even then, he was already developing an admiration for eugenics—the utterly discredited “science,” favored by the Nazis, of creating a better human race through selective breeding. As early as 1969, Tanton wrote officials in Michigan asking if state law allowed forced sterilization. He was concerned, he wrote, about “a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them.”

Almost 30 years later, he was still mulling the same questions.

“Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids?” he wrote to eugenicist Robert K. Graham. “And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news, and how will it be implemented?”…

In the early 1990s, Tanton’s white nationalist views were again on display, this time in a proposal he made to a FAIR board member. He wanted to create a group called League for European American Defense, Education, and Research. He came up with the idea after talking to white nationalists including Jared Taylor, who has written that black people are incapable of sustaining civilization.

I’m a little surprised and annoyed that even Potok uses the term “white nationalist” instead of white supremacist. I have long maintained, and continue to, that the phrase used so widely today was created by white supremacists as a euphemism to soften the effect of the phrase white supremacist and make it seem like there’s a difference between the two. There is not. When they say “I’m a white nationalist, not a white supremacist” it’s like saying “that’s a car, not an automobile.” They are one and the same thing and we should not adopt their phrasing. We should call a spade a spade, each and every time.

But on the substance of this, it’s clear that Tanton, who did more than any other man to foster the anti-immigrant climate we see today, was in fact a white supremacist. He believed that white European Americans were better than other “mongrel” races in every way and that we should turn America into a white stronghold. Trump has been busy doing virtually everything Tanton demanded be done, which is why he is so often cheered and supported by white supremacists and neo-Nazis like David Duke. These are dangerous, dangerous people and their ideology is poison to any culture that values equality and human rights. The the current occupant of the White House is essentially their lackey.


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