It was nicknamed the “Papers Please” law and thanks to Kris Kobach and the right-wing ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), two dozen copycat bills quickly spread to other conservative states. Can you imagine walking down the street and police having the power to stop you and your children and throw you in jail on the suspicion alone that maybe you don’t belong? Because you have brown skin or an accent? Terrifying, right?
What if I told you that same man, Kris Kobach, spoke to a group of White Nationalists just last year?
On Oct. 25, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was a featured speaker at a “writers' workshop” put on by the white nationalist The Social Contract Press (TSCP), according to a report from the Center for New Community. For an elected official, this is a problem.
The Social Contract Press
is a Michigan-based publishing house that routinely puts out race-baiting articles penned by well known white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S., Inc., the foundation created by John Tanton
, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement and TSCP’s publisher. Tanton has assiduously cultivated relationships with Holocaust deniers, eugenicists and various other extremists over the years. And he’s clear about his racism: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
Before becoming the secretary of state in Kansas, Kobach worked for an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group:
Kobach’s closeness to hate groups runs far deeper than speaking to TSCP. For years, Kobach has worked as a lawyer for the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed FAIR as a hate group since 2007—and for good reason.
Tanton founded FAIR, and its current President Dan Stein has said, among other things, “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing … Many of them hate America, hate everything that the United States stands for.” In another instance, Stein said that the 1965 Immigration Act, which undid four decades of explicitly racist immigration policy in the United States, “was a great way to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance and hubris…and it’s a form of revengism, or revenge, that these forces continue to push the immigration policy that they know full well are [sic] creating chaos and will continue to create chaos down the line.”
Kris Kobach is also extremely dedicated to making sure that minorities, women and low-income voters can’t participate in elections. His outrageously unconstitutional laws and actions were struck down by the federal courts last month. From the Kansas City Star:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has suffered another stinging, embarrassing loss in court. And that’s a victory for the rights of voters in the Sunflower State.
Kobach’s anti-voter efforts were slapped down Friday by a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia.
The editorial went even further:
Earlier this year, the often-smug Kobach had assured people that the courts would uphold his attempt to make it harder to vote.
But that hasn’t happened at any step of the way, as courts often have ruled against Kobach’s disdainful attitude toward voters — especially those who have low incomes or are minorities.
This is a repulsive signal from Donald Trump. If this is a sign of things to come, buckle up. We are going to have to fight like hell to save this democracy.