The Minuteman Project (Wikipedia) has been dealt a couple of blows in recent weeks. For example, anti-racist demonstrations in opposition to the group have been building up steam. A protest in New Mexico (Associated Press) drew hundreds. (For more on the movement against the MM, see SouthWest Action to Resist the Minutemen). In addition, local and national officials have distanced themselves from the project, if not from its intentions. The chairman of the Democratic Party in Hidalgo County, Texas (KGBT Television) announced his party’s opposition to the Minutemen operating in the state. The head of the Texas branch of the Minutemen quit (Houston Chronicle – unavailable without subscription) (Alternate link), claiming that the group was even more racist than he expected and he doesn’t want his “name and my reputation associated with a group of people who are racist like that.” I don’t doubt for a second that the man who invited the group into his state in the first place must have been highly supportive of the project’s racist objectives. He probably realized that the Minutemen are not good enough at covering up their racism. I think this is the reason why the Homeland Security Dept backed away (Washington Post) from earlier statements of a Border Patrol official that “we welcome the eyes and ears of citizens who help us gain control of our borders”, implying that the Minutemen were a good model for a volunteer corps of Border Patrol (Los Angeles Times – registration required).
The primary goal of the Minuteman project is keeping the borders secure from “illegal immigrants,” the same as US Border Patrol. The racism and hypocrisy of such a project is much more obvious in the Minutemen, allowing us to shine a light on the unsavory aspects of US immigration policy.
Reading the Minuteman offical web site (http://www.minutemanhq.com), the group’s racist underpinnings are smothered in misappropriated leftist language (“You are reading this because you believe that you can actively participate in one of the most important, socially responsible, and peaceful movements for justice since the civil rights movement of the 1960s”) and admonitions to follow the law (“we will display the highest level of restraint, thus proving we are responsible citizens and that our character is consistent with our ability to stay within the boundaries of the law”). But let’s face it. The boundaries of current law are not too kind to people who cross the US border unannounced.
Like US Border Patrol, the Minutemen are not interested in analyzing or fixing the conditions that lead to criminalized border crossings, which would be the case if they were truly building a “movement for justice.” Truth be told, the Minutemen and others of their ilk don’t really care about justice. At its core, the project plays on the fear of loss of white privilege to the brown non-English speakers to the south. Uncontrolled immigration is synonymous with “invasion” in the group’s tracts. The racist logic is declaimed in passages like the following from the US Border Control website (not a govt department, like US Border Patrol):
At the current rate of invasion the United States will be completely over run with ILLEGAL aliens by the year 2025…only 21 years away. ILLEGAL aliens and their offspring will be the dominant population in the U.S. and will have made such inroads into the political and social systems that “they” will have more influence than our Constitution over how the U.S. is governed. The ugly consequence of an ignored U.S. Constitution is already taking place.
Future generations will inherit this mutated form of the United States of America, consisting of 100 different sub-nations, speaking 100 different languages, and promoting 100 different cultural agendas. That will certainly guarantee the death of this nation as a “melting pot”. Instead, it will be tantamount to a sack of marbles…with each marble colliding with the other marbles, as each culture scrambles for dominance of its culture over all others.
The final result: political and social mayhem.
Historians will write about how a lax America let its unique and coveted form of government and society sink into a quagmire of mutual acrimony among the various sub-nations that will comprise the new self-destructing America.
Compare this with the writings of a certain German chancellor:
For hundreds of years Germany was good enough to receive these elements [Jews], although they possessed nothing except infectious political and physical diseases. What they possess today, they have by a very large extent gained at the cost of the less astute German nation by the most reprehensible manipulations…
We are resolved to prevent the settlement in our country of a strange people which was capable of snatching for itself all the leading positions in the land, and to oust it…German culture, as its name alone shows, is German and not Jewish, and therefore its management and care will be entrusted to members of our own nation.
-Adolf Hitler, speech 1939
…there lives amongst us a nonÂ German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving. Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do…
-Adolf Hitler, Letter to Adolf Gemlich, 1919
The “About Us” web page of the Official Minuteman Civil Defense Corps says:
You are considering joining the Minuteman… because you feel your government owes the citizens of the United States protection from people who wish to take advantage of a free society.
Compare this to Adolf Hitler’s response to the League of Nations High Commissioner for German refugees about the expulsions of Jews:
As to the Jews, why should there be such a fuss when they are thrown out of places, when hundreds of thousands of Aryan Germans are out on the streets?
Then of course, there is the name. The original 1700s Minutemen were the civil defense corps in the breakaway British colonies of the early United States. Most of them would have been termed illegal immigrants or the children of them if such an expression existed in Native American culture. Clearly, a “unique and coveted form of government and society” under the American Indians was destroyed to accomodate the settlement of different “sub-nations” (states) by Europeans. What is more, most of the current white residents of the border states California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, including the membership of the Minuteman Project, are even more newly-arrived descendants of “illegals.”
The way in which the Mexican border states became part of the United States is particularly instructive and ironic in the light of the Minuteman fear of “invasion” by Mexicans. Texas, for example, became part of the United States when Anglo-Saxon slaveowners migrated in droves in the early 1800s and revolted against the Mexican government, which owned the land at the time and had outlawed slavery. This gave slaveowners more weight in the US government, and was criticized violently by non-slaveowners. An 1845 pamphlet published by the Anti-Texass Legion makes it pretty clear why Texas was settled by whites:
It is susceptible of the clearest demonstration, that the immediate cause, and the leading object of this contest [the war with Mexico], originated in a settled design, among the slaveholders of this country, (with land speculators and slave-traders,) to wrest the large and valuable territory of Texas from the Mexican republic, in order to re-establish the SYSTEM OF SLAVERY; to open a vast and profitable SLAVE MARKET therein; and ultimately to annex it to the United States. And further, it is evident–nay, it is very generally acknowledged–that the insurrectionists are principally citizens of the United states, who have proceeded thither for the purpose of revolutionizing the country…[emphasis in original]
A piece by Theodore Sedgwick described the type of person that migrated to Mexican Texas from the United States, sounding like a Minuteman Project demagogue:
[Texas] received, commencing in 1821, the period of Moses Austin’s grant, a very considerable American or Anglo-Saxon population. That population was at the outset of a very desperate character. In August 1817, Mr. Chew, Collector of New Orleans, writes to Mr. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, of “the most shameful violations of the slave act, as well as of our revenue laws, practiced by a motely mixture of freebooters and smugglers established at Galveston.”
(Check out “Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas” for more info.)
The Minuteman Project is obviously crude and crass and intellectually easy to dismiss. But the project really only wants the government to “do its job.” The group is more honest about its reasons for controlling immigration than is the government, hence the fear that the US Border Patrol has of associating with them. The Minutemen should really be seen as a manifestation of the true racist, nationalist, and proto-fascist heart of US immigration policy.