In yet another video in which he appears to be drunk out of his mind, Congressman Ryan Zinke proudly announced his decision to cosponsor HR 997, the English Language Unity Act, which would prohibit the federal government delivering government services in languages other than English. In the course of the video, Zinke repeatedly and tipsily suggests that mandating English would create unity in the country. Unfortunately, it’s hard to argue convincingly for American unity when you’re shaking hands with someone affiliated with the white nationalist movement.
Zinke appeared with a representative from the organization ProEnglish, an organization steeped in racist attitudes about immigrants and others who do not speak English. The group Zinke chose to work with opposes multilingual ballots, wants to allow employers to fire people who speak languages other than English at work, and opposes statehood for Puerto Rico for no other reason than the fact that the majority of its people speak Spanish. They’re little more than small-minded bigots who’ve managed to convince a few Congressman, including our own, that legislating their bigotry is a good idea.
Even worse, their current and former leadership has been repeatedly connected with extremist white nationalist publications and advocacy.
The current executive director of ProEnglish is Robert Vandervoort, a white nationalist who was the former leader of a white supremacist group from Chicago, “a group dedicated to supporting the ideals of the infamous white nationalist publication American Renaissance. One member of the group described its mission as encouraging “white survival and maintaining white majorities.”
As Right Wing Watch notes:
Vandervoort’s own writings reflect these views. He has expressed concern about the need to “halt the cultural and racial dispossession of the West’s historic people” and expounded on “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.” He has wondered how “race realists and pro-Western Civ nationalists” like himself can counter historical comparisons to the Holocaust and slavery.
ProEnglish was founded by John Tanton, a man who was so pronounced a bigot that he was kicked out of another English-only group in 1988 for writing racist memos about Latinos and African-Americans. Among the issues Tanton, who is still active with ProEnglish, raised were questions like these:
- Is apartheid in Southern California’s future? The democraphic(sic) picture in South Africa now is startlingly similar to what we’ll see in California in 2030. In Southern Africa, a White minority owns the property, has the best jobs and education, has the political power, and speaks one language. A non-White majority has poor education, jobs and income, owns little property, is on its way to political power and speaks a different language.
- Can homo contraceptivus compete with homo progenitiva if borders aren’t controlled?
Not only meeting with such a group but giving endorsement to their abhorrent views is indefensible, but it’s even worse that Congressman Zinke couched his support in talk about unity. English only laws are merely cover for bigots to express outrage that they have to listen to a foreign language for a moment on a service call and provide equal opportunity for all the members of our society to exercise their rights and participate in government.
One has to wonder when the Montana press will take Congressman Zinke’s penchant for association with extremists seriously. Perhaps it’s time to revisit just why white nationalists donated to the Zinke campaign. One also has to wonder when it will be time for strident editorials condemning Congressman Zinke’s support for the militia movement. Perhaps now is the time, over a year later, to ask Congressman Zinke why he hosted a reception for a retired General who called for a coup against the President and Congress.
Extremists and bigots seem to flock together. Isn’t it time for the Montana press to demand an explanation for why Congressman Zinke seems to spend so much time in such odious, anti-American company?