Brenda Walker and Dan Amato Inject Anti-Immigrant Fervor into the Blogosphere
POSTED: May 12, 2009
Brenda Walker is a California-based environmentalist and feminist turned anti-immigrant blogger, whose strident rhetoric demonizes not only undocumented immigrants, but an array of ethnic and religious groups, mainly Latinos and Muslims.
Walker has used several venues to promote her views, including racist, xenophobic Web sites, a blog, and an anti-immigrant journal. In February 2009, she appeared publicly and spoke at a racist conference aimed at addressing the alleged threat of multiculturalism to the United States.
Her main connection to the anti-immigrant movement was initially John Tanton, widely considered the movement's architect. Walker served as one of the most active supporters of Tanton's campaign to insert anti-immigrant figures into the leadership of the Sierra Club in 2004. That same year, Walker's disparaging comments about the Hmong community garnered national attention and further put her on the map as an activist who has contributed to and supported the movement's agenda.
Walker's prolific postings demonizing non-white immigrants, her access to several venues for disseminating her views, and her ties to racist figures and other anti-immigrant activists has made her a significant figure in the anti-immigrant movement.
Recent Activity – Speaker at a Racist, Anti-Immigrant Conference
In February 2009, Walker spoke at a “Preserving Western Civilization” conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference brought together a group of racist academics, conservative pundits and anti-immigrant activists who spoke on a wide range of issues that highlighted the racist nature of the gathering. Speakers focused on how the “massive influx” of “third-world immigrants” allegedly threatens American and European cultural values, as well as the dangers of Islam, and alleged racial differences in intelligence.
Discussing the topic of “Multiculturalism and Women's Rights,” Walker claimed that Western civilization is under attack by “immigrants and multiculturalism.” She argued that non-Western countries do not properly protect women's rights and alleged that heightened immigration from these countries would lead to the curtailing of these rights in the United States. She stated, “We can have multiculturalism or women's rights and safety. Not both.” Walker repeatedly exploits the women's rights issue to attack other cultures.
Among Walker's co-speakers were J. Philippe Rushton, head of the Pioneer Fund (which promotes eugenics) and a frequent speaker at conferences run by the white supremacist American Renaissance magazine; Peter Brimelow, who runs the racist VDare Web site; and Pat Richardson, a member of the far-right British National Party, a racist, anti-minority party in Great Britain.
Walker is a regular writer and blogger for the racist VDare Web site, which has featured her columns since 2002 and her blog posts since 2005. VDare posts, promotes, and archives the work of racists, anti-immigrant figures, and anti-Semites.
In her pieces, Walker attacks Latinos, Muslims, Asians, and others. She claims that both legal and undocumented immigrants are responsible for the loss of the quality of life in America; crime; rape; the lowering of educational standards; “breakdown” of society; “lawlessness,” and the welcoming of the “inherent misogyny contained in multiculturalism.” Standing firmly against diversity and multiculturalism, she has asserted that the idea that “‘diversity is our strength'…is a mass delusion” and that “toxic levels of diversity are tearing the cultural fabric of this nation apart.”
Walker has also contributed pieces to The Social Contract, an anti-immigrant journal published by John Tanton and edited by Wayne Lutton, a close associate of Tanton's who himself has authored anti-immigrant pieces and has had ties to white supremacist groups including the Council of Conservative Citizens and the New Century Foundation. Walker served as a guest editor for a 2006 issue of The Social Contract, in which she wrote that multiculturalism “posits the fantasy that all cultures are morally equal.”
Walker focuses most of her attention on Latinos, especially Mexicans. Her general claims against undocumented immigrants reflect her opposition to Latino immigration. Walker consistently employs stereotypes and demeaning language to allege that Latinos are invading the United States and bringing with them a culture of crime, sexual abuse, academic underachievement, robbery, and resentment towards America.
One of Walker's repeated allegations is that Hispanic culture does not share American values and is prone to lazy, drunken behavior. In March 2009, Walker used her VDare blog to claim that “drinking to excess is considered macho and cool in Hispanic cultures. One way to demonstrate genuine manhood is to slug down 12 beers in a sitting, in fact.”
In a January 2009 blog post on VDare, she referred to Mexicans as “an ethnic group that has neither interest nor aptitude.” A month earlier, she wrote, “Naturally, the influx of millions of Mexicans has brought their way of crime, including kidnapping, along [sic] the rest of their culture.”
“If I am around a couple of gangsterish
Spanish-speakers, I don't know whether they are discussing… whether they should try to rob and kill me.”
From a September 2008 VDare blog
post by Brenda Walker
In “Hispanic Education Still an Oxymoron,” an October 2008 blog post, Walker alleged, “Hispanics, and particularly Mexicans, are academic underachievers because their culture does not value education.” In September 2008, she claimed, “If I am around a couple of gangsterish Spanish-speakers, I don't know whether they are discussing where to go for pizza or whether they should try to rob and kill me.”
Walker has also invoked the widely-employed conspiracy theory among anti-immigrant figures that undocumented immigrants, specifically from Mexico, are secretly plotting to invade the United States and conquer its Southwestern territory. Walker has promoted this theory and exploited it to demonize Mexicans as vengeful and bitter towards the United States. In a June 2008 article for the VDare Web site, she argued that “Most of the 30 million Mexicans who reside here did not come to become Americans and join our national community: they came for the money only, and harbor resentment against this country for imagined theft of territory.”
She claimed in an August 2007 VDare blog post that “hispanics [sic] are culturally disinterested in using seatbelts, which goes against their progress-resistant, fatalistic view of life.” That same month, she lamented on the VDare blog that “the tsunami of foreigners, led by illegal immigration, is overwhelming the historic American population, south of the Mexican-Dixon line. Whites are now in the minority in nearly one in 10 U.S. counties…Immigration – it's the new way of war.”
“Whites are now in the minority in nearly
one in 10 U.S. counties… Immigration – it's
the new way of war.”
From an August 2007 VDare blog
post by Brenda Walker
In “Top Ten Reasons Why the US Should Not Marry Mexico,” an article she wrote for VDare in January 2007, Walker alleged, “Mexican men have a reputation for leering and worse at little girls, which shouldn't surprise us, since sex with children is socially acceptable in Mexico…foreigners bring their cultures with them, ranging from tasty cuisine to child sex abuse.”
In a May 2004 VDare article, Walker claimed that “drunk driving is an accepted behavior among Mexicans in particular.” In a 2003 letter she wrote to the Colorado Daily she alleged, “Illegal aliens do not change their stripes just because they cross the border: they bring their repulsive cultural baggage with them.”
In addition to vilifying Latino immigrants, Walker also targets Mexico, which she has called “the narco-hub of the Western Hemisphere,” “the crack-house country next door,” “the country-sized crack house,” and “the Narco-neighbor.” By depicting Mexico as a source of drugs, corruption, crime, and sexism, it becomes easier for Walker to portray its citizenry as infected with such a culture.
In a June 2008 piece for the main VDare Web site, Walker vilified Mexico, writing, “The southerly narco-state is one of the least attractive contributors of new immigrants one can imagine—with its social norms of negativity toward education, admiration for crime, corruption throughout various levels of society, crude sexism and strong Marxican tendencies.”
In an April 2008 post to the VDare blog, Walker claimed, “Mexico only pretends to be poor so it can dump its unwanted sick and uneducated on Uncle Sucker, as well as hustle foreign aid for various reasons.” A month earlier, she attempted to prove that Mexico is “not wracked by poverty as we are led to believe,” as “the most obese person on earth is a Mexican.”
In an October 2006 interview on the Peter Boyles Show, a Colorado-based anti-immigrant radio program, Walker argued that Mexico is “one of the most despicable countries on Earth. One of the most corrupt countries on Earth…If there's one thing that the Mexicans are good at, it's establishing smuggling infrastructures.”
Disparaging Comments About Islam and Muslims
Walker does not limit her bias to Latinos. She has, on several occasions, made discriminatory statements about other ethnic groups, especially Muslims. Mocking Muslim prayer and ritual, Walker has also claimed that the safety of the West is compromised by continued Muslim immigration because “Muslims despise our society” and basic “liberties.” According to Walker, Islam and the West are therefore essentially incompatible.
In a March 2009 article on VDare she alleged that Europe is “being buried by millions of Muslim colonists.” In the article, Walker also stressed “Islam's long-standing enmity toward Europe” and claimed that “it's a wonder the Muslims bother with terrorism at all when demography is working so well for them.” Before urging Americans to stop Muslim immigration, Walker wrote that Great Britain in particular is “far advanced along the immigration road to hell” and that the United Kingdom “looks like toast. In 30 years, London will likely be a sand-free version of Riyadh…”
In a January 2009 VDare blog post, Walker featured an image of Muslims prostrating themselves during prayer. In describing the photo, Walker wrote that “the act under consideration is the traditional up-butt salute…”
In a November 2008 VDare blog post about a Turkish village sacrificing sheep to celebrate Barack Obama's presidential victory, Walker wrote, “In Muslim society, there's nothing like mass killing to say Celebration!”
In an April 2008 post to the VDare blog, she claimed, “So even when Saudis residing in America don't commit terrorism, many believe that they can act as they please and break American law…” A month earlier, on the VDare blog, she said, “Beside the obvious terror threat, another problem has been the bad behavior of Saudi students, particularly crummy driving and sexual harassment against women.”
In a March 2008 post, she described the “Islamic world…India and China,” as “third word [sic] sewers” and “third-world piggy zones” whose people “are coming here, bringing their crappy cultures that don't have the wit to survive without actual slavery and other sorts of oppression built into the family structure.” She also wrote that month that “‘Gimme, gimme,’ is the first phrase every immigrant learns upon entering the foolishly generous USA, and more so with the Sons of Allah.”
Rather than addressing immigration policy, Walker employs virulent stereotypes to argue that Muslims pose a threat to the security of the West. In a March 2008 VDare blog post, Walker claimed, “Some cultures are simply incompatible. The West and Islam can never live together because Muslims despise our society and the hard-won liberties we treasure: free speech, representative government under law, individual rights and gender equality. Continuing to welcome them as immigrants is madness – a kumbaya fantasy that severely endangers our safety.”
Hate Rhetoric About African, Asian, and Middle Eastern Groups
Walker also includes Africans and Asians in her diatribes against non-white immigrants that have come to America.
She attacked Somali immigrant culture in a March 2009 VDare blog post, writing that “it's cruel to plunk primitive tribal people (who have never ridden in a car or switched on an electric light) into 21st century American cities.”
In a January 2009 VDare blog post entitled “Chinese and Indian Immigrants Import Anti-Daughter Diversity,” Walker alleged that immigrants from Asian and Middle Eastern nations pose a threat to gender equality in the United States. She asked, “Speaking of Asian immigrants, do newcomers from those socially retrograde countries retain their cultural misogyny when they relocate to egalitarian America? Absolutely.” She also speculated that due to an alleged preference for boys in Asian nations, “‘missing girls’ in America – [is] another symptom of diverse immigration!”
In August 2008, Walker authored a piece for the VDare blog entitled “India Immigration Growth in America Is Celebrated (by Indians).” She started her entry by demonizing Indians as failing to live up to the expectation that they be “model minorities.” Walker alleged, “Indian immigrants bring a culture that is anti-social mobility, but they expect maximum opportunity for themselves. Other off-putting Indian attitudes and practices include doggie marriage for children, an aversion to indoor plumbing, belief in witchcraft and an overdeveloped idea of their own importance regarding innovation.”
In 2004, the New York Times highlighted Walker's bigotry towards one Asian group when it reported her equating Hmong immigrants in America with “drug-addicted polygamists.” This particular comment received attention because she made it during an attempt, on the part of anti-immigrant activists, to gain seats on the board of the Sierra Club, of which Walker was a member. The campaign prompted the creation of Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization (SUSPS), a group which Walker joined. SUPS's efforts, along with those of the anti-immigrant candidates, failed in the Sierra Club board elections in 2004, and the then-president of the Sierra Club condemned Walker's comments as “hateful.”
Publisher of Anti-Immigrant Web sites
In addition to her blog, Walker maintains two other anti-immigrant Web sites. She runs Limits to Growth, the “web home” of two anti-immigrant groups, the Bay Area Coalition for Immigration Reform and the Immigration Reform Network of Silicon Valley, both run out of P.O. boxes in California.
As with her other endeavors, Walker uses Limits to Growth to spread her bigotry towards Latinos, Mexicans, and Muslims. She devotes a section to decrying diversity in general. In “The Diversity File,” Walker attempts to prove that “making room in Europe and America for everyone's cultural differences can get absurd” by providing links to articles that discuss, among other things, practices in Muslim and Latino countries. In another section on the Limits to Growth Web site entitled “Multiculturalism Is a Fraud,” Walker claims that “the absurd preference for third-world cultures in our immigration policy amounts to importing sexism.”
In addition to posting pieces that stereotype and vilify undocumented immigrants and non-white groups, Walker links the Limits to Growth page to the Web sites of several anti-immigrant groups, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the largest anti-immigrant group in the country; the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigrant think tank; Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee, a North Carolina-based xenophobic group and the Web site of a radio show hosted by Terry Anderson, an anti-immigrant activist.
Walker also runs Immigrations [sic] Human Cost, the “companion” site to Limits to Growth. Walker dedicates this site to “individual Americans whose lives and communities have been damaged by too much immigration too fast.” Sections entitled “job displacement,” “community turmoil,” “importing criminals,” and “crime victims” further her contention that immigrants wreak havoc on the United States by threatening American jobs, safety, and the quality of life. Walker links this site to many of the same Web sites accessible from Limits to Growth.