If you think keeping track of the myriad of think tanks and AstroTurf groups that prop up the neoconservative movement, is a challenge; try unravelling their Religious Right infrastructure.
Just when you think you've nailed down the Republican, Conservative, funding connections, dozens of new groups appear on the horizon, so you say a Hail Mary and go for another long shot.
The latest to rear its ugly head, is the FAMILY LEADER, started by a former Mike Huckabee campaign chair, Bob Vander Plaats, and while they focus on the same old, same old: abortion, gay rights and the free market, they have a twist.
FAMILY LEADER (they capitalize it) suggests that slavery was actually good for the black family.
“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”And there it is. The "Roots" of the Religious Right and their problem with Obama. He's black. And apparently, black marriages only began to break up when he was elected president.
Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the Religious Right/Moral Majority (and yet another American who has done so much for Stephen Harper's career) laid out their agenda at a Washington conference in 1990. Randall Balmer was there and reported:
In the course of one of the sessions, Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let's remember, he said animatedly, "that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision." No, Weyrich insisted, "what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies. ”Bob Jones University had policies that refused black students enrollment until 1971, admitted only married blacks from 1971 to 1975, and prohibited interracial dating and marriage between 1975 and 2000.
Weyrich also worked on the campaign of Ronald Reagan, when he campaigned against the Civil Rights movement.
"With [Ronald] Reagan's outspoken opposition to the Civil Rights Act in 1964, Republican strategists knew that they would have to write off the black vote. But although 90 per cent of black voters cast their ballots for the democrats, only 30 percent of eligible black Americans voted. Republican ... strategist Paul Weyrich* stated "I don't want everyone to vote ... our leverage in the election quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down. We have no moral responsibility to turn out our opposition." (1)Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman has signed FAMILY LEADER's pledge to uphold their agenda and Sarah Palin promises to uphold "white" values.
If it's Good Enough for the Republicans
As with everything else, "white" supremacy is beginning to creep into the lingo of Canada's right-wing media.
Toronto mayor Rob Ford is said to represent the "angry white males". Fox News North calls the Caledonia land claim protests, a struggle between "Indians and white people", and Sun media congratulated Stephen Harper for appointing a "white guy" to act as Governor General.
Harper's Reformers were known for their racism, or what former MP Jan Brown called "the rampant racism of the 'God Squad'".
Just because he now keeps his 'God Squad' silenced, doesn't mean that they don't hold the same views. So unable to voice them publicly, they allow Fox News North to do it for them.
When is our media going to wake up?
1. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 22