October 13, 2004
Issue 206
 

Graffiti attack on New York billboard
ProjectUSA questions Wall Street Journal on role

By CRAIG NELSEN
ProjectUSA director

Permanent link: http://projectusa.org/ezine/2004/10-13-erase_racism.html

The ProjectUSA billboard at 499 Englewood in North Buffalo was defaced within days of going up. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page has denied responsibility.

The billboards in Buffalo at 612 Sheridan Dr., 3684 Delaware, and 3670 River Rd have avoided any damage so far.

The ProjectUSA voter awareness campaign in New York’s 26th congressional district was barely underway before someone ruined one of our billboards by scrawling the words “erase racism” across its face.

The billboard carried the factual statement, “Congressman Tom Reynolds supports amnesty for illegal aliens,” and was one of four located in the northern and eastern suburbs of Buffalo.

The $800 we spent on the billboard may seem like nothing compared to the more than $1.6 billion contributed to national campaigns so far this election season, but that $800 means something to the average Americans of average means whose contributions paid for it.

But on the immigration issue, it isn’t only some vandal with a can of spray paint trying to silence the voices of typical Americans. When industry-funded Congressman Chris Cannon of Utah faced a voter revolt this summer over his globalist immigration policies, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page rode to his rescue with the journalistic equivalent of a spray-painted slur.

Trading on the reputation for integrity established by the paper’s journalists, the editorial page ran, not one, but two vicious pieces in the crucial period just before the primary election asserting Cannon's primary opponent, Matt Throckmorton, along with ProjectUSA and others, were allies of a white supremacist conspiracy to halt immigration, sterilize the Third World, and so on.

Some political insiders in Utah credit those editorials, mailed by the Cannon campaign to every registered Republican in his district, as making the difference in a race Rep. Cannon eventually won.

On Tuesday, I called the author of the editorials, Jason Riley, and asked him whether he would admit any responsibility for the attack on our billboard for having made similar attacks on immigration critics in the Wall Street Journal.

He refused to take any responsibility, claiming his editorials do not broadly paint all "anti-immigrant" organizations as racist, only some of them.

I disagreed, arguing that the average reader would be more likely, after reading one of the editorials he had written on behalf of Chris Cannon, to believe it is racist to oppose current immigration policy.

We argued for a while, but neither of us would budge, so I told him ProjectUSA would be willing to co-sponsor an experiment with the Wall Street Journal. We would ask a group of randomly chosen voters their opinions of immigration critics both before and after reading his editorials, and let the results decide our disagreement.

Mr. Riley wouldn't agree to that, either, making me suspect he feels more responsibility for the attack on our billboard than he is letting on.

On top of that, during our conversation, Mr. Riley unexpectedly admitted to me that he is actually from Buffalo, New York. But after throwing that bit of information on the table, he pointedly failed to divulge his own whereabouts on the night our billboard was spray painted.

If you are as convinced of Mr. Riley's culpability as I am, you should call the Wall Street Journal at 212 416-2000 and ask to be mailed a list of the names and addresses of all the Journal's subscribers in the Buffalo area. If we can get the list, we can begin establishing where everyone who may have been influenced by a Riley editorial was on the night our billboard was attacked. If we eliminate suspects until the only one remaining is Mr. Riley (who, in one of his editorials, called the decent and talented staff at the Center for Immigration Studies, "repugnant"), we'll have our man.


+== QUOTE OF THE WEEK ==+

If you heard a crackling sound last week, it just may have been hell freezing over. You see, yours truly, Mr. Conservative Republican, put up a sign in his front yard encouraging fellow Utahns to vote for a Democrat, Beau Babka.

"Cannon undeserving of conservative Republicans' vote"
Arthur Nifong, Jr., Provo, Utah
(On: America First Radio)


+== EMAIL OF THE WEEK ==+

George Bush is worse than bad on the immigration issue, as he is on every environmental issue. But Kerry is no better. He has promised La Raza that he will sign an illegal alien amnesty within 100 days of entering office. He also backs the AgJOBS bill. I have decided to write in [Congressman Tom] Tancredo even though he has specifically asked for people not to.

The immigration issue is not a split between Democrats and Republicans. It is a split between ordinary Americans and the Republican and Democratic leadership, the mass media, the big corporations, and the large foundations.

Bob Wilber
Westbury, NY


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