On May 3 the other paper published in Cold Spring ran an advertisement for a group called the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which since 2007 has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The ad, which was paid for by an unnamed Philipstown resident, claimed “illegal aliens” cost New Yorkers $9.3 billion annually and invited readers to visit the FAIR website.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says of the group: “FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country.” See splcenter.org.
The ad was anti-immigrant. It provided false facts. It targeted individuals (Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea and Councilors Michael Leonard and Nancy Montgomery) who voted favorably for a resolution affirming our community’s tolerance. I perceive this as a form of intimidation. Sadly, it is not the first time that these tactics have been used in our small town.
Ellyn Varela-Burstein, Philipstown
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