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The Greening of Hate
The Sierra Club is one the country's oldest and most venerable environmental watchdogs. However, the Sierra Club is also on the verge of becoming one of the nation's more bizarre and odious organizations. The Sierra Cub has long flirted with the notion of favoring immigration restrictions as a supposed means of protecting the environment. Although the organization is currently "neutral" on the issue, environmentalists and others are working to end that neutrality.

An ad hoc group of Sierra Club members who go under the name Sierrans for U.S. Population Stability (SUSPS) contend that the Club's vote in favor of neutrality on immigration policy broke organizational bylaws. Of greater significance, the anti-immigrant faction has succeeded in electing three new members to the Club's Board in the last two years and is supporting three more anti-immigrant candidates who are currently running for the Board.

Although the debate is nominally over the environment, the fact that anti-immigrant polices have racial and ethnic implications has not escaped notice. As Grist Magazine explains, "Several anti-immigrant and white-supremacist groups got word of the upcoming elections and urged their supporters to join the Sierra Club in time to vote for the three candidates."

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an anti-hate watchdog organization, has stated, "Without a doubt, the Sierra Club is the subject of a hostile takeover attempt by forces allied with ...a variety of right-wing extremists." The SPLC's website urges Sierra Club members to "vote against the ‘greening of hate' and against those candidates backed by SUSPS."

Not surprisingly, when the kooks come out to play, they bring their friends. The Rocky Mountain News noted that the three anti-immigrant candidates for the Sierra Club's Board were being backed, without their consent, by "13 white supremacist, anti-immigration, animal rights and other interest groups..."

As a proud canine-American, Winston would like nothing better than to take a bite out of the racist opportunists. However, the real question is whether the rank and file Sierra Club members will standup and defend American values or will they succumb to the siren song of hate?
  • Click for Grist Magazine article.
  • Click for Rocky Mountain News article.
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