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Action Alert: Pressure U of M to allow the public access to the papers of John Tanton, the anti-immigrant White Supremacist

August 12, 2019

A few weeks ago we wrote a critique of how MLive eulogized a far-right, white supremacist in Michigan, John Tanton. 

Tanton was the founder of numerous white supremacist groups and probably had more of an influence on the modern anti-immigrant movement that anyone else. Tanton was the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group.

Since we wrote the July 23 article about Tanton, it has come to our attention that the University of Michigan holds countless documents and papers from John Tanton, but they won’t allow the public to view any of those documents, even though it would likely provide tremendous insight into Tanton’s network and his influence into the modern anti-immigration movement.

A University of Michigan law student, Kerry Martin, has been leading an effort to have U of M make Tanton’s papers public. In a recent message from Martin, he states:

The University of Michigan has now asked the Supreme Court of Michigan to allow it to keep hiding the Tanton Papers. Rather than complying with the Michigan Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in June, which required U-M to release the papers, U-M is instead digging its heels and taking its fight to the Supreme Court. In doing so, it continues to use our tuition and taxpayer dollars to shield the records of a white supremacist from public scrutiny. This is an outrage. 

Please share the petition with your friends and networks, so we can send a strong message to the University of Michigan and its president, Mark Schlissel: Release the Tanton Papers! 

You can also watch and share this brand-new video from the immigration attorney and advocate involved in the case, Hassan Ahmad, a video that provides a solid overview of Tanton’s white supremacist legacy. 

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