In many ways, Trump's presidency is the culmination of Mrs. May’s vision
August 19, 2019 7:52 AM Subscribe
Federation for American Immigration Reform (Southern Poverty Law Center), NumbersUSA (Right Wing Watch) and the Center for Immigration Studies (SPLC) are three major Washington, D.C.-based immigration-restriction organizations stand at the nexus of the American nativist movement. Although on the surface they appear quite different, they are fruits of the same poisonous tree, founded and funded by John Tanton, a retired ophthalmologist who operates a racist publishing company (SPLC). Cordelia Scaife May, an heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, had a passion for birds and was environmental-minded, but also provided funding to help Tanton push his racist policies and get national traction. Why an heiress spent her fortune trying to keep immigrants out (NYT).
The New York Times, through dozens of interviews and searches of court records, government filings and archives across the country, has unearthed the most complete record of her thinking. Mrs. May’s unpublished writings reveal her evolution from an environmental-minded Theodore Roosevelt Republican — in 1972 she was the nation’s largest single donor to mainstream congressional candidates — to an ardent nativist. Her ideological transformation presaged the Republican Party’s own shift from blue-blooded, traditional conservatism toward hard-right populism.
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