The Pioneer Fund, a little-known foundation based in New York City, has bankrolled FAIR with $600,000 since 1988, according to tax returns. Pioneer, founded in 1937 and dedicated to "human race betterment," has supported some extremely inflammatory racial research--including work by William B. Shockley, the late physicist who held that blacks are inherently intellectually inferior to whites.
One of FAIR's earliest financial boosters (and a longtime funder of Tanton's projects), is Cordelia Scaife May, a Pittsburgh-based heiress to the Mellon fortune known for her largess to population-control movements.
The heiress's Laurel Foundation also helped finance U.S. distribution of a French futuristic novel, "The Camp of the Saints," which paints an apocalyptic picture of France overrun by "swarthy hordes" from the Third World. Anti-racists are depicted as traitors who allow the "invasion" to progress until the white race is vanquished.
Although many have assailed the fantasy as blatantly xenophobic and racist, some find the tract prescient.
"Every day, this country looks more like the one described in France in that book," said Garrett Hardin, the FAIR board member. "Now we're seeing these poor people flying in, and coming in boats from China. Things look much closer to that book than they did 10 years ago."
About This Series
Today's article is part of an occasional series, "The Great Divide: Immigration in the 1990s." As debate about immigration grows more heated, The Times examines the significant issues for California and the nation.