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Immigration board member Phil Kent on 'whiteness', ethnic conflict

7:48 PM, Sep 20, 2011   |    comments
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DORAVILLE, Ga. -- This is what riles Phil Kent:  Communities like Doraville, where one can find an abundance of signs in languages other than English, and cultures not native to the U.S. maintaining distinct identities.

He says such places are inconsistent with American values.

"Multiculturalism, sad to say -- and this is a big liberal fad now, and you have a lot of vocal proponents of multiculturalism -- fosters Balkanization," Kent said in an interview. "It also fosters what I think is occuring, and that's our feuding ethnic enclaves. It's not the tie that binds us as Americans."

Doug Richards, 11Alive News: The demographic trends in Georgia and in America are that non-white folks will become the majority. Do you see conflict because of that?

Kent: If you have a fragmented society, you're going to have conflict... I think we should be prepared for it.

Richards: What kind of conflict?

Kent: Well, what's the definition of conflict? It could be nonviolent conflict. It could be violent conflict.

Phil Kent is a TV pundit, columnist and conservative activist. He is easily the most controversial appointee to a new panel composed of seven white men, formed to help enforce Georgia's new immigration law. It will reach into local communities to ensure workers are in Georgia legally.

Kent has framed some of his arguments with references to ethnicity and race.

Richards: In a piece you wrote called "The Demographic Tipping Point," you ask the question, What will be the values of a multicultural America? What will it mean to be white after "whiteness" defines the cultural mainstream?

Kent: I'm thinking we're going to have to adjust. You remember Rodney King said famously, 'Can't we all just get along?' I think the issue, as we see these huge demographic changes, is going to be, can't we all get along? 

Richards: Folks have pointed to this passage and said, Phil Kent is worried about the whiteness of America.

Kent: Well, these are people who have always disagreed with me ... So yes, they're going to distort my speeches and writings.  No surprise.

Richards: Is it a distortion to look at that passage and say Phil Kent is worried about the whiteness of America?

Kent: Well, worried? I've never written that I was worried about it. I'm talking about cultural changes, and I'm asking questions. Re-read the piece again. I think it's all legitimate commentary.

Kent says he isn't just an opponent of multiculturalism and illegal immigration. Kent says he thinks the country should begin to curb legal immigration, too.

"I think we've reached a point where we have too many foreign workers now in this country with Americans hurting" for jobs, Kent said.

He added that he believes his views are mainstream within Georgia.

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