The anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is asking its activists to contact Coca-Cola about an ad the corporation aired during the Super Bowl depicting people of different ethnicities singing “America, the Beautiful” in a number of different languages. ProEnglish claims the ad “directly undermined the spirit of national unity ‘America, the Beautiful’ was intended to foster.” The group went one step further, claiming Coke should “promote civic unity, not disunity.”
ProEnglish’s attacks on the Coca-Cola Corporation should be seen in light of its nativist agenda and xenophobic origins and ties. John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, founded ProEnglish in 1994. Tanton once wrote, "I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton remains on the ProEnglish board to this day and though the organization is based in DC, it remains a “self-governing project” of Tanton’s Michigan-based umbrella anti-immigrant organization, U.S., Inc.
The goals of ProEnglish are to pass English-only bills at the local and state level as well as to make English the official language of the United States. These laws are often divisive. They limit access to the full range of government rights and benefits for immigrants residing in the United States. These laws also do not include steps to establish programs where immigrants can learn English. ProEnglish’s agenda divides communities in the United States over the issue of immigration.
The organization’s staff and activities are also problematic. ProEnglish’s executive director, Robert Vandervoort, is reportedly the former head of the white supremacist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a local chapter of the white supremacist organization American Renaissance. ProEnglish sponsored a panel at the 2012 CPAC conference in Washington, D.C., featuring a number of racist speakers including Peter Brimelow, founder of the racist anti-immigrant website VDARE and John Derbyshire, a racist former National Review contributor who spoke at the 2013 American Renaissance conference. Later in 2012, ProEnglish sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in opposition of the issue of Puerto Rican statehood. A number of racists signed the letter including John Vinson, a founding member of the League of the South (LOS), a racist neo-Confederate organization. Vinson was credited with drafting the “Kinism Statement,” a set of guiding principles for a modern white supremacist interpretation of Christianity called “Kinism.”