To: Mark Schlissel, President, University of Michigan

Tell the University of Michigan: Stop Hiding White Nationalist's Papers From The Public

The University of Michigan, a publicly-funded institution of higher education, is currently spending university resources and taxpayer dollars to hide secret racist papers by one of the leading figures in the anti-immigrant and eugenics movements — Dr. John Tanton. These secret papers are part of the playbook that the far-right is using to spread white supremacist and racist ideology across our country.

To staunch the spread of white supremacist ideology across the country and prevent further erosion of our democracy, U of M must release Tanton’s secret racist papers to the public immediately!

Why is this important?

Dr. Tanton founded the modern anti-immigrant movement in the United States. He started and nurtured organizations that continue to inform immigration policy in the Trump White House. He held well-known extremist views about maintaining a white European majority in the U.S., and he was a proponent of eugenics, a racist fake science that tries to "prove" white supremacy. Dr. Tanton died on July 16, 2019.

His secret papers, which he donated to the University of Michigan under the condition that they remain sealed until 2035, are likely to contain crucial information about his dangerous blueprint for maintaining a white majority in the U.S. - ideas which his followers in the Trump Administration have already used to devastating effect to promote policies like family separation at the border, the “Muslim Ban,” ending TPS for hundreds of thousands of people, and repealing DACA.

Tanton’s central role in creating the anti-immigrant framework cannot be overstated. The New York Times recently reported on the scope and influence of Tanton’s work:

In June, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of releasing the Tanton Papers. Instead, the University of Michigan is trying to appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. They continue to spend university and taxpayer resources to hide Dr. Tanton’s secret racist papers from the public.

If we want to stop the spread of white supremacist ideology across the country and prevent the further erosion of our democracy, demand the University of Michigan release the #TantonPapers!