As the host of the Infowars show The American Journal, Harrison Smith has repeatedly promoted well-known white nationalist conspiracies, such as “white genocide” and the “great replacement.” Over the past two months Smith has also used his platform to spew bigotry at migrant children, likening their arrival to an invasion and referring to them as “detritus.”
On Apr. 5, 2021, Smith began a segment by discussing Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican president and military leader who led the Mexican Army to victory at the Battle of the Alamo and ordered the 1836 Goliad massacre during the Texas Revolution. Smith then pivoted to attacking immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
“Of course, thank god, Santa Anna called himself the ‘Napoleon of the West,’ thought he was the next great emperor. He was defeated,” Smith said.
“If only he’d known. If only he’d known the way to take over Texas was send children. He could’ve just sent children across. He would’ve just sent busloads — they didn’t have buses back then — but cartloads of children. Children on forced marches across the Chihuahuan Desert. And he could’ve taken over Texas that way. Didn’t need to fight a single time.”
He added that had Santa Anna known that “the way to take over Texas was to send children by the millions,” he “would’ve never had to worry about all of that fighting nonsense.”
Smith didn’t elaborate on why children crossing the border was akin to a military invasion, but instead hyped a story by the right-wing Washington Times alleging that undocumented immigrants are being bused across the country. The article in turn cited reporting by FAIR and CIS — anti-immigrant hate groups which were founded by white nationalist John Tanton.
“So it’s not just ‘catch-and-release’ anymore, it’s ‘catch-and-bus,'” Smith claimed. “Meaning they catch people at the southern border of America and Mexico, they put them on a bus or an airplane, and then send them thousands of miles farther into the United States.”
Smith is no stranger to extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric. On the Mar. 11, 2021 episode of The American Journal — during which he spoke to white nationalist podcaster Nick Fuentes about a California ethnic studies curriculum — Smith read off a story about the possibility of using a NASA facility to house migrant children.
Smith called it the “most illuminating headline” he had seen that day, and proceeded to compare migrant children to refuse.
“Isn’t that just beautifully emblematic of where we are as a country?” he asked. “NASA, of course, the program — the organization — meant to take us to the stars now being reappropriated to take care of the unwanted detritus of the Third World. Thank you, Democrats.”
And on Mar. 25, 2021 Smith repeated this insult after reading that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was seeking to use two Texas military posts to house unaccompanied minors who arrive at the southern border.
“So while our soldiers are overseas protecting the sovereignty and border integrity of places like Israel, Turkey, Taiwan — meanwhile our military bases here are being filled up with people who are invading our country,” he complained. “You cannot make this up, folks.”
Smith called the situation an “inversion of all human consciousness” and continued his tirade.
“So we’re storing ’em in NASA facilities, we’re storing ’em in military facilities, we’re storing ’em in the Dallas convention center, we’re storing ’em in Midland, other small towns in Texas,” he said. “We’re flying ’em up to the Canadian border.”
Smith said these undocumented migrants are “pouring across” the southern border in an “unceasing, endless stream of human detritus coming up from the Third World” and “paying sometimes ten thousand dollars for the privilege of being smuggled in.”