Good morning Austin:
From 1991 to 2008 my job as a reporter was to write about race.
From early on it seemed to me that the big, overarching story was America’s progression from a nation that was 85 percent white in 1960 to a nation that by around 2044 would have no racial majority. It seemed to me something that was unlikely to occur without some sense of dislocation, and loss and adjustment by at least some whites.
Between 2000 and 2008, I attended four of the biennial American Renaissance conferences outside D.C., white nationalist gatherings at which I was the only reporter from a mainstream news organization who attended them from start to finish, or really, for any more than a few hours, if at all.
I attended them because, while they appeared to be confined to a marginal, right-wing, white racial fringe, I thought that they were articulating a sense of white racial consciousness and white racial grievance that might shed light on thoughts and feelings other whites were having without explicitly expressing or even fully realizing or recognizing them; that these gatherings were, in that sense, the canary in the coalmine of white racial reaction to their eroding majority status.
I thought the gatherings would also help me sort out what seemed to be a kind of shadow continuum between this unrespectable fringe and the more legitimate precincts of right-wing Republican politics.
Finally, it seemed to me that Jared Taylor, the convener of these gatherings, presented these views in their most refined form – that if white nationalism ever gained any broader purchase beyond the fringe, it would be with the likes of Taylor.
This week, Taylor was back in the news when he emerged as the designated spokesman for the Council of Conservative Citizens – a like-minded if rougher-around-the-edges white nationalist organization that he has been a member of for the last 20 years. The Council made one of its occasional forays into national consciousness with news that Dylann Roof’s apparent manifesto suggested that it was the Council’s website that had “informed” his thinking on race and propelled him toward the massacre at the Charleston, S.C., church of which he stands accused.
From the manifesto:
The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words `black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”
That was followed by news, first reported by the Guardian, that the Council’s president, Eart Holt of Longview, had given tens of thousands of dollars in contributions over the years to conservative candidates, including some in Texas.
Yesterday I wrote a story about how Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and other Texas politicians who had received money from Holt – who was not a well-known figure or a particularly big donor – were either returning the money, or giving it to charity, or in some manner seeking to disassociate themselves from Holt
Late last night I spoke with Taylor and what follows are excerpts from that interview.
Below that are excerpts and links for stories I wrote from each of the four American Renaissance conferences I covered. (Warning: With the inclusion of all this supplementary material, today’s First Reading is especially long, but I am off for the next ten days and won’t be doing First Reading again until July, so, take your time.)
For those interested, I think those stories will give you a better feel for Taylor, for white nationalist thinking and also for the CofCC.
Gordon Baum of St. Louis, who, until his recent death, was the longtime president of the CCC, and was a regular attendee at the conferences – though he spent a lot of time outside smoking – figures in these stories.
Baum died in March.
Here is an excerpt from an obituary written by his son-in-law, Hunter Wallace, which gives you a sense of the CofCC’s “mission.”
Gordon was not someone who admitted defeat, who gave up, and that is putting it mildly. Since he was 16-years-old, he spent his entire adult life completely devoted to the cause of our people – literally days before his death, while he recovered from pneumonia, he was telling us to call various CofCC members. Even then, his mind was still focused on the cause. In this way, he reminded me of one of my heroes, the South Carolina fire eater Robert Barnwell Rhett, who once said, “I will keep up the fire, if like a lost hunter in a prairie, I have to kindle it alone, with my gun flint, and watch by the blaze, rifle in hand to keep off the wolves.”
That was my father-in-law in his time: when the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 was passed, when the Citizens’ Councils movement collapsed, when George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and all the rest repudiated segregation and proclaimed their newfound faith in “racial equality,” when others quit, Gordon Lee Baum stood firm. As the world entered the present Dark Age, Gordon was there to keep up the fire of resistance. Together with other veterans of the Citizens’ Councils, he rebuilt the defunct organization as the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) in the 1980s, which has remained down to the present day an island of stability in the pro-White movement in the United States.
Like many alienated young people, that’s what first caught my eye about the CofCC. By then, it was an established institution with an unmatched record of stability, an organization with deep roots in the old resistance to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The CofCC was a natural home for White people with a populist conservative temperament who wanted to work with others, without apology or dog whistles, to preserve and restore traditional Southern values. At the 2010 CofCC National Conference, Gordon gave me a hard sales pitch and I signed up then and there.
That was no small thing. It later had a decisive impact on my life.
Every night without fail right down until the end, Gordon sat down in this chair to watch and absorb the local and national evening news. That will be one of my lasting memories of him. He wouldn’t have understood the reference, but he was, so to speak, a “Watcher on the Wall.” Near the end of his life, he watched the entire Ferguson saga unfold. Decades ago, he was watching the St. Louis metro area transform into “Ferguson,” and was dumbstruck that White people passively let it happen.
After Baum’s death, Holt, who is from St. Louis and was co-host of a radio show there with Baum, assumed the presidency.
R.G. Ratcliffe reported some about Holt’s St. Louis exploits yesterday at Texas Monthly.
Here now, my interview with Taylor (even though I am also a JT, in this case, JT is Jared Tayl0r.)
FR: How did it fall on you to be the spokesman for the CofCC at this moment?
JT: The president of the CofCC, new in office after the death of Gordon Baum, did not wish to speak to the media, so I stepped into this fiery breach.
FR: What can you tell me about the new president.
JT: His name is Earl P. Holt III. He was adamant about not wishing to speak to media about this.
(Earl Holt doesn’t meet with the press yesterday in Longview.)
FR: Was Dylann Roof ever a member of the CofCC?
JT: He has certainly never been a member, and as far as we can tell, no member who we have a headcount of has heard of this guy’s name. As far as we know the only connection is that he stumbled onto the website.
FR: Do you know if Roof ever visited the American Renaissance site?
JT: He’s certainly never said so and, as far as I know, I’m not aware of him ever having left a comment on the AmRen page.
We have absolutely no idea of him either.
Don’t forget, he said that (the CofCC website) is the first site he found from his initial interest in interracial crime.
Then in his manifesto he goes on to talk about how blacks are always thinking about race, that Asians are nice folks, there’s a Jewish problem, all of that I gather is something that came after his discovery of the CofCC website. He just says that’s the first site he went to. As you know, once you start exploring the Internet there’s just no end to it.
(The information on the CofCC site about interracial crime) surprised him because the dominant narrative is, as you know, one of unremitting white racial violence against blacks. So he was apparently flabbergasted that that is not actually the case and this is what led him to a dissident state of mind.FR: Does what Roof did give you pause about the consequences of what is on the CofCC site? Any sense of culpability?
JT: The parallel I would draw is, let’s imagine that you are deeply concerned about global warming and that you have researched the subject and arrived at strong conclusions based on what you think is conclusive evidence and it turns out that someone with whom you agree, even 100 percent, then walks into the headquarters of ExxonMobil and shoots up the executive floor, kills people.
Does that mean you decide, uh oh, I was wrong, my ideas were all wrong. No, that’s not your conclusion. You conclude that what this guy did is horribly wrong but your ideas, you still stand by, and I think that’s the position we have to take. This was a terrible, horrible thing that happened, but the fault, if there is one, I think is with the fact that this information is essentially air-brushed out of the picture.
If there were awareness of the proportion of black-on-white crime, if this were considered a problem that people agonized over, that there was some sense people were trying to get to the bottom of this, to stop this, then perhaps, just perhaps, this guy would not have killed people, he would not be so frustrated.
I think it’s this sense of being in the grip of some all-encompassing set of misconceptions, of refusals to face a certain reality, this long-term dispossession of whites. I think people become obsessed with this, and those that can’t control their anger are likely to go off the deep end.
Taylor also cited the case of Floyd Corkins.
From a 2013 CNN story:
After years of thinking it over, Floyd Corkins finally had a plan.
He’d bought a gun and learned how to use it. He’d loaded three magazines. And he had stopped by Chick-fil-A to pick up 15 sandwiches, which he planned to smear in the dying faces of staffers he expected to kill at the Family Research Council in Washington.
It would be a statement, he said, “against the people who work in that building,” according to documents filed in U.S. District Court, where Corkins pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three charges related to the August shooting at the conservative policy group.
Corkins told Judge Richard Roberts that he hoped to intimidate gay rights opponents.
The shooting came amid intense debate over remarks against gay marriage by an executive with the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A restaurant chain and the company’s support for groups considered hostile to gay rights.
The research council, a Christian group that focuses on family, anti-abortion and religious liberty issues and views homosexuality as harmful, backed Chick-fil-A in the ensuing controversy.
“They endorse Chick-fil-A and also Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage, so I was going to use that as a statement,” prosecutors quoted Corkins as telling investigators.
Corkins, 28, pleaded guilty to committing an act of terrorism while armed, interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, and assault with intent to kill while armed.
JT: He was a gay activist and he went and wanted to go and attack this Christian organization that opposes homosexual marriage.
Does that mean that the people who are gay activists would rethink their position?
People do crazy, violent things for all sorts of reasons. People attack abortion clinics. People attack people who attack abortion clinics. This is a horrible thing, but I think that so long as the idea is we are dealing with facts in a realistic way, I don’t see how you can possibly modify your position.
FR: You think there is a lot of white anger out there?
JT: I can say with considerable confidence, there is a lot of anger
I know young people, particularly young people, who are especially angry because they feel have come into a world, certainly one which is not of their making, and they’re informed that they are the race that are the villains of history, that white people are responsible for all the terrible things that happened to non-white people everywhere in the world. They’re hopping mad about it. I know they are and I sympathize with that anger, but that anger has to be channeled to useful political work and not anger.
FR: Would you want to talk with Dylann Roof?talk
JT: I would like to talk to him, yes. I don’t suspect I’ll ever have that opportunity, but yes I would.
FR: Why? Would you offer him some advice?
JT: Too late for advice, no. I would be curious why he took this action.
By any standard this sets back any kind of race realist movement tremendously.
Here is a guy who is Heidi Beirich’s wet dream.
Note: Let’s pause here to note that Beirich directs the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks extremist groups and leaders. Here, for example, is the SPLC’s thumbnail on Taylor:
In his personal bearing and tone, Jared Taylor projects himself as a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist — a kind of modern-day version of the refined but racist colonialist of old. He is the founder of the New Century Foundation and edits its American Renaissance magazine, which, despite its pseudo-academic polish, regularly publishes proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. Taylor also hosts a conference every other year where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
OK, back to Taylor on why he would want to talk to Roof.
JT: Here’s a guy who confirms this historic account of racist violent whites. He’s exactly what we don’t need and I would just try to get a handle. OK, I sympathize with a couple of things you say, but don’t you realize how destructive your behavior was. That’s what I’d want to know. I’d want to plumb his mind a little bit.
FR: What has been the reaction of other readers of American Renaissance?
JT: They’re horrified by this, absolutely horrified by this because this gives our opponents just the kind of ammunition that we don’t want them to have. This guy is not a credit to his race. He is a horrible criminal and a terrible embarrassment. And to the extent one agrees with him, it is a shocking shame that he has taken this knowledge that he’s acquired and this is the consequence. This is exactly what we don’t want to happen.
At some place, it goes without saying- well perhaps it doesn’t go without saying – that we don’t encourage any kind of violence or illegality. I think anyone who would end up at the AmRen page would know that.
To say, by the way, we’re opposed to lawbreaking, we’re opposed to violence, that almost sounds like you’re praising that kind of behavior by even calling attention to that. I don’t know what one says about that.
I think anyone who is dissident in any serious way probably has to grapple with this possibility, and perhaps we haven’t grappled with it sufficiently, I don’t know, but as far as I know no one has ever done a violent thing that was somehow attributable to American Renaissance.
The Council of Conservative Citizens page is, of course, a different animal from ours. We have different pages because we have different conceptions. The approach of American Renaissance is the one I personally endorse.
FR: You say that Roof has hurt your movement, but won’t he and this manifesto draw people to look at the CofCC site, to look at your site?
JT: If this is what it takes to get more visitors to the site, we sure don’t need it.
FR: Roof also appears to have advanced the day when the Confederate flag will be removed from the state Capitol grounds in South Carolina.
JT: Every group in the country is encouraged to take pride in their heritage and ancestry except for whites and especially Southern whites. They’re the one group who are told to say, `No no, your ancestors were evil slaveholders,” and I think this is yet another mistake to force people to give up a symbol which for them in many cases means devotion, courage, dedication, to say to them, “We don’t care what you think about this symbol, we think it’s awful and we’re taking it down, screw you.” I think that is yet another insult to young whites, young Southern whites. I think all of this is going in a terrible direction, and more and more people are going to be angry about this.
What the left wants is all white people on their knees begging forgiveness. That’s what the left wants. And to a remarkable degree, that’s what the left has gotten. It ain’t going to work for everyone. Believe me I know it’s not working for everybody, and many people are very, very angry.
As if the flag somehow made him do this. Does anyone even believe that? They’re acting as if they do, but who’s even asked that question?
Up until the 1950s, nobody thought the flag represented racism, or very few people, North or South alike. It was a symbol of doughty resistance. The Confederate flag was on matchbox covers, bicycles. It was sort of a standard motif. The ’50s in particular had this kid of Confederate flag vogue. But not now.
If we want to prevent this (what Roof is alleged to have done), the absolutely wrong thing to do is keep piling on this notion of guilty white people. That’s just not going to work. The left has tried this a long time.
Does it really do any good to pile on the guilt? I think it does a terrible lot of damage but nobody is interested in hearing that.
FR: Do you think you speak for more than a small fringe of white people?
JT: Oh indeed. Millions and Millions. Quite literally. Just look at the comments on mainstream media sites these day. More and more they read as if they could have been written by AmRen readers. In fact, it’s often striking. Even something like the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune, you look at the comments on any race-related story, the commenters are almost harsh in opposition to the author and they have a much more kind of hard-nosed view of race.
FR: Were you surprised or disappointed that conservative politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott so quickly distanced themselves from Holt and the CofCC?
JT: The pressures on them must be tremendous and I am not surprised they are doing this.
But these are extraordinary circumstances. Otherwise, of course, they’d happily accept this money. They’re giving it away because of the circumstances and that’s the only reason.
I think if they were to happen to discover something like this, that Earl Holt was head of the CofCC, if this were not a big media matter, it would make no difference at all. Sure they’d keep the money.
Let’s put it this way – if the CofCC could muster a million votes for Ted Cruz, he probably wouldn’t give the money back.
Or who knows, maybe he would anyway.
I’m really not at all surprised. I would have predicted this.
On this score, I think Taylor is right.
Greg Abbott campaigned for governor with Ted Nugent last year shortly after Nugent referred to President Obama as a, “Communist-raised, Communist-educated, Communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel … ACORN, community organizer, gangster.”
Is that any more provocative than what Holt has had to say?
It’s just that Nugent had more of an upside and Abbott had to worry that, if he repudiated or even just distanced himself from Nugent, he might alienate some among Nugent’s large constituency – including a lot of white people who are OK with calling Obama a “subhuman mongrel” – and who vote.
Likewise, Abbott, Rick Perry and even David Dewhurst never felt obliged to disassociate themselves from blogger Robbie Cooper, Austin’s local answer to Earl Holt, though probably with more political juice. Read here for an account on Cooper from the Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder and Christopher Hooks.
The point here is that the sense of white racial grievance goes well beyond Dylann Roof and Jared Taylor, and while hardly anyone holding those views will act violently, and not all that many will even self-consciously assert those views, as Taylor does, Republican politicians have to take that underlying sentiment into account, or confront it at their peril.
From Ross Ramsey at today’s Texas Tribune:
Many groups face discrimination in the U.S., Texas voters say, but they don’t always agree on who faces it most, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Transgender people, Muslims, gays and lesbians, and African-Americans — in that order — face the most discrimination, Texas voters say. They’re followed, in order, by Hispanics, women, Christians, Asians, whites and men.
But the differences from one group of respondents to another were very different.
Rural voters (55 percent) and Tea Party Republicans (62 percent) said that white people are discriminated against in the U.S. Only 40 percent of all voters thought so.
From Jim Henson, co-director of the poll.
If you look at self-identified conservatives, they rank Christians first among groups that are most discriminated against. Self-identified conservatives are more likely to think that whites experience discrimination than to think that blacks, Hispanics and women are discriminated against.
The notion of whites as subject to discrimination is not new, of course — the idea fueled the “reverse discrimination” argument against civil rights and affirmative action going back to at least the 1970’s. But extent of these attitudes among conservative and Tea Party identifiers is striking. It’s hard not to see some of the initial struggles among Republican presidential candidates to respond publicly to the Charleston murders in this context.
Of course, no one is going to condone such heinous acts in the name of either whites or Christianity. But the initial stumbling around with possible explanations that the killings should be seen primarily as an attack on religion, or that the killer might have had motivations other than race, seem to reflect some implicit acknowledgement of the sense that there are constituencies who think of whites and Christians being under siege .
What follows are excerpts and links to the stories I wrote on four American Renaissance conferences, three for Newhouse News Service and the fourth – my favorite – a 2006 story I wrote for the Jewish newspaper, The Forward, on the struggle between Jews and Nazis in the white nationalist movement.
The last white nationalist conference I attended was in 2008. This from Oct. 22, 2008.
For White Nationalists, Obama Isn’t Half Bad
HERNDON, Va. — The prospect of Barack Obama becoming America’s first black president drew scant attention and little overt alarm among the 250 white nationalists at this past weekend’s biennial American Renaissance Conference.
“I got an e-mail from a fairly prominent person, ‘You should be rooting for an Obama presidency because that would send money and support surging your way,’” said Jared Taylor, the event’s convener and the movement’s most euphonious voice.
But, Taylor said, “I really don’t think that’s true. I don’t think many white people will say, ‘This is the last straw.’”
Those who already “see the world” as he does, Taylor said, “will see this as yet another step, perhaps an inevitable one, in this direction.”
Indeed, many here regarded Obama, contrasted with Republican John McCain, as the lesser of two evils.
Taylor is the founder of American Renaissance, a newsletter and Web site, which since 1994 has sponsored conferences every two years where white men in suits and ties — and a handful of white women — listen to speakers talk about white genetic and cultural superiority and, with increasing urgency, lament the peril to the U.S. national character of mass immigration from places other than Europe.
The last six conferences have been held near Taylor’s home in the Washington suburbs, close to Dulles Airport. He is the glue for the fractious groups and individuals who participate — some of whom can barely stand to be in the same room.
The last gathering ended with long-simmering hostilities between neo-Nazis and Jewish white nationalists spilling into the open. The ensuing weeks and months saw a furious online debate that left neither side entirely satisfied with Taylor. This year’s conference, however, hewed closer to the high-brow demeanor Taylor prefers.
“We’ve got some of the cream of our race here at our conference,” former Alabama Klan leader Don Black said in a radio report for Stormfront, perhaps the most prominent white power site on the Web.
Black’s “cream” is an assemblage that, for monitoring groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, amounts to a rogues’ gallery of the racist right. All who attend an American Renaissance Conference are acutely aware that, politically, they are beyond the pale.
In his address, Taylor admonished the audience that “every one of us is an ambassador to a hostile nation.”
“We have to be better,” he said, explaining that in tone and behavior, they must be “morally unassailable.”
For the most part, Taylor’s speech fit what is now a familiar pattern. First he roused with a call to white racial consciousness “out of duty to our ancestors, out of duty to our descendants.” Then he acknowledged how deaf most whites remain to this call.
“I’ve been trying to get white people to think sensibly about race for about 20 years,” and yet, he said, the puzzle persists: “Why are white people so sound asleep and what is it going to take to wake them up?”
From The Forward, March 3, 2006.
Is White Nationalist Tent Big Enough for Jews and Nazis?
LETTER FROM HERNDON, VA.
For the small, hardy band of right-wing Jews who attended this past weekend’s American Renaissance Conference, the biennial gathering of white nationalists ended on a sour note.
The events Saturday, February 25, passed without major incident. But then, late Sunday morning, none other than former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke approached the microphone on the floor during the question-and-answer session for French writer Guillaume Faye. After congratulating Faye for stirring remarks that “touched my genes,” Duke asked if there weren’t an even more insidious threat to the West than Islam.
“There is a power in the world that dominates our media, influences our government and that has led to the internal destruction of our will and our spirit,” Duke said.
“Tell us, tell us,” came a call from the back of the room.
“I’m not going to say it,” Duke said to rising laughter.
But Michael Hart, a squat, balding Jewish astrophysicist from Maryland, was not amused. He rose from his seat, strode toward Duke (who loomed over him like an Aryan giant), spit out a curse – “You f…ing Nazi, you’ve disgraced this meeting” – and exited.
As it happens, only a few minutes earlier Hart, a mainstay of American Renaissance conferences, had been trying to reassure Herschel Elias, a first-time attendee from suburban Philadelphia, that he should not let his observation that the meeting was “infiltrated by Nazis and Holocaust deniers” ruin his impression of American Renaissance.
“The speakers aren’t Nazis,” Hart assured him. “Jared isn’t a Nazi.”
Jared is Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance magazine. He founded the publication 1990, and since 1994 he had sponsored the biennial conference that bears its name. A former liberal, Taylor is glib, gracious and genial, capable of putting his white nationalism in the most benign and commonsense terms.
“We mean well to all people,” he said in his address at this year’s conference, “but our own people come first.”
The conference has attracted ever larger crowds, with this year’s event drawing about 300 people – all white (no more than 5% Jewish) and most of them male. The attendees are united by a common belief in black intellectual inferiority, opposition to non-white immigration and ardor for maintaining America’s white majority. By the end of this seventh biennial conference, however, the delicate state of his coalition seemed apparent.
Hart, who spoke at the 1996 conference about his plan for a racial partition of the United States, said that Taylor now had to face the fact that he must purge the Nazis or lose the Jews. “He can’t expect Jews to come if there are Nazis here,” Hart said.
And therein lies Taylor’s dilemma.
From the start, he has been trying to de-Nazify the movement and draw the white nationalist circle wider to include Jews of European descent. But to many on the far right, taking the Jew-hatred out of white nationalism is like taking the Christ out of Christmas – a sacrilege. Actually inviting Jews into the movement is an act of lunacy, or betrayal, to them.
From February 25, 2002:
HERNDON, Va. – While their deportment was excellent and their intellect obvious, the 250 white nationalists as most called themselves at the fifth biennial American Renaissance Conference were all too aware that they exist along the shadowy fringes of American public life.
“We are minoritarian,” said Jared Taylor, who convened the gathering named for the monthly newsletter he edits. “We are marginal in terms of influence and numbers and not only that, according to the mainstream, we are a despicable group.”
But Taylor and others who joined him “In Defense of Western Man,” as last weekend’s conference was themed, are modestly optimistic that white people are beginning to be roused to the self-conscious racial identity that they believe is all that can save them from losing their dominant place in America in the face of immigration and multiculturalism.
In a new book, Carol M. Swain, a Vanderbilt University professor of political science, warns that their optimism may be warranted, that they may not be on the fringe forever and that the broader public ignores them at its peril. Swain, a black woman whose new book, “The New White Nationalism in America,” will be issued July 4, sees the cadre of folks who attend the American Renaissance conferences as the intellectual vanguard of a slicker and smarter racist right that could gain a following among more mainstream white conservatives in years to come, with disastrous results for American race relations. And Swain believes that black leaders and the multicultural left bear some responsibility for creating the conditions in which this movement could flourish.
“I believe the arguments that Jared Taylor puts forth would appeal to a substantially larger percentage of the white population than are willing to admit it,” said Swain, who was previously at Princeton University and whose earlier book critiquing black electoral districts won her several prizes and considerable controversy.
Borrowing from the identity politics of the left and with a finesse and sophistication not commonly associated with what she calls “the misfits and psychopaths” who have come to symbolize white supremacy in years gone by, these new white nationalists could effectively address white grievances that go unanswered even undebated in the mainstream public arena, Swain believes. In the current political milieu, and as their demographic dominance wanes in the face of immigration and lower white birth rates, Swain said, “Whites are going to behave like any minority group. Maybe we have reached the point in history where there are legitimate white interests and maybe more and more whites are going to see that.”
Taylor and company certainly think so.
“We in this room are the Paul Reveres of our time,” said Taylor, a graduate of Yale University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies, his voice catching with emotion. “We’re riding through the night not just in a few New England hamlets but all through the world, crying, ‘White man, wake up.’”
“If white America survives, then this meeting will be considered very very important, very important,” said Mark Weber, director of the California-based Institute for Historical Review, which attacks the mainstream scholarship on the existence and extent of the Holocaust. “If white America fails, it will have been the last gasp of a white intellectual America that is gone forever.”
The theme and speakers at this year’s conference were much the same as two years ago, but there were subtle differences in tone and temper that indicated a movement on the rise. The crowd was a bit larger, and as one of the rare women in attendance, Sarah Norman, put it at conference’s end, “It’s more normal all the time.”
A few minutes earlier, her husband, Frank, had taken to the microphone to announce “some very good news.” Holding high a Victoria’s Secret catalog, Norman announced that all the models were white. “I take it you looked at every page,” said Taylor.
And, from April 4, 2000:
Nietzschean Henry Higgins Strives to Make White Nationalists Presentable
leave a comment »
RESTON, Va. – April 1 was Census Day, the moment the 2000 census was supposed to capture, marking the first census of a century that promises by its mid-point to record a United States that is less than half white. By coincidence, it was also opening day for a conference of some 200 white men and a handful of white women who are appalled at that prospect and astonished by the apparent willingness of most whites to let it happen.
“We’ve lost the ability to say ‘us’ or ‘we.’ Most whites simply cannot bring themselves to say, ‘This is our culture, this is our nation and it belongs to us and no one else,’” declared Jared Taylor, the charismatic convener of the fourth biennial American Renaissance Conference, named for the publication that he edits.
Attendees suffered no such lip-lock. The conference brought some of the leading intellectual and political lights of the white far right to the Sheraton Hotel in this planned community a traffic jam from the nation’s capital. For two days, they talked to one another in tones by turn defiant and despairing of the demographic changes threatening white dominance in America and the West, and their determination to rally dormant white racial consciousness to turn back that day or at least to go down in history as those who dared curse the twilight of white primacy.
“Our people are going to be extinct if we don’t stand up on our hind legs and do something,” said Gordon Baum, the affable St. Louis lawyer who heads the national Council of Conservative Citizens, which counts as members at least 80 legislators across the nation.
They talked about an America that they believe once was and ever ought to be a white, European-American nation. Theirs would be a nation bound by blood and sanctified by the genetic scientists who appeared before them as a place where white people might rightly prevail over the black and brown people; a nation where what they consider the natural hierarchy might finally triumph over what they count as the false promise of egalitarianism.
In the words of Samuel Francis, an influential writer and one of its leading ideologists, theirs is “a movement that rejects equality as an ideal and insists on an enduring core of human nature transmitted by heredity.”
This is, of course, many giant steps outside the modern American political mainstream. For the weekend, the Sheraton was a place where racial diversity was denigrated and John Rocker “the one sane man in sports,” Taylor said was celebrated. But, with the exception of a handful of protesters who showed up on the eve of the conference, the broader world barely took notice.
To the faithful in attendance, and to those who warily watch their progress, the American Renaissance Conference represents a notable coming together of previously disparate forces under the banner of white nationalism. Its numbers may be small, but its wingspan stretches from the outskirts of politics and academia to the far reaches of the racist right. And, under Taylor’s tutelage, it is a movement endeavoring to subvert stock stereotypes.
Like a Nietzschean Henry Higgins, Taylor, who was raised in Japan by liberal Presybterian missionary parents, is trying to create a respectable and presentable white racial nationalism.
In advance of the conference, he promised a highbrow affair. “We’re the uptown bad guys,” he said with his genial lilt and disarming self-awareness. The invitation reminded guests that this was a “three-star hotel” and instructed, “Gentlemen will wear jackets and ties.”
Andrew Hacker, the Queens (N.Y.) College sociologist who writes frequently on race and who attended the 1998 conference as an observer, believes Taylor’s analysis is both right and wrong.
“If you’re of European origin, I don’t care if one’s left or right, whether you like it or not, you believe you are superior,” Hacker said. The difference is that conservatives will admit that among themselves, while “liberals hate having that view and wish they could get rid of it.”
But Hacker predicts that the demographic transformation Taylor and his allies fear will never actually occur.
“In 50 years a very high percentage of Hispanics and Asians will have adapted to the Anglo model,” Hacker said. “We absorb, we assimilate and co-opt at a pretty hefty tempo.”
That is not the American Renaissance vision of how it is going to go down.
“For much of the next generation race and racial issues are going to be the major issues around which politics revolves,” said Francis, a syndicated columnist and editor in chief of the Citizens Informer, the paper associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens.
“As non-whites increasingly invade the country through immigration and the racial balance runs against whites, we will see an increasing level of interracial violence directed against whites, an increasing level of discrimination and outright persecution of whites for any challenge or resistance to non-white domination, and an increasing level of barbarization of our culture as immigrant and indigenous non-whites challenge and replace white civilization.”