2013 March » ADL Blogs
March 21, 2013

Extremists Flock to 40th Annual CPAC Conference

Merlin Miller, a white supremacist affiliated with the American Freedom Party, attended CPAC 2013.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 14-16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. attracted a number of individuals on the extreme right of the political spectrum. Attendees at CPAC this year included a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election, members of a “white student union” at Towson University, and a reported white supremacist who currently runs an anti-immigrant group. A prominent member of the anti-government Oath Keepers group presented at the event.

Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, an anti-government activist and member of the Oath Keepers, presented at this year’s CPAC at a session titled “How a Constitutional Sheriff can Protect Your Second Amendment Rights.” The Oath Keepers claim they will refuse to carry out certain “orders” that they expect the federal government to issue, such as putting citizens in concentration camps, assisting foreign troops in invading the country and declaring martial law. During his speech, Mack claimed “the President has no authority in your county” and asserted that “there is no gun control in the Constitution.”

Matthew Heimbach, a former activist with the now defunct racist group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) and the founder of the “white student union” at Towson University in Maryland, attended CPAC with other students. Heimbach and another student, Scott Terry, disrupted a panel titled, “Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” Terry proclaimed that “I feel like my people, my demographic are being systematically disenfranchised” and asked the speaker, K. Carl Smith of the group Frederick Douglas Republicans, “Why can’t we be more like Booker T. Washington Republicans?” Smith responded by talking about a letter written by Frederick Douglas forgiving his slave master. Terry interrupted Smith, blurting out, “for giving him shelter and food and…,” causing a commotion. A few moments later both Terry and Heimbach further disrupted proceedings by shouting that Martin Luther King was a “Marxist.”

Robert Vandervoort, the executive director of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, attended this year’s CPAC. 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. Another extremist in attendance was Merlin Miller, a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election on the American Third Position (A3P) ticket. A3P, now renamed the American Freedom Party, is a white supremacist political party. Miller attended one session titled “Iran and the Islamist Threat to America and the West: What is – What Should Be – Our Strategy.” As reported by ADL, Miller attended an anti-Semitic “Hollywoodism” conference in Tehran earlier in 2013.

Though one of the major themes of the 2013 CPAC was increasing inclusivity in the GOP, extremist elements, though small in number, were still able not only to attend but to participate at this year’s event.

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March 21, 2013

Imagine If They Had Lived

Imagine a world where the hate crimes against Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank and Matthew Shepard did not happen. Now, during ADL’s Centennial Year, fight bigotry and extremism by sharing this video and pledging to create a world without hate.

In honor of our Centennial in 2013, ADL has launched the “Imagine a World Without Hate™” video and action campaign, and we invite you to join in.

Take just 80 seconds of your time to watch this powerful video, which imagines a world without racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism — a world in which the hate violence that took the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank, Daniel Pearl, Matthew Shepard and others did not happen. Imagine what these individuals could have continued to contribute to society if bigotry, hate and extremism had not cut their lives tragically short.

After 100 years of fighting bigotry and fostering respect, we are celebrating our successes, while at the same time recognizing that we still have a long way to go to achieve the reality of a world without hate. Explore the Imagine Web Page at www.adl.org/imagine to take action as an individual, community, school or corporation. Tell us what you will do to create a world without hate.

ADL is most grateful to the families of those featured in the video, whose commitment and participation made this campaign possible, and to the Estate of John Lennon for granting us the rights to use his beautiful and iconic song.

www.adl.org/imagine

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March 20, 2013

Ultra-Conservative Event to Feature Quran-Burning Pastor

Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center is scheduled to join a lineup of ultra-conservatives, Tea Party and anti-Muslim activists at the “Conservative Call to Action” conference. The event is planned for March 23 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The conference is intended to promote and discuss issues of importance to ultra-conservatives. Topics include “opposing abortion, fighting Islam, and defending the First and Second Amendments.” Scheduled speakers include political pundit Dinesh D’Souza, a once well-respected conservative author and political commentator who has been increasingly welcomed by ultra-conservative circles and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists.

D’Souza is the former president of The King’s College in New York and, in 2012, he co-directed the conspiracy-laden documentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” in the run-up to the U.S. presidential elections. In the film, D’Souza conspiratorially alleges that President Obama plans to implement socialist policies that will result in the diminishment of America’s global power, and suggests that Obama will more fully adopt harmful policies in a second term.

Giving the conference a distinctly anti-Muslim tone will be Pastor Terry Jones, the virulently anti-Muslim, anti-gay leader of an apostolic church in Gainesville, Florida. Jones sparked international outrage in July 2010, when he announced his intention to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” [sic] on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Through his website Stand Up America, Jones continues to galvanize Americans with his anti-Muslim, anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality agenda.

In addition to Jones and D’Souza, others scheduled to speak at the event include Tea Party video blogger and Islam “expert” known as “Wild Bill for America,” anti-abortion activist Melissa Ohden, former Conservative Party USA member Seth Riggio, and local conservative activist Michelle Morin.

On his personal website, Wild Bill claims to have had a career as a Duty Sheriff and a Deputy U.S. Marshal, and is “one of the first Tea Party members.” Citing his background in law enforcement, Wild Bill claims that he has “seen how [Islam] operates first hand,” and, “is well qualified to speak out about the dangers this religion presents.

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