2013 March » ADL Blogs
March 21, 2013 7

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 1

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 0

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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