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May 2, 2014

White Supremacist Conference Again Aims to Mobilize Whites

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American Renaissance Speakers Group Photo

The white supremacist  group New Century Foundation has, for the third time, held its American Renaissance (AmRen) gathering  at a conference center at a national park in Burns, Tennessee.  On April 25-27, the approximately 175 attendees at the event heard speakers voice their ideas about how to mobilize whites by highlighting their culture and heritage. This year’s conference also expanded on last year’s theme of creating a white ethno-state on the North American continent.

The conference featured some new speakers, and some conference veterans such as Sam Dickson, a longtime white supremacist and speaker at the previous eleven AmRen conferences.  In his speech, Dickson claimed America was founded on the “lie” that all men were created equal. He asserted that a new narrative needs to be created for whites, which rejects the concepts of freedom and individualism promoted by the Tea Party and the belief in equality promoted by President Obama. Jack Donovan, a contributor to the white supremacist online publication Counter-Currents, echoed Dickson’s comments when responding to a question about forming a new identity for whites in North America, saying that any new identity must be different from that of the founding fathers who he claimed started off with “failure.”

John Morgan, the editor-in-chief of the Hungary-based far-right publishing house Arktos, called for whites within the movement to start reflecting a positive outlook in order to influence others. To do that, Morgan urged whites to highlight and praise their culture, in the form of books, art and films. Morgan also lamented the “culture of consumerism” active in the West today. Donovan’s speech similarly criticized the culture of consumerism which, he said, has left a cultural void. Donovan claimed the only way to stop this is to abandon the “universal” in favor of the “tribal” thus promoting a culture that is “discriminatory” and promotes the idea of identity.

Jared Taylor, the head the New Century Foundation, claimed the problem with whites is that they are too concerned with helping others and not themselves, which, he argued, leads to their downfall. Taylor called the conference attendees “missionaries” and insisted they must appeal to the soul of whites, not the mind. Their work, he maintained, is very difficult because many of the people they are trying to influence think of whites in the movement as “evil,” and therefore rude, arrogant, or mean-spirited.

As was the case at last year’s event, many young white supremacists were present, including Brad Griffin, who runs the racist website Occidental Dissent, and his wife Renee Baum, the daughter of Gordon Baum, leader of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Richard Spencer, head of the white supremacist think tank National Policy Institute (NPI) also attended, as did Matthew Heimbach of the white supremacist activist group Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN) and his friend Scott Terry. Patrick Sharp, who founded the White Student Union at Georgia State University and Holocaust denier Mark Weber from the anti-Semitic Institute for Historical Review were also present.

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January 23, 2014

White Supremacist Activists Form New Group In Michigan

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Dan Poole

Update:  On the day this blog was posted, the organization’s founders dissolved the Center for the Advancement of Occidental Culture as a limited liability corporation.

Two white supremacists, Dan Poole and Kyle Bristow, have founded a new group, the Center for the Advancement of Occidental Culture (CAOC) in Michigan.  Poole, a recent college graduate, and Bristow, an attorney, have both previously been active in racist circles.  Poole is the executive director of CAOC and Bristow will be the organization’s chief legal officer.

The two are part of a growing trend of younger, educated white supremacists forming groups that promote racism but use terms like “Occidental culture,” “Western civilization,”  or “traditionalism” in place of more explicitly racist terminology.  This sanitized language can be more palatable to people who would be turned off by overt racism.

In a statement released at the end of December 2013, Poole wrote that the organization’s mission is “to advance and defend Western civilization” by promoting European-themed art, culture and events.  The group also wants to fight alleged “discrimination and harassment directed at European-Americans.” CAOC asserts that it will be different from other organizations by “being on the front lines as the vanguard of the Occident in the culture war.”

Poole, a recent graduate of Oakland University in Michigan, has been active with the American Freedom Party (AFP), a white supremacist political party.  AFP, formerly known as American Third Position, has run white supremacist candidates for various offices. 

While attending Michigan State University (MSU), Bristow was the controversial head of the MSU Young Americans for Freedom. In 2007, the group invited British white nationalist Nick Griffin to speak at the school. Bristow went on to write articles for Citizens Informer, the publication of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and authored a novel White Apocalypse and a collection of essays, The Conscience of a Right-Winger

White Apocalypse promotes the idea Europeans were the first to inhabit North America and were the victims of non-whites who later slaughtered them. The newest version of the book, published in October 2013, contains an introduction by Matthew Heimbach, the co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), a small white supremacist group.

Heimbach is another example of a young, white, educated racist who has embraced hardcore extremism. Heimbach was first active in Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a now defunct student group, with goals similar to CAOC. Heimbach claims that he sought Bristow’s advice when he ran the YWC chapter at Towson University in 2011. 

CAOC joins other organizations such as TYN and the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist think tank, which are hoping to reach disaffected younger whites.

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November 25, 2013

Anti-immigrant And Anti-Muslim Groups Join Forces To Host Event In North Carolina

On Friday, November 22, the Fayetteville, North Carolina chapter of ACT! for America, an orga­ni­za­tion pro­mot­ing the idea that Islam is a back­ward and sedi­tious polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, hosted a screening of the anti-immigrant film, “They Come to America.” After the screening, organizers have scheduled a panel discussion about immigration with James Johnson, head of the North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group NC FIRE and Ron Woodard, the founder of another North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group, NC Listen.act-for-america-they-come-to-america-poster

The Fayetteville chapter of ACT! for America regularly posts extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric on its Facebook page, claiming Islam is in a war with the world and promoting a video titled “Islam and Nazism, the Unholy Alliance.” Both Johnson and Woodard are anti-immigrant activists with ties to extremism. Earlier this year, Woodard received the “We the People Leadership Award” from the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a group founded by racist John Tanton. FAIR helped to found and buttress Woodard’s group, NC Listen.

James Johnson of NC Listen has circulated articles from racist websites such as VDARE and American Renaissance in the past. In 2011, Johnson posted a picture of himself with Roan Garcia-Quintana, a director of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) on Facebook. Both men were attending FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event. 

The screening and panel discussion is just one recent example of collaboration between the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements, both at the national and local level. Both movements see immigration as problematic and promote xenophobia. Nationally, both anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups promote anti-immigrant legislation and both movements worked to derail immigration reform in 2013. At the local level, activists attend and speak at each other’s events and support each other’s campaigns.

Events such as the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as stories about “terrorists” entering the United States through Mexico serve as fuel for both the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements and indicate that further collaboration between groups both at the local and national level will not only continue, but increase.

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