Last month, Salon reporters attended a white nationalist conference hosted by the National Policy Institute titled, “After the Fall: The Future of Identity.” NPI is a self-described “think-tank and publishing firm dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States, and around the world.” Others consider them a white supremacist and hate group.
Apparently there wasn’t a huge turn out — only about 100 people showed up in the basement of the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. — but Salon noted that of the small number of attendees, there was a significant amount of “millennials in search of a political identity.”
Salon describes the scene:
“If you cannot be for your own people, who can you be for?” one young man who gave his name as Helmut Schmidt said as a reason for attending the conference. “The reality is when white people are the minority in this country, it is going to be real bad.”
But really the conference was open to any number of overlapping topics that might attract disaffected white youngsters. Jack Donovan, an anti-feminist writer and “advocate for the resurgence of tribalism and manly virtue,” served up his shtick.
Donovan has argued that feminists are trying to create “gender-neutral utopias” that will make men into “doughy bonobos and chunky Chaz Bonos playing out their endless manic-depressive melodramas in a big bean-flicking circle of sterility, sickness and desperation.”
“Do black people as a group care what happens to white people as a group? Does a Mexican dad with three babies care about whether some white kid from the burbs gets a summer landscaping job? Of course not,” Donovan said during his presentation, adding later, “You cannot play fair with people who don’t care if you get wiped off the map.”
A Hispanic wait staff served every meal, and tended the bar.
While white supremacists are in the minority of people at large, there’s still a growing number of them across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hate groups has risen in the United States by 67 percent since the year 2000. And the number of extremist hate groups has increased by 813 percent since President Obama was elected into office, from 149 in 2008, to 1,360 groups in 2012.
Yes, hate groups represent only a small sect of our overall population and don’t necessarily play a significant role in the shaping of mainstream, institutionalized racism. But at one point, they did, and the leaders of this movement don’t want to see their vision discontinue. Instead, they’re working hard to influence a new generation: “millennials in search of a political identity.”
In the past year, three white student unions have publicly popped up on college campuses nationwide (who knows how many similar organizations exist in privacy, behind closed doors).
Thanks to reporting by James Carter IV in The Huffington Post, a video from the American Renaissance Conference (another white nationalist event) shows an 18-year-old from Alabama, Patrick Sharp, interacting with Jared Taylor, editor of the infamous white nationalist publication American Renaissance. It’s obvious these racist veterans are putting in A+ effort to try and recruit more youthful leaders to spread their messages and give new life to white supremacist attitudes.
Sharp went on to found a white student union before his freshman year Georgia State University, causing quite the national stir. The student claimed Matthew Heimbach, another college student who took the plunge before him and formed a white student union at Towson University in Maryland, inspired him. I’m sure Sharp’s hangout session with Jared Taylor didn’t hurt, either.
Despite the small number of attendees, these white nationalist conferences shouldn’t be minimized and deemed harmless by the rest of us who happen to have a little more common sense and human decency. We should be more concerned about who is attending the conferences, because the more millennials who attend, the more likely it is these extremist ideas will spread.
“We want to change the world,” Richard Spencer, one of the conference organizers and known white nationalist leader, said to the rest of the attendees.
And that’s exactly what we're afraid of.
(Photo by minds-eye via Flickr)