But that shouldn't stop state officials from the governor on down from repudiating American Renaissance and making certain the rest of the world understands that Tennessee doesn't condone or accept racism. That hasn't happened yet. Where's the outrage? What's that? We can't hear you.
Here's how the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Watch describes American Renaissance:
For the uninitiated, A3P is fielding two Tennessee-based candidates — Merlin Miller and former Vanderbilt psychiatry professor Virginia Abernethy — on a quixotic presidential ticket this year, both of whom addressed a white nationalist conference held just outside of Nashville earlier this year.
Titled "Time to Wake Up, America!," Rocker's editorial originally appeared this morning on World Net Daily and has since exploded across the conservative blogosphere with diarrhetic efficiency until it oozed onto A3P's website this afternoon. In it, Rocker strikes all the right chords among A3P's base of white conservatives who, like him, fear the effects of undocumented immigration and, say, how the North American Man-Boy Love Association is a special interest group to be casually lumped in with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Indeed, Rocker's distaste for "queers with AIDS" and foreigners — sentiments captured by former Tennessean writer Jeff Pearlman — certainly indicate that he and A3P's intelligentsia would have plenty to talk about over a few obviously domestic beers
A taste of the crazy, after the jump.
With summer in full swing, why not cool off in the air-conditioned confines of Nashville's Guesthouse Inn Hotel for a gathering of one of the nation's premier white supremacist organizations? (What's that? You'd rather be submerged in a human-sized deep fryer? Figures, you typical liberal elitist swine ...)
For the so-low-even-an-undocumented-worker-can-afford-it price of $65, you can rub elbows with the likes of former Colorado Congressman and honorary chair of the cuddly Youth for Western Civilization Tom Tancredo, who's billed as the keynote speaker of the July 6-7 gathering of the Council of Conservative Citizens. Expect a concentrated version of last March's American Renaissance Conference, but less closeted.
While Tancredo is no Sheriff Daron Hall, interested parties can rest assured: Here is a man who won't equivocate on his beliefs, unpopular though they might be with the vast majority of rational human beings. Here is a man who will carry the far right's torch of pseudo-science and scapegoating, and can do so in the time it takes to eat a (white meat only) rubber-chicken dinner.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has named Vanderbilt professor emerita Virginia Abernethy in its list of 30 new activists leading the charge of right-wing American hate, a distinction for which she has certainly earned her crazy-stripes.
Classifying Abernethy as a "White Nationalist," the SPLC identifies the former Vanderbilt psychiatry professor for her role in race-based politicking as a member of the American Third Position Party, a California-based white supremacist political party with grandiose aims: Abernethy is running as a vice-presidential candidate on an A3P ticket with running mate Merlin Miller, a Tennessee-based screenwriter who made a splash with the fine folks at this year's American Renaissance Conference.
The SPLC report's quasi-executive summary notes that the "explosive growth" of certain segments within the "radical right" are attributable to a corresponding demographic shift in which a growing Hispanic population threatens to reduce the United States' Caucasian population to less than 50 percent by 2050, according to the socialist U.S. Census Bureau. Further, the SPLC notes the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment. And so-called "Patriot" groups on the vanguard of the sovereign citizen movement have gained popularity in recent years as well.
Read Abernethy's SPLC bio after the jump.
Robert Weissberg, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and not-so-closeted white nationalist, was fired earlier this week from his gig at the fair-and-balanced National Review Online after the publication "learned" of Weissberg's address at the recent American Renaissance Conference.
"Unbeknowst to us, occasional Phi Beta Cons contributor Robert Weissberg (whose book was published a few years ago by Transaction) participated in an American Renaissance conference where he delivered a noxious talk about the future of white nationalism," editor Rich Lowry wrote in a post on the National Review's website. "He will no longer be posting here. Thanks to those who brought it to our attention."
Weissberg spoke at the conference about "viable alternatives" to white nationalism, including the creation of "Whitopias," according to the American Renaissance website.
"Prof. Weissberg went on to argue that liberals are beyond reason when it comes to race, that explaining the facts of IQ or the necessity of racial consciousness for whites "is like trying to explain to an eight-year-old why sex is more fun than chocolate ice cream."
At the AmRen conference, Weissberg also talked about how the U.S. Census Bureau handed out paint chips to volunteers to better delineate a person's race; opined on the so-called "Paper Bag Test" ostensibly used by African-Americans to discern true blackness (he even joked "Michelle Obama failed the paper bag test while her husband passed it."); and also criticized the National Review for its attempts at political correctness.
According to Politico, Weissberg is the latest victim of the National Review's ongoing purge of racist loonies despite the fact that the National Review was founded in part to counter the civil rights movement. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, no?
UPDATE: Turns out Weissberg has already groveled to Politico:
But I'll tell you what: Richard Land is done hearing about Trayvon Martin. Before you read this next part, remember that the Southern Baptist Convention is in the middle of trying to heal some old wounds with the African-American community.
“I believe Mr. Obama’s comments were misguided, and I think they were harmful. No one knows what his son would look like. The statement was meant as a sign of racial solidarity. Martin is black, so by extension Mr. Obama shares the victim’s racial identity.”
He also said, "The president’s aides claim he was showing compassion for the victim’s family. In reality, he poured gasoline on the racialist fires."
As mounting evidence calls into question George Zimmerman's version of events in the Trayvon Martin shooting, Austin Peay State University students gathered on Thursday to remember the slain teenager and call for justice, at an event organized by student Lelann Evans.
APSU alumnus Wanda McMoore was one of the speakers. McMoore's husband Terry McMoore, director of the Tennessee Urban Resource Center, provided photos and a transcript of the speech:
Good afternoon everyone. My name is Wanda McMoore. I am an APSU alumnus, a wife and a mother. I actually wrote this little speech several days ago after reading an update on Trayvon Martin’s murder. At the end of that short update in the online newspaper — although I normally resist the temptation because I don’t like to read the negativity that usually gets posted there, regardless of the subject — in Trayvon’s case I was compelled on this day to see what venom was spewing forth from the bloggers. I actually was surprised to see that there was a fair share of postings that possessed a higher degree of civility. So because of that civility, I stopped what I was doing at that moment and wrote these words down, at first, it was to send to the editor, then just to get it off of my chest and onto paper, and now, I bring my feelings and thoughts of that day to each of you.
The rest of the speech and more photos, after the jump ....
The uproar over the shooting of Trayvon Martin shows no signs of abating anytime soon. And there's plenty of outrage here in Nashville, as evidenced by Saturday's Trayvon Martin rally in Nashville, shown in the video above.
As the comments to this Pith post from last week make clear, readers on all sides of the issue have a lot to say. The post discussed Molly Secours' take on the issue, and recalled her eerily prescient 2006 story about knee-jerk suspicion of black males in hoodies. Furthermore, Secours took on the issue of white privilege, and offered a sample question from a quiz she was developing on the subject.
Over the weekend, Secours spent some time working on the White Privilege Pop Quiz, and she's up to about 15 questions. Here are a few more samples:
A) When was the first time you were made aware of your
racial identity and realized that your 'race' would play a
pivotal role in the challenges you faced on a daily basis.
1) 1-5 2) 6-10 3) 11-present 4) never
Discuss: How old were you? What happened? What kind of Impact did it have on you? How did it change your hopes, dreams and goals?
In 2006 I wrote an article called "Here Comes The Neighborhood" describing a community meeting in a newly gentrified neighborhood in Nashville and articulated how the unchecked fears (on the part of the new residents) put all young black males in the neighborhood — who were between the ages of 12-17 (wearing a hoodie) — at risk. The outrage that followed the publishing of the article was unyielding and it appeared that some were more offended by the suggestion that racial profiling had occurred than the fact that their internalized fear of young black males put an entire community in jeopardy.
If Trayvon Martin's killing were an isolated incident, there would not be millions of people marching in protest while wearing hoodies and petitioning to change the Florida Law that allows anyone to shoot someone because they 'felt scared'. And lest we assign all outrage and blame on Zimmerman, let us be mindful of what inspired the act and the laws that prevent him from being accountable. The same internalized fear that allowed Zimmerman to feel threatened by an unarmed child are the same internalized fears harbored by those who allowed him to walk away.
A line from Secours' 2006 story seems especially prescient in light of the murder of Martin. Discussing suspicion of black men in hoodies, she writes, "It gives new meaning to the phrase 'fashion police.' "
Secours is developing what she calls the "White Privilege Pop Quiz." Check out a sample question after the jump....
Over at My Quiet Life, Pith contributor Chris Wage weighs in on the Jeremy Lin racial-slur debate:
Clay Travis responded to the Jeremy Lin controversy. I'll start with his conclusion, since it's the only part of his article I agree with:
"Isn't it possible that a kid being raised today could never hear the term 'chink' as a slur and only associate the phrase 'chink in the armor' with the 16th century phrase's origination?"
Yes, it is. In fact, it's the only explanation I can bring myself to believe explains the situation: that the journalist in question was honestly too stupid or naive to know that "chink" is a racial slur. No one that did — even an avowed, card-carrying racist — would be so blatant on purpose (they have plenty of coded language). But I hate to be the bearer of bad news here: one astoundingly sheltered sports journalist does not mean that "racism is incredibly rare". The contention that no one under the age of 40 knows an "actual racist" is so hilariously laughable that I'm wondering (hoping?) that this is Clay the provocateur shining through, and not a serious contention.
Clay and I went to high school together at MLK. It was, actually, a remarkably well-integrated school, all things considered — this is what happens when you take a couple hundred smarter kids from relatively good (and relatively well-to-do) households and stick them together in a school. But let's not whitewash (no pun intended) the experience — black kids and white kids self-segregated in our lunchroom just like any other high school. And I think that if Clay were to actually ask around to some of his former classmates, he might start building a much different picture of the supposedly racism-free environment he seems to think we grew up in.
I respect the desire to think that we live in some sort of post-racism society, but I'm here to tell you: racism is still out there, dudes. I can tell you that with confidence, even as a white male. I've had too many awkward conversations about "them" and "those types" with expectant stares, where I slowly realized they were talking about black people, and were probing me for the level of racist discourse I'm willing to engage in. (I refer to this as the good ol' boy protocol — it's a very sophisticated dance of euphemism and suggestive body language.) Also, I read the news sometimes. I mean, come on.
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