Bob Vandervoort

CPAC Once Again Shuts Out Gay & Atheist Groups, Welcomes White Nationalists

The Institute For Research & Education on Human Rights points out today that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is once again welcoming a white nationalist group, even while shunning organizations that represent LGBT and atheist conservatives.

IREHR reports that ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth at this week’s CPAC, which costs exhibitors $4,000 in exchange for official recognition and promotion from conference organizers. ProEnglish is an anti-immigrant “English only” group led by Bob Vandervoort,  who previously headed a white nationalist group and who has fretted about the “cultural and racial dispossession of the West’s historic people” and the coming of a “post-Western America.” Vandervoort has also written about supposed “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.”

ProEnglish is part of the network of anti-immigrant groups connected to white nationalist John Tanton. The Center for New Community explains:

ProEnglish was established in 1994 with the oversight of its founding chairman, the white nationalist John Tanton. In fact, it is Tanton’s second English language interest group, formed after he left the first, U.S. English, after a racially charged memo that surfaced in 1988.

While Vandervoort’s group was apparently not too controversial for the conference, two other groups were. Late last month, the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, abruptly canceled the exhibition booth of the group American Atheists after an outcry from Religious Right groups. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said of the planned inclusion of the atheist group, "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

CPAC’s organizers also prevented the gay conservative group GOPround from sponsoring a booth, although they magnanimously allowed GOProud’s leaders to “attend as guests,” causing a cofounder of the group to resign.

Similar dramas have played out in each of the last few years. In 2012, CPAC banned GOProud but allowed two white nationalists, including Vandervoort, to appear on an anti-multiculturalism panel. Last year, GOProud was banned once again but ProEnglish was allowed to host a booth.

Interestingly, one of CPAC’s “participating sponsors” this year is Facebook, which has been working to push GOP toward immigration reform. We wonder how they feel about sponsoring a conference that welcomes the participation of an anti-immigrant white nationalist group?

Gays Out, Racists in at CPAC, Again

Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists.

“Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay conservative group GOProud has been banned from the conference. So at best, “inclusion” at CPAC means “straights only.”

Even more telling is the roster of sponsors and exhibitors at CPAC. Most troubling is the inclusion of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, which is run by longtime white nationalist organizer Bob Vandervoort. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported extensively on his activities:

Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.

When CPAC and its organizers at the American Conservative Union were widely criticized last year for allowing Vandervoort and other white nationalists to speak on multiple panels, the conference organizers played dumb:

“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”

There’s no such excuse this year. CPAC knew all too well about Vandervoort’s white nationalist background and yet they allowed his group to return. Apparently “conservative inclusion” means shunning gays while including racists.

The reality is that CPAC couldn’t open its doors to gay conservatives even if it wanted to. As Brian reported last week, the head of CPAC sponsor Accuracy In Media is not only pleased with the GOProud ban, he wants to see a panel at the conference on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”

Another important sponsor is the Family Research Council, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. The group’s top policy expert, Peter Sprigg, explicitly supports the criminalization of homosexuality, and readers of this blog are familiar with FRC’s aggressive and dehumanizing advocacy against gays and lesbians. There is no compromising on gays with extremists like these.

As we’ve reported, GOProud isn’t the only group banned this year. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the Freedom Defense Initiative, are vicious Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists. Had CPAC banned them for spreading lies and fomenting hate against Muslims, it would be a sign of progress. But Geller and Spencer were really banned for having made the mistake of extending their Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory to include two American Conservative Union board members, Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.

In past years, ACU has happily given Geller and company a platform to bash Muslims. And Spencer, who runs the blog “Jihad Watch,” overwhelmingly won this year’s CPAC People’s Choice Blogger Award. But their paranoid rantings hit too close to home this year, so CPAC pulled the plug. Even “conservative inclusion” has its limits.

Washington Times Gives Platform to White Nationalist to Warn Against Puerto Rico Statehood

Earlier this year we reported that CPAC was hosting two panels featuring three prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire of VDARE and Bob Vandervoort, head of ProEnglish. Vandervoort appeared on an anti-immigration panel and even met with Rick Santorum alongside other conservative leaders.

While ProEnglish focuses on making English the official language of the U.S., the Institute on Research and Education on Human Rights points out that Vandervoort was in charge of a white nationalist organization before heading up ProEnglish.

During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.

Vandervoort’s prized newsletter – American Renaissancewarned about, among other things, the increasing number of “non-whites living in the country.”

Started as a modest newsletter in 1990, American Renaissance has grown into an important vehicle for white nationalist ideas. American Renaissance first described itself as a "literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility." It claimed that "White people" had lost their voice and that the United States was in danger of losing its "national and cultural core." Capturing the centrality of nativism to white nationalism, American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor wrote in a 2001 AR piece that,

Undoubtedly the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration. Racial preferences, guilt-mongering, anti-Western education, even anti-white violence are manageable problems compared to a process that is displacing whites and reducing them to a minority. With a change in thinking at the right levels, anti-white policies and double standards could be done away with practically overnight, but that would still leave us with nearly 100 million non-whites living in the country.

But his background as a white nationalist organizer wasn’t a problem for the conservative Washington Times, which gave him a platform to discuss the recent vote in Puerto Rico in favor of statehood.

The commonwealth is predominantly Spanish-speaking. If or when the issue of Puerto Rican statehood goes before Congress in 2013, these task force recommendations need to be considered so Puerto Ricans realize there would be strict English requirements as a condition for admission to statehood. At a minimum, a large majority of Puerto Ricans — who are U.S. citizens — must become fluent in English for statehood to even be considered.



With Puerto Rico’s legislature next year changing over to one that favors the status quo, there will be a new dynamic. It will be up to Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress to offer some sort of statehood legislation, and then the debate could get messy. The spotlight would no doubt shine on how expensive it would be to U.S. taxpayers to admit an economically depressed state to the union.

Rick Santorum Just Had Dinner with White Nationalist Bob Vandervoort

Bob Vandervoort’s group, ProEnglish, just tweeted:
You’ll recall that Vandervoort, the executive director of Pro-English, was previously the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. He is scheduled to appear at a panel tomorrow morning at CPAC along with two Republican members of Congress and the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.
 
Kobach, an outspoken immigration opponent, distanced himself from Vandervoort and ProEnglish this morning:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he “had no idea who was going to be on my panel” when he agreed to appear Saturday on an immigration panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, D.C. […]
 
Kobach said he does not recall ever meeting Vandervoort. He also said organizers usually try to put people with differing views on panels to make it interesting.
 
The two split on bilingual ballots, mandated by federal voting law. Kobach said he thinks bilingual ballots are “reasonable,” so voters will clearly understand the ballot.
Around noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh, who is also scheduled for tomorrow’s panel, tweeted that Vandervoort appears to be a racist.
 
And the organizers of CPAC even distanced themselves from Vandervoort and another white nationalist speaking at the conference:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.” 
Despite all of this, Rick Santorum just had dinner with Vandervoort. We can hope that Santorum did not yet know Vandervoort’s full background. Now that he does, will he denounce white nationalists, including Vandervoort, and say they have no place within the GOP and conservative movement?

UPDATE: Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley told BuzzFeed that Vandervoort "was part of a large gathering that showed up to listen to rick speak today at a CPAC luncheon." No response yet from Vandervoort.
 

Two Miami-Area Congressmen to Appear with White Nationalist at CPAC

There’s already been substantial coverage of yesterday’s CPAC panel on multiculturalism featuring not one, but two, prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and Bob Vandervoort. That may have just been the warm-up act for tomorrow morning.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera, both Republicans from the Miami metro area, are scheduled to appear on stage at CPAC with Vandervoort on an immigration panel entitled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity”:
 
Vandeervoort is currently the head of ProEnglish, which supports making English the official language of the US, but previously he was the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported:
Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
 
Started as a modest newsletter in 1990, American Renaissance has grown into an important vehicle for white nationalist ideas. American Renaissance first described itself as a "literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility." It claimed that "White people" had lost their voice and that the United States was in danger of losing its "national and cultural core."
American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor wrote in the magazine that “the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration.” He continued: “Racial preferences, guilt-mongering, anti-Western education, even anti-white violence are manageable problems compared to a process that is displacing whites and reducing them to a minority. With a change in thinking at the right levels, anti-white policies and double standards could be done away with practically overnight, but that would still leave us with nearly 100 million non-whites living in the country.”
 
Vandervoort’s extremism hasn’t gone unnoticed by conservatives who don’t share his bigoted ideology, including fellow panelist Alex Nowrasteh, who suggested today that Vandervoort is a racist:
The conservative Daily Caller also noted the explicit white nationalism of American Renaissance and put the conference organizers on the defensive:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
But let’s recall that the American Conservative Union was fully in control when it came to GOProud, the conservative gay rights group that it banned from CPAC this year. Evidently, they can keep gay groups out but are powerless when it comes to white nationalists.
 
Which brings us back to tomorrow’s panel featuring Vandervoort, two Republican members of Congress, and Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas. Do Reps. Diaz-Balart and Rivera and Secretary Kobach really think it’s appropriate to appear on stage with a white nationalist? Will they denounce white nationalism and say it has no place within the GOP and conservative movement?
 
Tune in tomorrow morning to find out.

 

 

CPAC: White Nationalism Shunned in 2011, Welcomed in 2012

How times have changed. Last year, white nationalist Jamie Kelso attended CPAC looking for European-American allies in his quest to keep America genetically pure and lily-white. However, his potential young recruits weren’t having any of it:

As Ed Morrissey reported on Hot Air:
A group of young attendees, and a few older conservatives as well, at first politely rebuff Kelso’s racist arguments, and then begin aggressively arguing with him in the hallway. Ron Paul supporters told him four times to take off his Campaign for Liberty button and paraphernalia.
The Daily Caller reported that Kelso “got an earful from some conservative activists who sent him packing” and “let him know that racism is not welcome in the conservative movement.” It was heartening to see young conservatives take a stand against the kind of bigotry that has no place in modern conservatism.
 
That was 2011. CPAC 2012 has revealed that the paleoconservatives are still firmly in control.
 
The conservative gay rights group, GOProud, was banned this year, but two prominent white nationalists were allowed to appear on a panel opposing multiculturalism.
 
And they were hardly sent packing. Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa fawned over Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist site VDARE, saying, “I read your books!” Tomorrow, white nationalist Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to appear alongside two other Republican members of Congress.

 

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Bob Vandervoort Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 03/06/2014, 3:04pm
The Institute For Research & Education on Human Rights points out today that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is once again welcoming a white nationalist group, even while shunning organizations that represent LGBT and atheist conservatives. IREHR reports that ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth at this week’s CPAC, which costs exhibitors $4,000 in exchange for official recognition and promotion from conference organizers. ProEnglish is an anti-immigrant “English only” group led by Bob Vandervoort,  who previously headed a white nationalist group... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Thursday 03/14/2013, 3:38pm
Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists. “Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/10/2012, 12:10pm
Earlier this year we reported that CPAC was hosting two panels featuring three prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire of VDARE and Bob Vandervoort, head of ProEnglish. Vandervoort appeared on an anti-immigration panel and even met with Rick Santorum alongside other conservative leaders. While ProEnglish focuses on making English the official language of the U.S., the Institute on Research and Education on Human Rights points out that Vandervoort was in charge of a white nationalist organization before heading up ProEnglish. During that period Vandervoort was... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 02/10/2012, 5:14pm
Bob Vandervoort’s group, ProEnglish, just tweeted: You’ll recall that Vandervoort, the executive director of Pro-English, was previously the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. He is scheduled to appear at a panel tomorrow morning at CPAC along with two Republican members of Congress and the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.   Kobach, an outspoken immigration opponent, distanced himself from Vandervoort and ProEnglish this morning: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he “had no idea who was going to be on... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 02/10/2012, 4:16pm
There’s already been substantial coverage of yesterday’s CPAC panel on multiculturalism featuring not one, but two, prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and Bob Vandervoort. That may have just been the warm-up act for tomorrow morning. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera, both Republicans from the Miami metro area, are scheduled to appear on stage at CPAC with Vandervoort on an immigration panel entitled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity”:   Vandeervoort is currently the head of ProEnglish,... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 02/10/2012, 12:44pm
How times have changed. Last year, white nationalist Jamie Kelso attended CPAC looking for European-American allies in his quest to keep America genetically pure and lily-white. However, his potential young recruits weren’t having any of it: As Ed Morrissey reported on Hot Air: A group of young attendees, and a few older conservatives as well, at first politely rebuff Kelso’s racist arguments, and then begin aggressively arguing with him in the hallway. Ron Paul supporters told him four times to take off his Campaign for Liberty button and paraphernalia. The Daily Caller... MORE >