The white nationalist group American Renaissance (AmRen) hosted their annual conference in Tennessee last weekend, where longtime attendees welcomed a new generation of “pro-white” political activists and right-wing extremist YouTube stars.
According to a post-event write-up published on AmRen’s website yesterday, the event celebrated “a palpable sense of white people awakening to their identity and destiny.” The write-up claims that AmRen founder Jared Taylor gave opening remarks at the event Friday night in which he said he had begun to doubt his “career in white advocacy” but that “the last five years have made it all worthwhile.”
Taylor has made concerted efforts with AmRen to “trickle up” into mainstream political discourse. He was recently spotted mingling with attendees at Mike Cernovich’s “Night For Freedom” event in Washington. Part of Taylor’s effort to “trickle up,” the AmRen write-up made obvious, is courting younger white nationalists affiliated with the alt-right movement.
Since no videos have been posted of speeches given at the conference, the information in this post comes directly from AmRen’s own descriptions of the weekend’s events.
Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist podcaster, reportedly spoke after Taylor. According to AmRen, Fuentes, who is just 19 years old, was “the youngest speaker at the gathering.” Fuentes has made many anti-Semitic and racist remarks during his young career and has supported anti-Semitic candidates such as Wisconsin’s Paul Nehlen (although Fuentes has since abandoned him). Earlier this year, Fuentes was seen mingling with some members of the “New Right” crowd at CPAC. According to AmRen:
[Nick Fuentes] observed how white advocacy displays an interesting generational pattern in its adherents, with many at American Renaissance either older attendees who remember the white America that has been lost or younger Americans nostalgic for a homeland they never experienced. He noted this reflects the cyclical nature of history and suggested the present is either the end or the beginning of another cycle.
Mr. Fuentes said he was warned by his friends in the established conservative movement that even though they may agree with American Renaissance, he must not attend because it would be bad for his career. He acknowledged he is likely giving up what could be a lucrative career in Conservatism Inc., but the cause of our people is more important.
Fuentes wrote on Gab, a Twitter knockoff that is saturated with racism and anti-Semitism, that many people at the conference “including some of the other speakers” had told him his speech “was one of the best” and that “AmRen really is the GOLD STANDARD.”
After Fuentes’ speech, AmRen writes, white nationalist activist Adrian Davis said that “American Renaissance attendees are now younger and more evenly divided among the sexes than in the past,” before praising American white supremacist group Identity Evropa, which often targets young conservatives on college campuses for recruitment.
Marcus Follin, a bodybuilder known on YouTube as “The Golden One” who uses fitness to court people into white nationalism, reportedly told the crowd that it was essential to make “the radical notion that we don’t want to be replaced in our own nations that we built … mainstream.” At the end of his speech, VDARE writer John Derbyshire—fired from National Review after writing a column suggesting that children avoid African Americans—reportedly had this exchange with Follin:
Referring to Mr. Follin’s impressive build and the precedent of another bodybuilder who eventually launched an American political career, John Derbyshire asked during the question and answer period if Mr. Follin’s would run for Governor of California. Mr. Follin’s response was, “I’ll be back.” Concluding the pre-dinner program by using one of Mr. Follin’s favorite terms, Jared Taylor said it had been a “glorious” day.
Another young activist, Patrick Casey of Identity Evropa, reportedly received high praise at the event from many of the conference’s old guard of white nationalist speakers. AmRen says that Casey told attendees at their conference that the group’s “flyering campaigns on college campuses, banner drops, and honoring past European-American heroes and victims of contemporary America’s multiracial madness, continue to garner nationwide headlines and draw new recruits.”
Saturday’s dinner was headlined by South African activist Simon Roche, who recently partnered with 22-year-old far-right activist Lauren Southern to create a pseudo-documentary about farm murders in South Africa. But according to the author of the AmRen post, Roche mostly avoided speaking about South Africa. Instead, he talked about the why he believed “whites can no longer justify using services and companies that fund our racial enemies”:
Mr. Roche’s primary message was not an explanation of the situation in South Africa, but a fiery challenge to whites around the world. Mr. Roche said whites should be proud of being part of a “special people,” a people who can build wonders no other culture has yet matched. He urged Americans to “get off the couch” and “arise.” Though he acknowledged whites have been deliberately harmed by external enemies, he demanded whites accept some responsibility for the situation they find themselves in. Specifically, whites can no longer justify using services and companies that fund our racial enemies, literally funding our own dispossession with the fruit of our labors.
The event also reportedly featured some of the older generation of white nationalists, including Derbyshire, Counter-Currents’ Greg Johnson, Occidental Quarterly’s Martin O’Toole and former Klu Klux Klan lawyer Sam Dickson.