Many years ago as a small boy on vacation with my parents I saw a sign in Virginia Beach that I couldn’t understand. So I asked my parents what it meant. It was a sign in front of a hotel that read “white clientele only.” I didn’t get it. Why would a business turn away others simply because of their race?
When it was explained to me, that was when I first realized that I had to find a way to fight against supremacism. Only I didn’t know it as “supremacism” back then, I just knew it as “hate,” and I knew it was wrong. It is funny how children have a knack at being able to see the world clearly.
I have tried to struggle against supremacism in many ways over the years in various political campaigns, social activism campaigns, and now with my organization Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.). For me, the struggle against supremacism is a struggle against ideologies of hate; too often such ideologies are organized, structured, and institutionalized against others simply because of their identity. Such a struggle against ideologies of hate starts first in our own hearts and in our own mirrors. But when it comes to rejecting ideologies of hate, our personal accountability does not just end with ourselves, our friends, and our families.
When it comes to ideologies of hate, it extends beyond ourselves and our associates to our communities, our cities, our states, our nation, and our world.
Ideologies of supremacist hate are a contagious virus. They don’t stop at our lips, at our doorstep, or at our computer keyboards. The virus of such hate has a destructive life of its own. All it ever needs to spread is the gentlest push. It really doesn’t matter if that push is a supremacist view towards others because of their race or their religion. Supremacism is supremacism, and hate is hate.
Long before 9/11, I was struggling against the hate ideologies of supremacism. But like many Americans, the 2001 attacks provided a wake-up call for me on other forms of hate ideologies. But even then, I wasn’t just addressing extremist hate against others, but I was also addressing the threat of racial supremacist hate.
In my view, such ideologies of hate have a lot in common. In June 2008, reportedly with Nidal Hasan in attendance, I made that case at the George Washington University, and have addressed the same parallels in conferences around the nation. Such supremacist ideologies share the same hate, and share the same lie that belittles people of other identities by those who view themselves as inherently superior human beings over others and who view that they have superior human rights. I believe “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Without such fundamental human rights of equality, America has proven in its own history, that we cannot have liberty. We cannot have universal human rights, if some have “superior” human rights over others by virtue of their race, religion, gender, or national origin. That is why we must be consistently responsible for both equality and liberty.
A year later, in July 2009, I led a protest against the anti-democracy, anti-liberty, and anti-equality organization Hizb ut-Tahrir in Chicago, which held a national conference at the Hilton Hotel in Oak Lawn, Illinois. As they stated in their own conference, Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to impose a global “supremacy of Islam” and seeks to develop a global “caliphate” that could impose its will upon those who have different faiths and different beliefs. Hizb ut-Tahrir passed out brochures calling for the “death penalty” for those “traitors” who left Islam. I led the protest there for the same reason I have led every protest against other supremacist groups and ideologies – to reject hate, and to promote our universal human rights of equality and liberty for all people of every religion, every race, every gender, and every national origin.
We cannot be responsible for equality and liberty, and only reject just those supremacist ideologies that are convenient for us. Consistency matters when rejecting the hate of supremacist ideologies, regardless of their source. At our July 2009 Chicago protest, we made a specific point of this with a sign that read “extremism is no different than racial supremacism.”
Of course, if we accept that, then the reverse of this is also true and “racial supremacism is no different than extremism.”
I am aware that too many seem to find this obvious fact to be too inconvenient for their liking, their associations, and even for their politics. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t agree to one, and drag your feet on the other. That is what “no different” means. If we can’t stand for equality among our racial identities, then who are we to lecture others on other forms of supremacism? Equality starts with ourselves. We are responsible for setting an example to others that defy our universal human rights of equality and liberty.
You can’t be willing to support equality… just sometimes. Equality is not about “sometimes.” Equality is about “all the time.” That is the point of equality. “Partial equality” is no equality.
So when I and other supporters of Responsible for Equality And Liberty have challenged the upcoming American Renaissance “white nationalist” conference planned for the DC area in February 2010, we are not doing anything different than we did in Chicago in July 2009. Our motivations are the same. Our agenda is the same. Our actions are the same. Our consistent commitment to equality and liberty is the same.
You may not know much about the American Renaissance. It is led by Jared Taylor, who calls himself a “white nationalist,” and whose goal is “a white America,” and whose organization campaigns for “the United States [to] remain majority-white.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists it as a “white nationalist hate group.” The Anti Defamation League (ADL) describes its views as “white supremacist.” The American Renaissance hosts articles belittling the intelligence of black Americans, makes racial comments about “genetic interests,” rails against “racial heresies,” promotes books on “why race matters,” and blames black Americans for the “color of crime.” This group has a biannual conference, this year scheduled for February 2010 in the Washington DC area. The conference draws various white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and others. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has previously appeared, and Nazi white supremacist Stormfront leader Don Black regularly appears. Don Black claims to have known Jared Taylor for over 20 years. In addition, British National Party leader Nick Griffin is a featured speaker at this year’s conference; Griffin has previously called the Holocaust – “the Holohoax.”
Just like we contacted the Hilton Hotel about Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Chicago conference, we also contacted the Dulles Marriott and then the Dulles Westin about the American Renaissance conference scheduled for February 2010 in the Washington DC area. The only difference is that this time someone listened to us. American Renaissance has a long, well-publicized, and well-documented history of racial supremacist statements derogatory towards black Americans. But it uses a 501c3 organization called the New Century Foundation in setting up such events that few realize is the same as the American Renaissance group. Once the Dulles Marriott and the Dulles Westin hotels learned this, however, even in this difficult economy, both hotels canceled the American Renaissance conferences. Jared Taylor claims to be planning to reschedule his event at another location.
Not unlike Hizb ut-Tahrir, law enforcement agencies monitor the American Renaissance group as well. At a minimum, hotels deserve to know what type of security issues that they are getting into when they host either a Hizb ut-Tahrir or an American Renaissance supremacist conference.
The upcoming American Renaissance conference is widely promoted on the front page of the Nazi white supremacist group Stormfront, created by former Ku Klux Klan leader Don Black, whose members have been associated with the Tennessee terrorist plot against 88 black Americans (and who shot up a black church in Tennessee), and have included Richard Poplawski in Pittsburgh who killed three police officers in April 2009. In January 2010, Stormfront members have eulogized the death of white supremacist terrorist James Von Brunn who attacked Washington DC’s U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in June 2009, and who killed black security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. According to postings from Stormfront members, Von Brunn was a “martyr” whose actions should be praised, with another Stormfront member calling for the promotion of “hate with violent passion.” Stormfront members object to our protest of the American Renaissance conference.
Stormfront members have also had things to say about R.E.A.L.’s Chicago protest of Hizb ut-Tahrir as well. Our protest in Chicago of the anti-freedom Hizb ut-Tahrir group has been criticized by Stormfront members as the work of “Jeffrey Imm… a Jew tool… as this video demonstrates” linking to a video of an interview FOX News television interview of me on July 20, 2009 after our July 19 protest against the Hizb ut-Tahrir Chicago conference. (This was posted by a Stormfront member who is supporting Jared Taylor and the upcoming American Renaissance conference in the Washington DC.)
Those who promote supremacist hate – of any kind – are not on the side of equality and liberty in any instance.
The American Renaissance conference in DC is also promoted by “white nationalist” Jared Taylor prominently on the VDARE website, where Taylor brags that he will use the conference to laugh at the value of human diversity. Some claim that the VDARE organization is focused on issues of illegal immigration, and this allows them to rationalize the racial supremacist hatred on VDARE by those who also mock the intelligence of black Americans, and who promote “white nationalism.”
I have heard from some that believe that their political views allow them to rationalize linking to VDARE contributors and authors. I have heard from some that claim to be against jihad that believe they can justify defending VDARE’s promotion of “white nationalists.” I have heard from some that believe that we must “look the other way” when some who challenge jihad are willing to attend events sponsored by groups linked to “white nationalists.”
But in every case, they have missed the point. The generational war of ideas that we face against supremacism will not be won by a few conferences, by military surges, by body scans, by profiling, by alerts, by trials, and by either our law enforcement or our military. The generational struggle for our consistent, unqualified universal human rights will not be successful by only being willing to condemn some forms of ideological hate, and giving others a free pass.
We won’t begin this struggle until we conclude that we must be consistently responsible for equality and liberty. That is where the war of ideas begins – not with attacks on human diversity or seeking to defend only a “western culture” – but by setting an example of what we believe in – not just for us, but for all human beings around the world. That is what it means to be Responsible for Equality And Liberty.
It is easy to recognize the near-term activist resource limitations that we have. But our struggle is not just for the near-term, but for the long-term. Our most vital priority is consistency. Our most precious resource is credibility. We cannot win this struggle by merely being a “special interest group,” hoping to win a few battles here and there. We need to tap into the larger consensus within America that holds “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” We need to work with the global consensus of our fellow human beings who accept our universal human rights for all.
To do so, we need to set an example to the world.
Our February 19, 2010 protest against white supremacism in Washington DC is no less important than our July 19, 2009 protest in Chicago against extremism. If you are committed to being responsible for equality and liberty, this is your fight too, and this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the courage of your convictions.
In regards to challenging the DC white supremacist conference, some will say that they are too busy. Others will say that this is not their fight. Still others are simply afraid. We need to be consistent in our courage – if we have the convictions to challenge extremists, then we must have the same convictions to challenge racial supremacists as well.
We need to fear no evil.
Such evil can surely be found in the virus of supremacist hatred that counts on the lie that some have superior human rights over others — a dark lie that cannot countenance the truth of human equality and liberty in the broad daylight of human reason and love for our fellow human beings.
No matter what your race, your religion, your national origin, or your gender is – we share a common cause – our shared universal human rights.
Be responsible for equality and liberty.