An unusual panel at the CPAC conference
I was very surprised when I heard the other week that there had been a panel on multiculturalism at the recent CPAC conference, with panelists that included Peter Brimelow, Serge Trifkovic, and John Derbyshire. CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Committee), which is part of the painfully pro-GOP American Conservative Union, is known for hewing to a strictly mainstream conservative line. For example, they have refused to have Geert Wilders as a speaker. When Wilders spoke at the CPAC annual gathering three years ago, it was not under the auspices of CPAC, but in a separate event in the same hotel organized by Pamela Geller. And of course Wilders doesn’t talk about race and racial demographics, as Brimelow and Derbyshire do.
In fact, the panel’s topic was much spicier than a generic consideration of multiculturalism. It was “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Destroying the American Identity.” Now to say that diversity is destroying the American identity is both true and as un-PC as you can get. It is the kind of thing that is central to the concerns of such websites as American Renaissance and VFR. But in a panel at CPAC? Amazing. So congratulations to Robert Vandervoort of Pro-English, who moderated (and, I assume, organized) the panel, and everyone else involved.
At the same time, to bring such a forbidden topic into a mainstream venue is obviously to look for trouble, and trouble has come, but, it seems to me, not very serious trouble, at least so far. First there is an article at Salon in which the panelists are described in such terms as “detestable sacks of s**t.” John Derbyshire writing at Taki’s Magazine is shocked and offended by the thuggish language. Where has he been? Isn’t he aware that this is the standard way that authors and commenters at left-wing sites such as Moveon.org and the Daily Kos have spoken about even mainstream conservatives and Republicans since the 2000 election?
A second article related to the panel is published at the website of IREHR (Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights). It is entitled, “What About Bob? Robert Vandervoort and White Nationalism.” Now to my knowledge Bob Vandervoort does not call himself a white nationalist. I don’t call myself one either (in fact I am a critic of white nationalists), yet I have occasionally been referred to as one, and I can’t complain. If you believe, as I do, that it is imperative that America and other Western countries maintain their white-majority character and culture, and that the loss of their historic white character, due primarily to mass non-European immigration, is an unprecedented historical disaster, then it is inevitable that people will refer to you as a white nationalist.
However, unlike the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose supposed exposés of conservatives consist of mechanically affixing the word “hate” to them over and over, the IREHR article, by Devin Burghart, does not use the word “hate” at all. Indeed, the only time the word “hate” appears in the piece is in a quotation of Vandervoort: “I have never been a member of any group that has advocated hate or violence.”
The mass of the article consists of a factual account of Vandervoort’s past associations and statements. Yes, Burghart filters Vandervoort’s words through his highly slanted attack on Vandervoort as a “white nationalist,” along with other loaded phrases like “anti-immigrant” (rather than anti-immigration or immigration restrictionist). But apart from the prejudicial adjectives and the tone of condemnation, the article appears to be truthful.
If I were in Bob Vandervoort’s shoes, I would be pleased that a liberal critic has quoted me, not in snippets taken out of context, but accurately and at length—entire passages from articles and online comments (including at VFR) in which Vandervoort thoughtfully explains his views on the anti-white beliefs and policies that rule today’s West, and about what should be done to oppose them. I would take it for granted that a liberal sees me as wicked and evil for holding those views.
As I wrote once at VFR:
The test of an effective traditionalist is that the person is no longer intimidated by the racism charge, and has an effective and moral answer to it (not an amoral answer, like much of the white right).
If VFR readers are interested in the talk on race John Derbyshire delivered on the CPAC panel, it can be heard here.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 20, 2012 02:25 PM | Send