A well-funded new organization whose stated purpose is to launch a “right-wing youth movement” will make a splashy debut tonight at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Washington, D.C. CPAC is billed as “the largest annual gathering of conservative students, activists and policymakers.”
According to CPAC materials, the group, Youth for Western Civilization, is one of the official co-sponsors, or major donors, of this year’s conference. The group has a booth in the CPAC exhibition hall, and its “Inaugural Reception” is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. EST in the Palladium Ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
In the past, CPAC organizers have shielded the reputation of their mainstream conservative enterprise by forbidding racist organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens from participating. They may want to take a closer look at Youth for Western Civilization (YWC).
One of the group’s founders, Marcus Epstein, is a frequent contributor to the white nationalist hate website VDARE.com. (Editor's Note: In Sept. 2009, Hatewatch was informed that Epstein now claims he was not a founder of the group, even though he had said so earlier.)
“Diversity can be good in moderation — if what is being brought in is desirable,” Epstein wrote in one VDARE.com essay. “Most Americans don’t mind a little ethnic food, some Asian math whizzes, or a few Mariachi dancers — as long as these trends do not overwhelm the dominant culture.”
Epstein is also the head of the Robert A. Taft Club, a Washington, D.C., group whose events regularly feature prominent academic racists like Jared Taylor, the editor of the overtly white supremacist journal American Renaissance.
Another Youth for Western Civilization founder, Kevin DeAnna, has posted several times in recent years to the Spartan Spectator, the website of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, or MSU-YAF.
In 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified MSU-YAF as a hate group after it organized a “Catch an Illegal Alien Day” game, sponsored a “Koran desecration contest,” jokingly threatened to distribute small-pox infected blankets to Native American students, posted “Gays spread AIDS” flyers, called Latino students and faculty members “savages,” and invited Nick Griffin, the chairman of the neofascist British National Party, to speak on the MSU campus.
“The point is that all Christians, and white Christians in particular, don't owe any deference to the self-defined racial separatist customs of other people,” DeAnna posted to Spartan Spectator in July 2007.
DeAnna was supporting another Spartan Spectator blogger who attacked the African-American holiday Kwanzaa for being “Satanic,” because it’s “designed to lead black Americans from traditional Christian holidays like Christmas and replace it with paganism.”
Somewhat ironically, online membership records show that last September, DeAnna joined a Fairfax County, Va., group of followers of Asatru, a neo-pagan religion popular with neo-Nazis whose adherents reject the divinity of Christ to worship Norse gods like Odin. “I listen to a lot of heavy metal music,” DeAnna informed Hatewatch by way of explanation.
DeAnna’s interest in Asatru may explain why there’s nothing in Youth for Western Culture’s mission statement that identifies the group as pro-Christian. “The purpose of Youth for Western Civilization is to form a right-wing youth movement,” it reads. “Youth for Western Civilization educates, organizes and trains activists on campuses across the nation to create a subculture that promotes the survival of Western Civilization and pride in Western heritage.”
Youth for Western Civilization appears to be a project of the Leadership Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based right-wing activist factory, whose training program graduates have included Christian Coalition founder turned über lobbyist Ralph Reed, über lobbyist turned imprisoned felon Jack Abramoff, and gay prostitute turned White House correspondent Jeff Gannon.
Youth For Western Civilization Executive Director Nicole Gonzalez Knowlton was recently the Leadership Institute’s Campus Services Coordinator. DeAnna is currently the Deputy Field Director for its Campus Leadership Program.
The Leadership Institute has a history of backing radical right student groups. In 2006 college-aged Leadership Institute-trained activists began reviving and radicalizing chapters of the Young Americans for Freedom at universities across the country, including MSU. DeAnna is the former leader of the Virginia State University chapter of YAF.
Youth for Western Civilization didn’t wait for CPAC before throwing its first event. Yesterday, the group sponsored a lecture by immigrant-bashing former Congressman Tom Tancredo on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. Tancredo spoke on “Immigration Reform and the Need for Assimilation.”
The same topic is addressed in a recent VDARE.com essay that’s featured on the Youth for Western Civilization website. It lashes out at political analyst Michael Barone for “…claim[ing], despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, that the Great Wave of European (Italian, Irish, Jewish, et. al.) immigration of 100 years ago was assimilated without any real hiccups, and without changing the character of the country.
“But anyone who has watched machine politics in action in cities like B. Hussein Obama’s Chicago, or knows anything about the Mafia, or is at all familiar with how largely Jewish intellectual elites have utterly transformed American social and political discourse, knows that is nonsense.”