Seventy people, including a few well-known mainstream academics, joined prominent white nationalists and academic racists gathered in the Four Points Sheraton at the Baltimore/Washington International airport last month for the first-ever “Preserving Western Civilization Conference.” Its aim: to defend “America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and European identity.” But not much civilized was said there. Rather, the discussion centered around claims that blacks are not as intelligent as whites, immigrants are destroying America, and Islam is no religion of peace — it’s expansionist, intolerant, militant, and seeks to destroy.
The conference was convened by Jewish astrophysicist Michael Hart, author of the racist book Understanding Human History, which focuses on alleged differences in intelligence between various ethnic and racial groups. In the past, Hart was a regular at the biannual conferences put on by American Renaissance, a racist publication that wrote, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that “[w]hen blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” Though few in number, Jewish academic racists were active in American Renaissance right from the start, welcomed by that group’s leader, Jared Taylor, who even once arranged for kosher meals. But Taylor has also welcomed as speakers outspoken anti-Semites, including Holocaust denier Sam Dickson and neo-Nazi activist Steven Barry, making for a potentially volatile situation.
In 2006, the explosion went off, and the façade of civility that Taylor had tried to maintain by requiring polite language and professional attire shattered. The conflict was trigged by former Klan boss and professional anti-Semite David Duke, who attacked Jews, telling the crowd, “There is a power in the world that dominates our media, influences our government and that has led to the internal destruction of our will and spirit.” Though Duke didn’t directly say Jews were that power, everyone in the crowd, which included several members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, knew exactly who he meant, and many cried for more.
Hart couldn’t take it. He stood up and yelled at Duke, “You fucking Nazi, you’ve disgraced this meeting!” and stormed out. As many as 50 people at the conference then began to jeer and point at the rapidly disappearing Hart.
Hart and other Jewish academic racists left American Renaissance shortly thereafter, when Taylor declined to explicitly ban anti-Semites. But Hart was apparently not ready to give up public discussion of the superiority of the white race. Hence, “Preserving Western Civilization,” Hart’s Jewish-friendly replacement for the American Renaissance conference.
Hart’s event drew some heavy hitters from mainstream academia. Among the speakers was Lino Graglia, the current A. Dalton Cross Professor of Law at the University of Texas. A longtime critic of affirmative action, Graglia contends that the children of undocumented workers born in the U.S. should not be granted American citizenship. According to Graglia, making an argument popular in white nationalist circles, the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted civil rights to former slaves, was not meant to grant citizenship to children of the undocumented.
Graglia also said that the Fourteenth Amendment wasn’t properly ratified, because the Southern states were coerced into passing it after the Civil War. Citing the Fourteenth Amendment’s clause “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” Graglia alleges that since the parents are subject to the jurisdiction of the Mexican government, so, too, should their children be. A one-time attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Graglia suggested that birthright citizenship is subject to challenge in the courts and that Congress can revoke it by statute.
Roger McGrath, a former professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and commentator for History Channel documentaries, also talked about the evils of illegal immigration. A native Californian, McGrath depicted California as “paradise lost” and the U.S. as suffering “nothing less than a foreign invasion.”
McGrath, who claimed whites were being ethnically cleansed from their own country, blamed the civil rights laws of the 1960s for driving whites into the minority. And with non-whites come trouble, said McGrath, citing California’s collapsing bond rating, state prisons crowded with “illegal aliens,” and billions a year in benefits to immigrants. Recalling the good old days of the infamously named Operation Wetback, McGrath pointed out that back then “we rounded up and deported illegal aliens back to where they came from.”
“Do we not have a right to preserve our way of life?” McGrath asked, reflecting a common sentiment at the conference.
The Latino bashing was rounded out with a presentation by Peter Brimelow, who runs the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com, named for the first white child born in the English colonies, Virginia Dare. “There is no benefit to the native-born from immigration,” Brimelow said, adding without a hint of irony that immigration “only destroys national community.” (Brimelow is himself a naturalized immigrant from Britain.) Calling the Obama administration an “occupation government,” Brimelow warned darkly of a future in which the First Amendment would be abrogated in the name of curtailing hate speech and secession movements would arise throughout the country. Brimelow had one suggestion for putting a stop to this possible future: a new, all-white political party.
Some of the most inflammatory presentations of the conference came from regulars on the academic racist circuit, particularly those into race and IQ studies. Steve Farron, author of The Affirmative Action Hoax: Diversity, the Importance of Character, and other Lies, is a former classics professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nowadays he specializes in “proving” the inferiority of blacks. According to Farron, “Any black 12th grader solves problems at the same level of a 6th grade white child.” Farron alleges that blacks with post-graduate degrees have IQs equal to whites with high school diplomas. Farron said his “research” showed that only 18% of blacks understand bus schedules, while just 14% can make change or figure a tip on a simple luncheon bill. Farron also claimed that another study had shown more black police officers means more violent crime in a community.
Farron’s claims were abetted by J. Philippe Rushton, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, who also heads the New York City-based Pioneer Fund, a racist foundation set up in 1937 to funnel money to the study of “race betterment.” Hauling out his PowerPoint presentation on “The Heritability of IQ Differences,” which he also used at the 2008 American Renaissance conference, Rushton said that IQ research is an important part of science and claimed that IQ tests can predict almost everything — the speed of learning a new job, job performance, dropout/welfare rates, brain size, and longevity. But his main interest is his claim that the average IQ of whites is substantially higher than that of blacks. Bringing up age-old and thoroughly debunked assertions, Rushton also claimed that brain size and IQ are related and that blacks have smaller brains. And he asserted that blacks are more aggressive than other races and that aggressive, closed-minded people have lower IQs.
It wasn’t just minorities who were slammed at Hart’s conference. Muslims came in for some serious drubbing, too. Brenda Walker, an anti-immigrant activist in California who writes frequently for VDARE.com, warned that Western civilization is being destroyed by “immigrants and multiculturalism.” She argued that Islam suppresses women’s rights and that Islamic culture includes honor killing, wife beating, female circumcision, and the production of deformed babies because of marriages between cousins. Walker then spread out to describe the abominable aspects of various other immigrants, saying that “sex with children in Mexico is accepted,” the Chinese kidnap and sell women, and East Asian Indians practice indentured servitude and dowry murders.
Lawrence Auster, a right-wing blogger and essayist who has spoken in the past to American Renaissance and who is of Jewish descent, told the audience that the U.S. needs a constitutional amendment to prohibit Islam, which would encourage Muslims to leave on their own. Auster’s other suggestion for our nation’s leaders: “Go to Saudi Arabia, seize the oil, operate the oil fields and adjacent transportation facilities until we get our own energy.” For Auster, Islam, political correctness and multiculturism are a toxic trio. “If a society can’t distinguish itself, it will not continue to exist,” he told those assembled. “If we open ourselves to threats, we go out of existence.”
Hart, having compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and Islam to Nazism, no doubt agreed with Auster.
The lowlight of the conference was a banquet on Saturday night featuring entertainment in the form of Jewish comedienne Julia Gorin, a self-proclaimed “conservative” joker who also writes for Jewish World Review. Gorin’s routine was filled with anti-Muslim and anti-Obama jokes, which were real crowd pleasers. To wit: “But you see, to a Jew there is no greater accomplishment than getting a black man into the White House. The thinking goes: ‘Our work is done. It’s OK if the Muslims come kill us now.’” In another skit, Gorin joked that Osama bin Laden was probably already dead — “from laughing his ass off.” Fittingly, many of Gorin’s jokes are featured in the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jokes.