Local Clubs the Answer for Racist Group’s Conference Woes?

Fresh off American Renaissance’s embarrassing debacle last week in which it was forced to cancel its biannual confab of academic racists and other extremists, one of the white nationalist group’s members has proposed a solution that can circumvent nervous hoteliers in the future.

Chicago lawyer and American Renaissance member Reilly Smith, writing in the current issue of American Renaissance’s magazine, says that he and three others formed Chicagoland Friends of AR a few years ago, and he provides tips on how like-minded people who wish to be “free from the chains of racial orthodoxy” can do the same in their communities.

Smith’s piece was penned before American Renaissance was forced to cancel its three-day conference scheduled last weekend in Washington, D.C. when a hotel pulled the rug out from under its reservation. He sees American Renaissance clubs as supplementing, not replacing, the conferences that have been held since 1994. But in light of what happened last week, plus the troubles that have dogged other white supremacists trying to book hotel meeting rooms, Smith may have described the future of American Renaissance.

Four hotels in three months rescinded agreements to let American Renaissance conduct its latest conference, whose 10 speakers were to include British National Party chairman Nick Griffin. Those cancellations occurred after anti-racists called the hotels to explain the nature of the conference and lodge complaints. American Renaissance claims some callers made death threats.

American Renaissance’s leader and self-described “race realist” Jared Taylor isn’t the first white nationalist to encounter such problems. In November 2008, David Duke’s EURO — European American Unity and Rights Organization — was banished from a Memphis-area hotel just days before it was to host a three-day conference there, after the hotel cited safety concerns arising from the furor created by the conference. EURO scrambled to find another hotel, but the conference was shortened to one day. Some previous American Renaissance conferences also were targeted by demonstrators but not canceled.

Taylor had even resorted this time around to trying to keep the name and location of at least one of the conference venues secret from the public in order to avoid protests. That’s a ploy that has been used repeatedly by Holocaust denier David Irving when he gives talks around the country.

American Renaissance member Smith’s advocacy of clubs in various cities may be an appealing option for Taylor. Smith wrote that his group meets monthly at “Eurocentric” restaurants with meeting rooms in Chicago and its suburbs. The Chicago club has grown to the point where its meetings have speakers, including Taylor and Williams Regnery II. Regnery is the founder of the Charles Martel Society, which publishes The Occidental Quarterly, a far-right race journal. Smith provides no hint as to how many members he has.

American Renaissance even helps fledgling club presidents by telling them how many of the magazine’s subscribers live in their area. The parent organization will then assist them in contacting the subscribers.

Among Smith’s helpful tips is how to “keep out Leftist spies and other riff-raff.” His advice: “The Left is terrified of people like us, and probably thinks we would shoot anyone who turned up without a sheet or an armband. In any case, a lefty trying to sound like a ‘racist’ is practically a comedy routine and very easy to see through.” He also told of the time that “rough-looking, tattooed types” showed up at one of his club’s meetings and invited everybody to a party they were organizing to celebrate Adolph Hitler’s birthday. “I think our very down-to-earth, unmistakably middle-class demeanor put them off; they never came back,” Smith wrote. But, he hastened to add, “we are an ‘inclusive’ group.”

Smith imagines the day when there is a network of American Renaissance clubs that sponsor public debates and bring speakers to a library or college. “In time, we can bypass the Left’s stranglehold on the media, and more and more people will find the confidence to promote the principled white racial consciousness that is necessary for our race, for our civilization and for our very survival,” he wrote.

There is some evidence that Taylor has already been forced to adopt some of Smith’s strategy. He and about three dozen others who were to attend the American Renaissance conference on Saturday did in fact meet, according to a source. The new venue: the back room of an Italian restaurant.