American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman Al Cardenas once said “CPAC is like an ‘All Star’ game for conservatives.” Watching it unfold, however, is less like a ball game and more like surveying the line-up at a Moscow May Day parade during the times of the Soviet Union, if you can push the political ideology out of the picture for a moment. Or like monitoring a north Georgia Klan Labor Day Klan rally in the 1980s. You see who is in and who is out. In that regard, seeing the Tea Party emerge at CPAC 2013 is a little like watching the first time white power skinheads showed up at the Gainesville, Georgia Kluxer event in 1989.
On the eve of the most widely anticipated conservative event of the year, the group responsible for organizing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 13) has chosen to feature the work of a controversial white nationalist professor on its website.
As of February 27, the American Conservative Union (ACU) website features an article by Dr. Robert Weissberg, a retired University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign political science professor with a second career as a white nationalist. Since the first CPAC conference in 1973, the American Conservative Union has been the principal sponsor of the gathering. ACU has a staff person, Vinh Nguyen, listed as a “CPAC producer.” And ACU’s executive director and chairman call the event to order and provide the initial welcoming remarks. Weissberg’s essay was found on the front page of the ACU’s site, just beneath a big banner advertising CPAC 13.
Based on the uttering of one self-identified “Exalted Cyclops,” a mass of television, internet, and print reporters have declared that Klansmen will be coming to Memphis, Tennessee and protest the renaming of several Confederate memorials in that city. The number “5,000” is usually floated along with this “fact.”
The article below ran in the January 2013 edition of Searchlight, an anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine published monthly in London with international distribution. It analyzes Klan, neo-Nazi and Tea Party activity during 2012, and recounts some of the movement's most violent episodes. At the end, please note the data that points towards problems in the future.
2012: A Year in ReviewBy Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart
The year began with whimpers from white nationalists about the decay of their supposed civilization. And it ended with a bang from gunners screaming about their rights after yet another mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Election year events dominated the ebb and flow of the far right, the racists and the bigots. In between, skinheads and assorted Aryan-types were arrested and convicted in multiple instances of horrific violence.
Monday, January 21, is the national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday anniversary. If he had not been horribly murdered by an assassin in 1968, or struck down in some other fashion, he would be 84 years old. Across the country, in every major city and most medium-sized towns there will be at least some kind of event. In Kansas City, where I am now sitting, multiple events have already happened as I write these words.
Alex Jones, the Austin, Texas-based radio talk-show host who's made a career of pumping out bigotry and conspiracies for profit, was invited onto CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" show on Monday, January 7 to discuss gun rights. In part, Jones was asked on the program to discuss his petition to "Deport Piers Morgan" after the CNN host advocated for gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown massacre. Rather than engage in a debate or discussion, Jones launched into an irate, conspiracy-laden rant.