In the month since the tragic shooting in Sanford, Florida of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, sustained pressure by the NAACP and local civil rights advocates has brought national attention to the killing, and the way the incident was handled by local law enforcement. More than two million signatures have been collected on an online petition seeking justice for Mr. Martin. Rallies for justice in Florida have been amplified by scores of rallies in cities and towns across the country. A renewed discussion of race and racism has emerged in this presidential election year.
Into this increasingly complex situation, white nationalists have sought to inject their poison. They have defamed Martin, concocted false allegations and amplified racial stereotypes of young black men—in effect, putting the victim on trial in the court of public opinion. Even before Florida officials started leaking negative "information" about Trayvon Martin, white nationalists were portraying Mr. Martin as a scary black man who deserved what he got.
ProEnglish executive director Robert Vandervoort’s inclusion on two panels was apparently not a matter of controversy inside the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference. Not one word questioning his participation was uttered publicly by any of his co-panelists, and one and all treated him with respect. Indeed, all of his co-panelists, including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Florida Representative David Rivera were glad to shake his hand.
Outside the conference was a different matter, however. After IREHR raised concerns because of Vandervoort’s white nationalist attachments, a significant discussion ensued. It was often coupled with an intersecting debate about the appearance of Peter Brimelow, after People for the American Way noted the author’s white nationalism. The Kansas City Star, the Wichita Eagle and Mother Jones were among the publications to take note of these events. American Spectator, a decidedly conservative periodical weighed in with the comment that “if Vandervoort indeed organized events for an American Renaissance affiliate … he should explicitly and publicly renounce his old associates; that is a crowd that no one should touch with a ten foot pole.”
In the interest of answering these questions raised by American Spectator, among others, IREHR provides the following information about Vandervoort’s relationship to American Renaissance as well as his own re-articulation of white nationalist dogma.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, known nationally for his anti-immigrant activism, shared the stage with long-time white nationalist leader, Bob Vandervoort Saturday at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. The other panelists joining Vandervoort and Kobach include Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), and Alex Nowrasteh of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The moderator is Niger Innis, national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality.
Despite being informed of Vandervoort's background in advance, none of the panelists challenged Vandervoort on his white nationalism. All of them shook his hand.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, known nationally for his anti-immigrant activism, is scheduled to share the stage with a long-time white nationalist leader Saturday at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Kobach is on a panel entitled "High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity" alongside Robert "Bob" Vandervoort. The organizational affiliation listed for Vandevoort at CPAC is executive director of ProEnglish. What Vandervoort left out of his bio is that during his time in Illinois he was also the organizer of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance.
Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to moderate a Thursday afternoon panel at the CPAC 2012 conference, entitled, "The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Weakening the American Identity." Vandervoort listed his organizational affiliation as executive director of ProEnglish—an English-Only outfit founded by John Tanton. What he left out of his bio is that he was also the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois.