Nation, State & Citizenship

Jul 28, 2015, 19:40
White Nationalist leader Bob Vandervoort, head of ProEnglish, speaking at CPAC in 2012. He's back in 2015.

CPAC’s Recurring White Nationalism Problem


As the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gets set to kick off tomorrow just outside of Washington DC, the event is already mired in yet another controversy over white nationalism.

ProEnglish, the white nationalist-led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference in the past, is once again being allowed to be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2015 when the doors open tomorrow. On top of that, another white nationalist outfit has come to town to try and influence the CPAC conversation.

At CPAC 2014, Ann Coulter (left) called for nativist death squads, while white nationalist Robert Vandervoort (right) was allowed to bring his nativist English-only outfit back to the conference.

The Unbearable Whiteness of CPAC


For years, white nationalists found themselves on the outside looking in, faces pressed against the glass to get a glimpse at the movement happenings at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the times they are a changing. Not since Pat Buchanan’s racially-tinged insurgent campaign at the 1992 conference have white nationalists found a more hospitable environment in the halls of CPAC.

With the rise of the Tea Party, the doors to CPAC flew open wide in 2010. The same year that CPAC gave the “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement, the far-right John Birch Society, a group kept outside for decades, was allowed to co-sponsor the event for the first time. Others on the far-right were welcomed into the fold, and racist rhetoric about president Obama was allowed center stage. Just like that, CPAC became a white nationalist friendly zone.

Despite a more tightly controlled platform this year, the annual conservative confab did little to disabuse white nationalists of the notion that they were at home, particularly when leaders expressed racially-charged rhetoric and calls for nativist “death squads” were met with raucous cheers from the floor.

White Nationalist Robert Vandervoort at CPAC 2012

ALERT: This Year’s CPAC Includes Group Lead by White Nationalist


As the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gets set to kick off just outside of Washington DC, the event is already mired in a controversy over white nationalism.
ProEnglish, the white nationalist led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference back in 2012, has quietly been allowed to again be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2014 when it opens today.

He's baacckkk. Despite last year's controversy, White Nationalist Robert Vandervoort's group ProEnglish is allowed back to CPAC this year (source: CPAC)

CPAC and Bigotry: Who is in and Who is Out


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.

Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is one of the Christian nationalist groups playing at role at the Tea Party Patriots upcoming Road to Repeal Rally

Speed Bumps Ahead for the Tea Party Patriots “Road to Repeal” Rally


Consumed recently by primary politics and internal squabbles, the Tea Party Patriots (TPP) are going back to the beginning. Just when the vicious fight over health care seemed to be in the country's rear-view mirror, Tea Partiers are hoping to jumpstart their movement by returning to the battle they lost two years ago: the fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACT)—or what they've derisively labeled "Obamacare."

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up the issue next week, TPP will kick off a week of anti-health care protests in Washington DC with a rally on March 24. The "Road to Repeal" rally is billed as "the first stop on the road to repeal Obamacare," and is the first major event since co-founder Mark Meckler publically broke from the Tea Party Patriots.

What About Bob?  Robert Vandervoort and White Nationalism

What About Bob? Robert Vandervoort and White Nationalism


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.”[1]

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 to Share Stage with White Nationalist at CPAC

Kansas Secretary of State to Share Stage with White Nationalist at CPAC


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.

White Nationalist Bob Vandervoort (right) is scheduled to speak at the 2012 CPAC Convention

Alert: White Nationalist to Speak from Podium at CPAC 2012


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.