The 2016 American Renaissance ConferenceMichael J. Polignano
Mongomery Bell State Park, TN
Nearly ten years had passed since my last American Renaissance Conference.
I expected the turnout and enthusiasm at this year’s American Renaissance Conference to be high, given the meteoric success of Donald Trump in his 2016 Presidential campaign and his promise to enforce immigration law and finally confront America’s 11-12 million illegal aliens. And a celebratory mood indeed perfused the entire weekend, evidenced by the fact that conference attendees hosted parties on both nights of the event rather than Saturday night only. Seeing at least 3-4 “Make America Great Again” hats each night gave the event the feel of an unofficial Trump rally of sorts, regardless of the fact that the candidate would disavow associations with AmRen or any of its speakers or organizers.
When I last attended AmRen a decade ago I was one of perhaps a half-dozen present under 30 years of age. The crowd was also 98% male. This was to be expected, however, since men tend to pioneer radical movements, and women tend to join them when they show signs of success. The thought that women would register for the conference and attend on their own without husbands or boyfriends seemed ridiculous then. Not so today. This year’s American Renaissance Conference had a higher percentage of young people, and more women of every age, than ever before. These are positive signs.
But even more encouraging than the age and sex ratios, was the newness of so many attendees to the Alternative Right. In the past there were fewer new faces than there were returning ones. But today it seemed like the opposite was true. And when I asked four new faces how long they’ve been following the movement, all of them had only seriously come around to our way of thinking within the past two years. An unofficial hand count Jared Taylor performed on the first night indicated that half the audience were first time attendees, and a third were under 30.
On to the conference itself.
The Political Cesspool host James Edwards was the first speaker. A native Tennessean, Edwards gave conference-goers a warm Southern welcome to his home state, mentioning the role Nathan Bedford Forrest and other Southern icons have played in his life as role models. He also gave credit to his parents for providing him with a strong family environment growing up, which enabled him to rise to the occasion when faced with trials and tribulations later on in life.
Edwards’ political career began in 1999 as a volunteer for Pat Buchanan’s 2000 Presidential campaign, after which he made his own run for political office in 2001, receiving 20% of the vote in a 3-way Tennessee gubernatorial race. He began hosting The Political Cesspool in 2004 and said he has been working nonstop as a pro-white activist ever since. He stated he had determined early on that the show would offer something unique and therefore stand out from other paleoconservative radio programs: Edwards would advocate explicitly for white interests that others only implicitly advocated; for doing so his show was labeled a “hate group” within 6 months.
For Edwards, being attacked by anti-White enemies only helped build his character and solidify his resolve. Listed as one of the top 25 media figures most responsible for the success of Donald J. Trump, he went on to interview Donald Trump, Jr. In reporting this event the media described him as a pro-Slavery radio host by creatively misinterpreting his positive reaction to a black man who stated that despite slavery, blacks had nonetheless benefitted from their exposure to the scientific and artistic accomplishments of white Western civilization.
Edwards ended by saying he has zero regrets about his decision to pursue explicit white activism because it’s something he truly loves, and beamed with pride telling the audience that doing what he loved also attracted the right woman into his life, with whom he started a family of his own.
The next speaker on the agenda was Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDare.com. At last year’s AmRen conference, Brimelow said that a single speech like Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” could change the national debate about immigration. That proved prophetic, for in a single speech — s single sound-bite, really — Donald Trump made immigration enforcement, deportation, and a wall on the Mexican border live political options. Brimelow posed three questions regarding Trump: “Can he win?,” “Can we trust him?,” and “If he wins, what could he do?” The answers? 1. “Of course.” 2. “Absolutely not, but even if he reneges we still come out ahead.” 3. “Enforce immigration law currently on the books, and remove birthright citizenship.”
Next, Mexican nationalist Fernando Cortez provided AmRen with a non-European perspective on ethnonationalism. He pointed out that Liberal Leftists are the true supremacists because they expect Mexicans such as himself to be pawns in the Leftist struggle. Leftists have no place for non-whites who don’t agree with their worldview. Cortez’s talk centered on three points: immigration, free trade, and the Reconquista.
Cortez claimed that there is no real prospect for a Reconquista. Instead, the Left’s actions can only lead to an indefinite Third World type of situation that is destructive for both Mexicans and for European Americans. NAFTA was a death blow to Mexican agriculture. The pursuit of one world, one race, global cultural and genetic assimilation kills both the Mexican people as well as the white American people. A nationalism for all nations is needed. True racial harmony only happens when each folk has its own culture, its own genes, and its own autonomy.
Filip Dewinter, a Flemish Belgian and Member of the European Parliament for Vlaams Belang, gave a succinct summary the worryingly advanced state of Islam’s metastasis into European nations. Beyond the headlines about terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and the migrant crisis, Islamic leaders in the Netherlands are sending jihadists from the Netherlands to fight for ISIS; there are currently five to eight million illegal Muslim aliens in Europe; and Turkey wants to join the EU, which will open Europe’s gates to the Muslim world even wider.
There is an Islamic fifth column wreaking havoc in Europe, and yet Europe’s immune system has been so compromised by liberalism that it is unable to fight off the infection. This allows the aliens to grow stronger and more resistant to future countermeasures. And two million more immigrants are coming to Europe every year, and these are mostly Muslim single men.
We can gain strength by remembering the fact that we have faced Islamic invasions in the past, and successfully defended ourselves against them. He recalled the siege of Vienna in the 15th century and the battle of Poitiers in the 7th century, ending this by exhorting Western men to regain our fighting spirit, and defend our identity and cultural uniqueness.
Amren founder Jared Taylor took the podium next. Mr. Taylor’s talk, “Why They Lie?,”concerned the Left’s ability to defend untruth in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In a nutshell, the Left lies because Leftists believe it’s okay to lie in the name of a greater good. And for Leftists, racial equality is that greater good. And the tendency to lie is a self-perpetuating one, due to the fact that racial diversity in a society destroys social trust, a phenomenon discovered and expounded upon by Robert Putnam.
Stating that “when you can’t tell the truth about race, you can’t tell the truth about anything else,” Taylor went on point out that the truth put forward by pro-white race realists “has a momentum and energy that I have not seen in 40 years.” The reason for this is twofold: first, the internet has allowed the truth to be disseminated openly for well over 20 years. Second, an independently wealthy billionaire has decided to actually start speaking “unspoken” truths, truths people have “known” for years, but were left unspoken due to social pressures like political correctness.
During the question and answer session, a conference participant raised the Jewish Question. I was impressed when Mr. Taylor made no attempt to dodge the question, instead opting to answer forthrightly. He responded by affirming the established fact that there are many Jews among the anti-white plutocratic elite. That said, we should not hold Jews as a group collectively responsible, but rather judge each on a one-by-one basis.
The next speaker was Dan Roodt, a South African Afrikaner. His talk posed the question of whether the displacement and genocide of the South African Afrikaners is the “canary in the coal mine”: a warning of larger scale genocide against whites and the death of the West. The main difference, Mr. Roodt said, is that Western decline has been slow and gradual, while Afrikaner decline was sharp and sudden. Since 1960 Afrikaners have gone from over 20% of the South African population to under 10%. At the same time, their fertility has dropped from 3.1 children per couple to 1.6 children per couple.
What are the reasons for the Afrikaners’ decline? The first is physical: demographic marginalization resulting from the decrease in fertility among Afrikaners coupled with the fecund native African population. The second is the metapolitical social environment. The only privileged, respectable, and “educated” ideas are firmly rooted in cultural Marxism and the consequent myth of racial equality it engenders. Culturally Marxist claptrap that would be laughed off in a healthy society is treated like holy writ due to political correctness.
Since African IQ is insufficiently high to sustain the civilization the Afrikaners built from scratch and sustained for centuries up until the end of the apartheid era, Pakistanis and Chinese have raced to fill many positions of power and responsibility once held by whites.
What can be done? In the short run, all white South Africans can do is either flee or try to hold on. to survive, they need to increase their physical and economic security. Physical security measures include bodyguards, security guards, and private police, neighborhood crime watches, and increasing ownership. Economic security measures include networking and mutual aid to keep wealth within the pro-white segment of the white South African community.
As for the long run, Mr. Roodt closed by saying pro-White activists must popularize the idea of a South African “Reconquista.” Let’s hope the idea of a South African Reconquista becomes as popular among Afrikaners as a Reconquista of the southwestern United States is among Mexican-Americans.
22-year-old Estonian activist Ruuben Kaalep took the stage next. His talk was a humorous and rousing account of the rising Estonian nationalist movement. He was particularly concerned to encourage American youth activists, saying “no matter how alone you feel, when you act it will pay off.”
He spoke about how Estonians have a deep and enduring connection to the land they have inhabited for millennia and defended from countless invaders. He recounted the Estonians’ Singing Revolution, and how the movement spread like wildfire once ignited by a few brave souls who spoke truths suppressed under decades of Soviet occupation. Once ignited, patriotic Estonians began radiating nationalism.
Mr. Kaalep argued that identitarian enthusiasm need not revive petty nationalist conflicts. On the contrary, it helps mitigate such conflicts by fostering a sense of pan-European unity. For example, Mr. Kaalep’s organization recently held a 1000 man torchlight march that included nationalist delegations from Poland and Lithuania, which had never before worked together. Past historical grudges pale in comparison to the threat of extinction all Europeans are now facing.
Anke Van dermeersch was the next speaker. She is a Flemish Belgian. A lawyer by training and a former Miss Belgium, she has held elected office since 2003. She is currently a member of the Belgian Senate. She is a member of Vlaams Belang, and runs a group called Women Against Islamization. She is the author of Neither Whore Nor Slave, currently available only in the Dutch language.
She attributes the success of Islamization in Europe to the present strength of the Left’s liberal ideology. Islam as laid out in the Koran, is a universalist, expansionist religion. In practice however, its conquests are purely opportunistic and occur only when its prey are weakened, as is the case in Western Europe’s liberal democracies.
She argues that Europe’s low birthrate is one of the contributing causes of Islamization. The European fertility rate is 1.8 while Africa’s is 7.6 and that of European Muslims is 2.2. Liberal politicians on the Left and free market cuckservatives on the Right both have the audacity to say that Europe’s low fertility rate can be “solved” by mass immigration.
Women are the first victims of Islamization, due to the religion’s entrenched misogyny. Sharia contradicts human rights, freedom, and the equality of the sexes. And it has introduced into Europe countless social ills that were previously confined to the Third World, such as “honor killings,” female genital mutilation, “grooming” of adolescents for prostitution and sex slavery, forced marriages; and polygamy.
Ultimately, Islamization will only be stopped by the end of liberalism and the rise of a strong, self-confident, identitarian Europe in its stead.
Ramzpaul gave a humorous and uplifting after-dinner talk on the genesis of the Alt Right, starting with a slide parodying Republican media consultant Rick Wilson’s equating the Alt Right with “childless single men who masturbate to anime.” RZP then broke down the American Right into four subgroups: Neocons, Paleocons, Libertarians, and the Christian/Evangelical Right. The Alt Right is essentially the rebirth and rebranding of Paleoconservatism, although the Alt Right espouses nationalist and identitarian ideas more explicitly than Paleoconservatism’s more gentlemanly approach. The first time the phrase “the Alternative Right” was used was in 2008, by Professor Paul Gottfried addressing the H. L. Mencken Club that year. But it was only in 2015 that the term received enough usage to bring it into mainstream political parlance; used on news sites such as Breitbart, the term was associated with the “Alternative Right” website founded by Richard Spencer, and maintained by Andy Nowicki and Colin Liddell.
At the conclusion of his talk, we were treated to an encore presentation of Uncuck the Right’s latest video “We Didn’t Start the Movement” that I missed when it was unveiled Friday night due to my late arrival at the conference. I was delighted that he included a shout-out to Counter-Currents. His “Dildoween” was also shown.
Sam Dickson ended the conference with his customary “Benediction for Heretics.” His talk described the current state of system opposition to our pro-White activist work. First, they ignored us, which broke down due to the invention of the internet. Then they attacked and smeared us. But that did not stop us. Now that the movement is gaining momentum, he warned that the next reaction of the movement will be to try to co-opt or take us over.
* * *
American Renaissance 2016 was a triumph. The speakers were strong. The setting was beautiful. The park staff were friendly and polite. But the best thing was the audience. Young people are living proof that our movement has a future. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. Even the SJW infiltrator and a couple of sad, drab, scruffy-looking protesters only added to the fun. I know I am not alone when I say that I left with renewed optimism and commitment to the struggle. The task we now face is to translate the intense but fleeting fellowship of an annual gathering into lasting ties, and to create regular, local gatherings to keep the flame alive.
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I will respect AmRen if/when they ever invite Dr. Kevin MacDonald to speak. Not before.
Good point. Is there some reason why he doesn’t speak there? Jared Tsylor uncomfortable with criticism of Israel and the Jewish lobby?
While true that it is still not forthrightly addressed at AmRen, at least not officially, after attending the past five conferences, my impression is that each year there are more and more attendees who are aware of the JQ. It may not be up on-stage, but it hovers around the conference room and people talk about it everywhere. Kevin MacDonald is very much present in spirit if not body, and it doesn’t take long for an eavesdropper to hear his name in any one of a dozen conversations. In fact, it came very close to being on-stage, from (of all people) Ramzpaul. Go to youtube and take a look at the video he played at the end of his speech, “Dildoween,” to see what I mean. IHR’s Mark Weber attended this year, and though not a speaker he made his presence felt, among other ways in a long interview segment with Red Ice TV, which broadcast three live-streams from the conference well worth watching, also on youtube. Finally, for what it’s worth, the Jewish contingent at AmRen seems to get smaller every year. That doesn’t mean Jared won’t invite a Jewish speaker (there were none this time) next year, but the conference, if not the website, has virtually arrived at a de facto acceptance of the Jewish Question as a legitimate concern of whites.
Polignano! You’re back?
Great write up. Wish I could have been there. Next time hopefully.
“And two million more immigrants are coming to Europe every year, and these are mostly Muslim single men.”
Indeed the Muslim migrants don’t fit the profile of a refugee population, which would include a high proportion of women and children. In the short run, this is a bad thing because men are the ones doing the raping but in the long run it’s better that they’re men and not women because women enable population growth. Muslim men may seek white wives, but because Muslim men have lower average IQ and thus earning potential white women won’t view them as high status in the same way Amerindian women viewed the conquistadors, so white women will stick mainly to white men.
Anyway, it’s a good day when there’s a higher proportion of women to men among whites at Amren than among middle Easterners in Europe.
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