Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference are being accused by a liberal organization of allowing two white nationalist speakers to participate in its annual gathering of conservative activists this week in Washington, D.C.
The liberal group People for the American Way blasted out separate press releases on Thursday accusing two panel speakers, Peter Brimelow of the VDARE Foundation and Bob Vandervoort of ProEnglish, of being white nationalists.
Both Brimelow and Vandervoort were scheduled to speak during a Thursday afternoon panel titled “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity,” according to a CPAC schedule.
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, “and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
“Cosponsors and affiliated events do not necessarily represent the opinions of the American Conservative Union,” she said.
Brimelow’s VDARE.com website is focused on immigration issues and is named after Virginia Dare, believed to be the first English child born in the New World. Critics including the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center have accused the website of being hateful towards immigrants. (RELATED: Full coverage of CPAC)
Brimelow dismisses claims that he is a white nationalist, writing on his website, “We are certainly politically incorrect — but the merest glance would show that we are not ‘white nationalist.”
He did not return a request for comment.
Vandervoort is executive director of the group ProEnglish, whose mission is to make English the official language of the United States. People for the American Way pointed out that he once led Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a loose affiliation of Chicagoans who meet regularly and advocate for a U.S. racial politics magazine called American Renaissance.
“If whites permit themselves to become a minority population, they will lose their civilization, their heritage, and even their existence as a distinct people,” the magazine asserts in a mission statement on its website.
“All other groups take it for granted that they have a right to speak out in their own interests. Only whites have lost this conviction.”
People for the American Way sent reporters an item published by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights saying that Vandervoort was once “at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens.”
That group, based in St. Louis, puts racial identity second only to Christianity in its “statement of principles.”
“We believe … American people and government should remain European in their composition and character,” the Council’s statement reads, in part.
“We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called ‘affirmative action’ and similar measures,” it continues.
In statement to TheDC, Vandervoort said, “As usual, the Left has started smearing me and ProEnglish because of our effective work on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.”
“I was never a member of any group that advocated hate or violence. The Left shamelessly uses ‘guilt by association’ and I have nothing to apologize for,” he said.
David Martosko contributed reporting.