The Idavox Report: Opposing the American Renaissance Conference with Will York

Welcome to The #Idavox Report on Revolution Radio! 

Tonight, we open up our panel with Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Brian Powers, Christian Perez, and Will York. Will, an attorney from Tennessee, is our guest tonight. He has been involved with the fight against the American Renaissance Conference for nearly a decade. He’s here on #NJRR Live to give us some information about what we are up against.

Remembering Tragedy 

Before we begin our show tonight, we take a moment to remember that it is the 1 year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Countless Black lives have been lost to police violence In this country’s history. Meanwhile, the guilty officers almost always avoid facing serious legal consequences. Only around 1%, and never more than 2%, of officers who commit murder are arrested and convicted.

Daryle remembers people such as Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin, whose deaths at the hands of cops made significant news. However, recalls Daryle, there was something different about the George Floyd case. There was clear video evidence. No one could deny the disgusting cruelty they saw on the tape of George Floyd being trampled and suffocated for 9 minutes. 

The Start of Change

Will points out that the George Floyd case represents the beginning of an institutionalization of change. For example, fellow police officers actually testified against the murderous George Floyd at trial. This kind of honesty and accountability among police has rarely if ever been seen before in modern America. Christian adds that the murder of George Floyd helped people become aware of the political system and the fact that protesting gets things done.

There is a prevailing myth that the struggle for Civil Rights ended in the 1960s. In truth, Black Americans are still fighting to be seen as equal in America to this day. There are those who would hide that truth in order to make sure Black people stay oppressed. That is the reason we are here today: to make sure the word gets out that oppressed people are indeed still struggling. 

[The #Idavox Report on Revolution Radio with Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Brian Powers, and Christian Perez featuring Tennessee attorney Will York]

American Renaissance Conference

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Renaissance (also called the New Century) Foundation “is a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites […] [Their media] regularly feature[s] proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists. The foundation also sponsors American Renaissance conferences every other year where racist ‘intellectuals’ rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.”

This year, the conference is going to be held in November. Both Daryle and Will have been fighting for years against the existence of the American Renaissance conference. As it stands, Tennessee lawmakers are insisting that local park ordinances take precedence over federal laws about limiting hate speech or gatherings. Tennessee lawmakers as well as American Renaissance staff maintain that they should be legally allowed to host this event. They construct this argument through a perversion of our 1st Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.

A Legal Beacon of Hate

The event has been booked to take place at Montgomery Bell State Park. It has also been held here in the past. For the event, the indoor facilities have also been reserved, or to be more accurate, monopolized: no outsiders are allowed to enter the parts of the park being used by the American Renaissance. A few years ago, a woman was arrested for urinating in the park woods. She only did this because she had a medical complication and was refused temporary entry to indoor facilities.

By intentionally allowing this blatantly white supremacist conference to continue taking place year after year, the Tennessee government is fostering a cozy little home for racism and bigotry. This is completely unacceptable and hate has consequences. If you want to know more about how you can get involved with this fight against hatred, you’re in luck.

Join the Fight Against Racism

First, check out this event on Facebook, which is being organized by a handful of anti-racist groups based throughout the country. Then, if you know individual organizers or organizations that might want to get involved, email Daryle their contact information at dlj@onepeoplesproject.com. The event is being held in the very same park and in the same month as the American Renaissance Conference. Go give ‘em hell.

-Leah Giannantonio, for the New Jersey Revolution Radio Network

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