Yosemite Venue Cancels White Nationalist VDare Event Booking After It Learns Of Group’s Views
Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
The venue for the 2017 public conference for VDare has canceled the white nationalist group’s booking after it “became aware of the nature of” the organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) states that the nonprofit VDare Foundation is a white nationalist organization and that its website, VDare.com, “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.”
The website heavily supported President Donald Trump’s campaign, and leader Peter Brimelow donated a small amount of money. Brimelow attended Trump’s inauguration and wrote, in a piece about his experience, that Trump “was the clear choice of the founding stock of the Historic American Nation -- 63 % of white males and 53 % of white women voted for Trump.” The Republican National Convention displayed a tweet from VDare during the convention.
VDare scheduled its “first-ever public conference” on March 31 through April 2 at Yosemite National Park at Tenaya Lodge. A description for the event states that it will “celebrate our well-earned victory and the hope afforded by the new Trump administration” and “bring together the prophets of our movements.” Speakers at the event include Brimelow, Breitbart columnist and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and white nationalist leader Jared Taylor, who has argued that “the races are not equal and equivalent.”
Media Matters criticized the event on January 23 and noted that White House chief strategist and former Breitbart head Stephen Bannon previously praised event speaker Tancredo as “one of the top immigration experts in this country” and said the columns he’s “been doing for Breitbart are just amazing.” SPLC also wrote about the conference and said it “presents a noticeable shift away from the organization’s strategy of using the Internet to propagate racism toward one of real-world activism -- a shift echoed by other white nationalist groups like Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute and fueled by a sentiment widespread on the far-right that President Trump’s election offered a legitimizing win for white nationalism.”
After the publication, a spokesman for Tenaya Lodge contacted Media Matters on January 24 and said in a statement that the venue took “steps to immediately cancel this booking” when it “became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation. … Unfortunately, at the time of booking we did not realize this group has values that are in conflict with our embracement of diversity among our employees and guests, including people of different cultures, lifestyles, creeds, nationalities, races and ages.” From a statement by a spokesman for Tenaya Lodge:
Tenaya Lodge today became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation, an organization that several weeks ago booked meeting space and rooms from March 31 to April 2.
Unfortunately, at the time of booking we did not realize this group has values that are in conflict with our embracement of diversity among our employees and guests, including people of different cultures, lifestyles, creeds, nationalities, races and ages. We are also concerned that providing meeting space and rooms to this group could be disruptive to our other guests’ enjoyment of Tenaya Lodge and the services we provide to those guests.
In response, we’ve taken steps to immediately cancel this booking. We regret the mistake and want to assure our employees and guests that in no way does Tenaya Lodge endorse this group.