Michael Laris, Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2006
The dress code at what participants called their European “preservation” meeting near Herndon yesterday was strict: “Gentlemen will wear jackets and ties to all conference events,” organizers instructed.
There were at least two explanations for this.
“I don’t want an event I sponsor to be characterized by slovenliness,” said Jared Taylor, president of the Northern Virginia-based New Century Foundation. “In a society of considerable ugliness, that’s one thing we can control.”
But Tom Gomez, an activist who assailed the gathering as a gussied-up front for dangerous racists, said donning nice clothes is just a smarter tactic than wearing “your robes and your hoods.”
“The way to play it is smooth, quiet — the David Duke strategy,” Gomez said.
And so it was that Taylor, former Ku Klux Klan leader Duke and more than 250 other attendees from across the country, all but two dozen of them men, gathered in the chandeliered Concord room at the Hyatt Dulles hotel yesterday wearing their Saturday best and listening to warnings about the dire straits of white people in the United States and around the world.
Outside the hotel, more than a dozen protesters wearing jeans, jackets and sometimes face masks held signs that read “Stop Racism” and “Change your name. You’re still the KKK.”
“They are attempting to be respectable and appear to be intelligent. The truth is, they are nothing but lowdown Nazis,” said David Benzaquen, a demonstrator and student from the District.
Conference participant Michael Regan, an assistant district attorney in New York’s Allegany County, said U.S. policies on immigration, trade and “demographics” have put the country on the wrong path. “You can see European Christian Americans are an endangered species,” he said, asserting that the accurate description of conference participants is “white preservationists” rather than “white supremacists.”
McLEAN, Va. — The Hyatt hotel chain has come under fire for agreeing to host a conference this weekend sponsored by a white supremacist group.
The conference in the Washington suburb of Herndon is sponsored by the Oakton, Va.-based New Century Foundation, whose leader says the white race is losing its identity in the United States because of multiculturalism and immigration.
Students at George Mason University organized a phone campaign to urge the Hyatt to shut its doors to the conference, which it has hosted in previous years.
“We’re not taking away their freedom of speech. We’re letting people know that Hyatt is supporting these people,” student activist Tariq Khan said.
Hyatt spokeswoman Lori Armon said the opinions of those at the conference do not necessarily reflect those of the Hyatt Corp. “However, we do not discriminate against any of our guests or organizations with which our guests are affiliated,” she said.