Taylor held an outdoors news conference at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Governmental Center on January 31st, a raw, cold day. Despite the weather, all the major news organizations attended, including Mi Gente, a Spanish-language publication.”
“We think better of Charlotte than this,” he told reporters. “We call on Patrick Cannon and Warren Turner to consider how their actions soil the reputation of their city. We believe they should support free speech. We believe they should take a stand for genuine tolerance of a genuine diversity of ideas.”
Taylor, who calls himself a “race realist,” said that his group openly advocates for “white interests.” No one in Charlotte objected, he said, when the Latino advocacy group La Raza, which he translated as “The Race,” met there, nor did local government take action when Louis Farrakhan visited, even though Farrakhan has made statements that Taylor characterized as “vile things” about Jews and whites, such as claiming the US government purposely flooded New Orleans to kill blacks.
The reporter for Mi Gente asked Taylor if his group was white supremacist. He responded that the people of Japan or Israel or Mexico could be called “supremacist” because of those nations’ strict enforcement of immigration laws. Then he asked the reporter a question. “Your paper is called ‘Mi Gente,’ which means ‘my people.’ Who are your people?”
“Everyone,” she said, raising her hands in the air.
“Everyone?” Taylor asked.
The reporter shrugged. “The entire Latino community.”
Taylor pounced on this. “And if you wanted to associate with your people, or hold a conference, do you think you would be allowed to do so here in Charlotte?”
One group that made no bones about their intention not to support free speech showed up as well. Five protestors who said they were members of Anti-Racist Action approached Taylor. With members of the Charlotte police poised at the edge of the courtyard, one of the protesters yelled obscenities at Taylor as he began to speak.
When Taylor concluded his Q&A, the reporters turned to the black-garbed protestors. One of them, Michael Behrle, boasted, “American Renaissance will not hold a convention in Charlotte. If they try, it’ll be just like Canada,” referring to the violent disruption of the American Renaissance conference in Halifax in January, 2007.
“That sounds hypocritical,” said one bystander.
[An account of the violent disruption of Jared Taylor’s appearance in Halifax can be read here.]