Chris Gadd, Tennessean, July 27, 2017
The local NAACP is speaking out against a white supremacist conference that’s once again set for the Montgomery Bell State Park Inn and Conference Center in Dickson County.
The NAACP president calls the attendee’s beliefs a toxic “myth steeped in pseudo-science” while the conference founder describes any action to silence “a diversity of opinion” as being “repulsive.”
The American Renaissance Conference, which is Friday through Sunday, is now entering its fifth year in Dickson County. The conference’s name is derived from the “AmRen” website — also a print publication for 12 years until 2012 — that’s run by Jared Taylor, Henry Wolff, and Chris Roberts. Taylor founded the New Century Foundation, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites.”
Dickson County NAACP President Benny Overton said organization is speaking out against AmRen because “we recognize that silence may be perceived as tolerance, and we know that white supremacy is a toxic ideology not deserving of tolerance.”
Overton said the conference and the opinions of those attending is different from other conferences.
“White supremacy, like race, is a construct developed to divide and disempower those who are oppressed,” he said.
“It was nefariously crafted following the Bacon Rebellion to divide and disempower the poor (blacks and whites) who sought a more equitable share of the wealth of the new world, and to justify the heinous subjugation of the native people.”
Overton continued, stating that “today, feeling emboldened by the climate of a political backlash against the audacity of a recent black presidency, it is witnessing a resurgence in response to a beckoning from an administration that sees in the ignorance an opportunity for exploits and political leverage.”
Overton said the time is now to “stand and say no.”
“It is when this ideology is put to rest that we can finally see unfolding an end to racism and with it the blossoming of a humanity advanced in equality and justice,” Overton said.