Last weekend I had the immense honor to speak at the 2017 American Renaissance Conference in Tennessee.
This post will briefly break down my observations from it.
Beforehand though I wanted to thank the many people who have reached out before and during and after the conference to offer well-wishes, encouragement, and all other sentiments. I am a blessed man in many respects but one of the most notable is to be a part of such a strong online (and slowly but surely real life) Mannerbunde of patriots.
I flew into Tennessee on Thursday and rented a car for the drive to the conference.
It was held- as it apparently has been for a number of years- at Montgomery Bell State Park, which is a state-owned national park + hotel + golf course + ‘resort’, so to speak.
The drive was beautiful, and very ‘Southern Gothic’. It reminded me of a cross between the (admittedly degenerate) tv show True Blood and the civil war film Ride With The Devil (both in a good way). Absolutely beautiful scenery, with green in all directions- huge green expanses of grass, green trees everywhere, etc. I am used to pine trees so Tennessee’s almost semi-tropical ecology was quite a change.
The humidity nearly killed me though and when I went on my normal run Friday morning I nearly threw up afterward from the heat.
On Friday night the conference started with a introductory speech from Jared Taylor and a chance to meet other attendees.
On Saturday morning it started up again with a speech by Dr. Helmuth Nyborg, then one by John Derbyshire. I very much like John Derbyshire but in my ignorance I never quite realized what a celebrity he was until the conference! I think I met at least five people who seemed to have come solely (or in large measure) to meet him and get his autograph (a level of regard that is well-warranted certainly!).
For interest sake, here is an old Derbyshire speech:
Next up was the speech I was most looking forward to, which was by Martin Lichtmesz from Germany. Martin is active in Generation Identitaire and is one of the foremost members of the resistance to civilizational-suicide in Europe.
His speech, about the rise of nationalism in Austria and Germany and Western Europe as a whole, was very informative and entertaining. He mentioned at several points that he very much likes the word ‘patriots’ to describe what they are doing, as within Europe it is a word that has not yet been demonized by the left the way many others have. In this manner it is similar to my use of the word ‘Preservationist’. He also discussed how the word ‘Volkish’ has become the new derogatory word of choice for European liberals to describe folks like us (‘Volkish’ meaning ‘caring for one’s own folk).
Martin showed the audience pictures from PEGIDA and Generation Identitaire demonstrations as well, and spoke eloquently on just how much practice and discipline is required of the G.I. members in order to pull off the acts of 4GW demonstration they carry out.
Mr. Lichtmesz was extremely gracious and I got to talk to him quite a bit. He also told me that he had been reading my book and that the sentiments expressed in it and in my speech regarding my thoughts on Europe (our thoughts on Europe, to include ECW readers) are congruent with those of the Generation Identitaire leaders (that the best case scenario is collapse followed by a seizing of power within remaining non-Muslim majority areas and then from there basically a struggle over a Balkinized Europe).
After Martin’s speech we were privileged to hear speeches by Jared Taylor himself as well as Peter Brimelow. These were outstanding and I have thoughts on them below.
After that came the dinner banquet, and then my own speech (I believe the folks at American Renaissance will upload all the speeches to Youtube sometime this week and it will be viewable then).
After my speech I spoke with a bunch of folks and then went to the party that was being held at one of the cabins in the park. To get there you had to walk through the pitch black down the side of the hill next to the lake, then across a rickety old bridge that goes across the lake, and then up a steep hill through the forest. At the top you arrived at a warm cabin in the woods filled with extremely smart individuals of all ages eating and drinking and talking about the struggle for the future of our people. It was extremely cool and in my mind evocative of all sorts of historical American/European scenes throughout history.
The next morning there were ‘Updates from the field’ and a final speech by Sam Dickson (which was quite good).
Here, in no particular order, are my observations:
-The mix of people was telling. Over half were apparently at their first Amren, and the 300+ attendees were about half under 35 and half over. There were 18-20 year olds more knowledgeable about many of the issues than us older guys, there were 80 year olds who had been to every Amren conference since the first, there were individuals from Europe, Canada, South Africa, east Asia… all over the place. There were single young women who had traveled to the conference on their own and were getting autographs from Taylor and Brimelow and Derbyshire. It was quite an array of people.
-As I have similarly mentioned about my experiences at the Northwest Forum, the quality of the people I met at Amren equaled that of any groups I have met my entire life. This isn’t meant to needlessly glorify anything- I do believe its true that any ‘controversial’ subculture is going to attract some bad apples as well as very good apples- however I did not meet a single attendee who I was not remarkably impressed with. Every single person I met was polite, kind, earnest, intelligent, well-spoken, purposeful, and obviously successful in life. I met a med student, a PhD student, multiple successful entrepreneurs, independently wealthy individuals, “Alpha-Chad” college students (to use some movement lingo) who were good-looking/personable/athletic and Identitarian, happily married couples, lifetime activists, and more.
-I actually felt very bad for the Antifa. This was my first experience really being around them in person, and I hadn’t quite realized what types of people many of them are. They immediately reminded me of the young ‘purposefully homeless’ kids I met in Madison, Wisconsin when I lived there for a summer after high school. They were 15-29 year olds who obviously had unhappy lives (children of divorce, children of alcoholics, sexual abuse victims, etc) and they were trying to live out a 1960’s counterculture vision 40 years too late. They obviously don’t bathe very much, many of the female ones are overweight, the male ones are often underweight, they all smoke cigarettes, etc. They likely live off a mixture of state benefits, EBT cards, money from panhandling, perhaps a bit of money from relatives, self-destructive means of making money (drugs or, in the case of the famous girl Nathan Damigo punched, posing for cheap porn sites). It was really very tragic. Now, its very possible this was just the Antifa ‘C-Team’ this time around, but I didn’t see any fit, capable members within their ranks.
With that said though, there was apparently at least one who brought a weapon, and ultimately ended up in the fight/assault that ended up with one of our guys and three of theirs rolling down the steep hill into the lake and then getting arrested and brought to the jail + hospital. Still not sure what actually happened and there is little good video from the altercation.
The other protesters seemed to be a collection of 1-2 local black activists, a few super-liberal church types (probably Episcopalians or something), and more middle-class middle-age ‘true believer’ liberals who really do think they are ushering in a post-racial utopia where everyone will love each other and dance naked with flowers in their hair.
I should add re: the above that while I do sympathize with them, Antifa are absolutely the enemy, and should be regarded as such. I just feel bad that they were brainwashed and corrupted by Progressivism and Soros-bucks in the first place.
-I was particularly struck by both Peter Brimelow and Jared Taylor. I had the chance to talk to each at length (for the first time- I had never met either before) and their success is obviously well-deserved. Both were exceptionally gracious and veritably crackle with intelligence and energy. Their speeches were also both superb.
In the case of Mr. Taylor I was particularly struck by his extremely infectious joviality. Usually when you see videos of him he is discussing weighty issues (like in the video below with Jorge Ramos), but seeing him at Amren- in his element, so to speak- I don’t think he ever once did not have a huge smile on his face. It is clear he derived great joy from providing everyone such a fun and affecting time, and every memory I have of him from the conference is with a gigantic smile on his face talking with someone or another or telling jokes up on stage, etc.
Mr. Brimelow was equally likeable and seemed to especially radiate the the kind of thumotic earnestness that I noticed in a great number of attendees- a quality very much absent from the average modern small-souled bugmen of the North American habitat.
Here is the Taylor/Ramos clip:
-Other individuals I was very glad to see were Greg Johnson, who had a large stream of well-wishers and autograph seekers himself and who was as gracious and helpful as ever, Nathan Damigo- who like Greg and the two aforementioned gentleman also has a very affecting presence and demeanor and in my eyes kind of ‘represents’ Identitarianism, and- especially- Simon Roche.
I have written about Simon Roche and the Suidlanders in emails to the ECW newsletter recipients/email list, but I don’t know if I have written about him on the site.
He is from South Africa and is part of a group called the Suidlanders that is preparing for what they believe is an impending genocide of their people by the ruling black political parties/black majority. As he explained on stage, 74,000 white South Africans have been violently murdered by black South Africans in the last twenty years, and white South Africans today are 24,000% more likely be killed by black South Africans than American G.I.’s were to die AT ALL in Vietnam.
Because it is illegal for whites to form white-majority organizations in South Africa, their organization had to be created under the auspices of U.N. genocide-prevention statutes. This is very serious business for them because if they violate such laws on not forming white-majority organizations they can be put in jail, and therefore the applicable UN statues are what allows for the organization’s existence as a legal entity. Despite this, Simon notified us that the U.N. had just contacted them and requested they refrain from broadcasting their organization’s relation to such counter-genocide statutes. Apparently it seemed that the leaders in the UN did not want to be seen as writing laws to prevent the genocide of whites, as such possibilities go against the globalist third-worldism the U.N. is based on.
Simon gave a brief talk on Sunday morning in the ‘Updates From The Field’ section, and it was as moving or more so than any other speech given. He respectfully but forcefully explained that even we who write about Identitarianism and the future of our people in the West don’t truly understand what we’re up against, and just how dire the reality is. He communicated just how tenuous the situation in South Africa is, and just how likely it is his people will suffer a massive escalation of violence (Julius Mulema had actually just the day before made a statement suggesting support for the large-scale massacre-ing of whites) and Simon told us how events over the last twenty years had led up to this point (through globalist leaders preaching white guilt and the slow seizure of power from the white population) and then pointed out that North America and Europe are on exactly the same trajectory.
Here is a video of Simon speaking at another conference, and another video of an interview with him by Henrik on Red Ice:
-Finally, my last observation is on the energy that was evident at the conference.
The far-left Guardian wrote up a piece on the conference, attempting to elucidate the atmosphere that was present. They failed miserably of course (although it was a more sophisticated piece than many the left writes), so I thought I would attempt to sum it up myself.
Overall in my experience the atmosphere was one of brotherhood, sobriety, and tremendous resolve and excitement. The sobriety is do to the fact that everyone present understands the weight of the threats we face. Some (like Simon) might know it more directly than others, but there was no one there who didn’t realize that ethnic Europeans are up against tremendous odds both in Europe and across the Occident, and that unbelievable suffering is being inflicted upon our people even as we speak (Rotherham, Cologne, anti-white violent crime, etc, not to mention demographic replacement).
This catalyzes a sense of resolve, to do whatever is needed to fight back. It should go without saying that all those aforementioned successful people- especially the young ones- are effectively risking being black-balled from employment if their identity is exposed as an attendee (since most employers will fold to left-wing harassment/boycotts).
All of this creates tremendous brotherhood between the attendees. It feels as if you are part of a great group of people fighting back for something important (which is absolutely the case). This- and the massive growth of the movement– brings excitement.
These were the defining qualities of the event in my mind, and being able to attend it and speak at it ranks as one of the greatest honors of my life.
I also hope to see ECW readers at future Amren’s and other such events!