The Slatest

White Supremacists to Hold Confab at the National Press Club the Weekend of CPAC

The National Press Club

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re in D.C. for CPAC weekend and interested in rubbing shoulders with white supremacists, the National Press Club has you covered. On the evening of Feb. 27, the Press Club will provide space in its downtown D.C. building for an event called “Beyond Conservatism,” hosted by the National Policy Institute. The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes the National Policy Institute as one of the “most important” think tanks in academic racism. Its website says it is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States and around the world,” and its tagline is, “For our people. Our culture. Our future.”

An Evite invitation for the event says it will feature speakers Peter Brimelow, Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor. Brimelow, as SPLC details, has said America faces “unprecedented demographic mutation” and that 9/11 was due to immigration. The Anti-Defamation League describes Spencer as “a sym­bol of a new gen­er­a­tion of intel­lec­tual white suprema­cists.” Taylor has said that “[w]hen blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” The SPLC has more on him as well.

The event coincides with the CPAC, which is the largest and most important annual assembly of grassroots conservative and libertarian activists in the country. The two events are totally unaffiliated, but it’s clear that NPI hopes the name of its event will appeal to the conservatives in town who want to go, you know, beyond.

Brimelow, Spencer, Taylor, and their ideological allies often have trouble finding venues to host their anti-black, anti-Hispanic, and anti-immigrant events. Providing a platform for white supremacists, as it turns out, isn’t great for hotel #brands. But the National Press Club has no regrets about providing space for the event. Executive Director Bill McCarren told me that the press club didn’t invite the group to speak, and that they make space for all sorts of presenters.

“For 108 years, the National Press Club has provided a forum for people to have their say and to take questions from the press,” he said. “It’s not always popular, and when an organization rents a room from us to have a news conference, it does not imply an endorsement by the club of what they say.”

McCarren said he couldn’t think of an example of a time when the club has refused to rent out space to a group or speaker.

“It’s an open public forum,” he said. Early bird tickets for the NPI event are already sold out.