The white supremacist journal American Renaissance and its editor Jared Taylor hosted their eighth biennial conference from February 22 – February 24, 2008, at a hotel in Herndon, Virginia. Around 300 people attended the event, including well-known extremists such as:
- Don Black, who runs the hate site, Stormfront;
- Gordon Baum, head of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC);
- James Edwards, former host of The Political Cesspool, a now-defunct radio show that offered a platform to neo-Nazis and other extremists, and current board member of the CofCC;
- Mark Weber, head of the Institute for Historical Review a Holocaust denial organization.
Speakers at the conference included:
- J. Philippe Rushton, head of the Pioneer Fund, which promotes eugenics and an alleged link between race and intelligence;
- Paul Gottfried, a professor of political science at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, who discussed the lack of a true conservative movement in America;
- Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the National Front, a far-right French political party, who lamented the existence of the European Union for what he saw as its un-democratic nature and assault on national sovereignty;
- Jared Taylor, who discussed why the vast majority of whites do not accept his message of "race realism"-- the idea that it is natural and healthy for races to segregate.
Other talks covered a range of topics, from an "insider" look at Mexicans to a proposal advocating for a white "racial state." Most speakers' comments focused on an alleged siege being waged against whites around the world and the poor prospects for survival of the white race, which they claimed did not bode well for America or the world. Some speakers voiced their disappointment that, after nearly 20 years of activism through American Renaissance (the publication began in 1990) and its accompanying conferences, few whites had been swayed to the viewpoint of conference organizers and participants.
Although the speakers at the conference did not make anti-Semitic remarks, the question and answer sessions offered some audience members an opportunity to express anti-Semitic views. One attendee, for example, called "neocons" a "Jewish intellectual movement" responsible for corrupting American conservatism. Sam Dickson, a well-known racist who delivered the conference's closing address, mentioned the "Zionist movement" as a model for whites to follow in constructing a "homeland" for the white race.
Around 50 protesters, mostly college-aged, held up signs criticizing the hotel for hosting the event, blew whistles, beat on drums, and shouted slogans into bullhorns around noon during the second day of the conference, on February 23. Police stopped demonstrators who attempted to march into the hotel.
While this year's conference attracted a few hundred attendees, including many young people, the number of participants has remained about the same for the past three conferences sponsored by American Renaissance.