"Preserving Western Civilization" Conference Draws Racists

  • February 4, 2009

A group of racists and anti-immigrant figures plans to convene a conference in Baltimore, Maryland, from February 6-8, 2009, to address third-world immigration to the West, the alleged corollary between race and intelligence, and the "Islamic threat." Sponsored by a new group called "Preserving Western Civilization" (PWC), the conference's speakers include academics, grass roots activists, mainstream and conservative journalists, and a member of a far-right political party in Great Britain.

Conference topics include some of the fundamental arguments used to vilify non-white immigrants, Muslims, and African-Americans. The PWC Web site targets each of these groups as threats to Western civilization. It portrays third-world immigrants as opposed to "fundamental [American] political and cultural values." The group also stereotypes Islam as a "militant ideology" which seeks to "destroy" American society. Finally, PWC is convening the conference to lament the alleged "persistent disappointing performance of blacks" which causes whites to feel unnecessary guilt that "undermine[s] Western morale."

Included in the speakers list are:

J. Philippe Rushton, a Canadian professor of psychology, who has, for many years, been one of the primary voices arguing that races differ biologically in intelligence, a view he has presented in mainstream scientific publications. In 2005, he published a paper entitled "Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability," in a journal put out by the American Psychological Association. Rushton has also attended and spoken at conferences hosted by the white supremacist publication American Renaissance, most recently in 2008 when he presented a talk entitled "The Heritability of World IQ Differences."

Peter Brimelow, the Editor of VDare, a Web site that features the work of racists, anti-Semites, and anti-immigrant figures. In January 2009, Brimelow spoke on a panel to promote a report released by The American Cause, a group founded by anti-Semite and racist Pat Buchanan. VDare promotes and archives pieces authored by anti-Semitic professor Kevin MacDonald, Georgia-based xenophobic leader D.A. King, white supremacist Jared Taylor and others. At the PWC conference, Brimelow will speak about the "Problems Caused by Immigration."

Brenda Walker, a California-based anti-immigrant writer and activist whose strident rhetoric demonizes an array of ethnic groups and religions, mainly Latinos and Muslims. She maintains that immigration (mainly from Mexico) is responsible for the loss of the quality of life in America. Walker recycles these themes in articles which appear on racist, anti-immigrant Web sites and in The Social Contract, anti-immigrant journal. Walker will speak about "Multiculturalism and Women's Rights" at the PWC conference.

Michael Hart, a Maryland-based astrophysicist and the author of Understanding Human History, a 2007 book that argued that races differ in intelligence because of their evolutionary history. Hart is the chairman of the PWC organizing committee.  He has also attended and spoken at American Renaissance conferences. At the 1996 conference, he reportedly outlined a plan for the racial partition of the United States, and Understanding Human History is regularly advertised in American Renaissance

Pat Richardson, a member of the far-right British National Party (BNP), whose leader, Nick Griffin, has traveled to the United States to speak at a conference convened by American Renaissance. Richardson intends to speak about the "Colonization of Britain.”