By Jason Kessler
Over the weekend of Nov. 18-20, I attended the American Renaissance conference in Burns, Tenn. for the first time in four years. Hosted by orator extraordinaire Jared Taylor, the longtime editor and leader of American Renaissance, at the Montgomery Bell State Park (which Taylor secured through a victorious First Amendment lawsuit some years ago), the event is one great mainstay of white nationalist conferences. Here were my impressions.
Much had changed since the heady days of 2017 when I first attended the conference. Richard Spencer was the man of the hour then (though not a featured speaker) and Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency had everyone high on grandiose dreams that ultimately ended in disappointment punctuated by the twin nightmares of Charlottesville and Jan. 6.
For the past several years since I’d last attended, Taylor has featured an abundance of speakers associated with Nick Fuentes’ America First movement, which has been funded by American Renaissance’s nonprofit, the New Century Foundation. This year, the representative from that faction included former congressional candidate and independent journalist Laura Loomer. Former Iowa Rep. Steve King, who previously spoke at Fuentes’ AFPAC conference, was also a featured speaker.
Other speakers included Gregory Hood (aka James Kirkpatrick), whom I think was the favored speaker amongst most of the other attendees I informally polled.
Longtime pro-white blogger Z-Man opened the conference with a speech about how the system is the root of our troubles and advocated parallel institutions like Andrew Torba’s free speech social network, Gab.
Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice, an independent media outlet, gave what I found to be an impressive presentation on the myriad problems with the system (which might lead to collapse) and a rundown of the machinations of the globalist elites, including runaway inflation, Covid authoritarianism and the Great Reset, the brainchild of Klaus Schwab and other likeminded plutocrats.
King gave a fine speech extolling the virtues of Western civilization and Christendom, which were clearly euphemistic for white society. To his credit, he did specifically name attacks on whites as part of our current malaise. Some critics felt like the speech was more “old fashioned” than what one would typically expect at Amren, but I think people really have to give the man credit for coming as far as he has. Everyone faces persecution for getting red-pilled and rejecting the system’s official narrative on race and other controversial topics. King lost his profession and most of his friends for challenging even a fraction of it! I was proud to meet the man and shake his hand. Few politicians would shake the hand of a thought criminal and free speech outlaw like me these days.
Personally, besides the speech of my good friend Sam Dickson, I was most impressed by the speech of a retired police officer speaking under the alias of Daniel Vinyard. Vinyard’s speech was a vivid account of living through and experiencing outrageous black crime and violence, including the horror of the crime scenes. Vinyard explained that, even after leaving California for Idaho, he could usually guess the ethnicity of the perpetrator based on the atrocity of the crime. His speech had a gritty, pulp crime novel vibe to it, and it certainly left a major impression on the audience.
At an after party following the event, I was the first to notice that several Antifa accounts on social media, including Charlottesville resident Molly Conger, had doxxed Vinyard’s real name and former police department. Many of these activists in “journalists” clothing began pressuring to have Vinyard’s pension stripped and to reopen his old cases, regardless of whether it might put violent offenders back out on the street. That saga is still unfolding at press time.
Regarding the Antifa protesters themselves, including Daryle Lamont Jenkins, the morbidly obese leader of the malicious One People’s Project, they turned out to protest the event as they do dutifully every year. At the 2017 Amren conference, I watched as one of them got into a scuffle with one of the conference attendees behind the lodge, rolling and punching one another until they both plunged into the lake with dozens of us gawking in excitement. Now older and wiser about the foolishness of giving these people the attention and confrontation they so desperately crave, attendees stayed as far away from interacting with them as possible.
However, there was some excitement as a fearful and breathless Jenkins panted into his livestream that the Proud Boys had arrived to counterprotest the Antifa protest for the first time in American Renaissance history.
Wearing twin “F—- Antifa” and “F—- Nazis” shirts, one of the Proud Boys got into a tussle with a dreadlocked Antifa agitator and ended up tossing him aside like a rag doll.
All in all, the conference was a positive experience. It was so good to see my old movement friends again: Peter Brimelow from VDARE.com, Brad Griffin from “Occidental Dissent,” Greg Johnson from “Counter Currents” and many new ones like Thomas777 (whose Mindphaser podcast I very much enjoy). And it was good to leave my home near Washington, D.C. and be around so many good-natured white folks again, from the staff to the other attendees at the park.
Good times, indeed. I hope to see some of you there next year.
Jason Kessler is a journalist and civil rights activist who organized the original Unite the Right rally in Charlottsville, Va. in August 2017. He has written for VDARE.com, Daily Caller, and GotNews as well as his own website JasonKessler.US.