Rick Santorum’s Dinner With a White Nationalist
New polls show that Rick Santorum is now the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.
And today, Rick Santorum had dinner with an overt white nationalist. I wish I was kidding about this. The Republican Party is openly legitimizing white nationalism at CPAC; this is the year that overt racism went mainstream in the GOP.
Tweeted a little while ago by the ProEnglish Twitter account:
— ProEnglish (@proenglishUSA) February 10, 2012
Bob Vandervoort, director of ProEnglish, is the former leader of Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance, an absolutely open white supremacist group that often held meetings with the Council of Conservative Citizens. More information: White Nationalist to Speak at CPAC (On How “diversity Is Weakening the American Identity”).
Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to moderate a Thursday afternoon panel at the CPAC 2012 conference, entitled, “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Weakening the American Identity.” Vandervoort listed his organizational affiliation as executive director of ProEnglish—an English-Only outfit founded by John Tanton. What he left out of his bio is that he was also the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois.
During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
Vandervoort’s position at ProEnglish is not surprising, given his familiarity with the Nativist Establishment. He and several Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance members attended a March 22, 2005 Federation for American Immigration Reform meeting at the Lincoln Restaurant in Chicago. At a November 13, 2004 FAIR “Midwest Immigration Reform Summit” in Rosemont, Illinois, Vandervoort attended and passed out leaflets to the crowd announcing a local American Renaissance event.
Vandervoort was hired during the autumn of 2011, by the Tanton-founded English-Only group ProEnglish, after the organization lost three other executive directors in less than a year. Shortly after Vandervoort took the job, ProEnglish hired Phil Tignino as the group’s web master and social media coordinator. Tignino was the former head of the Washington State University chapter of the white nationalist college group, Youth for Western Civilization.
I’m just stunned, really. The Republican Party is crossing the Rubicon at this year’s CPAC, dropping all the masks and proudly associating with the absolute dregs of America’s racist underground. Bad, bad craziness is loose.