Captured by Climate Deniers, GOP Drifts to White Supremacy. Not a Coincidence.

February 23, 2018

What’s the opposite of Wakanda?
CPAC, aka “comic-con for conservatives”. Above footage from 2015 gives the flavor.

White supremacy and climate denial have always gone together like peas and carrots. I’m one of the few writers to talk about it, but there it is. Are we woke yet?

Washington Post:

The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual conclave of the American right, is underway just outside Washington. President Trump will deliver a speech there on Friday, while Vice President Pence opened proceedings Thursday with a paean to his boss’s first year in office, a recitation of his Christian bona fides and a Republican rallying cry ahead of pivotal midterm elections this year.

“Even more than in 2017,” wrote my colleague Dave Weigel, “this year’s conference … is structured as a celebration of GOP power and Trump-style nationalism.”

But it has not gone off without controversy. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the youthful niece of French far-right heavyweight Marine Le Pen, also addressed the gathering Thursday. Her appearance dismayed some establishment Republicans, who were not eager to associate with a political faction linked to the dark remnants of European fascism. The acceptance of people such as Maréchal-Le Pen and British anti-immigrant campaigner Nigel Farage, who is speaking Friday, seemed to underscore the hard-rightward drift of the Republican Party.

CPAC has “featured speakers who raged against gays, Muslims and immigrants and, for years, it banned panel discussions about gay rights,” noted right-wing Washington Post blogger (albeit indefatigable Trump critic) Jennifer Rubin. “However, it was also a place where mainstream conservatives came to speak, and where policy gurus from think tanks had calm discussions. In short, CPAC has been a fringy gathering for many years, a few thousand hard-right warriors (including many students) within a larger movement on the right. Now CPAC encapsulates the GOP. Adherents of President Trump’s brand of Republican politics do not bother to disguise their extremism,  conspiracy theories, paranoia or xenophobia.”

Benjamin Haddad, a European politics expert at the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington, said such a reading “completely misses the point.” Maréchal-Le Pen has indeed clashed with her aunt. She is also closer to her grandfather, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front’s founder who has a long record of Holocaust denial and other bigotry.

“I am the political heir of Jean-Marie Le Pen,” Maréchal-Le Pen told my colleague James McAuley last year. “At the Front National, we all are his heirs. He was a visionary. He was right about a lot of things.” Marine Le Pen’s efforts to woo a broader section of working-class voters compelled her to distance herself both from her father and her niece.

“Marion is a far-right nationalist like her grandfather, and it’s precisely because Marine tried to distance the party from the toxic image of Jean-Marie, to become more mainstream and attract working-class voters, that she opposed her,” Haddad told Today’s WorldView. “[Marion] distanced herself from her aunt because she thinks her aunt is too moderate, not the other way around.”

Haaretz, Jerusalem:

Marion Marechal-Le Pen, the niece of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and former rising star of France’s National Front (FN) is addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday.

Le Pen kicked off her speech by ripping into the European Union and exclaiming “France first.”

Le Pen spoke of the recent rise of conservatism in the Western world, applauding both Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. “When the people are given the opportunity to take their country back, they will seize it,” she said.

In the past, CPAC has been a hotbed of racism and science denial.  See repost below from 2013.

Young attendees at CPAC conference asked to respond to the idea of climate change.

Compare to another young attendee’s views on race.


ThinkProgress spoke with Terry, who sported a Rick Santorum sticker and attended CPAC with a friend who wore a Confederate Flag-emblazoned t-shirt, about his views after the panel. Terry maintained that white people have been “systematically disenfranchised” by federal legislation.

When asked by ThinkProgress if he’d accept a society where African-Americans were permanently subservient to whites, he said “I’d be fine with that.” He also claimed that African-Americans “should be allowed to vote in Africa,” and that “all the Tea Parties” were concerned with the same racial problems that he was.

At one point, a woman challenged him on the Republican Party’s roots, to which Terry responded, “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.”

He claimed to be a direct descendent of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Huffington Post:

“I’m embarrassed to call myself a Republican right now,” Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and president of the gay conservative group GOProud, said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday. The gay Republican was referring to GOProud’s exclusion from participation at CPAC for a second year in a row, banned as an official sponsor. LaSalvia attended CPAC as a guest of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a sponsor of CPAC which hosted a panel Thursday on which LaSalvia appeared, “A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition, Bringing Tolerance Out of the Closet.”

At the packed panel, attended by younger CPAC members, including quite a few conservative gays and lesbians, conservative commentators and activists on the panel who support marriage equality, including CNN pundit Margaret Hoover and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, made the case for gay marriage as a conservative value. Earlier in the day Senator Marco Rubio, criticized those who would call him a “bigot” for not supporting same-sex marriage, underscoring the tension the issue continues to cause among conservatives. LaSalvia, for his part, however, agreed with Rubio, making a similar statement during the panel discussion and getting applause from the audience


9 Responses to “Captured by Climate Deniers, GOP Drifts to White Supremacy. Not a Coincidence.”

  1. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    White supremacy and climate denial have always gone together like peas and carrots. I’m one of the few writers to talk about it, but there it is. Are we woke yet?

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    I’m not disagreeing with the assertion that racism and climate denial are related. But you’ve now pointed that out at least half a dozen times and still haven’t said how or why. Understanding and explaining what the connection is–psychological, symbolic, through parallel thought processes, social groupings… would be so much more useful than simply saying it is. We trust in science more than opinion, here, don’t we? I’d love to see the science on this.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      JFC, Jeffy! You’ve gone on some pretty good rants lately on several threads, even if they’ve been a bit overlong and “purple prosey”. What happened?

      You “want to see the science on this”, and want Peter to point out the “how and why”? Unfortunately, fully getting what Peter days requires some reading between the lines, a fairly broad background in politics, history, economics, psychology, neuroscience, physical and biological science, and (most importantly) the LACK of confirmation bias or cognitive dissonance regarding race. I have been surprised at the minimal discussion that occurs each time Peter brings this up on Crock. I have attributed this “failure to engage” to “silo thinking” and timidity, but I AM surprised that you would ask for “science on this” as if we were talking about a gas law or gravity.

      You have shown a pretty good understanding of how modern capitalism is a root cause of our present global warming problem. I have recommended a number of books to Crockers, including two that are quite relevant to “how and why”? Slave Nation and The Republican Brain—have you read either of them? If not, you should do so before you return to this discussion (especially Brain). “Understanding and explaining what the connection is-–psychological, symbolic, through parallel thought processes, social grouping” is something you can do for yourself.

      Very briefly and perhaps simplistically, racism in the USA grew out of slavery, slavery and global warming both grew out of exploitative economics. The present-day ascendancy of corporations, the rich, and wealth/income inequality (read Piketty) have just overlaid the old “race based racism” with the new “rich-poor” prejudice. It’s complicated but not THAT complicated that you can’t figure it out.

    • Russell Cook (@QuestionAGW) Says:

      Oh, dear. Another Crocks loyalist begins to waver a bit, going off the reservation to ask the most elemental of all questions, “what’s the evidence behind this?” Next thing you know, “J4Zonian” will be saying, “Ya know, I did check through ExxonSecrets and Desmogblog stuff, and they really do only have stuff on skeptic climate scientists receiving donations and nothing proving those donations were actually payments for fabricated material in which all parties involved knew they were putting out misinformation falsehoods.”

      If “J4Zonian” wants to see if there is empirical proof for Peter’s notions about the climate-racism connection, the experiment for him to undertake is to dress up in stereotypical ‘stars & bars’ regalia and walk into the next Heartland Institute climate conference spouting nothing but white supremacy rhetoric ….. and then count how long it takes to be told to shut up / how many tell him to shut his mouth / long it takes for him to be escorted completely off the premises.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Oh dear. Russell the climate denier troll (and Heartland funded whore) is back, and he wasn’t even “summoned” by mentioning his name in a comment. (Do note that he has hacked the “thumbs” and given me two already—-will he exercise some restraint this time or overdo it and give me 6 or 8?).

        I like Russell’s little scenario for “proving” Heartland (and by extension ALL climate change deniers) are not racist assholes. Of course it’s just a mental exercise, but I would bet that there would be many that would welcome such a visitor to the conference, and many who would boo those who escorted him out. Anyone with an adequate brain who has taken the time to study the many facets of the issue (not Russell) simply KNOWS that there is a link between climate denial and racism. Just as we know that Russell’s tired old arguments on his GobsOfS**TFiles website are just convoluted mind games that prove nothing. But that’s OK—-trolls like Russell don;t seek to PROVE—-they just want to obfuscate, delay, confuse, and collect their dirty money from the fossil fuel interests.

        Go away, Russell.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        Russel, didn’t I block you?
        In any case, since you bring it up, I’ve been to a Heartland meeting, where the guest of honor was His Magnificent Munificence “Lord” Monckton, and the crowd, including Congressman Jim Sensennbrenner (R- Wisconsin) roared its approval for His Exquisite and Serene Lordships racist assertions that President Obama was not born in the US.

        more here on the links between tobacco, creationism and racism at Heartland

    • greenman3610 Says:

      it may be a long time before we have some organic analysis of the climate denial brain, but Chris Mooney’s books on “The Republican War on Science” and “The Republican Brain” are moves in the right direction, as are George Lakoffs works.

  3. neilrieck Says:

    Is this really surprising anyone? First off, the NRA was founded in 1871 when the first instance of the KKK came to an end in the same year (although the sanitized Wikipedia article on the NRA has removed this damning piece of information). Secondly, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution (which was not written by the founding fathers but by their sons) became law in 1791. The “right to keep and bear arms (in a militia environment)” had nothing to do with defending the country from outsiders, including the British. It was an amendment meant to satisfy slave states where gun ownership was used to protect “the slave trade” live on
    So the next time you hear someone talk about “Second Amendment Rights” or political pressure from the NRA, please remember these facts.

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