Former presidential candidate and avowed racist David Duke will lead “an informal nature walk through the Smokies” on day two of a white power conference set to begin Saturday in the Gatlinburg, Tenn. area. Duke is a former grand wizard of the Triple K Clan and Louisiana lawmaker.
A Caucasian heritage and $75 are the price of entry into next week’s international conference for white power enthusiasts organized by Stormfront, the oldest and best-known website devoted to the “white pride, white power” movement.
Like a Facebook for white power enthusiasts, Stormfront is the virtual gathering space for like-minded people to meet, post and respond to messages, tell jokes and offer political commentary in a variety of labeled discussion groups that range from “fighting white genocide” to poetry.
The Tennessee conference represents a rare offline gathering for Stormfront members. The two-day agenda includes a luncheon and workshops on immigration, political organizing and communications by some of the movement’s best-known contemporary leaders. “This will be a national conference, drawing people from around the United States and Canada,” said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors hate groups.
“Tennessee is one of the states that has a strong presence of all of the major white power groups active right now,” Pitcavage said. The conference is limited to 150 people, but it’s unclear how many will attend. The meeting is one more sign of renewed organizing efforts among white power enthusiasts in recent years, Pitcavage said.
“We’re now 3½ years into a resurgence of right-wing extremism in the United States,” he said. “Compared to four years ago, the white supremacist movement is more agitated. There aren’t more white power enthusiasts than there were four years ago, but the ones who are, are hopping mad.”
More than 30 white power organizations currently operate in Tennessee, representing the five contemporary strains of white power enthusiasts, according to the Anti-Defamation League. They include neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, “traditional” movements such as the Triple K Clan, racist prison gangs and “Christian identity” groups that espouse the belief that God favors white people.
Speakers at the conference — including Stormfront’s founder, Derek Black, and David Duke — did not respond to requests for an interview.