The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort removed an upcoming immigration conference hosted by the VDARE Foundation, a nonprofit organization labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group.
The Oro Valley conference is the third planned event by VDARE canceled this year, after previously scheduled conferences in Yosemite and Colorado Springs were pulled by host venues, according to VDARE’s website.
VDARE, according to its website, “Publishes data, analysis, and editorial commentary is a variety of formats. We inform the fight to keep America American.”
The foundation has posted numerous race-based posts since its founding in 1999 by English immigrant Peter Brimelow.
Brimelow is listed by the SPLC as a white nationalist, and has spoken against American immigration policy.
In 2005 he said on the VDARE’s website, “The 1965 [Immigration] Act choked off immigration from the traditional sources of immigration to the U.S., namely Europe, and it allowed a small number of third world countries to capture the inflow, as I said. And, above all, Mexico. The Mexican government, the Mexican ruling class, appears to have simply made the decision to export its poor to the U.S.”
Reports of the latest cancellation were first reported by Media Matters, which labels itself, “A progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media,” according to the group’s website.
Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said the group reached out to Hilton about VDARE, but he said it wasn’t about violating the group’s right to free speech. It was to prevent it from gaining false legitimacy.
“It wasn’t because we assumed that the Hilton was in cahoots with [VDARE] or anything, and we weren’t trying to attack the Hilton,” Carusone said. “The thing that we had experienced earlier this year after we had identified the first conference that was at a hotel in Yosemite is that the venue just didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.”
Carusone said VDARE doesn’t deserve the chance to gain the visibility that trade associations and other typical conference hosts do, because of their white nationalist identity.
“I think the message is that you can have free speech, and you should be able to use public town squares for that, but you’re not going to get treated the same way that a legitimate organization or group would be treated,” he said. “And that’s important, because [VDARE’s] talked about this; if they’re able to get access to these venues, then they can start to build infrastructure and organize in a way that they’re currently prohibited from doing.”
In a statement sent to Media Matters, Hilton management announced that the hotel had canceled the event: “The safety and security of our guests and employees is of the utmost importance. After careful consideration, the hotel has decided to terminate its contract with VDare. We will not be hosting the event previously booked at the Hilton El Conquistador for March of 2018.”
Calls to both the Hilton and VDARE were not returned.