Note: All previous posts on the 2011 American Renaissance Conference available HERE, with the most recent post displaying first.
Charlotte Observer, City Councilman Patrick Cannon may be bullying local hotels into refusing to host the 2011 American Renaissance conference under color of his official office.
An e-mail Cannon sent to a constituent early this week suggested he was lobbying local hotels to refuse to book the American Renaissance conference. Cannon wrote that he had contacted hotels and that they seem to be cooperating. "An attempt was made for accommodations at another hotel but based on what I ask to take place they were denied again," the e-mail said. Later, Cannon disingenuously denied attempting to violate anyone's rights. But if it is proven that Cannon intimidated the hotel into canceling the reservation, he may be subject to a Federal civil rights suit under Title 2 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You can contact Cannon at email@example.com to express your views on his behavior.
As a result of the lobbying, one hotel has already cancelled. American Renaissance had booked 100 rooms at the eight-story Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel near Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. But on Wednesday January 26th, the hotel announced that it canceled the reservation for the safety of guests, claiming that AR did not reveal the nature of the conference when they booked the hotel. The American Independent also reported this development.
Immediately, AR editor Jared Taylor rebutted the hotel's contention, saying that they leveled completely with the hotel, and that the hotel expressed no initial reservations or objections about booking them. Taylor also said that Cannon's e-mail violated the First Amendment, and that it is unconscionable that public officials would try to interfere in private contractual affairs. Taylor also said that efforts to reserve rooms at other area hotels have been unsuccessful so far, which means the conference could end up being in jeopardy. On the main page of their website, American Renaissance simply states "We’re full! Registration for the 2011 AR Conference is now closed", although the full agenda is available HERE.
Both the Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) and the Southern Anti-Racism Network are also targeting the conference. Another City Council member, Warren Turner, denied JDO reports that he was also urging hotels to turn away the conference.
Richard Toenjes, associate director of UNC Charlotte's Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, said Cannon's e-mail could be construed as a violation of free speech. Since Cannon is known to be an elected official, any public usage of his name on his part implies he's functioning as a public official. This is where the ethics issue pops up. If Cannon isn't held accountable for this behavior, it will give Charlotte and the state of North Carolina a public relations black eye and a reputation for intolerance.
For those who cannot attend the AR conference, the National Policy Institute will livestream the proceedings on Feb. 5-6 and make full-length videos available after the fact for a charge of $10. More information available HERE.
The majority of the 119 commenters to the Observer story object to Patrick Cannon's behavior, some for economic reasons, others for constitutional reasons. Here's a sampling (after the jump):
kudzu Just now:
American Rennies have a right to meet anywhere at anytime, as long as their meetings are not voilating any laws. They have a right to book rooms at any hotel as long as they have the money to pay. Hotels that refuse them are violating their civil rights to public accommodations... Cannon is doing the same thing to AR, that whites did to blacks 60 years ago. The AR is an acknowledged white supremacy organization, but they are still Americans and should be allowed to meet in Charlotte and use public facilities if they have approval
Belinda Blake 28 minutes ago:
Why do I get the feeling Cannon may have bullied this hotel by threatening to have them blacklisted on any other "conventions" that may come to town? That would be called blackmail....and I think this needs to be investigated. I would like to see the email/letter he sent to this hotel myself to see "how" he worded it and if he used his position!
Belinda Blake Today 06:02 AM:
First and foremost, I would never belong to a group to represent me because I can do that myself and have no need for any special "race" group to be part of my life. I do not need special treatment I want equal treatment.
Double standards is what I have a problem with. Why is it ok for any other race in this country to have groups that reprsent them except if it is a white group? That is not right nor is it "equal". Blacks have many organizations, NAACP, The New Black Panthers, etc. But let "whites" form a group and it is immediately considered WRONG!
It is time for ALL races to stop expecting special treatment and expect only equal treatment. FAIR is FAIR!
Patrick Cannon has NO BUSINESS involving himself with blocking any group who wants to meet here, he needs to go! Just like any other conventions that want to come here. In respect for this group I hope they can find a place that will accept them. It is time that some people recognize you can't have it both ways!
I think everyone should send him an email and let him know he is wrong for blocking any group from meeting here: firstname.lastname@example.org I know I did!
claysmth Just now:
Thank you, Belinda Blake, for Cannon's email address. I, along with 9 others in my office, just sent him emails to thank him for doing what is necessary to protect our freedoms. We thank you, too!
Ghoul_1 14 minutes ago:
So is the money these people would have spent on the hotel, food, and entertainment any less green than anyone else's? Why would Cannon hurt the economy, hurt the tax base (hotel taxes go to pay for the NASCAR Museum and needs the money), and hurt the workers who will now not get paid to cater the meals, clean the rooms, and set up the conference?
Pseudothyrum Today 04:01 AM:
The same thing happened last year: various lobbying/lawyerspeak groups with deep pockets had the hotel cancel on the 2010 American Renaissance Conference last minute.
The Constitutional rights of American Renaissance are being violated, namely the right to free speech as well as the right to peaceably assemble (both of those key rights being found in the all-important 1st Amendment).
Just more proof that the USA is slowly becoming a totalitarian nation a la '1984.' No wonder we are on the down-slide -- denying a tiny and mostly non-influential organization the right to peaceably assemble and talk about what they want? That 21st Century American boot o' freedom is coming down hard on all the lil' faces, isn't it? If American Renaissance were trying to organize something a step above their current obscure weekend gathering - say, a small rally in public - I wouldn't be surprised if it got airstriked.
The good news is that this blatant denial of Constitutional rights will give American Renaissance more publicity. Again, that's AMERICAN RENAISSANCE; remember that. Here's their website: http://www.amren.com