Students from the Clarksville Students for a Democratic Society started a protest and petition on Friday, February 21, 2014 at a conference in Montgomery Bell Park against what they feel is a “White supremacist organization composed of nazis, the klan and other fascists.” They believe that “everyone who opposes fascism and white supremacy” should join them in calling the governor of Tennessee as well as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation commissioner.
American Renaissance, the organization behind the conference, according to the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) is a part of a New Century Foundation, which the SPLC describes as, “A self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites – although in highfalutin language that avoids open racial slurs and attempts to portray itself as serious scholarship.”
In its own words, the American Renaissance believes that “The problems of race cannot be solved without adequate understanding. Attempts to gloss over the significance of race or even to deny its reality only make problems worse. Progress requires the study of all aspects of race, whether historical, cultural, or biological. This approach is known as race realism.”
The call-ins will be going on now through April with a plan to deliver the petition next month.
The Clarksville Students for a Democratic Society released a powerful statement on their protest:
“We are going to soundly defeat these nazis and fascists here in Tennessee and then we’re gonna keep marching forward to deliver a crushing blow to the whole system of white supremacy that allows racist child murderers like George Zimmerman to walk free and Michael Dunn to be not convicted of murder. We are going to break the system that breaks apart millions families with deportations and attacks on immigrants and build a world that recognizes the basic human rights of all people. We are here to win and we know that when we organize, when we dare to fight, we dare to win. But, we need the support of every person who opposes fascism and white supremacy to stand with us. Even if you can’t make it to protest in Montgomery Bell Park on April 26 you can help by calling Governor Haslam and TDEC Commissioner Martineau and signing the petition demanding that the park not host the racists conference that we will deliver to their offices.”