Tennessee religious leaders denounce white supremacy conference at Montgomery Bell State Park – Tennessee Lookout
An organization of Tennessee religious leaders from multiple denominations denounces an annual conference of white supremacists at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee.
Every year since 2017, the New Century Foundation has held its annual American Renaissance Conference in the park. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the New Century Foundation as “a self-proclaimed think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purports to show the inferiority of blacks to whites – albeit in hifalutin language that avoids overt racial slurs and attempts to present itself as serious scholarship .”
An open letter signed by more than 300 religious leaders, including 67 Cumberland Presbyterian ministers, denounced not only the ideology adopted at the conference, but also its location, as the denomination was founded in 1810 near the site of what is now Montgomery Bell.
“In the hallowed grounds where the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was born, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Klansmen will come together again November 18-20, 2022 to espouse their hateful beliefs,” read the letterin part. “We denounce white supremacy (sic) as evil and a threat to justice, peace and common welfare. We call on the State of Tennessee and Tennessee State Parks to stop harboring hate speech and provide a platform for individuals and groups promoting white supremacy.
The New Century Foundation was started in 1994 by Jared Taylor, four years after he founded American Renaissance magazine. Taylor, 71, graduated from Yale University, taught Japanese at Harvard University and was at one time considered an expert on Japan.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, classifies the New Century Foundation as an “extremist group”.
of the new century website asserts that “race is an important aspect of individual and collective identity. . . We also believe that white people, like all racial groups, have legitimate interests that must be defended. The defense of these interests is a white plea.