Beverly Hills Hosts A 'National Conversation on Race and Equality' Featuring A Neo-Nazi Leader
As we speak, a group of people interested in "civil rights"—whatever they take that to mean—has convened in Beverly Hills to have a "national conversation on race and equality." They've even invited a "special guest": Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement (NSM).
The title of the event sounds like something right out of a neo-Nazi playbook (they have playbooks, right?): "White Civil Rights vs. Civil Rights for All." The press conference kicked off at 11 a.m. and the panel discussion is supposed to go until 2 p.m. at the Beverly Hills music venue H.O.M.E.. We apologize for being a little late to the game to report this, but alas, we did not get an invite (thanks to @OLAASM for tipping us off). The panel is being convened by a group we hadn't heard of called No Color Lines Inc., which is headed by James Stern.
Schoep will be joined by Leon Jenkins, the president of the local NAACP chapter, and others from the black community who we imagine will disagree vociferously with Schoep's white supremacist views, which include calling for non-whites to leave the country. Here's the info about the panel from the press release:
For this landmark panel discussion, Commander Schoep and members of NSM will discuss with members of the Black community about White separatist civil rights vs. civil rights for all. Also, Leon Jenkins, the president of the LA chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will join the conversation and offer commentary on the issue of civil rights for all. Founded in 1914, the LA chapter of the NAACP is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Other topics of discussion include civil rights, race, gender equality, and LGBT issues.
It's hard to imagine what kind of productive conversation could come out of inviting the leader of a neo-Nazi group to a discussion on civil rights, much less giving him top billing. There's precedent for this: last year the NAACP met up with a KKK group in Wyoming. At the time groups complained the summit legitimized the KKK and its concerns.
But one of the panelists for today's event Jasmyne Cannick brushed off similar concerns:
Schoep's presence at the panel has already drawn protests:
UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: Cannick says that protestors managed to shut down the panel, and it's been moved to a secret location: