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Statement on American Freedom Alliance Conference from WP4BL

White People 4 Black Lives demands that the Luxe Hotel, as well as all other hotels and vendors, refuse to provide platforms for hate.

Over the weekend of October 5th and 6th, 2019, the white nationalist group American Freedom Alliance held their Fall Conference at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles. This group is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group. Its stated mission is to “identify threats to Western civilization” and has chosen to focus on five main threats: globalism, radical environmentalism (that climate change is a myth), Islamization of the West, the media, and academia. This group masks themselves as intellectuals and academics, under the guise of a non-profit, while peddling a dangerous and hate-filled ideology and a singular, Islam-focused definition of terrorism.

The American Freedom Alliance ignores a far greater threat on US soil: white domestic terrorism. In recent memory, we have seen overt acts of terrorism perpetrated by white men, with many of these mass shootings driven by xenophobia, racism, and a desire for a white ethnostate. The FBI has acknowledged that domestic terrorism is a greater threat to our safety than the misguided scapegoating of Muslim communities. Yet, reason and facts are no weapon against far right extremist groups.

As members of White People 4 Black Lives, we strongly denounce this hate group. While we recognize the importance of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech, platforms should never be provided for hate speech because of the violence it inevitably spawns. White People 4 Black Lives believes that hotels and other commercial venues should recognize that hosting any hate group demonstrates complicity by providing space or a platform to further its hateful cause. Further, establishments that provide platforms for hate groups send a message that hate is condoned and that the safety of targeted communities is not a priority. Although we are unable to control the fact that the American Freedom Alliance has a constitutional right to assemble, the Luxe Hotel has the right to refuse to host its conference. In an increasingly dangerous and divided political moment, we feel it is important to take a stand. White People 4 Black Lives demands that the Luxe Hotel, as well as all other hotels and vendors, refuse to provide platforms for hate, for this group or others like it, in the future.

This article is written by White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL). WP4BL is a white anti-racist collective and activist project of the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE-LA) and operates within a national network of white anti-racists called Showing Up for Racial Justice. WP4BL is rooted in acting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles. Visit www.awarela.org and follow us @wp4bl