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Supremacists cancel Charlotte conference

Feb. 3, 2011 at 1:11 PM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A white-nationalist group that canceled a Charlotte, N.C., forum may sue the city because a lawmaker allegedly worked to deny the group space, the group said.

City Council member Patrick Cannon "was working behind the scenes to deny us a venue," said Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance magazine, the canceled event's sponsor, which argues that non-white minorities, particularly blacks, pose a demographic threat to the United States and other Western nations.

Cannon acknowledged contacting people at Charlotte hotels, but denied Taylor's lobbying charge, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel -- which canceled the group's booking, originally set for this weekend, citing the conference's "extremely controversial views" -- said "no outside entities played a role" in its decision.

The hotel originally booked the event "only because those involved in the booking were unaware of the unique dynamics associated with this group," Sheraton said.

Taylor, who criticized Sheraton for breaking its contract, said no other hotel would accept the group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says the group's conferences attract "racist 'intellectuals' ... Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists."

"We find it ironic that those who promote tolerance and diversity have no tolerance for the most important diversity of all, which the diversity of ideas," Taylor of Oakton, Va., said in an e-mail to the Observer.

Cannon told the newspaper in an e-mail he didn't lobby the Sheraton or any other Charlotte hotel per se, but urged individuals at hotels to refuse the conference.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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