I was hopeful that we could cross paths at CPAC this year. Farage was a featured speaker and I thought I had good connections who could gather intelligence on any potential afterparties or receptions where we could share a pint. Unfortunately, my connections were not as good they let on, and by the time the afterparty was reported, Peter and I were already out of the city.
I consoled myself with a new lead. While scouring the internet, I stumbled across a very promising event.
The Steamboat Institute (never heard of them) is hosting a series of debates: NATIONALISM VS. GLOBALISM: A Debate Between Nigel Farage [Tweet him] and Vicente Fox [Tweet him]. Fox, of course, is an old friend of VDARE.com. (They’re debating repeatedly—April 2 in Boulder, April 3 in Colorado Springs, April 5 in College Park, MD, April 6 in Easton, PA—assuming that Antifa doesn’t shut them down.)
For $500, Steamboat said, a sponsor gets to attend a private breakfast with both Fox and Farage.
I was encouraged by the fact that I could simply buy admittance directly—no intermediary contacts needed!
I reached out to the Institute via phone just to confirm the situation and told them I’d call back to purchase a sponsorship. I didn’t say I was with VDARE.com—not because I was trying to conceal it, I just don’t think it came up. They seemed eager. A week or so later I followed up from my vdare.com email address.
Not only did I get no response, but the day after I sent my email this cute little disclaimer, “The Steamboat Institute reserves the right to reject sponsorship at its discretion,” suddenly appeared on its site. (It wasn't there before—see Archive.org.)
I didn’t want to think that the Steamboat Institute was responding specifically to me, but it was a possibility. As a test, I had a friend of VDARE.com reach out as a private citizen, to the same email address, and inquire about sponsorship. When he too was ignored, I figured I was being too conspiratorial.
So I filled out the forms on the site and paid my $500. Peter and I started planning our trip. This was going to be fun!
But within hours I got this response from Jennifer Schubert-Akin [Email her], who apparently founded the Steamboat Institute with her husband, lawyer Rick Akin [Email him] and now serves as its Chairman and CEO.
(Significantly, Schubert-Akin’s link on “generalities” about “races and ethnicities” above is to a 2013 blog post by Patrick Cleburne, One Problem With These Hispanic Immigrants Is Their Disgusting Behavior. (This refers to Latino littering, not rape, as cited by President Trump, or child molesting, as cited by Ann Coulter.) How did a “conservative” think tank pick that up? Well, apparently they got it from CultMarx vigilantes Media Matters, which has mentioned it repeatedly—White nationalist VDare hosting conference in Colorado with Breitbart columnist, by Eric Hananoki, August 9, 2017. Why does Conservatism Inc. always lose? Because it submits to CultMarx ideological hegemony).
At the time, I restrained myself from responding in anger. Instead, I reached out to a member of the Steamboat Institute’s board, Dr. Matthew Spalding.
I first came to know of Dr. Spalding during my summer as an intern at the Heritage Foundation where he was then Vice President of American Studies. A very dear friend of mine worked for him directly, spending hour upon hour at her desk literally cutting out articles from newspapers with scissors for him.
It was never clear to me what the purpose of the paper clipping was—was she somehow saving him time? Did he read the clippings? File them? Even then, in 2005, it was an oddly anachronistic task. The internet was a Thing then, and the news was on it.
Dr. Spalding and I have subsequently met several times over the years, and while it became apparent on my phone call with him he had no idea who I was, he does know Peter. At CPAC itself only a month ago Spalding spotted Peter and me walking down radio row. He greeted Peter with enthusiasm and invited him on to his Hillsdale College radio show.
I got Dr. Spalding on the phone and explained the situation. “Look,” I said, “I just want to meet Nigel Farage. Take the $500. Don’t put my or VDARE Foundation’s name on your sponsor list. I’ll be happy to promote the event or not, at your discretion. I’m not trying to cause a fuss here. I just want to attend the reception.”
Dr. Spalding [Email him] agreed with me and observed that VDARE Foundation’s mission statement aligns solidly with Farage’s positions. “If you’re going to invite Fox and Farage, you’re going to get interest from both Globalists and Nationalists,” he remarked, “and you guys are obviously a part of that.”
We got off the phone with the understanding that he would look into it.
But it didn’t do any good. Later that day I got word back from him: “Jennifer is going to stand by her assessment and answer to you, especially in light of this series on college campuses.”
And the only answer I ever got from Jennifer was that I am welcome to attend as a private individual with a free ticket to the public debate only, like everyone else.
In other words, I, Lydia Brimelow, in my capacity as a private citizen paying $500 in cash, am refused entry to the private breakfast because I run VDARE.com with my husband—even though I offered to forgo my name being listed on Steamboat’s material and to not talk about my attendance in any public way.
How is this justified?
When I first got my donation returned, I restrained myself from responding in anger. But I don’t see the point of such restraint any more. So here’s my open letter to Jennifer Schubert-Akin [Email her] and the Steamboat Institute:
Dear Jennifer,Again: why does Conservatism Inc. always lose? Because they’re cowards, fools—and, in a number of senses, corrupt.
You have aligned yourself and your organization with the Totalitarian Left. You even use their language. The tried-and-traitorous “we are committed to free and open debate, but…” is standard for colleges, search engines, social media platforms, venues, payment processors and other such entities that aim to de-platform anyone who champions politically incorrect ideas like nationalism. Just ask Nigel Farage.
Further, it’s a joke that you coupled my exclusion with an invocation of the Steamboat’s “Freedom of Association.” I simply don’t believe that your organization, which wants to exclude me as a private citizen, will defend freedom of association where it really matters, in the context of, say, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
And, no, Jennifer, I do not “respect” your freedom of association. I’m not saying your exclusion of me is illegal—I’m saying it’s contemptible.
There is clearly a difference in your mind between “America’s First Principles” and “America First Principles.” But even so, your implication that Americans should not, as a collective group, decide their immigration policy and defend the rule of law, and define and defend American national identity, is clearly at odds with the Founders’ view of preserving America “for ourselves and our posterity.”
And it’s at odds with Brexit, too, and yet Nigel Farage will be sharing a stage at your event.
Jennifer, most of our critics are not “reactionaries.” Use the dictionary. They are Cultural Marxists and their fellow travelers are in the Democrat Party and the Main Stream Media. I’m not sure what distinction you are trying to make here between yourself and our “critics” but what is clear is that you’re riding a fence that can’t be ridden.
And with regard to my organization’s positions being “irrevocably poisoned by collective and racial thinking,” let me ask you this:
How can you defend freedom of association without also defending communities? How can you have communities without identifying group characteristics? How can you identify group characteristics without “trafficking in identity politics?”Answer: you can’t.
Good luck on your event. It would be a shame if AntiFa mess it up.
But, of course, why would Antifa bother with the Steamboat Institute?
(And Nigel, if you’re reading this—call me!)
A native Texan, Lydia Brimelow [email her] graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2006. She is fundraiser and office manager, lion tamer, fire extinguisher and miscellany handler at VDARE.com. She and Peter married in 2007 and have three daughters together. (Pictured right: Karia, Bo, Lydia, and Felicity in 2017. )