Richard B. Spencer

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Richard Bertrand Spencer[6] (1978 in Boston,[7] Massachusetts) is the man who invented the term "alternative right" or "alt-right".[8][9] The President of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Richard Cohen, has called Richard "the head of the alt-right, the godfather of the alt-right".[10] Since 2011,[6] he has been President of the National Policy Institute, "an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world".[11] Richard is not a fan of Republican operatives or of the conservative movement, but he loves Republican voters, the people who voted for Donald Trump.[12] He has called Donald "the first step towards white identity politics in the United States".[13] Richard feels that in this present age "whites" have fewer rights than "nonwhites" and sees that as an injustice against "whites".[14] He describes himself as an identitarian.[14] Lauren Southern has said that Richard "is not a white supremacist".[15] Richard is banned from the 26 Schengen countries until sometime in fall of 2017 and has been banned by Theresa May from the UK.[16][17] David Harsanyani once opined in a tweet that "The only reason journalists are obsessed with covering Richard Spencer is to smear conservatives."[18]

Background, parents and sister

Richard was born in Boston to a wealthy family and raised in a wealthy part of Dallas,[19] the same neighborhood George W. Bush lived in.[20] Richard's father, Rand Spencer,[4] is an ophthalmologist and his mother, Sherry Spencer,[4] an artist.[7][19] Rand and Sherry are Episcopalian and Republican.[21] Richard has one sister.[20][3] According to "Mother Jones", Richard "was friends with the only African American student in his [high school] class, John Lewis, and once invited him for a sleepover."[20] According to "The Washington Post", in November 2016, Richard's relationship with his father was strained.[19] Richard attended the elite, conservative, all-boys St. Mark's School of Texas, where he played varsity football and baseball.[19][20] Graeme Wood, an eighth-grade-chemistry lab partner of his who identifies as half Chinese,[22] half white,[23] has said: "Spencer passed his classes but didn’t excel. He played baseball and football, but you wouldn’t have gone to games to see him play."[24] Graeme says Richard cribbed his chemistry notes.[25] After Richard graduated high school in 1997,[20] he went on to college, receiving an undergraduate degree in English literature and music from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago.[7] He dropped out of a Duke Ph.D. programme in 2007.[19][20] According to "The Washington Post", "the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, in which white members of the team were falsely accused of raping a black woman, made an impression [on him], as did the writings of Jared Taylor".[19] The writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche have also made a lasting impression on him.[20]

Ancestry

According to a tweet of his, Richard is of 93.1 percent Northwestern and 3.2 percent Southern European ancestry.[26] A total of 99.4 percent of his ancestry, according to this tweet, is European.[26] He told "Mother Jones" he's "0.1 percent African or something like that".[20]

Personal life and offspring

Richard Spencer has a daughter together with Nina Spencer,[27] a Russian who is one-quarter Georgian. Richard has called Russia "the most powerful white power in the world".[28][20] There has been speculation by bloggers that Nina has ancestors from the predominantly Muslim Tatar ethnic group. Richard has said she is not Tatar.[20] "The Washington Post" said on 22 November 2016 that they are separated,[19] but Richard said on 30 March 2017 that he had a wife, without saying who she was.[1]

In 2007, Richard dated an Asian American woman who was working for Ron Paul's presidential campaign. She claims she is "not the only Asian girl he has dated", which Richard has confirmed. This was before Richard's views changed; he now opposes interracial relationships. He has described Asian women as cute and smart.[20]

Faith or lack of it

In a 2016 interview with Roland Martin, Richard said he is a cultural Christian and is among those who "struggle with faith". When asked by Roland whether he had professed with his mouth that Jesus Christ was his lord and saviour, he said yes.[14] In an interview with Tara McCarthy on 30 March 2017, Richard said he is "tragically" an atheist.[29]

Cigarettes or alcohol

During a National Policy Institute meeting known as Hailgate, on 21 November 2016, Richard raised a glass of whiskey and said: "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!"[30] He then said to the people attending the meeting that there was "only one more thing to do" and that was for them to "just all go get drunk."[31] Richard has posted a picture of himself on Twitter wherein he is shown holding a cigarette.

Has he called for "peaceful ethnic cleansing"?

The Southern Poverty Law Center alleges Richard has called for "peaceful ethnic cleansing".[6] When he spoke at Auburn University on 18 April 2017, during the question and answer session, someone told him he had called a "peaceful ethnic cleansing". He responded saying he had never called for "a peaceful ethnic cleansing". He said that in a speech he described the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 as an example of "peaceful ethnic cleansing".[32]

Ron Paul

On 17 May 2017, Richard tweeted: "On this day in history: In 2008, I introduced Ron Paul at a packed event in Arlington, Virginia."[33]

Websites

While he was living in Toronto in 2010,[34] Richard founded alternativeright.com, which, according to "Breitbart", became "a center of alt-right thought"[35] and was later moved to radixjournal.com.[21] On 14 January 2017, he posted a tweet that said "altright.com" and "Get ready" above.[36] On 16 January 2017 altright.com was launched.[37] Richard said he was "going to make altright.com the place to find" him.[38]

Richard Spencer's mother's building in Whitefish, Montana

According to "Daily Inter Lake", Richard's mother, Sherry Spencer, posted an article on medium.com titled "Does Love Really Live Here?"[39] In it, Sherry says that she is the sole owner of "a beautiful mixed-use facility" at 22 Lupfer Ave., Whitefish, Montana, the town where both Richard and his mother reside.[40][41] She says the building opened in 2015 and has "been enjoyed by people from around the world". Sherry says that a Tanya Gersh who has "links to 'human rights' organizations Love Lives Here and the Montana Human Rights Network", had been threatening to bring 200 protesters and national media to her building if she didn't sell it and give a donation to the Montana Human Rights Network.[40] The "Daily Mail" has confirmed that it is indeed true that Tanya has called on Sherry to sell her building "and then use the money to help human rights causes".[4] "Daily Inter Lake" has confirmed that "a Whitefish real-estate agent [Tanya], who happens to be a member of the Jewish community, talked to Sherry Spencer about selling the business and donating a portion of the profit to the Montana Human Rights Network".[39] Furthermore, Sherry says that Tanya has asked her to "make a public denunciation of" her son.[40] Tanya says Sherry is "profiting off of the people of the local community",[4] whereas Sherry says she employs "a number of local maids and other maintenance personnel who would lose their jobs" if she were to sell.[40] Montana Rabbis Francine Roston and Allen Secher are both involved in the group Love Lives Here.[42] In 2014, Love Lives Here unsuccessfully tried to get the city of Whitefish to bar Richard from being able to conduct National Policy Institute business in town.[42][20]

Positions

"White" supremacy

Richard does not consider himself a "white" supremacist, by which he means he doesn't want to rule over "nonwhites".[14] However, he does not believe that everyone is equally talented and believes "whites" "don't gain anything from" the presence of "nonwhites" in their midst.[43][14]

"Racial purity"

Richard has described the world-famous green-eyed Afghan woman Sharbat Gula[44] as an "Aryan, at some level", which means he is not what he would call a "purist".[45] Graeme Wood, who is half Chinese,[22], half "white"[23] and has "a classical Western education" once asked him if he "would fit within his group". Richard responded: "I'm a generous guy, if you truly identify with our people, I would not have any problem with that."[46] He does not think, however, that "a full-blooded African, now matter how wonderful he might be", would fit in.[47]

People of non-European ancestry

Richard has said: "I do want to live in a planet where there are Africans and I want to live in a planet where there are American Indians."[48]

2013 – 2015

Arguments with Randy Scheunemann

In January[49] 2013, Richard had an argument with Randy Scheunemann, who is, according to "The Daily Beast", a "longtime GOP foreign policy hand, one-time lobbyist for the Georgian government, and former John McCain advisor".[50] "The Daily Beast" characterised it as an argument between a paleoconservative "non-interventionist", Richard, and a neoconservative "interventionist", Randy, who happened to be on the same chairlift at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a ski resort.[50] Both[50] of them were members of Big Mountain Ski Club, which conducts its school at Whitefish Mountain Resort.[51] Richard asked him where Randy worked. When Randy told him "Washington" and gave him his full name, Richard said he knew who he was and, according to "The Daily Beast", started "berating" him "for being a neocon and for believing in this whole democracy BS". Randy, who was "Too flabergasted to react", then waited for his son, who was on the next chairlift. Ninety[50] minutes later, Randy told the manager of the club about the incident, adding: "I’m not telling you so you can do something about it, I’m telling you because if I pop him in the nose you’ll know why."[49] Because he said this and because there were no witnesses, the manager didn't take any action.[49]

There was then a second incident on 31 December 2013, after which they both resigned from the club. "The Western News" describes it this way:

A second incident took place on Dec. 31, 2013 at the club room at the resort where Randy Scheunemann and Richard Spencer got into an argument and had to be separated by staff and other members.
On Jan. 1, 2014 the club manager sent both men an email explaining their behavior and language were inappropriate and the personal issues between them will not be tolerated within the Club or any of its facilities.[49]

Deportation from Hungary

In October 2014, Richard was arrested and gaoled in Hungary for having views some people disagreed with. He had tried to organise a National Policy Institute conference in Budapest. The keynote speaker[20] was going to be Russian nationalist Alexander Dugin, but Hungary denied him a visa.[52] Prime Minister Viktor Orban personally "ordered that all legal means be used to prevent the gathering from occurring"[52] and declared Richard a "national security threat".[53] James Kirchick of "The Daily Beast" condemned Richard's arrest, saying: "I may loathe what Richard Spencer has to say, but I will defend, unequivocally, his right to say it." There were some Hungarians who were sympathetic to his views. He says when he was arrested and the police found out more about him, "various Roman salutes were given".[53] He was let go after 72 hours and banned for three years from the Schengen area.[52][53]

2016

(Also see Hailgate.)

Twitter suspension and reinstatement

Richard's Twitter account was suspended on 15 November 2016 amid a Twitter crackdown. On 10 December 2016, his account was reinstated, something he celebrated with the tweet "I'm back!" featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.[5]

2017

Emojis on Twitter

In early 2017, Richard started using a milk emoji in place of the frog emoji he was previously using on Twitter.[54] After Donald Trump's 6 April missile strike[55] in Syria, he started using a Syrian flag emoji.[56]

Decided against congressional run in Montana

Richard had told "The Huffington Post" in late 2016 that he was considering running for Montana's congressional seat if Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) became US Secretary of the Interior. If Ryan was confirmed, it would likely trigger a special election, Richard had said. A lot of people have been calling him and telling him: "Oh, you should do it, just do it, this is the moment." Richard was taking it "very seriously" and said he "would only do it to win it".[57] On 19 January 2017, he said in an interview that he decided against it because of the difficulties involved in running as an independent.[58]

Punched twice in DC

On 20 January 2017, Richard was punched twice in Washington DC. One of the punches was caught on camera as he was answering impromptu questions near the corner of 14th and K Street around 2:30 p.m. He looked down at a Pepe the Frog pin that he was was wearing and was discussing what it meant, when suddenly he got punched on the side of the head by a man who then fled the scene.[59]

CPAC, talk about Depeche Mode and response

According to the magazine "New York", on 23 February 2017, while Richard was outside the main ballroom of the Gaylord International Hotel, where the Conservative Political Action Conference was taking place, "A handful of young men in blue T-shirts pushed their way to the front of the crowd to ask Spencer if he was a fan of rock music, by way of explaining that without black people, our culture would lack such fundamental joys as the Rolling Stones." He responded that "Depeche Mode is the official band of the alt-Right." Soon after, a security guard interrupted the conversation, saying to Richard: "You’re not welcome on the property." Richard, who had bought a $150 ticket to attend the conferece, was shocked. He was very cooperative and said: "If they want to throw me out they can … It’s kind of pathetic."[60]

When Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan heard what Richard said about the band, he said:

I mean, this guy gets way too much publicity already. What’s dangerous about someone like Richard Spencer is, first of all, he’s a c--t -- and he’s a very educated c--t, and that’s the scariest kind of all. I think over the years there’s been a number of times when things of ours have been misinterpreted -- either our imagery, or something where people are not quite reading between the lines.
If anything, there’s a way more sort of socialist -- working class, if you like -- industrial-sounding aesthetic to what we do. That’s where we come from. We come from the council estates of Essex, which is a really s---ty place, just 30 minutes east of London, where they stuck everybody when London was getting too overpopulated in the late '60s. So I don’t quite get what he was [saying].
I think it was one of those things he threw out there for whatever. But he’s not that type of guy -- not like the other guy, the Milo [Yiannopoulos], an attention seeker, a bit crazy obviously. I saw [Milo] on Bill Maher and I was just like, “Wow, he really is a nut job.” Those people to me aren’t so dangerous, but this guy's [Spencer] got some weight behind him. I don’t like that, and certainly he had absolutely no right to... [Pauses.] well, he has every right. He lives in a free country, and he can say what he likes. But at the same time, it was a bit disturbing. I haven’t had as many phone calls or texts from people over something like that -- friends here and in the city, and other artists who were kind of shocked and like, “What’s this?”[61]

At some point, Dave also said: "I saw the video of him getting punched [during protests at the inauguration of President Trump]; he deserved it."[62]

Kurt Eichenwald asks if Richard is gay, Richard makes fun of him

On 18 March 2017, there was a Twitter row between Kurt Eichanwald and Richard. Kurt is referring to their high school, St. Mark's School of Texas. Richard is making fun of Kurt's claim that he got sent into a seizure by a meme in December 2016. According to "The Washington Post", Kurt, who suffers from epilepsy, "received a tweet in Dallas of a flashing animated image known as a GIF. It included the message, 'YOU DESERVE A SEIZURE FOR YOUR POSTS.'" The person accused of sending the tweet is John Rayne Rivello, a Marine veteran who spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan. John is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon because of this.[63] "Time" magazine has an article titled "Can a Tweet Really Trigger a Seizure?" that talks about this case. It concludes that "The answer is: maybe."[64]

Kurt's asking Richard if he was gay drew a strong response.

Interview with Tara McCarthy

During an interview with Tara McCarthy on 28 March 2017, Richard said: "I do have faith that there will be a new kind of very energetic, very, very radical and powerful new right that is going to arise in these Western countries and I don't think we've really seen it yet." He then went on to suggest that Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen are part of that new right and that he would vote for Marine if he were French and he would have voted for Geert, although he characterises Geert as a neoconservative, which he doesn't like.[65] [66]

Statement on abortion and contraception

See Richard's statement on abortion and contraception following Tomi Lahren's appearance on "The View".

Lucian B. Wintrich's "I'm v curious" tweet

On 17 June 2017, Lucian B. Wintrich, White House correspondent with "The Gateway Pundit", tweeted this:

Richard's response:

Richard's wife's response:

External links

References

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  2. Nina Kouprianova (17 June 2017). @NinaByzantina. twitter.com. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lance Williams (17 March 2017). "White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gets His Money From Louisiana Cotton Fields—and the US Government". motherjones.com. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Liam Quinn (15 December 2016). "White supremacist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer's mom claims her real estate business in rural Montana is being ruined by the angry backlash against her son for his 'extreme positions'". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Terry Collins (13 December 2016). "'Alt-right's' Spencer is back on Twitter. Is hate speech, too?" cnet.com. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
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  51. "Welcome". bigmountainskiclub.org. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 James Kirchick (7 October 2014). "American Racist Richard Spencer Gets to Play the Martyr in Hungary". thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Richard Spencer (5 September 2015). "A Podcast From a Budapest Jail". Retrieved 7 December 2016.
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  61. Andrew Unterberger (14 March 2017). "The Landscape Is Changing: Depeche Mode Singer Dave Gahan on the Band's World-Weary, Pissed-Off New Album 'Spirit'". billboard.com.
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  63. Travis M. Andrews (22 March 2017). "Tweet that sent journalist Kurt Eichenwald into seizure considered 'deadly weapon' in indictment". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
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  66. Tara McCarthy (28 March 2017). "Richard Spencer: White Identity". 13:20. YouTube. Retrieved 30 March 2017.