Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the Alt-Right, has suddenly found himself in the news after a video surfaced of him shouting “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” at an Alt-Right conference as attendees gave Spencer the Nazi salute in solidarity. He has also been banned from Twitter.
Here are five things to know about Spencer.
1. Spencer became radicalized from reading Friedrich Nietzsche and Jared Taylor. This is according to a lengthy profile on Spencer in Mother Jones, which states that “Spencer found his critiques of equality and democracy darkly compelling.” Here are a couple of quotes from Nietzche, via Jonah Goldberg:
Wrote Nietzsche in his “Genealogy of Morals”: “It was the Jews who, with awe-inspiring consistency, dared to invert the aristocratic value-equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = beloved of God) and to hang on to the inversion with their teeth …, saying ‘the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are pious, alone are blessed by God …'”
But if the Jewish prophets introduced the idea that success in this world was a sign of corruption and evil, the Christians perfected it, according to Nietzsche. “Christianity,” he wrote, “was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life’s nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in ‘another’ or ‘better’ life.”
Taylor believes in the notion “that race is a biological fact and that it’s a significant aspect of individual and group identity and that any attempt to create a society in which race can be made not to matter will fail,” per the Daily Wire‘s Michael Knowles. Taylor also believes “that blacks and Hispanics are a genetic drag on Western society,” according to Mother Jones.
2. Spencer wants America to become a white ethno-centric nation. Spencer declared in 2013, “We need an ethno-state so that our people can ‘come home again,’ can live amongst family and feel safe and secure,” per the Washington Post. Spencer’s desire for the white ethno-state stems from his racist belief “that Hispanics and African Americans have lower average IQs than whites and are more genetically predisposed to commit crimes,” according to Mother Jones.
Spencer wants the ethno-state to occur peacefully, expecting that somehow all of the non-whites in the country are willing to voluntarily leave and return to their countries of ancestry. He wants his ethno-state to resemble that of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, saying, “I love empire, I love power, I love achievement,” according to the UK Telegraph.
When Spencer was pressed for details on how his white ethno-state utopia would be created, he avoided the question, eventually admitting: “Maybe it will be horribly bloody and terrible. That’s a possibility with everything.”
3. Spencer won’t denounce the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler. The Daily Caller‘s Jamie Weinstein asked Spencer if he would condemn the KKK and Hitler on his podcast; Spencer avoided doing so:
“I’m really not going to play this game,” he said when asked if he condemns the KKK’s history of lynchings.
“Terrible things were done to many different people during that terrible war,” he said when asked if condemns the Holocaust.
Was Hitler evil?
“Hitler is a historical figure,” he said. “He’s done things that I think are despicable. I’m not going to play this game.”
Spencer wouldn’t delineate which things Hitler did that he thought were despicable.
4. Spencer used to date an Asian woman, which would seemingly contradict his white supremacist beliefs. When Mother Jones brought up this fact to Spencer, he was taken aback and wanted it kept on the down-low because “some people in the movement would probably find that terrible.”
Spencer dated the Asian woman back in 2007. She said that she was among numerous other Asian women that Spencer dated. Spencer admitted that this was true, but he claimed it was before he adopted his white supremacist views. Now he is opposed to interracial relationships.
5. Spencer claims he has ties to Stephen Miller, the national policy director on Donald Trump’s transition team. Spencer told Mother Jones, “It’s funny no one’s picked up on the Stephen Miller connection. I knew him very well when I was at Duke. But I am kind of glad no one’s talked about this because I don’t want to harm Trump.”
Spencer alleged that he and Miller met through the Duke Conservative Union, and that they worked together on an immigration campus debate hosting Peter Brimelow, one of the Alt-Right’s leaders.
Miller has denied any connection to Spencer and denounced his views.