‘Is it OK to punch a Nazi?’ was a headline that we saw on many different media outlets, which ended up being a heated debate between celebrities, journalists and ordinary people on whether they approved of Richard Spencer – self-described ‘identitarian’ and founder of the ‘Alt-Right’ movement, as well as the National Policy Institute (NPI) think thank – getting punched on the streets of Washington, DC, in broad daylight, in front of cameras rolling for the whole world to see.
YouTube: White nationalist Richard Spencer punched in the face camera while doing interview
I spoke with Mr Spencer about his unpleasant ‘engagement’ with far-left militants, and he claims that, although getting punched was quite unpleasant, he sees it as good PR.
“I think it’s ultimately a good thing!
“I don’t like being punched, I don’t like to be punched again, but the fact is it was a good thing in a sense that it became this meme and it revealed to us a lot of things – it was just more exposure, but more importantly to that it revealed this just craven nature of a lot of liberals that they will claim to hate violence and so on, but ‘Ooh, it’s so great to go punch that ‘Nazi’’, you know,” said Spencer
Mr Spencer’s attacker hasn’t been caught by the authorities so far, although he has filed a police report. However, the dark corners of the internet, and even TakiMag, have been coming up with kooky conspiracy theories, claiming that the assailant, whose identity is still unknown, is a porn actor who has taken part in weird types of fetish pornography.
Spencer claims that he is aware of the rumour, but has not seen any proof of it so far.
“There is a very good screengrab that shows us what he looks like, or at least what half of his face looks like.
“There are people who have connected him with some figure.
“I’m not sure that the person that they found is actually him.
“But I do think that he will ultimately be apprehended.”
However, there was a time when Richard Spencer wasn’t getting punched for expressing politically incorrect views. He wasn’t always on the fringes, wasn’t always a publicly controversial figure. The young man, who is a graduate of the prestigious, private American ‘Duke University’wrote an entrance essay on Carl Schmitt – a controversial, German, right-wing philosopher – in order to get accepted in the highly renowned institution.
“I did my entrance essay on Carl Schmitt, and I guess they just assumed ‘Oh, he can’t possibly agree with Carl Schmitt.’”
It took Spencer some time to reveal to the world what his beliefs really are.
“I was closeted; I didn’t let on who I was.
“I was kind of, you could say in Straussian terms, I was “writing under persecution,” I could not reveal who I was,” said Spencer.
Richard Spencer is unique not only because he founded the American Alt-Right movement, but because he left a cosy, secure career in order to pursue and idealist dream – one that has also had a somewhat negative impact on his personal life.
In November, 2016, as reported by the Mail Online, Politico editor Michael Hirsh stepped down from his role at the media outlet, because he revealed Spencer’s home address on Facebook and encouraged people to beat up the controversial Alt-Right leader with baseball bats.
It would appear though that this wasn’t enough for him.
The Alt-Right’s founder was a part of TakiMag and TAC, because he saw them as ‘heretical’ conservative outlets, in a sense that they were opposed to the Iraq War at a time when most Republicans and Republican voters were supportive of it, as a result of the 9/11 tragedy.
He believes that George W. Bush was the worst thing to have happened in his lifetime, and he claims that it is the only reason why he worked for TAC.
“The reason why I worked there was because it The American Conservative magazine was anti-war.
“I never would have worked for any conservative outlet at that time, other than The American Conservative, because I think that George W. Bush was the worst thing that happened in my lifetime.”
The turning point for Spencer was in 2008 when he was living in Toronto, Canada. He was riding on a bus in the Canadian suburbs and realised that he was the only white person on the public transport.
“I remember being on a bus, on a suburb in Canada and being surrounded by non-white people – these were Asians, Muslims, Arabs and so on; and I was the only white person in the entire bus.
“In a way, I was at home with the fact that I was going to stick up for myself and for my people; that I didn’t just have to think of myself as an individual, I didn’t just assume that I was the majority and therefore I control society.
“I really could pursue identity politics and be at home with that and that I could be at home with myself.
“And yeah, that was a major influence – being in multicultural Toronto, no doubt,” said Spencer.
His movement has gone beyond his wildest dreams. From a webzine started from his apartment in Toronto, to becoming an icon for an entire generation of young men, not only in the United States, but in Europe as well.
He claims that a friend of his – Paul Ray Ramsey, or Ramzpaul as he’s popular on the internet – another prominent Alt-Right figure, was in a pub in Romania of all places, when a random person approached him and said ‘Are you Ramzpaul? I am Alt-Right sh*tlord!’ Sh*tlord referring to one of many of the loosely-defined movement’s online memes, which basically stands as a synonym for internet troll.
Clearly an example of the power of influence that the once-editor of an upper-class, conservative magazine is now resonating.
Richard Spencer is now focusing most of his energy on his new website – AltRight.com. At the same time he’s preparing for his big, 2017 tour around American college campuses where he will speak as a guest lecturer for students.