Richard Spencer

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Richard Spencer is an American white nationalist, member of the latest embodiment of the neo-nazi movement called the Alt-right, and even claims to have created the term 'Alternative Right'. He is president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think-tank, and of Washington Summit Publishers, an independent publishing firm, both since 2011.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 'Spencer advocates for an Aryan homeland for the supposedly dispossessed white race and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture.' [1]


Early Life

Growing up in a wealthy part of Dallas in the 1990s, Richard Bertrand Spencer attended St. Mark's School of Texas, an elite, all-boys prep school long associated with blue-blooded conservatism. He graduated high school in 1997 and went on to the University of Virginia, where he double-majored in music and English and became deeply involved in avant-garde theater. The writings of Friedrich Nietzsche made a lasting impression, especially his unapologetic embrace of 'great men'. After entering the humanities master's program at the University of Chicago, he discovered Jared Taylor, a self-proclaimed 'race realist' who argues that blacks and Hispanics are a genetic drag on Western society. [2]


Spencer started his career as an Assistant Editor at the American Conservative magazine in 2007. After a few months, founding editor Scott McConnell claims that Spencer was fired because his views were too extreme. [2] He went on to be Executive Editor of Taki's Magazine (2008- December 2009) [2], and in 2010 he founded his own website named, website which he edited until 2012.[1]

In January 2011, he became both Executive Director of Washington Summit Publishers and President and Director of the National Policy Institute. [2]

In 2012, Spencer founded Radix Journal as a biannual publication of Washington Summit Publishers. Contributors have included Kevin MacDonald, Alex Kurtagic, Samuel Francis, and Derek Turner. He also hosts a weekly podcast, Vanguard Radio. [1]


After interviewing him in October 2016, Mother Jones reported that 'with his blandly named National Policy Institute, Spencer aspires to the stature of today's Heritage Foundation or Cato Institute'. [2]


Failed far-right conference in Hungary

In November 2014, Spencer and his team at the National Policy Institute (including Jared Taylor from American Renaissance and William Regnery, the founder of NPI) attempted to stage a far-right conference in order to link up white supremacist activists from Europe. Such an attempt failed as the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán banned the conference, even ordering police to arrest anyone trying to organize the event, in a surprise attempt to pander to his 'moderate' conservative voters. Spencer was arrested in a Budapest pub when he tried to organize a casual gathering of the conference’s attendees, and spent three days in prison. When Slate met Taylor in Budapest, he compared the emails Spencer had kept on sending from jail to Martin Luther King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail.

Despite the fact that the government had forbidden the gathering and a risk of arrest, 70 of the 135 registered attendees showed up from around Europe. Slate reports that Spencer's arrest turned him into a martyr on white supremacist chat rooms. 'His arrest may have inadvertently done more to help the American white supremacists connect with Europe’s far-right groups than anything else.' [3]

November 2016 Conference in Washington D.C.

The annual National Policy Institute, held a few weeks after Trump's victory, was also widely reported by the media. Although the speeches and discussion were made 'presentable' during the day (when most journalists were still there), the Atlantic reported that in the evening, 'Spencer rose and delivered a speech to his followers dripping with anti-Semitism, and leaving no doubt as to what he actually seeks'.

'America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.'

He referred to the mainstream media as 'Lügenpresse', a term originally used by Nazis, and yelled 'Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!' to an excited crowd, some individuals even responding with Nazi salutes. [4]


On Race

  • Described as a leading 'academic racist' by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Spencer takes a quasi-intellectual approach to white separatism. For instance, in an online NPI recruiting video, he employs the tone of a sociologist discussing demographics:
'As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession.'
  • Spencer has termed his mission a 'sort of white Zionism', to inspire Whites to seek a homeland. He was heavily influenced by the father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, as he attributes the name of his ethno-state, Altneuland, to him. In a speech he gave at white supremacist Jared Taylor’s 2013 American Renaissance conference, Spencer called for 'peaceful ethnic cleansing.' As an example of how this could be accomplished, he cited the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, where new national boundaries were formed at the end of World War I:
'Today, in the public imagination, "ethnic cleansing" has been associated with civil war and mass murder (understandably so). But this need not be the case. 1919 is a real example of successful ethnic redistribution—done by fiat, we should remember, but done peacefully.' [1]
  • Spencer also believes that Whites have been 'dispossessed' by a combination of rising minority birth rates, immigration, and government policies that promote multiculturalism, while Hispanics and African Americans have lower average IQs than whites and are more genetically predisposed to commit crimes. [2] Because they are deemed 'inferior', Spencer argues that both Europe and America are undergoing economic, moral and cultural bankruptcy through 'mass immigration, multiculturalism, and the natural expression of religious and ethnic identities by non-Europeans.' [1]
  • In an Interview with Vice, 2013:
'Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence.'[1]
'What blocks our progress is the meme that has been carefully implanted in White people’s minds over the course of decades of programming, from Mississippi Burning to Lee Daniel's The Butler—that any kind of positive racial feeling among Whites is inherently evil and stupid and derives solely from bigotry and resentment. And that the political and social advancement of non-Whites is inherently moral and wonderful.'[1]

On immigration

'Immigration is a kind a proxy war—and maybe a last stand—for White Americans, who are undergoing a painful recognition that, unless dramatic action is taken, their grandchildren will live in a country that is alien and hostile.' [1]

Other 'alt-right' figures

'He believes the movement is being pulled in a more moderate direction—if you can call it that—by Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon, formerly the executive chairman of Breitbart News, and Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos. Spencer says the Breitbart faction wants to jettison overt racial ideas and instead defend "Western values" and fight "political correctness." He dubs them "alt-light".' [2]


During his career, Spencer has joined the Property and Freedom Society [5] and the HL Mencken Club [6], and has attended the American Renaissance conference. [7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 RICHARD BERTRAND SPENCER, Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 24 November 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Josh Harkinson, MEET THE WHITE NATIONALIST TRYING TO RIDE THE TRUMP TRAIN TO LASTING POWER, Mother Jones, Oct 27, 2016.
  3. Martin Gellin, America’s white supremacists are ignored at home. So they are looking to start over with a little help from Europe’s far right, Slate, November 13 2014. Accessed 23 November 2016.
  4. DANIEL LOMBROSO AND YONI APPELBAUM, 'Hail Trump!': White Nationalists Salute the President Elect, The Atlantic, November 21 2016. Accessed 24 November 2016.
  5. PFS 2010 - Richard Spencer, The “Alternative Right” in America, Vimeo, June 2010. Accessed 24 November 2016.
  6. Richard Spencer, Facing the Future as a Minority, National Policy Institute, 30 April 2013. Accessed 24 November 2016.
  7. RICHARD SPENCER KICKS OFF THE FOURTH ANNUAL HLMC MEETING, H.L. Mencken Club, May 6, 2013, Accessed 24 November 2016.