Politics

White Nationalist Leader Richard Spencer Defends Meager Conference Attendance Compared To BronyCon

White nationalist “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer still thinks his movement is ascendent despite getting far fewer attendees at his recent Washington, D.C. conference than a July conference where men dressed up like ponies.

The founder of the National Policy Institute and Radix Journal explained why in the latest episode of The Jamie Weinstein Show, where he also refused to condemn Adolf Hitler as evil, explained his white separatist vision for America, conceded his movement really has nothing whatsoever to do with conservatism and much more.

Listen:

Show Map: 

  • Spencer on his background (4:35)
  • Spencer’s vision for America (12:20)
  • On how his movement has nothing to do with conservatism (22:04)
  • Spencer’s conference vs BronyCon 2016 (34:42)
  • Spencer on the KKK and the Nazism (44:40)
  • Spencer on Trump, Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon (55:55)
  • Spencer on Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan (1:09:17)
  • On his Twitter ban (1:23:18)
  • On his influences (1:33:54)

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Spencer’s white nationalist conference in Washington, D.C. last weekend made news when video emerged showing audience members engaging in the infamous Nazi salute. But though Spencer believes his movement is on the rise in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, he was only able to attract between 200-300 people to his conference, a small fraction of the over 7,000 people who attended July’s BronyCon, an annual convention for grown men who adore My Little Pony.

“How many of those people attended my conference? That’s an interesting question,” Spencer initially responded, making fun of his own followers, when presented with the comparison.

Spencer then tried to explain that the meager attendance at his conference compared to BronyCon “shows the power of taboo.”

“The fact that people are more willing to say that ‘I am a ridiculous pervert who dresses up like My Little Pony,’ and they are more willing to say that than they are willing to say, ‘I care about my people and I’m a white man’ — that shows the power of taboo,” he argued.

But wasn’t Trump’s victory supposed to be a coming out party for the alt-right? Spencer then suggested his conference, which featured brilliant minds like washed-up reality TV star Tila Tequila, was tailored to a smaller, much more intellectual audience.

“It’s also a very heady conference,” Spencer argued. “It’s not like we’re having a big BronyCon. I don’t even want to know what they’re doing in there. I assume it’s a little bit less intellectually demanding. This is a conference with speakers, and panels, and ideas. So it doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Though Spencer says his is a non-violent movement, he was very reluctant to condemn violently racist movements like the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis.

“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.

Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon has been under fire since Trump named him a White House adviser for his supposed ties to the alt-right. Bannon has said Breitbart News is “the platform for the alt-right.” Spencer said Bannon, who he says he has met but doesn’t really know, is not alt-right himself, but may be open to some of the movement’s ideas.

“Steve Bannon is not the alt-right,” Spencer said. “I think there is some common ground there. And I think Steve Bannon like Trump is a fighter. He is not a cuck.”

Since Spencer’s interview with The Jamie Weinstein Show Monday, Donald Trump has spoken out forcefully against him and his movement.

“I don’t want to energize the group,” Trump told The New York Times. “I’m not looking to energize them. I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.”

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