Richard B. Spencer

Richard B. Spencer

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Updated May 07, 2020 at 01:56PM EDT by 13acab12.

Added May 18, 2017 at 03:09PM EDT by Matt.

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Richard B. Spencer is an American white supremacist made famous for founding the alt-right movement and coining the term "alt-right." His profile has raised significantly following the election of President Donald Trump, appearing on numerous news outlets as the face and spokesperson for the alt-right, who noted his clean style of dress and manner and overtly bigoted ideology.

Online History

In January 2007, Richard Spencer, then a PhD candidate at Duke University made a speech at a panel discussion regarding a Duke rape scandal, in which three members of Duke's lacrosse team were falsely accused of raping a female student.[1] Following his talk, he was asked to write a piece for The American Conservative. He soon dropped out of college to write for the magazine full time, pursuing a career in "thought crime."[12] Shortly after, he coined the term "alt-right." He told New York Magazine, "In this funny chain of events, the Duke lacrosse case changed the course of my career."[2]

Shortly after joining, he became editor of The American Conservative, but by December 2007, American Conservative founding editor Scott McConnell fired Spencer, whose views McConnell found too extreme.[3]

On March 1st, 2010, along with Colin Liddle, Spencer Launched, which the Atlantic later described as "white nationalist site."[5] In 2011, Spencer became the head of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute (NPI) and white nationalist publisher Washing Summit Publishers (WSP).

In 2012, the site made headlines when Alternative Right published Liddle's column "Is Black Genocide Right?"[6] The article, later deleted from the site, was the subject of much criticism.

One year later, Spencer shut the site down, citing the responsibilities of NPI and WSP had grown too much.

Shut Down

On April 20th, 2018, a letter from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law wrote[21] to the U.S. domain registrar GoDaddy about Spencer's website "" The site, they argued, violated the terms and conditions of GoDaddy with various content the broke the registrar's policies. The letter reads:

"By promoting illegal and violent acts in its articles,’s content has an impact beyond its published articles and encourages a downward spiral of violent and threatening posts in its comments section."

On May 3rd, 2018, the domain registrar GoDaddy shut down Spencer's "" GoDaddy closed the website following a complaint that the site was "actively inciting violence. Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee tweeted that the site had been shut down. She tweeted,[23] "BREAKING: We shut down Richard Spencer's Altright website. We will continue using every tool in our arsenal to confront white supremacists, the alt-right & those who incite violence and hate in our country. We applaud @GoDaddy for heeding our call and pulling the site." The post (shown below) received more than 2,000 retweets and 8,100 likes in 24 hours.

Kristen Clarke @KristenClarkeJD BREAKING: We shut down Richard Spencer's Altright website. We will continue using every tool in our arsenal to confront white supremacists, the alt-right & those who incite violence and hate in our country. We applaud @GoDaddy for heeding our call and pulling the site. April 20, 2018 Chief Esecutive Officer GoDaddy Ine 4435 Noth Haryden Roa Suile 219 Dear Mr. Wagner I am writing on behalf of the Lawyers Commiicc for Civil Rights Under Law Lawyers'Committee in egad o, a websihe for which CioDuldy provides domain registiration services is in clear violation of GoDaddy's lenns of service as it includes contem actively inciting violence particularly against racial and ethaic minceities. We write to alert you to the violaion nd to call on CoDaddy to remove the offending websile for its violations of the company's lerms of service and for inciting violence agpinst minority groups The Lawyers Commiee for Civil Rights Under Law lawyers Comminee") is non-profit organiation formed it 1963 at the roqued of Presidem John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's resources in combating racial disorimination and the nesuling inequality of opportunity. The Lawyers' Commitice for Civil Rights Under Law principal mission is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law argeting in perticular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and cthnic minonities As a civil rights organization, we appreciate thal you take your responsibilities scriouly with respect to the infreiructure of the internet, and the attendant concenss negarding free speech and air process, We appland your prlor ction in ending services to the Daily Stormer in 201 7, after the she included hatefial comtent in the wake of the deadly Unise the Righe white nationalist raly in Charlottesvillie In esplaining the decision to end its relationship with the Daily Stormer, a spokesman for GoDaddy esplained that, in inveances where a sine crosses over to promocine

Atlantic Video

Following the President Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, Spencer held a NPI conference in Washington, D.C. During his keynote address, on November 19th, 2016, Spencer was videotaped by The Atlantic performing Nazi hand signals and saying, "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" The final saying is a translation of the Nazi credo "Sieg heil." He also said of Jews, “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem."[4] The video by The Atlantic (shown below) has been viewed more than 2.6 million times as of May 2017.

Roland Martin Interview

Days after the NPI conference, Spencer appeared on News One Now television program to debate the journalist Roland Martin. The video went viral after Martin rebutted Spencer by saying:

“You and your people have had a great head start – a tremendous head start. When you have a head start, that means you’re scared to compete. See, I know some other whites out there who are not white nationalists, who aren’t afraid of competition, who are not afraid of this…We’re not going anywhere. As my frat brother Jewel Vertner Woodson Tandy said in 1937, ‘We will fight until hell freezes over and then we will fight on the ice.'”

The video (shown below) received more than 320,000 views as of May 2017.

Richard Spencer Punched in the Face

On January 20th, 2017, the day of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, Richard B. Spencer, a leading figure of alt-right and the president of the white supremacist think-tank group National Policy Institute, participated in a street interview with an Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) correspondent and documentary filmmakers at the corner of 14th and K Streets in downtown Washington D.C.

In the middle of the interview, several masked protesters approach Spencer from behind the camera to confront his stance on neo-Nazism, during which he is suddenly punched in the face by a hooded assailant while trying to explain the significance of his Pepe lapel pin. Later that same day, video footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube by RawStory reporter Sarah Burris and the ABC website.

Second Punch to the Face

Later the same day, Spencer was punched in the face a second time.[19] While this was reported, the punch was not caught on film and did not become popular knowledge until late in the evening on January 25th, 2017, when @babycommie666[20] tweeted photographs of the punch taking place. The tweet quickly grew popular, amassing over 30,000 retweets in less than a day.


The photographs led to another round of celebrations on Twitter, which was covered by The Fader.[21]

OI' QWERTY Bastard @TheDiLLon1 Follow Please let punching Richard Spencer be the new planking/ALS challenge GOODBTE WHITE LIVES GOODBYE RETWEETS 999 1,920 LIKES WHENYOUIRETRYING TO SPREAD WHITE SUPREMACY BUT KEEPGETTING PUNCHED IN PUBLIC BY WHITE PEOPLE MAYBE IT'S TIME TO CONSIDER A CAREER CHANGE? POST MAN Follow MatthewPWells Richard Spencer is back on the good foot. And This time he's not taking crap from any- GIF RETWEETSL LIKES 56 113

Torch Rally

On May 13th, Spencer and a group of white supremacists protested the removal of a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. During the rally, he led demonstrators in chants of "You will not replace us" and "Russia is our friend."[16] Protesters of the rally brought tiki torches, generally used to encase citronella candles designed to keep bugs away (shown below). Spencer[17] tweeted a picture of himself holding one of the torches, which received more than 300 retweets and 1,000 likes.

RichardSpencer @RichardBSpencer #torchlight

That weekend another photo of Spencer in an ill-fitting suit went viral with many criticizing his appearance. On May 13th, an Anonymous 4chan user posted the picture of Spencer under the name "Damn, Richard Spencer Looks Like THAT?"[18] The thread received 70 comments before being archived/ The picture (shown below) was also shared on Twitter, where it was subject to photoshops and image macros.

Matthew A. Cherry @MatthewACherry Alt-Bite Mr. Patriarch @patriarch mr Every time you tweet a flashing GIF at Kurt Eichenwald, Richard gets stronger


Since coming to public light, Spencer has been denounced by numerous critics as a racist and anti-Semite. In 2013, the Anti-Defamation League called him a "symbol of a new generation of intellectual white supremacists," who "runs a variety of ventures that promote racist ideology."[7]

Spencer has denied claims that he is a bigot, choosing the term "identitarian," believing in a "peaceful ethnic cleansing," denouncing immigration, multiculturalism, homosexuality, feminism and political correctness.[11] Despite his claims, he has been observed making anti-Semitic remarks and using Nazi imagery and propaganda.[4] To this end, he has called for the creation of a "white ethno-state" on the North American continent.

Alt-Right Magazine Profiles

In late 2017, Spencer became the subject of several magazine profiles in which writers focused on his phyisical appearance, particularly in regards to his hair style and dress. The Los Angeles Times,[8] Mother Jones,[3] and the Washington Post,[10] all of whom both published articles and photos of Spencer "glamorizing" his style of manner and dress, were accused of normalizing white supremacy, white nationalism, and bigotry.[9] People on Twitter were quick to express their outrage.

San @sansdn It's not even been 2 weeks since the election and these publications are profiling Nazis like they're hip entrepreneurs or something Los Angeles Times @latimes Times Meet the new think tank in town: The "alt-right" comes to Washington Margaux Susi @MargauxSusi Oh, did you mean NEO-NAZ, @latimes? Um...hardly the "new think tank" want to meet. Los Angeles Times@latimes Meet the new think tank in town: The "alt-right" comes to Washington

Banned from Most of Europe

In late it was reported that 26 countries have banned Richard Spencer from entering, including France, Germany, Finland, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.[19] [20]. When asked about how he felt he had this to say:

"I'm being treated like a criminal by the Polish government. It's just insane," he said. "I haven't done anything. What are they accusing me of?"

This was right before he had plans to travel to Poland for a far-right conference in Warsaw earlier that month, which he had to cancel.

Personal Life

Born in Boston, MA Richard Spencer, the son of a Opthamologist and a cotton farm heiress, grew up in Dallas, Texas. In 2011, he moved to Whitefish, Montana, where his mother owns a vacation home.[13] According to Mother Jones:[14]

Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.

The Spencer family's farms are also subsidized by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in US farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.

Spencer's mother, Sherry, has said that her son's extreme ideology has hurt her real estate. Spencer listed her address as the mailing address for the National Policy Institute, which led to a "troll storm" of neo-Nazis in the small mountain town.[15] Many in the community, however, blamed Sherry for bringing a presence of anti-Semitism, which led to the harassment of Jewish residents.

In October 2016, Spencer and his wife Nina Kouprianova separated. She now lives in Montana with their daughter.

Abuse Allegations

On October 23rd, 2018, BuzzFeed [24] reported that Richard Spencer's wife, in their divorce filings, accused Spencer of being physically and emotionally abusive. Kouprianova accuses Spencer of physical violence, stating that she had been hit, grabbed, dragged by the hair and held down in a manner that caused bruising."

In court filings, Spencer said, "I dispute many of her assertions." He also "denies each, every, and all allegations."

In addition to testimony, the court filings also included screenshots of conversations with between Spencer and Kourprianova about the incidents. In their conversations, she details various injuries (examples below).

Did you arrive back つ Unboxed Yeah, apart from seeing the bruises on my wrists and knees from yesterday's adventure down your staircase that you sent me on, the trip back went without major incident. 1/4/11 ☆| ← to me Are you working tonight? 1/4/11* No. to me Can we talk? Source: Email communication, January 2011 K AFFIDAVIT FOR INTERIM PARENTING PLAN//5/30/18 27 Sub-Exhibit 21 Your Mom inbox Was your mom able to figure out the iPad? 718/14 7014 She was very happy, but hasn't had the time to sit down with me to set it up yet. To be perfectly honest, I am not ready to converse with you after what you've done. My jaw is bruised. to me Iunderstand. I'm sorry, and I feel terrible. Source: Email communication, July 2014

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Duke lacrosse case

[2] New York Magazing – The Duke Lacrosse Scandal and the Birth of the Alt-Right

[3] Mother Jones – Meet the White Nationalist Trying to Ride the Trump Train to Lasting Power

[4] The New York Times – Alt-Right Gathering Exults in Trump Election With Nazi-Era Salute

[5] The Atlantic – Jason Richwine Says He's No Racist, Has Tough Time Spotting Racism

[6] Alternative Right – Is Black Genocide Right?

[7] ADL – Richard Spencer: A Symbol Of The New White Supremacy

[8] The Los Angeles Times – White nationalists dress up and come to Washington in hopes of influencing Trump

[9] Heat Street (via Wayback Machine) – LA Times and Mother Jones Under Fire for Glamorizing White Supremacist

[10] The Washington Post – ‘Let’s party like it’s 1933’: Inside the alt-right world of Richard Spencer

[11] The Inevitablity of Gay Marriage (via Wayback Machine)

[12] – About

[13] The Atlantic – His Kampf

[14] Mother Jones – White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gets His Money From Louisiana Cotton Fields--and the US Government

[15] The Guardian – How Richard Spencer's home town weathered a neo-Nazi 'troll storm'

[16] The Washington Post – White nationalist Richard Spencer leads torch-bearing protesters defending Lee statue

[17] Twitter – @RichardBSpencer's Tweet

[18] 4chan – Damn, Richard Spencer looks like THAT?!

[19] CTV News – White nationalist reportedly banned from 26 European nations

[20] Internation Business Times – White nationalist Richard Spencer banned from 26 countries in EU

[21] fnX. Lawyers Committee – Letter to GoDaddy

[22] Newsweek – Richard Spencer’s ‘White Supremacist’ Website Taken Offline

[23] Twitter – @KristenClarkeJD's Tweet

[24] BuzzFeed News – White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s Wife Says In Divorce Filings That He Physically And Emotionally Abused Her

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