|“||As Europeans, we are, uniquely, at the center of history. Think of the concepts that are now designated 'problematic' and associated with whiteness -- power, strength, beauty, agency, accomplishment. Whites do and other groups don’t. For us, it is conquer or die. This is a unique burden for the white man, that our fate is entirely in our hands.||„|
|~ Richard Spencer, November 2016|
Richard Bertrand Spencer (born May 11, 1978) is an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist. He is president of the National Policy Institute (NPI), a white supremacist think tank, as well as Washington Summit Publishers. Spencer rejects the labels white supremacist and neo-Nazi, considers himself a white nationalist, a white identitarian, and the equivalent of a "Zionist" for white people. A man with a god complex, Spencer created the term "Alt-Right", which he considers a movement based on "white identity". Spencer advocates white-European unity, a "peaceful ethnic cleansing" of nonwhites from America, and the creation of a "new world order."
Spencer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of ophthalmologist Rand Spencer and Sherry Spencer (née Dickenhorst), whose family had cotton farms in Louisiana. He grew up in Preston Hollow, Dallas, Texas. In 1997, he graduated from St. Mark's School of Texas. After graduation, Spencer attended one year of school at Colgate University before transferring to the University of Virginia.
In 2001, Spencer received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Music from the University of Virginia and, in 2003, a Master of Arts in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. He spent the summers of 2005 and 2006 at the Vienna International Summer University. From 2005 to 2007, he was a PhD student at Duke University studying modern European intellectual history, where he was a member of the Duke Conservative Union. His website says he left Duke before completion of his dissertation and degree "to pursue a life of thought-crime"
Spencer has publicly engaged in Nazi rhetoric on many occasions, for which he has been criticized by the political mainstream, as well as by many fellow white nationalists, who believe that Spencer's flamboyant rhetoric and persona marginalize their movement. In early 2016, Spencer was filmed giving the Nazi salute in a karaoke bar. After Donald Trump was elected President, Spencer urged his supporters to "party like it's 1933," a reference to the year in which Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. In the weeks following the election, at a National Policy Institute conference, Spencer quoted Nazi propaganda and denounced Jews, and he also used the German term Lügenpresse ("lying press") to vilify journalists. Later, in response to Spencer's cry "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!", a number of his supporters gave the Nazi salute and chanted in a similar fashion to the Sieg Heil chant used at the Nazis' Nuremberg rallies. Spencer later called Trump's election "the victory of will", a phrase evoking the title of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will (1935), a Nazi-era propaganda film. Spencer has expressed admiration for the tactics of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, who in Spencer's view used "shock [as] a positive means to an end". He has also spoken in favor of ethnic cleansing against non-whites and is a proponent of the Northwest Territorial Imperative.
Under oath, Spencer has been accused of repeatedly beating, threatening, and verbally abusing his ex-wife Nina Kouprianova, who has provided hours of recordings and text messages to the press in order to substantiate her allegations. According to media reports, the recordings and text messages show, for example, Spencer telling his wife that he will "fucking break [her] nose," encouraging her to commit suicide, and apologizing for previous incidents of physical abuse. Spencer denies the allegations, and he also says that his statement that he will break his wife's nose and his other ostensible threats against her (as recorded on the tapes) were merely expressions of frustration with his wife that were not intended to be interpreted literally.
Spencer's critics argue that his speech and conduct lead to violence, a charge which he rejects. Spencer was a featured speaker at the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which an alt-right supporter drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring at least 19 others. Spencer denies any role or culpability in the attack, but has been sued for allegedly acting as a "gang boss" at Charlottesville and inciting the killing. After three other supporters of Spencer were charged with attempted homicide following Spencer's October 2017 speech at the University of Florida, Ohio State and several other universities cancelled Spencer's appearances, describing his presence as a menace to public safety.
The majority of European nations, including the entire Schengen Area, and nations with nationalist governments, have banned Spencer and condemned his "racial European" message and his call for a "white racial empire". While promoting his message in a controversial speaking tour in Hungary, Spencer was mocked by the Hungarian newspaper Népszabadság for his call for "a white Imperium" through a revival of the Roman Empire, and for his claim to be a "racial European", ideas that the newspaper called contrived and without any basis in European history. In the aftermath of the controversy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pressed through legislative measures which banned his entry and condemned Spencer. The government of Poland has also banned him from entering the country and condemned Spencer, citing Spencer's Nazi rhetoric, the anti-Polish and anti-Slavic racism of the Nazis, and the Nazis' genocide of Slavic Untermenschen during World War II. In July 2018, Spencer was detained at Keflavík Airport in Reykjavík, Iceland en route to Sweden and was ordered by Polish officials to return to the United States; the successful effort of the Poles to ban Spencer from other parts of Europe arises from the Schengen Agreement.
- Richard Spencer had the qualifications necessary to receive a PhD, but withdrew.
- Richard Spencer was infamously punched in the face live during an interview.
- Him along with Lauren Southern and Mike Cernovich were the subjects of a 2020 Atlantic Documentary called “White Noise”, which explored the Alt-Right.