ABC News, Saturday 20, October 2018
Richard Spencer — coiner of the phrase ‘alt-right’ — infamously yelled “Hail, Trump! Hail, our people! Hail, victory!” at a gathering shortly after the US presidential election in 2016.
He elicited cheers and Hitler salutes from the crowd of like-minded patriots.
But he also provoked derisive laughter from some liberal observers, who dismissed him and his acolytes as strutting clowns in Nazi drag.
Nobody was laughing nine months later when hundreds of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and anti-Semites — many of them armed with semiautomatic weapons — marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia at the Unite the Right rally in August 2017.
Standoffs between the marchers and anti-fascist protesters turned to violent rioting. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Charlottesville resident, was killed when a white supremacist deliberately drove his car into a crowd.
Suddenly the rise of organised homegrown fascism seemed a clear and present danger.
But the anniversary rally, Unite the Right 2 — which took place on August 12 this year in Washington DC — was a fizzer, with some two dozen far-right participants facing off against thousands of counter-protesters.
Ideological commitment or elaborate trolling?
Richard Spencer is the President of US white supremacist think tank The National Policy Institute and an advocate of the ‘peaceful ethnic cleansing’ of all non-whites from America.
He claims not to be a neo-Nazi, but his Hitler Youth haircut and dapper three-piece suits are pure Berlin 1939 chic… [+]