The Atlantic published a video on Monday that shows attendees of a white nationalist conference giving Nazi salutes and cheering as movement leader Richard B. Spencer, who has been credited with coining the term “alt-right,” delivers a speech describing the U.S. as “a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity…it belongs to us.”
Spencer was giving the closing speech over the weekend at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. at the annual conference of the National Policy Institute (NPI), a far-right think tank which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as one of the four most influential groups leading the “academic racism” sector.
The SPLC separately describes Spencer as “one of the country’s most successful young white nationalist leaders—a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old, a kind of professional racist in khakis.”
The Atlantic‘s video is something of a preview for an upcoming documentary profile on Spencer, set to be released in December 2016. It depicts him at a podium stating, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” as the crowd cheers and many attendees stand to hold out their arms in a heil Hitler salute.
“No one will honor us for losing gracefully,” he says in an excerpt of a 30-minute speech. “No one mourns the great crimes committed against us. For us, it is conquer or die.”
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He also refers to the media by the German word “Lügenpresse,” which translates to “lying press”—a term coined in the early 1900s and popularized by the Hitler regime to attack critics and stir up hatred toward minorities, particularly Jews.
“One wonders if these people are people at all? Or instead soulless golems animated by some dark power,” he continues, referring to a creature from Jewish folklore, “to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before.”
“America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” he says. “It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum condemned the rhetoric in a statement on Monday, warning that the call to “conquer or die” closely echoes Hitler’s views and calls to action.
“The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words,” the statement reads. “The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.”
Lacy MacAuley, a member of the D.C. Antifascist Coalition who took part in protests against the NPI conference, wrote in an op-ed for Common Dreams on Tuesday, “If anyone were looking for overt signs that fascists are coming out of the closet, this is it. The white supremacists celebrated Trump’s victory last week, and are taking a threatening victory lap.”
“We are living in a dangerous time when they feel comfortable enough to bring their ideology of hate straight into our government buildings,” MacAuley writes. “Now, more than ever, the Alt Right, the white supremacists, and the fascists, are coming out of the woodwork to try to gain currency in the policy circles in Washington, D.C. And now, more than ever, we must stand up to oppose them.”
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