Richard Bertrand Spencer

As head of the National Policy Institute (NPI), Richard Spencer is 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.

About Richard Bertrand Spencer

Spencer advocates for an Aryan homeland for the supposedly dispossessed white race and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture. But even some of the Europeans he lionizes have rejected him; in October 2014, his attempt to hold an NPI conference in Budapest, Hungary, resulted in his arrest and expulsion.

In His Own Words

“Martin Luther King Jr., a fraud and degenerate in his life, has become the symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization. We must overcome!”

– National Policy Institute column, January 2014

“Immigration is a kind a proxy war—and maybe a last stand—for White Americans, who are undergoing a painful recognition that, unless dramatic action is taken, their grandchildren will live in a country that is alien and hostile.”

– National Policy Institute column, February 2014

“Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence."

– Quoted by Vice, October 2013

“When we hear any professional ‘Latino’ support this or that social program, we sense in our guts that her policy proscriptions are rationalizations for nationalism. She might say ‘more immigration is good’; she means ‘The Anglos are finished!’”

– Speech at the 2013 American Renaissance conference

“What blocks our progress is the meme that has been carefully implanted in White people’s minds over the course of decades of programming, from Mississippi Burning to Lee Daniel's The Butler—that any kind of positive racial feeling among Whites is inherently evil and stupid and derives solely from bigotry and resentment. And that the political and social advancement of non-Whites is inherently moral and wonderful.”

– National Policy Institute column, September 2013


Richard Spencer’s clean-cut appearance conceals a radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in North America. His writings and speeches portray this as a reasonable defense of Caucasians and Eurocentric culture. In Spencer’s myopic worldview, white people have been “dispossessed” by a combination of rising minority birth rates, immigration, and government policies he abhors.

Fighting that alleged dispossession is the focus of the tax-exempt organization he heads, the National Policy Institute (NPI). According to NPI’s mission statement, it aims “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute ... will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.”

Spencer became president of NPI in 2011, following the death of its chairman, longtime white nationalist Louis R. Andrews. Concurrently, he oversees NPI’s publishing division, Washington Summit Publishers, home of such scientifically bogus works as a 2015 reissue of Richard Lynn's Race Differences in Intelligence and screeds by other white nationalists, including Jared Tay­lor, editor of the racist Amer­i­can Renais­sance journal, and Sam Francis, the late editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens’ newsletter. In 2012, Spencer launched an offshoot of Washington Summit Publishers that he called Radix Journal, a website and biannual publication whose contributors include notorious anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald, a retired professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Described as a leading “academic racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Spencer takes a quasi-intellectual approach to white separatism. In an online NPI recruiting video, he employs the tone of a sociologist discussing demographics:

“As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession.”

Spencer acquired that academic tone while obtaining a bachelor’s degree from at the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago. It is part of an image-conscious strategy meant to appeal to educated, middle-class whites. He dresses neatly, eschews violence, and works to sound rational.

“We have to look good,” he told writer Lauren Fox, because no one is going to want to join a movement that is “crazed or ugly or vicious or just stupid.”

In 2007, after obtaining his master’s degree, Spencer took a job as assistant editor at American Conservative magazine, where he was later fired for his radical views, according to former colleague J. Arthur Bloom. Following that, Spencer became executive editor of the paleoconservative website, Taki’s Magazine. In 2010, Spencer founded AlternativeRight, a supremacy-themed webzine aimed at the “intellectual right wing,” where he remained until joining NPI.

One of Spencer’s first acts after taking over NPI was to move its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Whitefish, Mont., where he lives, in a region where hate and antigovernment groups have been fairly numerous. But if Spencer is eyeing Whitefish as a locale for his Aryan homeland, he faces significant opposition. In December 2014, the Whitefish City Council debated an anti-hate ordinance barring groups such as NPI from assembling in the community. After concerns were raised about free speech, the council ultimately settled on a resolution supporting diversity and tolerance.

Spencer spoke at that council meeting, saying the anti-hate ordinance would have granted the right to “police our minds” but claiming that he supported the diversity and tolerance resolution. “But real diversity includes thinking differently,” the Flathead Beacon quoted him as saying. “Real diversity is not people of all different shapes and colors acting the same way. That is the diversity of a Coke commercial.”

Real diversity and tolerance apparently only go so far, however. In an address at white supremacist Jared Taylor’s 2013 American Renaissance conference, Spencer called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” As an example of how this could be accomplished, he cited the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, where new national boundaries were formed at the end of World War I. “Today, in the public imagination, ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been associated with civil war and mass murder (understandably so),” Spencer said. “But this need not be the case. 1919 is a real example of successful ethnic redistribution—done by fiat, we should remember, but done peacefully.”

Spencer also has termed his mission a “sort of white Zionism,” that would inspire whites with the dream of such a homeland just as Zionism helped spur the establishment of Israel. A white ethno-state would be an Altneuland—an old, new country—he said, attributing the term to Theodor Herzl, a founding father of Zionism.

Such historical comparisons show how desperate Spencer is to legitimize his agenda. After all, if white people are dispossessed, why shouldn’t they get a homeland, too? The problem, of course, is that white Americans have not been dispossessed, no matter how often that claim is made by ideologues of the racist right.

But Spencer is doing his best to make it seem that they are. When the 2011 census revealed that for the first time the majority of children born in the United States are non-white, Spencer concluded that efforts to restrict immigration were “meaningless” going forward. “Even if all immigration, legal and illegal, were miraculously halted tomorrow morning, our country’s demographic destiny would merely be delayed by a decade or two,” he told the American Renaissance audience. “Put another way, we could win the immigration battle and nevertheless lose the country, and lose it completely.”

Although Spencer has repeatedly denied that he is a racist, his protests amount to a semantic debate over what “racist” means. “Racist isn’t a descriptive word. It’s a pejorative word. It is the equivalent of saying, ‘I don’t like you.’ ‘Racist’ is just a slur word,” he told the Flathead Beacon. “I think race is real, and I think race is important. And those two principles do not mean I want to harm someone or hate someone. But the notion that these people can be equal is not a scientific way of looking at it.”

Elsewhere, he has decried what he terms an overly expansive definition of racism by “Cultural Marxists.” In a 2013 NPI column, he wrote:

“But for most academics and policy-makers—who could be referred to as ‘Cultural Marxists’—the definition of ‘racism’ is much, much more expansive; it encompasses culture, ‘privilege,’ societal assumptions and values, and all sorts of things they deem to be expressions of power. The hetero-normative marriage, Christmas, nationalist soccer fandom can each be considered ‘racist,’ in that each is an avatar of European civilization and consciousness—and thus an obstacle for ‘multicultural’ globalism.”

Spencer has said he would gladly accept Germans, Latins, and Slavic immigrants in his proposed ethno-state—ironically, groups that faced severe discrimination in late 19th century America. These foreigners and their customs, including Catholicism, spurred the creation of Know-Nothing societies, which eventually became known as the American Party. Pseudo-scientific studies were released, such as Carl Brigham’s “A Study of Human Intelligence” (1923), that claimed that Slavs and Italians, among others, were of inferior intelligence.

But today, kielbasa is considered as American as apple pie, and these non-Anglo Saxons are embraced by Spencer because of their white skins. They have assimilated.

To Spencer, however, assimilation is a “deceptive” term. In his forward to a new edition of racist eugenicist Madison Grant’s 1933 Conquest of a Continent, Spencer wrote:

“Hispanic immigrants have been assimilating downward across generations towards the culture and behavior of African-Americans. Indeed, one possible outcome of the ongoing demographic transformation is a thoroughly miscegenated, and thus homogenous and ‘assimilated,’ nation, which would have little resemblance to the White America that came before it.”

 Indeed, this applies to the European “motherland” as well. In a promo for NPI’s 2013 Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Spencer opined that both Europe and America are experiencing economic, moral and cultural bankruptcy under the pressure of “mass immigration, multiculturalism, and the natural expression of religious and ethnic identities by non-Europeans.”

Spencer’s efforts to reach out to European nationalists have not gone well, however. In October 2014, his attempt to hold an NPI conference in Budapest, Hungary, resulted in his arrest and expulsion. Dubbed the 2014 European Congress, the conference featured an array of white nationalists from both Europe and America. Among the scheduled speakers were Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, Philippe Vardon from the far-right French Bloc Identitaire movement, Russian ultranationalist Alexander Dugin, and right-wing Hungarian extremist MP Márton Gyöngyösi. 

Before the conference even started, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a statement condemning “all xenophobic and exclusionary organisations that discriminate based on religion or ethnicity.” Planned reservations at the Larus Center venue were cancelled. On Oct. 3, Spencer was arrested while meeting informally with other participants at a café that was to have been an alternate venue. He was jailed for three days, deported, and banned for three years from entering all 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other controls at their common borders. 

Back in America, stronger free speech protections enable Spencer to hold such conferences. But even though he idealizes an American society founded by European whites, he rejects the principles of egalitarianism enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Indeed, he takes issue with conservatives who advocate returning America to its “founding principles.” Even if that did happen, the outcome would be the same, according to Spencer: “One should not rewind a movie, play it again, and then be surprised when it reaches the same unhappy ending.”

“Should we, for instance, really be fighting for ‘limited government’ or the Constitution, so that the Afro-Mestizo-Caribbean Melting Pot can enjoy the blessing of liberty and a sound currency?” he asked the American Renaissance gathering.

In Spencer’s ethno-state there would be no such problems. In a July 3, 2014, column in NPI’s Radix Journal, he lauded Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens’ “greatest address,” in which Stephens said that Thomas Jefferson was wrong about “all men being created equal.”

Spencer endorsed that sentiment, saying, “Ours, too, should be a declaration of difference and distance—‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created unequal.’ In the wake of the old world, this will be our proposition.”

At every NPI event there is a book fair, and NPI’s publishing division, Washington Summit Publishers, also offers its white nationalist titles on its own website and through sites such as Here is a sampling:

Samuel Francis, editor

Fourteen scholars and experts on race and ethnicity reveal how race and ethnic differences have shaped America's cultural, historical, and political landscape. Each contributor examines the impact of racial differences on American society, from religion and politics to Southern history and sociobiology, and explains why biological racial differences are neither myth nor social invention, but significantly shape virtually every aspect of America's political, social, economic and cultural landscape.

— description

By Richard Lynn

This comprehensive review of worldwide racial differences of general intelligence explores the formation of races, meaning of intelligence, validity of race differences in IQ, environmental and genetic correlates of intelligence, the relationship between brain size and intelligence, the evolution of racial differences in intelligence, and the factor of racial hybrids.

— description

Richard B. Spencer, editor

The experience of European peoples worldwide can be said to be distinctly post-Apartheid, post-colonial, and post-national. The White man lives in a world his race once dominated and in which Black and Brown are now colonizers, in which European heritage is being taken away piece by piece: cultural heroes, literature, popular icons, identity ultimately, everything.

—Washington Summit Publishers description

By Byron Roth

Any policy of mass immigration will be profoundly constrained by fundamental features of human psychology, prominent among them is a natural bias toward one’s own kind and a wariness and suspicion of — if not hostility towards — others. The prospect for social harmony in multi-ethnic societies is thus problematic at best, and difficulties are compounded when groups differ in ability and temperament in non-trivial ways.

—Washington Summit Publishers description


By Tatu Vanhannen 

The limits of democratization discussed in this book reflect the evolved diversity of life. This means that all nations do not have equal chances to establish and maintain democratic systems. A central conclusion is that it is probably never possible to achieve the same level and quality of democracy in all countries of the world because of the impact of the two ultimate constraining factors (annual mean temperature and national IQ).

—Washington Summit Publishers description