Hatewatch

NPI ‘Think Tank’ is Latest Racist Outfit to Move to NW Montana

Yet another organization with a white supremacist agenda — this one packaged as a “white nationalist think tank” — has moved its operations to northwestern Montana, leaving Georgia to join a rag-tag collection of some of the country’s leading racists and extremists.

The National Policy Institute (NPI), which enjoys tax-exempt status, now lists a post office box in Whitefish, Mont., where, public records show, its new director Richard Bertroud Spencer lives in a $3 million home. Spencer moved NPI to Montana after the late 2011 death of chairman Louis R. Andrews, documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service reveal.

On those documents filed annually with the IRS, the white nationalist institute lists thousands of dollars in expenses for a conference, a book, an educational video and a website — all devoted to “subjects of the U.S. and international social and scientific issues.”

A franker description of NPI’s program can be found on its website, which talks openly about its aims and bears the motto, “Our People, Our Culture, Our Future.” “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 says on his online recruiting video. “This is our challenge,” he says. “This is our calling. Won’t you join us?”

Spencer’s vision of whites being dispossessed has become a central idea of the white nationalist movement, first cogently expressed in a 1972 book by Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority. The reality, of course, is that whites have long enjoyed privileges not afforded to minorities, but Robertson and his white nationalist followers, including Spencer, have instead constructed a narrative in which whites are disingenuously pictured as the latest victims of social discrimination in America.

Spencer hasn’t said why he moved NPI to Montana, where his white nationalist organization joins an array of other extremist and antigovernment groups and individuals who have moved to Flathead County, especially Kalispell and Whitefish, in recent years. That trend was detailed in the Winter 2011 issue of SPLC’s Intelligence Report (“A Gathering of Eagles: Extremists Look to Montana”).

Earlier this month, the NPI drew national attention when it was discussed on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” “If you poke around on the website of the white supremacist — white nationalist — think tank, you can kind of see how they’re trying to update the whole racist image,” Maddow said. “So, yes, some of them are still kind of skinhead-looking guys. But they wear suits, you know, and some of them have hair.”

Spencer also operates Washington Summit Publishing, a company that sells books by racist intellectuals, including Jared Taylor, editor of the American Renaissance journal, and Sam Francis, who edited the journal of the Council of Conservative citizens until his death in 2005. Both publications dwell obsessively on the alleged failings of non-white people, while lauding a vision of a white-dominated America.

That’s not all Spencer does. The National Policy Institute has used the same post office box as Alternative Right, a racist blog started by Spencer in March 2010. Spencer says he stepped down as its editor in March 2012, but he’s still a frequent contributor there. Its current editors are listed as Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki.

In a posting last week on Alternative Right, Spencer accused Maddow of broadcasting a “hit piece,” unfairly linking him to Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine. Richwine, who co-authored a recent Heritage Foundation study making outlandish claims about the cost of immigration, resigned from the foundation last week after earlier material he’d written denigrating the intelligence of Latinos came to light.

Spencer also took exception to the suggestion that he had once expressed “bigoted rage at the idea of a Black woman being nominated for Vice President and that the GOP is becoming the party of ‘piñatas, burritos, and ‘Forget the Alamo’.” “[T]his is actually close to being the opposite of what I argue,” Spencer said. “My argument is that the GOP is not a multicultural party; it remains the White People’s Party, and its ‘outreach’ is based on assuaging White guilt, not actually becoming racially diverse.”

Spencer’s move to the northwestern United States has caught the attention of civil rights advocates there who say he won’t find the warm welcome he may expect.

“For decades, white supremacists have targeted Montana and the Pacific Northwest as a place to create their Aryan homeland,” Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network, told Hatewatch. But like other white supremacist activists who have come before him, including April Gaede,  Craig Cobb, Karl Gharst and many others, “Spencer is unlikely to find broad support,” Rivas added. “Many of these vocal activists spouting hate move to Montana, as Spencer has, and then find that the local population stands up against their message and instead supports a welcoming and loving vision for their community.”

Meanwhile, a Flathead County community group, Love Lives Here, has gained good public visibility recently and affiliated itself with the statewide Montana Human Rights Network. “The National Policy Institute’s hateful philosophy runs counter to [what] this community is, and I think the majority of our community continues to stand against this kind of hatred,” said Will Randall, a founder of the group.