Christopher Cantwell, a prolific white supremacist radio host, put his broadcasting work on hiatus, citing “serious personal problems” as the reason behind his decision in a post on his website.
“I’ve been neglecting to deal with some serious personal problems for a very long time,” Cantwell wrote Tuesday in a post titled “Learning My Lesson.” “I kept on telling myself that if I could just get beyond this or that obstacle, I would finally be able to decompress and lick my wounds and recover.”
Cantwell, who hosts two self-produced shows, “Radical Agenda” and “Outlaw Conservative,” did not specify when he would return to his work.
“I need to stop, avoid recording devices, and pull myself together,” he concluded. “I’ll be back as soon as I can be.”
News of Cantwell’s hiatus comes amid well-publicized turmoil surrounding his life.
Cantwell rose to fame during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, when he appeared in a VICE documentary that went viral in the event’s aftermath. The rally, which was planned by leaders of the “alt-right” movement, collapsed into chaos and made the rise of white supremacy in America a national news story. Last December, James Fields, a man who marched with white supremacists at that event, was found guilty of murdering antiracist demonstrator Heather Heyer in a car-ramming incident.
Following “Unite the Right,” Cantwell was charged with a series of crimes related to altercations that took place on the night of Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, when he tangled on video with antiracist activists who were protesting the white nationalists who had gathered in the city that weekend.
Cantwell was thrown out of the state of Virginia for five years in July 2018 after pleading guilty to two counts of assault and battery related to incidents that took place that night. He also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his bond by discussing victims of his violence in radio shows and on the white nationalist-friendly social media site Gab.
The Suffolk County, New York, native returned in summer 2018 to New Hampshire, where he lived prior to being arrested in Charlottesville. He continued to produce his radio shows from there and to post content to Gab, where his writing often courted controversy.
Cantwell’s posts on that site sometimes appeared to critics as veiled calls for violence against specific people, for example. On multiple occasions, Cantwell also posted content to Gab that appeared to glorify Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
Cantwell appeared to call for leftists to be killed by other white supremacists in a Gab post issued March 17, 2019. He was recommending them as a potential alternative target to Muslims, who were slaughtered days earlier in a domestic terror attack that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand. Gab, which is known for the relaxed attitude it takes to moderating white supremacist content, banned Cantwell from the site March 18.
An anonymous person also has been repeatedly uploading a recording of Cantwell to the video-sharing website BitChute throughout 2019 in which the radio host appears to admit to abusing hard drugs and engaging in other criminal behavior. Cantwell’s voice periodically chokes up with sobs during the recording, which Hatewatch first obtained in January.
Hatewatch reached Cantwell by text about his post and he said, “I’m fucking exhausted and I need a break,” in reference to his personal well-being. He flatly denied drug use playing a role in his departure from activism, saying instead that “Jews” had taken an “emotional toll” on him.
“I’m just stepping away from the microphone to avoid another ‘Crying Nazi’ moment while I unpack some of the baggage I’ve been collecting over the past few years,” Cantwell told Hatewatch, referring to viral video from August 2017 in which he cried on camera about criminal charges he received in Charlottesville.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Stephanie Keith