Buoyed by Donald Trump’s election victory, white supremacists who gathered at a conference Saturday called on him to implement a 50-year moratorium on “non-European immigration.”
Richard Spencer, a leading white nationalist who heads the supremacist National Policy Institute and claims to have coined the term “alt-right,” called the proposal “obviously possible,” and said that “Trump has proven the power of these ideas.”
Spencer described his movement as an “intellectual vanguard that can complete Trump.” Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December, but later walked that proposal back, calling for “extreme vetting” of immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries.
In response to a question from The Intercept, Spencer said that undocumented immigrants and their children “have got to go home. And they can go home again, they can connect with their real identity.”
When The Intercept followed up by asking about children of undocumented immigrants who grew up in the U.S., Spencer insisted that even they had a “real identity” that was other than American. “Reconnecting with who you really are for a Mexican-American would be about being in Mexico. For an African, it would be about being in Africa.”
Jared Taylor, a longtime white supremacist author and publisher, called Muslim immigration a disease. “It’s amazing that these leftists want this disease coming into society more than they want to protect themselves,” he said.
Trump’s election has led to an explosion in anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim, intimidation and violence. Swasitka graffiti has been reported on billboards, and in parks, public transit, and schools all across the country.
When asked to respond to these incidents, Spencer downplayed the incidents, saying “I imagine that a lot of those might be hoaxes,” he said.
He added: “I think we mostly condemn any direct threat of violence.”
White supremacists have seized on Trump’s election to take their message to the masses. Discussions of how to take that message “mainstream” dominated Saturday’s event, which was held just blocks from the White House, and was sponsored by Spencer’s group, the National Policy Institute — a leading peddler of “academic racism,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
White nationalist leaders have also celebrated the appointment of Steve Bannon — the executive chairman of Breitbart News — as the White House’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon has boasted that his news site — which spread “birther” conspiracies about President Obama — is a “platform for the alt-right.”
Spencer downplayed any direct connection the group may have to Trump or Bannon, but he also said that their message will be better received by a Trump administration. “We have a psychic connection,” said Spencer, “a deeper connection with Donald Trump than with other Republicans.”
The New York Times reported that later in the evening, Spencer quoted Nazi propaganda in German, and said “America was, until this last generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
Throughout the day, a crowd of protestors circled the building, chanting “No Donald Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”
Spencer also defended Trump’s “grab-them-by-the-pussy” comments about women, saying “Women, deep down, do want to be taken by a strong man.” The line met with vigorous applause from the mostly male audience. The protagonists in romance novels tend to be physically strong, “like cowboys and vikings,” Spencer said, as opposed to “boring computer programmers.”
Kevin MacDonald, a leading anti-semite described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the Neo-Nazi’s favorite academic,” agreed with Spencer about Trump. “If he comes on to women, I would say most women would probably like that.”