WASHINGTON, DC – The Whitefish, Montana-based National Policy Institute (NPI) has been making it a point recently to hold two conferences a year, and the latest one was held on Halloween at the National Press Club. This latest outing however saw an ever-increasing awareness and opposition to the White supremacist group as antifa stood outside, often confronting the attendees, and reporters inside – a rarity for NPI – hitting the speakers and attendees with questions.
The conference marked the third time NPI has held an event in the Press Club and the largest number of attendees they have ever had, at 150. NPI’s Executive Director Richard Spencer attempted to quell the fears of those wanting to attend the conference who were concerned of protests and coverage threatening their employment by restricting the press and only putting first names on attendee’s name tags. Some of the participants even walked in with masks on, telling one Daily Beast reporter that they were afraid of losing their jobs. Indeed, many of those that attended were young, and some even brought their children.
Outside, antifa positioned themselves at the entrance as NPI conference attendees went inside. In the morning a small group held signs and ridiculed them as they walked past, some attendees getting hit with silly string as they did. In the evening antifa came out against NPI as they left in what they called their Halloween party, which included more banners and a sound system. There were a few scuffles, and one arrest after retired attorney and segregationist Samuel Dickson, a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens who once represented Daniel “KKK Guy” Carver from the Howard Stern Show, reportedly urged police to arrest a Black woman for wearing a mask. DC Direct Action News noted the irony in the only arrest coming when a former Klan attorney told police to arrest a Black woman, who has since been released.
According to the Huffington Post, the organizers and participants made themselves out to be victims in today’s society, and rather than be called White supremacists, they preferred terms like “white advocates”, “identitarians”, “Racial idealists” and “racial communitarians.” Samuel Dickson promoted his vision of racial separation with a bizarre suggestion on how the United States can be carved up into racial enclaves, saying that Black people could be given Massachusetts and New York – particularly Manhattan – while Whites could have places such as Iowa. “The opposition to intermarriage. The creation of their own state. The recreation of their language. This is the greatest triumph of racial idealism in history,” he said. “All we’re asking for is equality. The same right that Jews claim for themselves.”
As with many conferences of its type, the issue of the role of persons of Jewish faith has been a contentious one with other White supremacists. In fact those who had a particular issue with NPI’s embrace of Jews might have gone to the annual conference held by the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, which was also held last weekend in Tennessee. But even though he had noted anti-Semitic professor Kevin MacDonald among its speakers, Spencer still attempted to maintain a moderate position on the subject, especially when asked if he thought Jews were White. “That’s an interesting question, ‘Are Jews White’,” he said, stammering through the answer. “I think if…I would say Jews are Jews.”
Despite that greater number of those that came out for the conference, only 12 women attended, continuing a long-standing issue that NPI has had in recent years that has only been made worse with the ever-increasing presence of activists that promote misogyny as a political agenda, commonly refered to as Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs). It was enough for one of those women, musician and radio host Lana Lokteff, to tweet somewhat of an admonishment to those that didn’t attend. “(Y)ou young single ladies are missing out,” she tweeted. “(M)any classy, handsome & unapologetically White bachelors attending the NPI conf (sic)(.)”
you young single ladies are missing out. many classy, handsome & unapologetically White bachelors attending the NPI conf #BecomeWhoWeAre
— Lana Lokteff (@LanaLokteff) October 31, 2015
The conference had another internal controversy due to one of the conference speakers, author Jack Donovan. While also one of those misogynist activists known for being critical of women, he is also openly gay. That was an issue for Billy Roper, the former National Alliance organizer who is now working with Klan leader Thom Robb’s Knights Party. In the days leading up to the conference he was tweeting warnings and posted an article penned by Robb himself on the neo-Nazi website Stormfront regarding those objections. “I was pleased to see that some of the speakers and guests decided not to attend once they discovered that open homosexual Jack Donovan and Holocaust myth defender Guillaume Faye were among the other scheduled speakers,” he posted on Stormfront, noting also the French anti-Muslim activist that also spoke.
Robb and Roper were not the only ones who saw conflict with NPI. According to Traditional Youth Network member Scott Terry on his Shotgun Barrel Straight blog, his colleague Matthew Heimbach was told by Richard Spencer that was was not allowed to attend the conference because of his anti-homosexual views. He recalls that it might have stemmed from a podcast appearance in 2013, right after he and Heimbach attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and made news with pro-slavery remarks he made during a workshop run by a Black conservative. “Now, to be fair to Spencer, I don’t know what the exact chargers (sic) were, but it seems a few years back, after my CPAC shenanigans, Heimbach and I did a podcast for Counter Currents where, maybe during some of my attempted humor, I said something about executing homosexuals,” he posted. “Of course, I really do think they ought to be executed, but only after a fair trial.” Heimbach, who currently lives in the Cincinnati, Ohio area but is originally from Poolesville, Maryland, was in Washington, DC during the conference, but never went to the Press Club. Another colleague, Tony Hovater, who is running for local office in New Carlisle, Ohio under Heimbach’s Traditional Workers Party, did attend the conference.
There were other familiar faces that attended as well. Robert DePasquale, who posts under the name “BoyHowdy” on Stormfront attended as did Patrick Sharp, the Atlanta college student who wanted to form a “White Student Union” on campus. Author Tito Perdue, who often contributes to Radix, a blog edited by Spencer, was also in attendance.
The NPI conference was one of five White supremacist conferences over the past month that either took place or are planned around the country, including the aformentioned Stormfront conference and the John A Randolph Club conference held in Cleveland on Oct. 22. This week, the H.L. Mencken Club will hold their annual conference in Baltimore, while a tribute to Jim Trafficant will be held at the Capitol Skyline Hotel on Nov. 7 by the American Free Press, which was founded by White supremacist Willis Carto, who died last week at the age of 89.