We start our CPAC coverage with Dick Spencer getting removed, which is the second time in less than a week, from another conference! Props to CPAC for doing so, but about calling the alt-right “left wing”, nice try.
Less than an hour after the Executive Director of the American Conservative Union (ACU) declared that the neo-Fascists that call themselves the “Alt-Right” were a left wing group, the one who had famously made the term popular was ejected from the ACU’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on its first full day.
Richard Spencer, the Executive Director of the White Supremacist National Policy Institute was asked to surrender his CPAC credentials and leave the Gaylord Resort and Hotel where CPAC was being held, a security guard physically removing them from around his neck. For 45 minutes prior Spencer drew a crowd of media and other CPAC attendees who peppered him with questions.
Spencer, who just last week was similarly ejected from a Libertarian conference last weekend, was in the hallway outside the Potomac Ballroom, CPAC’s main room, and was speaking to the growing crowd who peppered him with
questions about what he believed and some just walking up to curse him. He also met with fans such as JP Sheehan, President of the College Republicans of Western Connecticut State University, who flagged him down in the hallway by sporting a T-Shirt for NPI’s blog Radix. At one point ACU Executive Director Dan Schneider and ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp came out to draw press attention away from Spencer, who intitally was going to be allowed to remain at the conference. “This is America,” Schlapp told reporters, “and we have to deal with the laws and, you know, all I can tell you is that if he had comments we’d agree with, he’d be on our stage, but he’s not on our stage.” Schlapp made headlines when earlier this week he invited then disinvited former Breitbart editor and neo-Fascist Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at CPAC after his long-known remarks defending pedophilia came to light. Eventually, Spencer was approached by hotel security and told he was unwelcome at CPAC and was escorted from the building, his credentials revoked.
One of the more embarrassing moments happened when Spencer, when confronted by some young CPAC attendees about rock music that Spencer wouldn’t bite. “Depeche Mode is the official band of the alt-right,” he said, smiling. Almost immediately, a spokesperson for the band known for hits like the anti-racist “People Are People” and who’s lead singer Dave Gahan recently compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, dismissed the claim in an email to Esquire Magazine.“That’s pretty ridiculous,” the email read. “Depeche Mode has no ties to Richard Spencer or the alt right and does not support the alt right movement.”
Prior to Spencer being ejected, Schneider addressed the CPAC attendees from the stage and suggested the so-called “alt-right” was actually created by the left. “Just a few years ago, this hate-filled left-wing fascist group hijacked the very term ‘alt-right,'” Schneider told the crowd. “They did it intentionally because they want to deceive the media, they want to deceive you all about what they stand for, so they can try to become normalized, and we must not allow them to be normalized. They are not part of us!”
The term “alternative right” was first coined by neo-Fascist college professor Paul Gottfried in a speech at the 2008 conference for his H.L. Mencken Club. Spencer, an associate of Gottfried at the time, adopted the term and used it as the title of his blog two years later. CPAC’s own associations with what would eventually be called the “alt-right” were apparent with groups like the White Nationalist Youth for Western Civilization having their inaugural event at the 2009 conference, White Supremacist Peter Brimelow’s website VDARE having a prominent booth for several years at CPAC and Breitbart being a major sponsor, the former CEO and current Trump Administration advisor Steve Bannon once declaring that the conservative website was the “platform of the alt-right” and Yiannopoulos even writing a glowing article about the alt-right for Breitbart. Bannon’s appearance at CPAC on Thursday was the first time since August when he was tapped to join Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that he has addressed a public audience.
Tomorrow, Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage who spearheaded the successful Brexit campaign to divorce the United Kingdom from the European Union who is very popular with the alt-right is scheduled to speak.