White nationalist Richard Spencer, who rose to fame during Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign, claims he is an outcast in the small Montana town where he settled to head a white supremacist think tank.
It has been claimed that Richard Spencer, one of the most visible leaders of the American white supremacist fringe, has become a pariah in the town of Whitefish, Montana, due to the antisemitic campaign he started against a local real estate agent. Whitefish is home to less than 10,000 people.
Leader of the White Nationalist National Policy Institute
Mr. Spencer was the leader of the white nationalist National Policy Institute during the 2016 election and for much of Mr. Trump’s presidency. The organization’s website is currently unavailable. He is being sued for his alleged role in organising the “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville in 2017, which attracted neo-Nazis and other white supremacists and led to violent clashes with counter-protesters.
Mr. Spencer was notoriously punched in the face by a masked individual while giving an interview to reporters on the street in January of 2017 as pro-Trump fans and counterprotesters converged on Washington, DC for the inauguration of the 45th president. No one ever found out who was hiding behind the mask.
Mr. Spencer confirmed to the Times that he had experienced the reality of being refused service at some restaurants in the town in the past after a dispute between him and the real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, spilled onto neo-Nazi websites including The Daily Stormer and resulted in a wave of hateful messages aimed at Ms. Gersh and some of the town’s Jewish residents.
A number of the normally quiet town’s residents responded to the crisis by displaying paper menorahs in their windows or otherwise showing their solidarity with the town’s Jewish community. At one point, in the dead of winter, approximately 10% of the town’s inhabitants showed up to protest hatred.
Ms. Gersh said to the Times, “There were menorahs in every window in Whitefish.” The mayor continued by saying that he last encountered Mr. Spencer at a nearby restaurant, where he was roundly booed by several customers upon his entrance.