So now we know: White nationalists have been working more on their wardrobes than on tightening up the rhetoric and logic they use to defend and present their worldview.
Case in point, Richard Spencer, the Nazi flavor-of-the-month and white nationalist leader whom the media has deemed the movement’s bright and shining star. Although for a while the media seemed fixated on Matt Heimbach as the “new David Duke,” Spencer fits that bill better, and for reasons entirely aesthetic. Given a choice between a guy who resembles an unemployed lumberjack or a dandy who dresses in stylish peacoats and natty vests, I think we all know what happens next. This is the same national media which thought David Duke was the fresh face of racism in the 1970s, just because he had all his teeth, generally avoided the use of racial slurs and was capable of producing multi-syllabic utterances from his mouth hole. In other words, when the white racist bar has been set by semi-illiterate lynch mobs, tobacco-chewin’ Mississippi sheriffs and the likes of George Wallace, clearing it isn’t exactly astrophysics.
But while the movement was seeking to professionalize and become more intellectual, advocating white “identitarianism” and insisting it is no less valid than identity politics on the part of people of color, it has remained startlingly unable to address the ultimate question posed by its politic: namely, how do white nationalists propose to create an all-white homeland in America? Because this, after all, is their self-professed endgame. More to the point, how could such a thing be accomplished without mass violence against persons of color, as well as Jews, for whom this movement reserves its greatest hatred?