Richard Spencer’s clean-cut appearance conceals a radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in North America. His writings and speeches portray this as a reasonable defense of Caucasians and Eurocentric culture. In Spencer’s myopic worldview, white people have been “dispossessed” by a combination of rising minority birth rates, immigration, and government policies he abhors.
Fighting that alleged dispossession is the focus of the tax-exempt organization he heads, the National Policy Institute (NPI). According to NPI’s mission statement, it aims “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute … will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.”
Spencer became president of NPI in 2011, following the death of its chairman, longtime white nationalist Louis R. Andrews. Concurrently, he oversees NPI’s publishing division, Washington Summit Publishers, home of such scientifically bogus works as a 2015 reissue of Richard Lynn’s Race Differences in Intelligence and screeds by other white nationalists, including Jared Taylor, editor of the racist American Renaissance journal, and Sam Francis, the late editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens’ newsletter. In 2012, Spencer launched an offshoot of Washington Summit Publishers that he called Radix Journal, a website and biannual publication whose contributors include notorious anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald, a retired professor at California State University, Long Beach.
Described as a leading “academic racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Spencer takes a quasi-intellectual approach to white separatism. In an online NPI recruiting video, he employs the tone of a sociologist discussing demographics:
“As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession.”
Spencer acquired that academic tone while obtaining a bachelor’s degree from at the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago. It is part of an image-conscious strategy meant to appeal to educated, middle-class whites. He dresses neatly, eschews violence, and works to sound rational.