Over the past few weeks, I’ve been witness to one of the most shameful displays I’ve ever seen: the attacks on my colleague and friend Richard Spencer’s mother. Her enemies have steadily waged a war of lies, gossip, and fear designed to attack a family’s very structure and a community’s trust. I guess it really does take a village.
Mrs. Spencer and her husband have never been involved in the National Policy Institute or its projects. They are an apolitical couple with a very political son. But today, everything has become politicized, even our families. The message our enemies are sending is that you can only have a family, or love your son so long as they toe the party line. If you dare even go so far as to “love your son” as Richard’s parents have done, well I guess you’re just “collatoral damage”.
Those who have been whipped into a fervor take umbrage at the gall Mrs. Spencer has in merely owning a building, and speaking out against extortion are now starting to cry wolf. Help! Help! they cry, hordes of angry internet trolls are sending anonymous messages. Quelle horreur and call the National Guard!
What is really going on is that those who have attacked Mrs. Spencer know they are the guilty party. As the emails from Ms. Gersh show, these are acts of intimidation against a family whose only sins are community spirit and familial love. They know they are in the wrong, so they need to change the narrative.
By changing the narrative from defamation of character and willful attacks on a person's livelihood to anonymous internet harassment, these people are simply attempting to change the victim in this story. Now instead of Mrs. Spencer, it is her very adversaries who are the ones being attacked. Even though they're not the ones having to sell their businesses, being asked to denounce their children, or having their families torn asunder. No, it’s a few mean tweets and emails that make them uncomfortable. That’s the real problem.
After all, we too, get our share of anonymous threats. Almost every day I wake up to emails in the Radix Journal email account that are either copies of Richard Spencer’s address or some form of “We’re coming for you, we have guns and we’ll get you just like we did before." Not to mention the hundreds of tweets and text messages Richard gets per week that are snide remarks at best and death threats at worst.
Even a Politico editor was brazen enough to call for violence against Richard, for which he was asked to resign.
As if they couldn’t stoop even lower, they’ve even started to attack Richard’s wife. Growing up I was always taught that attacking a man’s mother and/or his wife is just not cricket. But that’s the current year for you.
These moments, dreadful as they are, can be moments of clarity. They show the craven and callow depths those opposed to us are willing to go to. No, they can’t up and jail us(yet) but they can make our lives a living hell.
While they complain about our “millions of dollars”(I wish! donate here !) in non-profits and alleged foreign connections, they rake in multi-million dollar endowments and can organize openly without a concern in the world.
Make no mistake, they’re doing this because what Richard is doing is having an impact. They’re frightened of our ideas having a fair shake, so they’re resorting to any trick in the book to keep our message down. Well, to Richard and his mother I can only echo the words of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby “They’re a rotten crowd…you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”