More than a week after an exuberantly Naziesque speech by alt-right hipster Richard Spencer inspired a spate of Nazi salutes from attendees at the National Policy Institute, the assorted factions of the alt-right are still debating whether or not the salutes were super-cool, or maybe not so cool, or just fun little jokes, or part of a secret plot to make the alt-right look not so super-cool. (See here for a more detailed breakdown.)
Now everyone’s favorite repugnant “pickup artist” Roosh Valizadeh has weighed in on the subject, offering what is perhaps the most convoluted sort-of defense of Spencer I’ve seen so far.
Roosh has a bit of a strange history with the so-called alt right. After wading gingerly into the Nazi pond with a blog post hailing the anti-Semitic theories of far-right academic Kevin Macdonald last year, he got an invite to one of Spencer’s previous NPI conventions, only to discover once there that neo-Nazis aren’t exactly fans of middle-eastern looking dudes like him who, as Roosh oh-so-hilariously put it, “have ‘defiled’ six million white women,” which doesn’t even make sense as a Holocaust joke. Thus rebuffed, Roosh counterattacked, declaring that “the alt right is worse than feminism in attempting to control male sexual behavior,” which in Rooshland is an insult of the direst sort.
Now Roosh has decided to defend Spencer, sort of. Sure, he admits, the “Roman” salutes at the NPI conference did make the alt-right look a teensy bit bad, at least when filtered through the lens of the evil lügenpresse. The video of Spencer’s speech put online by The Atlantic,
starts with a white man [Spencer] shouting “Hail” to the new President of the United States, whom the media viscerally hates, while a small minority of attendees exuberantly throw up the Roman salute. Even if you are a conservative, you have been programmed to feel revulsion at this display of “Nazism” and immediately condemn it because of its racism. Not long after, the media forced Donald Trump’s hand and he did disavow Spencer. One viral video, one mission accomplished.
Many alt-right apologists and hangers-on, including a lot of people Roosh admires, also “disavowed” the salutes and the saluters. Roosh, while trying his best not to offend any of them, suggests that they should have defended Spencer and his fans.
Let’s imagine a different scenario. When the viral video came out, instead of attack Spencer, we attacked The Atlantic for taking scenes from the conference out of context.
Er, the context for the Nazi salutes was a neo-Nazi conference. But never mind,
We forced them to reveal the truth of attendees being assaulted by violent liberal thugs.
We disseminated the truth of the conference far and wide. And most importantly, we defended the right of attendees to put up whatever salute they want as part of their free speech at a private event, even if we find it abhorrent.
By not defending the saluters, Roosh argues, “we have given up our own ability to do a Roman salute, even as a joke.”
Roosh asks his readers to imagine what might have happened had “Spencer ‘got away’ with these Roman salutes.” The evil media
wouldn’t be able to attack us for anything. No rape joke, fat joke, or meme would be extreme compared to it. Our free speech would have expanded if we helped Spencer, but that opportunity is lost. We now get to wait for an energized media to attack us, and it most certainly will be for less than a Roman salute.
In other words:
First they came for the Nazi saluters, and we did not speak out, because we were not Nazi saluters.
Then they came for the fat-shaming rape jokers and, damn, that’s us!
Nonetheless, Roosh is confident that the alt-right will survive Salutegate, and still thinks highly of them — even though he knows he wouldn’t be welcome in the all-white America of their dreams.
They will lick their wounds and get stronger, because they don’t need the media and they don’t need Trump. Their sales pitch of “America will be better with only white people” is too seductive for marginalized white men to resist, and in spite of their obsession with race, there is intellect and truth-telling underneath it.
Roosh even thinks that the current infighting between hardcore alt-white supremacists and the alt-lite opportunists who’ve glommed onto the movement is a good thing.
Now that the schism has taken place, men like Mike Cernovich, Paul Joseph Watson, and Stefan Molyneux have a clear path to the top as part of their “new right” platform. There is no Nazi taint to hold them back.
You know, aside from the Nazi taint that lingers from the fact that they’ve all been enthusiastically promoting an essentially fascist movement, teeming with full-on Hitler-loving neo-Nazis, for a year?
As far as I’m concerned, they’re all Nazi taints.
The story of this “schism” is almost certainly going to get weirder from here.