a voice for men alt-right chris cantwell misogyny MRA racism white supremacy

Five Fun Facts about Christopher “Crying Nazi” Cantwell, the most outrageous defendant in the Charlottesville trial that began this week

The camera loves him!

This week, at long last, a civil suit against the organizers of the so-called “Unite the RIght” protest in Charlottesville in 2017 has come to trial.

The plaintiffs, including several people who were injured in the chaos, are charging that the defendants plotted to bring violence to Charlottesville. If the plaintiff’s lawyers prove the case — and they have a lot of evidence on their side — they hope the judgements against the organizers will literally bankrupt them and their groups.

Of all the defendants — a group of two dozen in all, including the allegedly dapper Nazi Richard Spencer and the heads of far-right groups like the now-defunct Identity Evropa — the most outrageous is a fellow longtime readers of this blog know all too well: Men’s Rights Activist-turned-Hitler-quoting Nazi Christopher Cantwell. (Seriously, take a look at some of the stuff on Cantwell in the We Hunted the Mammoth archives.)

So here are a few fun facts about this terrible person.

Fun Fact Number One: Cantwell’s opening statement yesterday was a holy mess, described by Buzzfeed as “a racist, stream-of-consciousness diatribe.”

As Buzzfeed reported:

Wearing a blue shirt without a tie or jacket, [Cantwell] proceeded to name-check Mein Kampf, drop the n-word, plug his far-right radio program, call himself “good-looking” and a “professional artist,” and blast antifascist activists all in a matter of minutes.

You might wonder why his lawyer allowed him to make such a statement. That leads us to …

Fun Fact Two: Cantwell, dumped by his lawyers, is representing himself in court. Cantwell’s lawyers quit the case because they couldn’t control their client’s often bizarre and self-destructive behavior, and for some reason no one else wants to work with him. This is a civil suit so there’s no court-appointed lawyer. “I’m not a lawyer,” Cantwell joked in court yesterday, but “I’m the best attorney I could afford.”

Co-defendant Spencer is also representing himself — in his case, because he’s run out of money. Maybe he could sell some of his old Depeche Mode CDs now that the band has officially stated they don’t want him as a fan. (Singer Dave Gahan worded it a little more pungently.)

Fun Fact Three: The non-lawyers (and the defendants with lawyers) are up against an attorney who has argued cases before the Supreme Court (and won). As Raw Story notes, Roberta Kaplan:

is the most renowned lawyer on either side of the case. As someone who argued before the US Supreme Court in United States vs. Windsor, a case that paved the way for legalizing same-sex marriage, she’s one of the most influential lawyers of her generation.

Fun Fact Four: Cantwell reportedly psyched himself up for his court appearance by watching lots of Tucker Carlson in prison, where he’s serving a three-year sentence for threats and extortion.

As Buzzfeed reports:

A man who spent five months with Cantwell in the same unit in a medium-security prison in Marion, Illinois, said Cantwell was inspired and emboldened by the polarizing messages emanating from Fox News — specifically Tucker Carlson. In a filing in the Charlottesville lawsuit, Cantwell specifically cites Carlson as someone with whom he shares many views.

Two white supremacist peas in a pod.

Fun Fact Five: Before he went full-fash, Cantwell was known as a Men’s Rights Activist, contributing a number of articles to the Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men, on subjects ranging from Elliot Rodger to women not being smart enough for STEM. (When I pointed him out as someone who was harassing others online and telling them to kill themselves, AVFM’s head boy Paul Elam defended him and told me to kill myself.)

A Voice for Men seems to have very poor judgement when it comes to whom they will praise and/or publish. Last year the very odd, very angry MRA lawyer Roy Den Hollander — who had been, yes, both praised and published by AVFM —murdered a rival MRA lawyer and shot down two family members of a federal judge before killing himself. (AVFM’s excuses were a sight to behold.)

But that’s a whole other kettle of worms.

More fun facts as they arise in the ongoing trainwreck in Charlottesville.

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Correction Automatique
Correction Automatique
7 months ago

Dave Gahan’s pungent quote was the satisfaction I needed with my Saturday morning cuppa.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’m still so baffled about that brief moment time in which Nazis were trying to claim Depeche Mode as one of their own. Just, why?

Anywaycomment image

7 months ago

Personally I’m not sure about it being some great conspiracy. They don’t seem all that organized to me, more like a bunch of random assholes egging each other on cluelessly until one of them the guys on trial didn’t even know did something. Less conspiracy and more recklessness and carelessness. I guess those charges aren’t legally applicable or aren’t as much fun?

(Please note I am not making any claims they are not guilty of being ginormous assholes here, nor am I suggesting they get off. I just question whether they are truly guilty of the charge of intentionally plotting actual violence and not just ranting, hoping someone else will do the dirty work for them.)

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
7 months ago

@WWTH: can’t get enough of that gif.

Human Platypus
Human Platypus
7 months ago

Richard Spencer ran out of funds? He’s from old money, he must be seething that he has to share the stand with the likes of proles like Cantwell, his dream of white supremacy becoming a “respectable” political position sabotaged by infighting fuckups and conspiracists.

Last edited 7 months ago by Human Platypus
Alan Robertshaw
7 months ago

@ .45

Personally I’m not sure about it being some great conspiracy.

The allegations would amount to conspiracy in law.

More on conspiracy here
Conspiracy is what is known as an ‘inchoate’ offence.

That is to say, it can be committed even if no other actual crime occurs.

So for example ‘attempts’ (e.g. attempted murder) are also inchoate offences.

With attempts though a person must take steps that are more than ‘merely preparatory’ to the intended offence. It’s why you get that drama cliche that the police can’t arrest someone until they actually rob the bank or whatever.

With conspiracy though the threshold is lower. The essential element of constancy is the agreement. So a conspiracy occurs where two or more people ‘agree’ to commit an offence.

[There are some circumstances where it is an offence to agree to commit an act that would be not be an offence if only one person did it. For example it’s not a criminal offence to interfere with a contract. But if more than one person agree to they to interfere with a contract it can be an offence. That was one way they used to prosecute people who organised strikes or stood on picket lines]

There doesn’t have to be any ‘formal’ agreement. As the authorities say “a conspiracy can occur with a nod and a wink.”

So a group of strangers could engage in a spur of the moment conspiracy if they just somehow communicated to each other, which could be by their own actions, that they were all up for committing an offence.

You can also have a ‘provisional’ conspiracy. That is where you agree to commit a crime only if certain conditions, or just general opportunity, arise. That could be busting someone out of custody if they are arrested for example; or just agreeing to do a bit of shoplifting if the store detective isn’t looking.

So in this case even if they had all attended with original peaceful intentions; all the prosecution would have to show is that, they somehow let each other know they’d be happy to join in if things kicked off.

Prosecutors often charge conspiracy where there’s difficulty in proving a substantive offence against everyone in a group.

The actions, and self-incriminating statements, of one individual are admissible as evidence against the group as a whole.

Also, you don’t have to show that an individual, or even anyone in the group, actually committed an offence. It’s enough to show they had agreed that they would commit an offence if the opportunity arose.

It’s a standard thing now before every AR or XR protest that the police nick the organisers for ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’. Nothing comes of that. But it allows them to confiscate all the equipment as ‘evidence’. After the protests it’s all marked as ‘no further action’. One of my jobs is then to try to get all the stuff back.

Alan Robertshaw
7 months ago

Bit more on civil vs criminal
This is a civil not criminal trial; but conspiracy is also a tort as well as a crime.

The same principles apply; but the Plaintiffs have a lower standard of proof.

They only have to prove a conspiracy ‘on the balance of probabilities’ rather than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

That is to say, ‘is it more likely than not’ that there was a conspiracy.

To recover damages though they have to show the conspiracy caused an actionable loss.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
7 months ago

For the Charlottesville Nazis, US law would apply, and US law additionally requires an “act in furtherance” to prosecute someone for conspiracy — presumably because the strong free speech protection in their First Amendment won’t allow charging anyone for just speech alone.

So, for example, if one person says “Let’s knock over the 5th Street Savings and Loan”, and another nods and says “we’ll need a weapon”, it sounds like that might be enough to charge them under UK law. Under US law the fuzz has to wait until one of them, say, goes to purchase a gun. At that point, both can be charged (not just the gun purchaser), and regardless of the fact that the speech in isolation, and the gun purchase in isolation, might both have been legal.

Notably, the “act in furtherance” may be only preparatory, as well as not illegal in and of itself.

In the instant case, there are plenty of “acts in furtherance” to support a claim of conspiracy to commit violence. The murder of Heather Heyer, for one.

Alan Robertshaw
7 months ago

@ surplus

Cheers for that. This is an action in the Federal courts I believe; so they will need to establish that element. In these times of social media, I wonder if they can argue the pre-rally statements, even if just made to a general audience, can be the agreement element; and then just turning up at the rally itself be the act in furtherance?

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
7 months ago

People were injured, one woman died. Assault leading to injury and death looks pretty “act in furtherance” to me. And since the plaintiffs have such a sharp lawyer, she must be sure of the case. Heather’s family can sue for many things; the living victims had to pay medical bills and possibly missed work, thus suffered a quantifiable monetary loss.*

The name of the rally basically shows it’s a conspiracy (in non-legal terms). It might have started as only a conspiracy for white supremacist men to march around showing off their hurt fee-fees, but once the violence to others came in, welp.

I love that they’re having to represent themselves. Someone needs to count up the number of times the words “Objection” and “Sustained” are uttered. I wonder if the other couple dozen guys have legal counsel.

*some friends and I sued a restaurant for giving us food poisoning, and recovered damages in the amount of our legal fees, medical bills, and lost wages. No violence was involved, just improper food handling.

7 months ago

@ Legal stuff

Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. Anyway, I’m going to listen to Stripped by Depeche Mode now.

Incidentally, the singer calling our legally challenged friend here the C-word seems to be a bit of a misogynistic insult, given its use against women throughout history. Kind of a dick move…

7 months ago

They organized the rally and it actually happened. No shortage of acts in furtherance! That won’t be the roadblock to a judgement for the plaintiffs.

7 months ago

Hate to rain on the parade, but Kaplan is super problematic. Sure, I hope she wins and drags these guys into the dirt, but she is the woman who disgracefully left the #Metoo motivated group, Time’s Up, after it came to light that she helped Andrew Cuomo suppress the women accusing of sexual harassment

7 months ago

I wonder how many of these right-wing bigots who love Depeche Mode know that Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode’s frontman, was born into a working-class unabashedly Jewish family, and has never disavowed that part of his background, even if it’s not something he says much about publicly.

occasional reader
occasional reader
7 months ago


At the same time, it seems there is also the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the one who had killed 2 persons during the antiracism protests of 2020 end of August. Seing that the judge does not want to qualify the deads as “victims”, hopes are not highs…

Have a nice day.

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