White Supremacist/Nazi Richard Spencer, whose views are so extreme that CPAC ejected him, is most famous for being punched in the face during an Inauguration Day interview. He’s had a terrible time lately while losing tax-exempt status for his “think tank” and feels that President Trump has let him down, but he was successful in making a speech last weekend at Auburn University. By “successful,” this only means that Spencer wasn’t protested to the degree that his speech was cancelled.
Spencer did, however and as AL.com notes, draw boos from the crowd, an observation that was echoed by New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog, for a few reasons. First, he wished he could do away with a favored Auburn pastime: “If I could wave a magic wand, I would absolutely ban football.” He tried to recover, it seems, while saying that athletics “can be a wonderful thing” because they’re so “deeply Western, something that you can read about in Homer,” but he’s not into the NFL or college football. Why? He issued an armchair diagnosis on the obsessions fed by sports fans and then, of course, put a racially-charged spin on the matter:
Spencer went on to make the reasonable point that sports fans are “covering up some hole in ourselves” by devoting so much of their emotional energy to a team they are not a part of, playing a game that ultimately doesn’t matter; but he said the issue was not a waste of time or resources, but rather that cheering for a sports team put people in a position of “rooting on people that you have no connection to.” Translation: Sports are bad because they make white sports fans interact with, and perhaps even think fondly of, black athletes.
The Daily Intelligencer’s Reeves Wiedeman contacted Spencer after noticing that he once penned very similar statements about basketball, and Spencer was greatly amused. He tore into right-wing commentators who wrote about Colin Kaepernick because, Spencer says, they didn’t see the real issue at hand:
Spencer said the conservative commentators who declared that Kaepernick was being unpatriotic or disrespectful of the military were being insincere, not because their arguments were logically incoherent, but because they were simply too afraid to say what they really meant: that Kaepernick, by being black, and asking Americans to pay attention to an issue important to the African-American community, was “messing with our national identity.”
Spencer also apparently told Auburn that its football players were “not the greatest exemplars of the African race,” which resulted in the most intense jeering of his speech. Well, no one could ever accuse Spencer of being inconsistent, but one really wonders what type of reception he’d receive by not only bashing football but doing it in his own special way. Maybe he should stick to misinterpreting Broadway tunes on Twitter for awhile.