UVA alums condemn classmate

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Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, evoked a little too much Nazi imagery  for some of his fellow Hoos at a November 19 conference.
Photo NPI website Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, evoked a little too much Nazi imagery for some of his fellow Hoos at a November 19 conference. Photo NPI website

These days, Richard Spencer, class of 2001, is being voted least popular by his former classmates at UVA and his Dallas prep school, St. Mark’s.

Spencer, who says he coined the term “alt-right” and is president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute, has raised the ire of some UVA alums. A group called Hoos Against Richard Spencer is raising money to benefit the International Rescue Committee, which settles refugees.

“The effort was inspired by St. Mark’s fundraiser,” says Jessica Wolpert, class of 2002.

“I think the most egregious thing is that he’s a racist spouting hate,” she says. “The National Policy Institute is a white supremacist group trying to get in the mainstream.”

After the election, video emerged of Spencer at an NPI conference shouting, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail our victory!” with some in the crowd raising their arms in Nazi salutes.

“We felt ashamed,” says Wolpert. “We wanted to show we’re more welcoming to people than Richard Spencer. We wanted to show that UVA has a more positive face. It’s not the face of racism.”

As of December 5, the group had raised $2,655 of its $10,000 goal.

At press time, Spencer had not responded to a Facebook message. His Twitter account has been suspended.

UVA alum Richard Spencer visits Texas A&M. staff photo
UVA alum Richard Spencer visits Texas A&M. staff photo

Update December 7: Spencer is in the news again, sparking protests December 6 at Texas A&M. Hundreds lined up to denounce his appearance in College Station, where he was invited by a former student who rented space, not the university. The school said his views are “in direct conflict with our core values.”

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The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Richard Spencer “an academic racist.” Staff photo

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