White Nationalists Are Ready For Their Safe Space Now, Mr. DeMille
I have never gone in much for the mocking of "safe spaces." (Rebecca and I part company on this, because she is terrible and also quite mean.) This is for a variety of reasons. One, I can certainly understand why people might feel they need a space away from racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia or even discussions of sexual assault in order to heal from having to deal with that on the regular. In certain ways, we all have things like that. Putting a name to it doesn't mean everyone doesn't do it, to some degree. Two, I believe in freedom of association. Three, Man caves, exist. No man gets to rag on women and minorities for creating "safe spaces" while the phrase "man cave" is still a thing and men are creating them to "get away" from the wife and kids.
Today, I make an exception!
Because now -- with Trump in office -- White Nationalists like Richard Spencer, the "founder" of the alt-right movement, are giddy for the prospect of turning America into a "safe space." For white people!
In an interview with Reveal host Al Letson, Spencer explained that while he doesn't feel that Donald Trump is fully "alt right" or an "identitarian" -- he does feel that he is a "step forward" for those people, being a "politician who’s fighting for European identity politics in North America."
Just a quick aside here -- anyone ever see any of those "non-racist" Trump supporters going after people like Spencer and other avowed racists to insist that Trump is not "fighting for European identity politics in North America"? Yeah, you don't see too much of that, do you?
Anyway! Spencer says that his long-term goal is to turn our country into a WHITE ETHNOSTATE!
“What the ethnostate is, is an ideal. It’s a thing, it’s a way of thinking about we want a new type of society that would actually be a homeland for all white people, all European people. So that would include Slavs, that would include Germans, that would include Latins, it would include people of all ethnicities that we would always have a safe space. We would always have a homeland for us. Very similar to, very similar to how Jews conceive of Israel.”
That is the saddest, dumbest thing I have ever heard. I always feel like people who say this kind of shit must be exceptionally lonely people. Like, "OH, if only I could live in my racist utopia, I'd finally have friends!" or something. Maybe he could go live with that dude in North Dakota. You know, the one who is totally going to turn that one town into a utopia for white people, and all his neighbors hate him? Has he even tried to move there? Or is he waiting for like, literally all the people of color to move from this country so that he can have his widdle "homeland"?
Think about this for a second. If that is what it takes to make you happy, you are never, ever going to be happy. Like "Whoops! Saw a brown person! My whole day is ruined! Guess I'll go cry in a corner and dream of my imaginary homeland!"
And that's the thing, I guess, with these people. They can't have a good time if everyone doesn't agree with them. That's why you've got all the Donald Trump people -- who had initially planned an armed coup if their candidate didn't win -- suddenly going "He's your president now! You have to support him! And everything he does! And say he's wonderful and has big, manly hands!" You know, like they did with Obama. Or talking about how it's unfair for people to protest, or -- charmingly enough -- urging Clinton supporters to commit suicide. They did the same shit during Bush. This guy merely wants a more extreme version of what they want.
Anyway. Later in the interview, Spencer explained that he wasn't like those regular white nationalists who went around killing black people in hopes of creating the exact same kind of country he so deeply desires, he's a cool white nationalist. Because he doesn't wear an outfit, or something.
“I’m sure there is some commonality between these movements of the past and what I’m talking about. But you really have to judge me on my own terms. Like I am not those people and I don’t fully know, I don’t know in the specifics of what you’re referring to. Like, I am who I am. And you, if you’re going to treat me with good faith, you have to listen to what I’m saying and listen to my ideas. I think someone who would go down the path of becoming a Klansman or something in 2016, I think that is, those people are very different than I am. It’s, it’s a — it’s a non-starter. I think we need an idea. We need a movement that really resonates with where we are right now.”
Yeah, he's like, hip and with it, and whatever, and doesn't even know what the KKK was really about. He's got his own ideas. Treat him with good faith. He just wants to find a way to make the idea of making all the non-white people leave the country so he can have a "safe space" for his whiteness really resonate with the kids of today.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse