Richard Spencer, one of the most high profile neo-Nazis in America, has spent the past three years online trying to rebrand his extremist ideology with terms like “alt-right.” But a newly leaked audio tape makes it clear that this “dapper white nationalist” doesn’t have any new ideas. Spencer is just an old-fashioned Nazi.
Milo Yiannopoulos, an infamous far-right troll, published an audio clip to YouTube late Sunday where Spencer can be heard using antisemitic slurs like “kike” and boasting that his ancestors “fucking enslaved those pieces of shit.” Spencer also says “I rule the fucking world” and suggests that anyone who isn’t white needs to be controlled through force.
The audio is reportedly from the summer of 2017, shortly after the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where a 32-year-old woman was killed by a white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Spencer, who became internet-famous for getting punched in the face, was an organizer of the rally that August.
“We are coming back here like a hundred fucking times,” Spencer can be heard saying on the tape, presumably talking about Charlottesville. “I am so mad. I am so mad at these fucking people.”
“They don’t do this to fucking me,” said Spencer. “We’re going to ritualistically humiliate them. I am coming back here every fucking weekend if I have to. Like this is never over! I win! They fucking lose!”
President Trump infamously declared after the rally that there were “very fine people on both sides,” though he specifically said he didn’t support any neo-Nazis. The trouble, of course, is that one side had protesters, and the other side was exclusively made up of people like Spencer who have tried to launder their white supremacy through new words like “alt-right.”
“That’s how the world fucking works,” Spencer says on the tape. “Little fucking kikes. They get ruled by people like me. Little fucking octaroons.”
The word “octaroon” is an offensive term for someone who is one-eighth black and is rarely heard outside of white supremacist circles.
The next portion of the tape makes it clear what Spencer would like to see happen to the world and anyone who he doesn’t identify as white.
“I rule the fucking world. Those pieces of shit get ruled by people like me. They look up and see a face like mine looking down at them. That’s how the fucking world works. We are going to destroy this fucking town.”
Spencer did not respond to an email sent late Sunday.
Milo Yiannopoulos is certainly an interesting source for this audio clip, considering that Yiannopoulos and Spencer seemed to run in some of the same far right circles. In a video obtained by BuzzFeed News in 2017, Yiannopoulos is singing karaoke while Spencer and other white nationalists give a Nazi salute. Yiannopoulos tells Gizmodo via email that he “didn’t see them throw up the salutes at the time,” but the BuzzFeed report says that Yiannopoulos was “beaming” when it was Spencer’s turn to sing.
Spencer first received mainstream media attention in 2016 when he openly celebrated then-candidate Donald Trump and various news outlets ran articles that focused on Spencer’s supposedly clean cut appearance rather than his violent and hateful ideology. The original Nazis, of course, were pretty fucking clean cut. Looking respectable while doing horrendous things was part of their schtick.
Spencer continued to get media attention after Trump’s election, but it wasn’t always quite so glowing. Many news outlets rightly identified Spencer’s rise as part of the broader global fascist movements that have been growing more bold in the 2010s. The Atlantic published a video of Spencer shortly after the 2016 presidential election shouting, “hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” as others give Nazi salutes—one of the first cracks in the veneer of plausible deniability that Spencer has sought to maintain.
But Spencer’s biggest claim to fame might be getting punched in the face in January of 2017 during a TV news interview with Australia’s ABC News. The original interview is pretty interesting in retrospect, since Spencer actually declares that neo-Nazis “hate” him, which is just absurd on its face. But the exchange shows how Spencer tried to distance himself from words that any decent person knows to be the embodiment of an evil belief system. If there was any doubt before that “alt-right” just means “Nazi,” there should be none after listening to this latest tape.
Spencer’s ideology has become more and more mainstream, as white supremacists have come out from the shadows during the Trump era. Several mass shootings of the past few years have been directly inspired by white supremacist ideology, including the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in October of 2018 that left 11 people dead, the El Paso Walmart shooting in August 2019 that killed 22 people, and the Christchurch mosque shootings that left 51 people dead.
Mainstream news outlets continue to have Spencer on their programs, as CNN’s Jake Tapper did this past July. The theory is that we need to hear what the Nazis have to say and debate their ideology in the marketplace of ideas. But we already know what their ideology says, and there’s no such thing as a “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” as Spencer insists whenever he’s invited onto these shows.
In the words of Richard Spencer, “I rule the fucking world” is their entire ideology. And anyone who tries to call that ideology anything but Nazism is a fucking liar.
Update, 9:40am ET: An earlier version of this story called Richard Spencer an “old friend” of Milo Yiannopoulos. But Yiannopoulos rejects that characterization and we’ve softened the language to make it clear that they’re not necessarily friends, despite video evidence of the two men at the same bar where Spencer was giving Nazi salutes.