White supremacist carnival barker and sometimes-literal punching bag Richard Spencer, whose ongoing college tour has seen plummeting attendance as the number of potential audience members willing to be seen in his presence diminishes, might call it quits on the whole thing since it’s not “fun” anymore now that “antifa is winning.”
In an interview with USA Today on Monday, Spencer opined that clashes at his appearances—which despite weak showings from his side have continued to draw large crowds of anti-racist protesters that have sometimes grown violent—have made it so that he can’t continue enjoying antics like flailing around on stage or rambling at hecklers about “communist antifa.” As a result, future college speeches are indefinitely postponed.
“When they become violent clashes and pitched battles, they aren’t fun,” Spencer told the paper. “I don’t inspire any kind of violence... Until the situation changes, we are up a creek without a paddle.”
In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Spencer said that he can no longer hold college events publicized in advance because of how many protesters show up.
“Antifa is winning,” Spencer told the Post.
But Spencer added that he still intends to drop by said campuses publicly unannounced, which is really a great idea that totally does not ignore the fact his campus events are only possible because publicly funded colleges are often obligated by law to host him, and thus subsidize the lavish security measures often necessary to prevent him from getting punched again. Such a plan also relies on individuals with knowledge of when he’ll show up staying quiet, which is not really a good bet for a high-profile white supremacist.
Spencer might not have had much touring left to do anyways. Per the Forward, his only remaining appearance was at the University of Michigan, but the event still isn’t scheduled, and the lawyer he employed to sue his way past reluctant campus administrators recently announced he was quitting “after a series of articles about his racist past appeared in the Detroit Free Press.” According to Michigan Radio, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel has remained adamant that they will only allow Spencer on campus if there is a guarantee of safety.
In any case, Spencer’s star within the movement—always tenuous and rooted mainly in his ability to get lots of indulgent press coverage—has fallen somewhat since an infamous white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year that resulted in three deaths and scores of injuries, per the Forward.
“For the public, his 15 minutes are over,” Political Research Associates associate fellow Spencer Sunshine told the Forward. For fellow racist activists, Sunshine added, “... There’s a reluctant acceptance of him. I think a lot of people don’t like him. He’s not such a uniter.”