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Confessions of a Free Speech LawyerCharlottesville and the Politics of Hate$
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Rodney A. Smolla

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749650

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749650.001.0001

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Becoming Richard Spencer

Becoming Richard Spencer

(p.14) 3 Becoming Richard Spencer
Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer

Rodney A. Smolla

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Richard Bertrand Spencer, a known racial supremacist from Boston. It describes Spencer as someone dangerous because he was smart. Not only did he know history, politics, and culture but he knew how to use that knowledge. Spencer evolved as the illiberal product of a liberal education, pressing his study of music, language, history, philosophy, politics, and culture into the service of ethnic cleansing. The chapter also follows the events of 2013 when Spencer grew increasingly radical in his white supremacist thinking. It looks into the conference of white nationalists called the American Renaissance where Spencer gave a speech urging “the creation of a White Ethno-State on the North American continent” and advocated for “ethnic cleansing.”

Keywords:   Richard Bertrand Spencer, racial supremacist, liberal education, ethnic cleansing, white supremacist, white nationalists, American Renaissanc

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