U.S. Holocaust Museum calls on public to denounce Richard Spencer, white nationalism

U.S. Holocaust Museum calls on public to denounce Richard Spencer, white nationalism
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington's preeminent institution dedicated to the memory of the 6 million Jews and millions of others the German Nazis murdered during World War II, issued a statement condemning a gathering of white nationalists in the city over the weekend.

Quoting media reports that Richard Bertrand Spencer — leader of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute, which sponsored the conference — made several disparaging references to the Jewish people, "spoke in German to quote Nazi propaganda" and said the U.S. belongs to white people, the museum asked the nation to repudiate the conference and its rhetoric.

"The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words," the USHMM wrote. "The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech."

At the conference, Spencer led the crowd in a chant of "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" in reference to the recent victory of Republican President-elect Donald Trump, the Atlantic reported. He referred to the U.S. as "until this last generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity ... It is our creation, it is our inheritance and it belongs to us."

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Spencer coined the term "alt-right" in 2008 as a euphemism for white nationalism, an ideology devoted to maintaining white dominance of American cultural and political life and the construction of a racially hierarchical white ethno-state.

Trump's racially inflammatory rhetoric on the campaign trail garnered him significant support from the far right. The president-elect's pick for White House chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, until recently ran self-declared alt-right hub Breitbart, which under his tenure struck an openly hostile tone on racial, gender and identity issues.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."