1. Michael Barton says

    Fantastic interview except for the part where he failed to punch the Nazi in the face.

    Also, even if every African-American descending from slaves has a better life by some standard, which is not true and ignores many factors, one might want to mention the generations living in the most horrible conditions any human population ever lived under, and the countless who died on the passage or in slavery, and in the wars in Africa that were fomented by the slave trade.

    Also, note that I am logged in as “Michael Barton.” This is not Michael Barton. This is Greg Laden. I can not explain why logging in with the user name “greg_laden” and a password gets me to become Michael Barton! Maybe somebody can look into that or, failing that, please send me Michael’s credit card numbers if you have them. Thanks.

  2. Terska says

    Why do white supremacists, almost all them failures to a person, get to take credit for what other light skinned people have accomplished?

  3. jamesramsey says

    I have a favorite book. It’s “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy”.

    There are several takeaways from it.

    1. Slavery is here and now and not in our history.

    2. The foundation of slavery is terror. Slave owners live in constant fear of slave revolt. Therefore, they constantly terrorize their slaves so that they are constantly afraid.

    3. At least for me, deciding that some people are things and not people is just fundamentally evil. I can’t imagine any way around this.

  4. doubtthat says

    Just want to add, that it wasn’t just that the European powers robbed Africa of millions of citizens, they also actively fucked up those countries via colonialism: devastated their governing structures, extracted and robbed their natural wealth, destabilized and fostered violence between sub-groups…

    It’s impossible to know what Africa would look like absent malevolent intervention by Europe.

  5. doubtthat says

    And the stupid Mad Men aesthetic: the suits, holding a glass of what looks like scotch…it’s such a desperate, cloying effort at dressing their ignorant, vapid, horseshit in classic respectability.

    In his defense, that transparent nonsense was enough to fool the NY Times into writing a bunch of articles about the gentleman white supremacist…

  6. lotharloo says

    Yes yes, if you remove Africans, if the continent of Africa were not there, nothing in human’s history would change. Well done Richard Spencer, you have spoken like a true Trump supporter. I am surprised you don’t have a cabinet position yet, you are far more qualified to be in the Trump administration than the guy who suggested pollution is good for the health.

  7. wubbes says

    “…if the continent of Africa were not there, nothing in human’s history would change.” Except for there being, you know, no human history.

  8. rpjohnston says

    I was waiting for him to get socked and was disappointed.

    I doubt I would have lasted long enough for him to get to the “I’m Richard Spencer and I say so” part but that’s where I would have most definitely grabbed his head and slammed his face against my knee.

  9. emergence says

    wubbes @10

    also consider everything else;
    – entire countries like the US were built on the backs of slaves from Africa
    – civilizations like Egypt had a massive impact on the ancient world
    – African cultures introduced coffee farming to the rest of the world

    That’s just what a layman like me can think of off the top of his head. Spencer is such an idiot. You can’t have a whole continent with dozens of cultures and ethnic groups that have existed for millennia without it having an impact on the rest of the world.

  10. Ed Seedhouse says

    I think he missed an opportunity to ask the idiot if he uses “Arabic” numerals, invented by brown skinned people living on the “Indian” subcontinent. But then I suppose the idiot can’t count beyond three and thinks zero is an illegitimate number.

    Or maybe he might have asked if he boycots gunpowder, since that was invented by yellow skinned people, or does he include them in the “white” category? An there’s printing presses and silk, and so on.

    I guess we “whites” actually invented all those things…

  11. Zeppelin says

    One uniting factor among white supremacists seems to be their utter ignorance of history.

    Like, even if you believe that Africans are inherently inferior and produce no worthwhile culture, the idea that Africa and Africans had no significant effect on world history* is ludicrous to anyone who knows anything about anything. You could maybe cobble together a theory to explain their undeniable historical importance despite their presumed inferiority, but white supremacists don’t even get that far. They simply assume that since they don’t know about a thing, it mustn’t exist.

    *and I’m going with their definition of “world history” here, which discounts the fact that for most of human (pre)history, all of human history happened entirely in Africa, and under which only events that affect Europeans qualify as “world history”

  12. militantagnostic says


    – African cultures introduced coffee farming to the rest of the world

    That is something that definitely had major economic impact.

    Mingus > Mozart

  13. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    White supremacy is a premise that is disproved by the existence of white supremacists.

  14. brucegee1962 says

    I had to stop before the 1:30 mark. Spencer literally triggers my gag reflex, and I was about to retch all over my keyboard.

  15. Zmidponk says

    There is a tiny nugget of truth in what Richard Spencer says about black people in America today generally being better off than black people in Africa today, but it is only a tiny nugget, as you have to take into account the fact that white Europeans, in the past, have had some pretty damn adverse effects on the African continent – including by the forcible removal of a significant chunk of the population as slaves, so it’s very difficult to say what state Africa would be in now if white Europeans had simply stayed in Europe. However, even that tiny nugget is negated by the simple fact that, if it weren’t for the past actions of people who repudiate the very idea of white supremacy and actively fight against the ideas and cause that Richard Spencer stands for, it’s very likely that the vast majority of black people in the US would still be slaves, and what Richard Spencer said would therefore NOT actually be true.

  16. pinguicula says

    I’ve just about managed to watch a handful of videos of this person. Spencer to my mind seems to use a tactic of making very general repulsive assertions eg. ‘Africans have benefited from white supremacy’ and then when an interviewer struggles to navigate the answer which requires more than a sound bite (ignoring the fact that you would also be swallowing your own vomit and battling adrenaline) he then puts on one of those smug faces that says ‘see, I’m right’. I get the suspicious feeling that his style and smugness is deliberately inviting a physical reaction just so he can say ‘see I was right, I was only talking and this person hit me, I am superior’.

    Reminds me a bit of the carlgon ‘I wouldn’t even….’ in terms of vileness.

  17. unclefrogy says

    his body is in the same place as the rest of us humans but his mind must exist in some alternate universe leaving him almost completely devoid of any understanding of this universe. that is the only explanation that makes sense to me.
    I watched the whole thing but do not know why! appalling
    uncle frogy

  18. pinguicula says

    At 2:30 ‘you’ll never be an Englishman’.
    How does anybody even respond to that without getting emotional, basically what spencer is saying you will never be an Englishman because you are black, I assume the interviewer is British (probably in England specifically) by birth, how he kept his cool there is commendable. Well I might say to spencer that there is nothing intrinsically special about being an ‘Englishman’ and of course he’s probably fantasizing about being a white home counties lord of the manor. A pity the interviewer had not been born in Scotland or Wales, he could have chuckled about that one. I’m glad I’ve seen this and other videos, I’m now seeing just how nasty things are becoming.
    I mistakenly dipped into the comments below the video on youtube and was naïve to think they wouldn’t mainly be supportive of spencer, they are, unfortunately.

  19. DanDare says

    Yes if you are in a country with a high standard of living you may also have a high standard of living. Unless you are denied participation in that standard of living.

  20. jeffreykramer says

    Sorry, I just don’t see what this kind of interview accomplishes. It’s basically:

    SPENCER: Let me make this crazy racist claim.
    YOUNGE: Jesus Christ, that’s crazy and racist.
    SPENCER: What makes you say that?
    YOUNGE: It’s too obvious to waste time on.

    Well, yeah, it’s too obvious for sane people, who already knew it was crazy and racist. So why do we need to hear it said again?

  21. says

    Slaves didn’t have longer or happier lives. Some of their descendants may be living better now that white people have eased up the boot on their neck, but their lifespans are still shorter, in America, than white people’s.

    Younge was patient but all those white people around Spencer with cameras should have been punching Spencer out of embarrassment.

  22. chigau (違う) says

    jeffreykramer #24
    Well, yeah, it’s too obvious for sane people, who already knew it was crazy and racist. So why do we need to hear it said again?
    What do you mean we Paleface?

  23. jeffreykramer says

    What do you mean we Paleface?

    In case you’re being serious, let’s say there are two types of people watching this interview:
    1. Crazy and Racist, and
    2. Not Crazy and Racist.
    In that case, nothing in the interview will make any impression on group 1, because all they see is a black man saying Spencer’s comments are crazy and racist, and that just proves Spencer is a victim of Big Multiculturalism with its White Genocide agenda or whatever; and nothing will make any impression on group 2, because they already knew that Spencer was a reliable font of crazy racism before the interview. So who benefits from the interview?

  24. jeffreykramer says

    (And I meant category 2 to read, “not [crazy and racist]” rather than “[not crazy] and racist.”)

  25. mineralfellow says

    As someone living in South Africa, this is utterly incomprehensible. The white colonists lived side-by-side with the local people for a good chunk of the country’s history, and it was really only once large-scale mining operations started here that true segregation started. Then, the Apartheid government instituted the Land Act, which immediately stole the property of millions of black South Africans. The idea that they would have been unable to operate in a global setting is one that will never get tested, because the colonial forces (from several European nations) never gave people here a chance.

  26. kurt1 says

    I want someone to ask that fucker how he wants to accomplish creating his ethno state. Either he gives a non answer, which makes him look like the weak nazi populist he is, or he spews bullshit about ethnical cleansing, which will make him look good only to people who are at least as vile as him. Also punching him in the face after such an answer should be considered a public service.

  27. unclefrogy says

    I want someone to ask that fucker how he wants to accomplish creating his ethno state.

    that is it! do not waste time and energy trying to refute all of the facets (bull shit) of his assertions make him go all the way to “the final solution” which at the heart of the matter
    uncle frogy

  28. EigenSprocketUK says

    “Yeah, but England’s not really your home. Not really.”
    This, coming from a white man in America.
    PS, no we don’t want him repatriated to whichever part of Europe his great-great-great-great-grandparents came from. Feel free to punch him where he stands.

  29. Bernard Bumner says

    Sorry, I just don’t see what this kind of interview accomplishes.

    Than answer of course is that this is part of a larger piece, and one intended primarily for a British audience, examining the rise of Trump and the Alt-right and reemergence of open white supremacy movements.

    It would be odd not to at least attempt to shine a light on the leaders of the movement by engaging them directly; Spencer is not well known in the UK. This would be obviously repugnant to most UK viewers, keeping in mind that white supremacy is not really a movement with any visibility in the UK. For the same reason it would also be extremely surprising to see someone on the margins of, but connected very closely to, mainstream politics espousing those beliefs. In the UK he may well have faced criminal charges of inciting racial hatred for saying the same things that he has in public in the US.

  30. pinguicula says

    ‘England’s not really your home’
    that type of statement disqualifies spencer at every level, an idiotic school ground taunt that doesn’t even need refuting. Oh and saying he’s not a white supremacist because that ‘means controlling non whites’ shows what a disingenuous tosser he is, of course he is a white supremacist, but his pet answer then throws the ball into the interviewers court and has them once again looking for the best way to throw it back, meanwhile spencer puts on one of his smug faces and says ‘see, I win’. I personally think spencer is baiting people to attack him physically (and yes, that has worked so far as we have seen), but when he ends up hospitalized he will get more attention and more support.

  31. tarski says

    You have to be an almost unbelievable kind of ignorant to think that civilization minus Africa approximately equals civilization. I can’t tell whether the ignorance is fake or just deliberate. Even if the Out of Africa hypothesis is false and we aren’t all Africans, how do you read a history book without noticing how much Africa and its sons and daughters have done for the world?

    How could you tell the history of mathematics without mentioning Africa? Euclid of Alexandria was probably the most influential geometer ever. Diophantus of Alexandria was “the father of algebra.” Heron of Alexandria was a big deal in early geometry and probably invented the windmill. What about Hypatia of Alexandria? Even if you equivocate about what it means for a person to be African, you can’t tell those or so many other stories without talking about Egypt. The Lebombo and Ishango bones are African.

    Or how could you tell the history of astronomy without mentioning Africa? From Adam’s calendar to the Pharaohs to the Ptolemies, the history of astronomy has everything to do with Africa.

    Or what about music? Jazz, blues, bebop, boogie, gospel, spiritual, funk, trap, rock, hip hop…

    Or what about medicine? Or what about language? Or what about religion, law, philosophy, art, architecture, trade, seafaring? There just isn’t any way to tell the history of civilization without having to talk about Africa and Africans incessantly. Femtochemistry was invented by an African. CT scans were invented by an African. A significant part of lithium ion battery tech was invented by an African. Coffee cultivation is an African idea. The first human heart transplant was performed by an African in Africa.

    I’ll stop rage-listing counterexamples to a racist’s ignorance now. It’s just infuriating to hear such claims. But then I guess that’s the point.

  32. erichoug says

    The single best argument against a monochromatic, all white state is that I would have to live with people like Richard Spencer.

    Of the two people involved in that interview, I would way rather live next to Gary Younge than Richard Spencer. In fact, if I lived next door to Richard Spencer, I would move.

  33. blf says

    Mr Younge has now written about the interview, Why interviewing Richard Spencer was a risk worth taking:

    Giving publicity to a white supremacist isn’t something I do lightly, but right now, ignoring him seems more dangerous than hopefully exposing him
    The most common response to that video has been a variation on the theme of physical retribution (“I can’t believe you didn’t punch him” […]). [… M]any have raised the issue […] — “Why give him a platform?” “Who stands to gain from this?” These are reasonable questions. Indeed I asked it myself, on camera, before I interviewed him, saying: “I’m quite conflicted about interviewing Richard Spencer. Ordinarily, giving someone like that oxygen is something I think journalists shouldn’t do.”

    So why did I? Well, the primary reason was journalistic. The documentary seeks to unearth the roots of white anxiety in America and how that is affecting the nation’s politics. […]


    […] Spencer’s supremacist views are well-known. So while we would put Spencer on camera, the aim would be to challenge his views not indulge them. The aim was to be civil but firm. My first question — “You want to create a nation of dispossessed white people. Is that right?” — was hardly a curveball.

    What did we expect? From what we had seen before, he would appear charming and reasonable while giving his egregious and offensive views an intellectual gloss. He would find it in his own interests to be believable and engaging, and my task would be to get the mask to slip.

    What we did not expect was that he would be ignorant, historically illiterate, incoherent and personally insulting. The reason I called time on the interview was because Spencer was spent — beyond baiting me, he had nothing to offer, and frankly, I had no desire to hang around a white supremacist conference a second longer than I had to.

    […] We didn’t anticipate that he’d bring the gallows and the rope and finish the job himself in such ostentatious fashion. By the end of the interview I don’t think anybody is in any doubt about what his views are. The risk resides in whether, having seen the interview, people are more likely to identify with him and his views or less. On balance, given his performance and the response, we think it was a risk worth taking.

    For UK viewers, the Grauniad adds that “‘Angry, White and American’ is on Channel 4 at 10pm, Thursday 9 November.”

  34. methuseus says

    @militantagnostic #16:

    Mingus > Mozart

    That’s like, your opinion, man.
    Not knowing Mingus, I prefer Mozart. But now that I’ve been introduced to the idea of Mingus, I need to explore his music. I like some strains of jazz, and not others, so I may still prefer Mozart, but that wouldn’t diminish Mingus in the least. To be honest, I tend to prefer Handel to Mozart, anyway, so YMMV.

  35. emergence says

    That thing about Younge never truly being English or that Africa is his real home shows how fucked Spencer’s understanding of culture is. Cultures aren’t written in our genes and country borders aren’t laws of nature. If you’ve lived all your life in England and identify with English culture, then you’re an Englishman.

  36. emergence says

    I suppose that Spencer thinks this white people are exceptions to this, considering that the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were originally populated by people of color and white people immigrated there over the past couple of centuries. He never talks about how white people should leave the U.S. and move back to Europe.