Neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin says he plans to make good on threats to stage an anti-Semitic armed march through Whitefish next month, despite dismissive comments this week by Richard Spencer, the white nationalist and part-time Whitefish resident who inspired the idea.
Anglin's insistence comes after Spencer said he doesn't believe the march will take place, describing Anglin's scheme as simply a "troll" of Whitefish residents. In an email Thursday, Anglin said Spencer is wrong, and that Anglin plans to apply for a permit that would allow him and a cohort of fellow skinheads to demonstrate in the streets.
"This is not about backing up Richard Spencer," Anglin wrote of his proposed march, "this is about justice, and making it clear to the Jewish mafia that we will no longer tolerate their criminal gangsterism, their attacks on the families of those they disagree with politically."
The proposed march was spun out of a recent dispute between Spencer, his mother, and local real estate agent Tanya Gersh, with the Spencers accusing Gersh of a "shake down" aimed at forcing Sherry Spencer to sell a commercial building she owns in Whitefish. Anglin took up the cause, calling for a "trollstorm" against Gersh, who is Jewish, and other Jewish residents of Whitefish. That threat later escalated when Anglin began promoting a "March on Whitefish" for which he would recruit California skinhead groups to carry assault-style rifles through the town.
The situation garnered international attention, prompting Spencer on Wednesday to tell the Daily Interlake
newspapers he thought Anglin's call to arms was just a joke—much as Spencer dismissed his own "Hail Trump" salute at a recent white nationalist conference as ironic play.
Spencer did not, however, explicitly call for Anglin to call off the march, saying only that he is powerless to influence the blogger, but has become weary of the spotlight the controversy has put on Whitefish.
"I'm not telling Anglin to do anything," Spencer now tells the Indy
. "I just assumed it was a troll. Can he really bring out people for a march on a ski village in remote Montana?"
Anglin says he can, though he may be confused about where exactly his skinheads will march. Anglin, who lists a Worthington, Ohio, address on his site, says he is routing a path for the demonstration that will begin in "the center of the city" and end at the "Jewish center, where Gersh is the head and several figures in [local human rights group]
Love Lives Here are members."
Glacier Jewish Community
does not have a center or synagogue in Whitefish. Anglin did not respond to a follow-up question asking what he means by "Jewish center."
Anglin is virulently anti-Semitic, and his emailed statement doubles as a rant against the Jewish people. "Jews have operated with impunity for decades, destroying the lives of anyone who dared question their international criminal cartel," he writes. "Those days are finished. This is a revolt of the goyim."
He explains that he is moving forward with the march because Gersh and Love Lives Here have refused his demand that they apologize to Sherry Spencer.
In response to Anglin's demand, Loves Live Here chairman Will Randall echoed a recent comment by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. "This is not a negotiation," he says. "It's discrimination and it should never be negotiable."
Spencer and Anglin
Anglin's interest in Whitefish links Spencer to a rhetoric and style that he tries to keep at arm's length. Spencer, credited with coining the term "alt-right," attempts to present white nationalism as an intellectually legitimate position, independent of the overtly racist rhetoric usually associated with hate groups. That's why he has fashioned his nonprofit National Policy Institute as a beltway-style think tank with aspirations to relocate to Washington, D.C.
Anglin, on the other hand, has expressed concern via the Daily Stormer
that media attention to figures such as Spencer serves to "remove focus from the Jewish problem."
"I absolutely believe that unrepentant anti-Semitism needs to remain at the core of the movement, just as it has been from the beginning," Anglin wrote in an August guide to the "alt-right" published on the site.
Spencer doesn't traffic in the grotesquely inflammatory language used by Anglin, but anti-Semitic jokes and references are nonetheless a regular feature of his speeches. At the NPI conference in November, where he led the "Hail Trump" toast, Spencer referenced Jewish folklore to describe journalists as "soulless golem."
Earlier this month, Anglin and Spencer appeared together on a right-wing podcast
. An excerpt reported by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights
shows the two men's difference in approach.
Spencer: “They [Jews] kind of need us in a way… But in a weird way, it’s the people that shall not dwell alone, to borrow a title from Kevin McDonald’s book. They do need us.”
Anglin: “It’s a virus. They’re a human disease” [laughter].
Spencer: “Somewhat inflammatory language, but I understand what you’re saying.”
This week, Spencer told the Daily Interlake
that Anglin is "totally wild—that's not my kind of thing," while also calling him a "rational" person who wouldn't engage in physical violence.
Asked Friday morning whether he would call upon Anglin to stand down, Spencer offered this statement: "It's time to bring this to an end." He then pointed the Indy
to a Youtube video he posted on Friday in which Spencer says that Whitefish residents can end the controversy by renouncing Love Lives Here, and specifically the Jewish rabbis involved.
"Don't listen to these rabbis," he says in the video. "Do you think they have good in their heart? Do you think they care for you? Do you think they care for this community? No, they're pursuing their own sick little project."
Spencer goes on in the video to tell Montana politicians who have denounced the march to "stop freaking out."
"The trolls are playing the tune and you are dancing to it, which is kind of funny," he says.
Residents opposed to Spencer and Anglin have scheduled a "Love Not Hate" block party for Jan. 7 in Whitefish.