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By Aidan Mattis

On Friday afternoon, an article was published here on The Libertarian Republic called “I Had Coffee With Richard Spencer (Sort Of).” The article covered an over the phone interview with the man widely acknowledged as a leader of the Alt-Right, in fact the man who coined the term in the summer of 2008. I was the author of this article, and I conducted the interview. While the article was intended as an objective look at the beliefs of the notorious White Nationalist, Richard Spencer, it was received with mixed reviews on both ends. Vehement anti-semitism met left wing, anti-free speech fascism in the comments section. I expressed my exasperation via my personal twitter, and found myself further mired in controversy.

“Aidan, I’d bury this article if I were you. Richard Spencer wants non-white people exterminated from this country, by any means necessary. And you’re trying to normalize him,” wrote one user, “Can this man even name one thing he’s lost to a person of color? How could you have neglected to ask him that? This article was lean on the facts, in addition to being grossly offensive.”

As any writer should do, I took the criticism seriously and combed my article for offensive comments that I had made. I found myself calling Spencer articulate and polite and one point, and at another I said every voice deserves to be heard. These comments did not seem offensive to me. Could my description of Spencer be considered praising, and thus offensive to non-whites? Perhaps, but was that enough to warrant the suggestion that I scrub the article from the web? Probably not. This drove me to a certain realization.

The offense taken by those who criticized the article did not seem driven by the writing itself, nor by my tone, but by the fact that I would even give this person (should I dare to humanize him) a platform on which to display his “wretched beliefs”. I’d gone into the field under a white flag of truce and requested an audience with the devil himself, and that was maddening to them. I was accused of being “too fair” and informed by people who did not interview Richard Spencer that I knew less about Richard Spencer than they did. Still, there is nothing, to my knowledge, that indicates any support for Spencer in the article. There could have been more questions regarding what people of color have done to him to make him hate them, but at no point did he inform me that he hates people of color.

To be honest, I didn’t even write down a script of questions and follow ups. Richard and I had a conversation driven by questions I made up on the fly, solely because for the purpose of objectivity and spontaneity. There was no hidden intention behind the words we exchanged, at least not on my end, so why confuse the situation? If I had cornered Spencer, he might have lashed out or closed up. Instead, he was open and honest with his interviewer because he trusted that his words would be relayed fairly.

As Bill Maher said regarding Milo Yiannopoulos’s appearance on his show, “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. I disagree with Spencer on a great deal of what we discussed, but that does not mean I should not seek to understand his point of view. If one is of the mind that Spencer is a “bacterial curse” on this planet, then let articles and interviews like mine bring Spencer into the mainstream so that everyone can know how despicable you believe he is. If, however, your concern is that people will agree with him and this could be dangerous, then argue for Spencer to engage in televised debate. Defeat him with facts, logic, argument, not with censorship. Encourage journalists to write objective pieces and let people decide if they like him or dislike him. Promote sources that engage in the philosophy, in terms of journalism, claimed by Fox News: “We report, you decide.” I reported, I relayed Spencer’s words to the public, and now the public can decide whether or not they agree with him.

It seems that not everyone hopped on board with this idea. I was told that I should not have been objective, that I should have either attacked Spencer or kept my mouth shut. This, of course, is not an isolated event. UC Davis shut Milo Yiannopoulos down, UC Berkeley caught on fire to keep him silent. DePaul University threatened to arrest Ben Shapiro for setting foot on campus. Even left leaning Dave Rubin was shut down via surprise security charges at the University of Southern California, as reported by Heatstreet. So called “anti-fascist” groups and even university officials are quieting freedom of speech on the grounds that it may offend a group of people, squelching debate and discussion of issues that matter simply because two parties do not agree.

In a society that values free speech and debate, we should never promote any action to prevent people from exchanging ideas with their fellow citizens. In the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall on the attitude of French philosopher Voltaire “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. This virtue long valued in western culture today hangs by a thread, its future uncertain. On both sides of the mainstream political spectrum and among all the alternates, there is a growing polarization, a lack of willingness for any party to engage another, and if left unchecked it will drive a nation once praised as the freest place on Earth into dust and ruin.

As Americans in the 21st Century, we inherit and perpetuate a culture in which every individual from Kanye West to the mailman has a political agenda or opinion. Peoples’ beliefs may vary wildly from the left to the right to all over the place. They may believe things that we find despicable, we may believe things they find abhorrent. Does this mean we shouldn’t hear each other? Does this mean we should sit at the same political dinner table and simply pretend the other is not there? How do we progress, how can we claim that we seek to understand, when we refuse to grant one another a fair chance to speak their mind? I gave this man a chance, not to defend himself, but simply to state what he believes. If that is controversial, then I am happy to be controversial.

EDITOR’s NOTE: The views expressed are those of the author, they are not representative of The Libertarian Republic or its sponsors.

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  • No one wants an open debate with people like Richard Spencer because they know they would lose. This is why there was so much backlash for reporting on the issue objectively.

    • Aidan Mattis

      I don’t know that I agree that he’d be unbeatable, but it is frustrating as a writer to be attacked for simply reporting what he said.

      • Leftist resort to attack tactics instead of open discourse, you are not allowed to observe and report without an agenda that undermines the right. If we get down to debating the brass tacks of Alt-Right ideology about promoting White interests then we will win the argument. How does multiculturalism benefit me as a White man? It doesnt, so why would I want it? People on the Alt-Right are similar to leftist in one way, they are well educated and they usually have a college degree. How they differ is they look at facts and see the world from a rational instead of an emotional viewpoint. The left thinks we hate people for no particular reason, when the truth is we see people for who they are and we would rather be with our own people. We see that Whites were 20 percent of the world population in 1960 and now they are less than 7 percent. We want to change this by informing other Whites about these facts. When we do we are attacked by leftists (for putting up posters saying “We have a right to exist”), just as I will get leftys attacking me for my commentary. Its hard to debate with an Alt-Righter because they argue with facts and logic and not emotion.

  • Communist Spectator

    it’s amazing to me that so many comments here were deleted, and even so, more antisemitism has cropped up, AND STILL you don’t recognize that you are literally giving a platform for nazis and how dangerous that is.

    • Aidan Mattis

      Exactly what are you talking about? There were no comments on this post until yesterday and the original has not had any comments deleted. Nor is Spencer a Nazi. Should I write an article on how the ideology you ascribe to has resulted in the deaths of 100 million people?

      • Communist Spectator

        Is it so Insane that White People want to have Solidarity and be Tribal?

        Is it so Insane that White People want to Defend Themselves?

        Is it so Insane that White People care about their own Interests?

        No……

        It’s very SANE and Logical……

        And Dangerous in today’s Socio-Political Climate……

        If Richard Spencer was a Fool……..no one would even care about him at all……

        The fact that he’s Right about many things……and highly Erudite and Persuasive…

        …….scares the Left……….

        …..to the point that eliminating him entirely…….

        ….isn’t out of the question…….

        But, the Irrational Hatred and Violence towards Richard is exactly why the Alt-Right is Rising…..

        So many people are being Red-Pilled right now……

        It’s AMAZING…….

        Thanks, Richard!

        Ember Wolf TMNM

        People
        know what happens when Europeans/whites look out for their interests:
        they tend to succeed. It’s concerning to people who need societal
        booster seats.

        John Cross

        Blues
        also developed from country music, the first song that could ever be
        described as rap was a country song. If you think black music developed
        in a vacuum with no European influences, then you’re sorely mistaken.
        Also is the fact that cultures mixing can sometimes lead to some good
        things enough of an excuse to want to blend everyone to the point of
        there being no unique cultures whatsoever? And what exactly have blacks
        brought to white societies other than music that is of any note? Why do
        you think we should be erased from history, why do you think that’s a
        good thing? Most of what we take for granted now was developed, created
        and manufactured by Europeans.

        form

        Aidan,
        I’d bury this article if I were you. Richard Spencer wants non-white
        people exterminated from this country, by any means necessary. And
        you’re trying to normalize him. Can this man even name one thing he’s
        lost to a person of color? How could you have neglected to ask him that?
        This article was lean on the facts, in addition to being grossly
        offensive. Kid, you have your whole professional life ahead of you.
        Don’t curry favor with bigots like Spencer, and botch it beyond repair
        before before you even get it started!

        John Cross

        I’d
        bury this comment if I were you, nothing but unresearched lies and
        slander. You also just implied that in order to have a successful career
        you have to curry favour with people on the political left, which is
        unfortunately true, and pretty Orwellian. Fighting the good fight is
        never easy, when people want to leave you starving and destitute along
        the way.

        Bantz Henriksen

        Lying, loathsome worm.

        form

        Oh,
        I’m a “worm”, eh? Tell me, in alt-right lingo, is that better or worse
        than being a “cuck”? Your little “movement” is so bloated with
        euphemisms, that it’s hard for real-spoken people to keep track of them
        all!

        Landers333

        We smell bagels.

        Bantz Henriksen

        herp derp

        AJW

        I’m reporting ‘form’ for threatening behaviour online and cyber bullying.

        Aidan Mattis

        My
        goal wasn’t to normalize or attack, just to present information. I
        don’t think I was complimentary of him, nor was I harsh. Might I ask
        what about the article you think is praising of him?

        form

        I
        said you’re sucking up to Spencer, not that you’re praising him. What
        you’ve done, son, is “Lauered” the bar for this deplorable. Prudently,
        you’ve stopped short of calling him “charismatic”, “eloquent”, or
        “dapper”, as the alt-facts media have done. But, you’ve also squelched
        his backhanded support for evil customs and laws, many of which have
        been outlawed in most of the world. On his social media forums, Richard
        Spencer has “shared” quotes from the world’s most deeply hateful and
        racist people. And one of his Washington Post interviews was simply
        gone-chilling:

        “How, he was asked, in a nation with more than 100 million blacks,
        Asians, and Latinos, could a whites-only territory be created without
        overwhelming violence?

        Then, at last, he offered an answer.

        ‘Look, maybe it will be horribly bloody and terrible, he said. That’s a possibility with everything.’”

        Aidan, these expressions aren’t trolling, hyperbole, or gossip.
        Spencer is serious about everything he’s doing. So, your refusal to hold
        him accountable IS tantamount to a coy endorsement of his wretched
        beliefs. I mean, look at what you’ve sacrificed in order to do that!
        You’ve passed up an opportunity to serve the truth, opting instead to be
        a puppet for Spencer. Many of your readers are still not informed about
        Spencer’s dehumanizing “goals”. And your writing career will take a hit
        from this horrible article. You’ve put a lot into Richard Spencer –
        certainly more than he’s put into you. Maybe this was all just a
        misstep, but, for now, it *is* coming across as a sort of choice.
        Regardless, it’s time for damage control now. No writer should enter a
        self-imposed retirement at the tender age of nineteen.

        Aidan Mattis

        Well I disagree. I wasn’t sucking up to him at all. To each his own I guess.

        Landers333

        No one is buying your Hasbara-Jew BS.

        You’d better take your anti-White attacks somewhere else.

        The Alt-Right is here. — And we see you.

        And yes. — You’re all going back.

        Whether you go peacefully, or feet-first — we don’t really care.

        Fair warning, Chaim.

        AJW

        Stop bullying a brave young person you weirdo

        Landers333

        A very reasonable article about Richard Spencer and the Alt-Right. — Congratulations.

        Ignore the comment by “form”.

        Bagel detected.

        His comment is standard, Hasbara, concern-troll procedure.

        We get them all the time. — They’re easy to spot.

        They’re frantically attempting to gaslight awakening White people.

        They know that the Alt-Right is the future.

        And they’re terrified.

        They should be.

        AJW

        Notice
        how ‘form’ doesn’t attack your article just threatens you with losing
        your job or future job. This is known as the ad employminum attack.

        John Cross

        Very good and fairly written article, makes a change from all the slander, and outright lies directed at Spencer.

        Anna K.

        Your
        writing is already better then the majority of journalists in the MSM.
        Keep up the good job of clear thinking and unbiased reporting!

        3RD LT Rico

        Hail Spencer!

        TrumpianCourtier

        Incredibly
        refreshing take on Spencer’s general philosophy. I will be making it a
        point to look out for more of your writing in the future. Bravo!

        • Aidan Mattis

          If you’ll go and look at the post those were commented on, which is separate from this one, they’re all still there.

      • Communist Spectator

        I am talking about the literal nazis using your comments section to push their ideas.

        • Aidan Mattis

          Let them talk. The Nazis killed 89 million less innocent people than the communists. Should I silence you? Nazis are worse than awful, but I’m not going to silence either party.

  • Communist Spectator

    Oh my God. I didn’t even realize that you are so dumb, you put your name next to his twice. How did they let you out of high school?!

    • Aidan Mattis

      With a 3.6 GPA, Honor Roll, a 32 on my ACT, and several varsity letters, thank you very much.

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