The residents of a small resort town in Montana have succeeded in completely ostracizing Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi credited with coining the term “alt-right.”
According to the New York Times, Spencer has become an “outcast” in Whitefish, Montana, which the outlet describes as a “mostly liberal, affluent community nestled” in a Trump-supporting county. Through calculated efforts, residents have made sure that Spencer can’t get a table at many of the town’s restaurants, and—if he is able to enter an establishment—that he’s booed on sight.
“Richard Spencer wanted this to be his happy vacation place where he could play and have fun, and people would just live and let live,” Francine Green Roston, a local Rabbi who has spoken out against Spencer, told the Times. “Then he started suffering social consequences for his hatred.”
Though Spencer isn’t in the town year round, he’s managed to sufficiently roil the community with this bigotry. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, Spencer’s mother called a real estate agent in the area for advice about how to distance herself from her son, whose beliefs she didn’t share. Spencer’s mother initially heeded the agent’s advice to sell her Whitefish home and give the money to a human rights organization, but then later turned on her, accusing the real estate agent—Tanya Gersh—of blackmailing her into making the sale in a letter published on Medium. (Spencer admitted to writing the letter under his mother’s name in an interview with the Times.) What followed was an aggressive doxxing campaign spurred by Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin.
Government officials including the state’s governor, attorney general, and members of Congress, as well as prominent community members have since led concerted efforts to make it clear that Spencer and his politics aren’t welcome in the town.
Spencer told the Times that he keeps a low profile in Whitefish, though he said he doesn’t “have any anxiety dealing with anyone.” But his problems are much bigger than Whitefish anyway. Consider this sentence from the Times’ report, a brief summary of what else is going on in Spencer’s life at the moment:
Meanwhile, his wife has divorced him, and he is facing trial next month in Charlottesville, Va., over his role in the deadly 2017 neo-Nazi march there, but says he cannot afford a lawyer.
Might I add that Spencer’s wife is divorcing him in part because she says he physically abused her while she was pregnant. Getting booed at a restaurant, it would seem, is just the beginning of the consequences Spencer will face.