Lucian Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit, was arrested last night for allegedly attacking a woman who removed papers from his podium during a speech at the University of Connecticut. In the speech, which Wintrich titled “It Is OK To Be White,” he gave subtle and not-so-subtle nods to a slew of memes inspired by white supremacism that have surfaced on 4chan message boards.
Wintrich says he was arrested on “second degree breach of peace”; a video shows him grabbing a woman who removed his speech from the podium as he addressed the crowd. Wintrich’s self-labeled “New Right” allies took to social media with cries of “#FreeLucian” and constructed arguments as to why they believed Wintrich was legally justified in grabbing the woman who took the printout of his speech. Wintrich was released later that evening on a $1,000 bail, as reported by the Hartford Courant.
The news of Wintrich’s arrest threatens to obscure the content of his speech, which was a tribute to alt-right internet culture. When he wasn’t yelling at the protesters heckling him, video shows Wintrich referencing popular memes created by the online cesspool that is 4chan’s “politically incorrect” forum board, many of which stem from the application of white nationalist ideologies to mundane phrases, hand gestures and objects.
Wintrich claimed there are two Americas: “One full of cherry trees, apple pie capitalism, and another America run by illegal immigrant tranny migrants.” He claimed the “dark geniuses” on 4chan picked a “very good battle recently” on behalf of the former with the launch of the “It’s Okay To Be White” campaign. The signage campaign, he claimed, successfully baited liberals into exposing their “hateful ways” against white people.
Wintrich claimed the statement “It’s OK To Be White” was not sourced in “racial pride,” attempting to sanitize the fact that the meme was originally inspired by posters meant to intimidate black protesters at the site of an anti-racism protest in Massachusetts.
Throughout the speech, Wintrich drank from a glass of milk at the podium as protesters chanted “go home Nazi.” Wintrich’s choice of beverage was an apparent reference to a white-supremacist-inspired stunt that ardent 4chan members performed to crash actor Shia LaBouef’s “He Will Not Divide Us” art installation in Brooklyn. In videos from the stunt, which were widely celebrated on the forum board, shirtless young men drink from containers of whole milk while proclaiming “this is the face of white nationalism” and screaming loudly about their love for milk. The inspiration for the milk meme comes from studies that suggest people with European ancestry have higher lactose tolerances, which white supremacists have claimed somehow demonstrates superior genetics.
Wintrich also used his speech to display pictures of men in Renaissance clothing that he claimed represented a culture of white people long forgotten in modern times. He claimed that liberals want white people “who don’t claim they’re transgender or something like that … placed at the very bottom” of the social totem pole.
It’s no surprise that Wintrich constructed his speech from 4chan memes, considering he has published objectively false information from 4chan as fact on numerous occasions, including naming an innocent man as the killer responsible for the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this year. Wintrich has also previously shared laughs and sympathized with an internet troll who claimed to sympathize with Adolf Hilter and flew a Nazi flag during the broadcast.