National Harbor, Maryland — White nationalist Nick Fuentes may have been kicked out of the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, but other white nationalists and their sympathizers found their way in.
Fuentes, the leader of the America First white nationalist youth movement, briefly made it into CPAC at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center Thursday, even snagging a photo with Mike Lindell, the election conspiracy theorist and sugar daddy to right-wing causes. But, as in previous years, Fuentes, who was granted his first ban from CPAC in 2019, was removed from the premises and his rally permit was revoked.
Matt Schlapp, the president of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, confirmed Fuentes’ removal Friday. In a statement on Instagram, Schlapp claimed that Fuentes’ “hateful racist rhetoric and actions are not consistent with the mission of CPAC” and claimed to be concerned about antisemitism.
We removed Nick Fuentes from his attempt to attend our conference. His hateful racist rhetoric and actions are not consistent with the mission of CPAC. We are pleased that our conference welcomes a wide array of conservative perspectives from people of different backgrounds, but we are concerned about the rise in antisemitic rhetoric (or Jew hatred) in our country and around the globe, whether it be in the corridors of power and academia or through the online rantings of bigots like Fuentes.
But despite banning Fuentes, CPAC gladly welcomed politicians who cozied up to him or spread hate themselves. The main event of the MAGA carnival was, of course, President Donald Trump, who had dined with Fuentes and Kanye West this fall and failed to denounce the white nationalist after news broke of their dinner. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has a long history of antisemitic conspiracy theories and racist comments, took the stage Saturday to bash trans people; last year, she had spoken at Fuentes’ white nationalist AFPAC conference and failed to denounce Fuentes until it became politically expedient to do so. Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump adviser and alleged member of a Nazi-allied political group in Hungary, provided CPAC with a hateful transphobic tirade Saturday morning. And Stephen Miller, a former Trump adviser known for his affinity for white nationalism, called on House Republicans to defund the Department of Homeland Security unless every undocumented immigrant that crosses the border gets “shipped back to where they came from.” So much for standing against hateful or racist rhetoric.
Meanwhile, followers of Fuentes’ white nationalist movement, who refer to themselves as groypers, milled about in the conference entrance Saturday wearing their blue America First hats before security asked them to leave. As they exited the building, they began chanting “We want Nick!” and briefly set up their America First flags in front of the hotel. They were shooed off the premises.
But some groypers found their way back into the conference and past the Secret Service checkpoint, leaving their blue America First hats at home in favor of small AF pins, a Pepe the Frog sticker, and a “Ye is Right” hat. They chatted with Ryan Sanchez, a former member of the Rise Above Movement, a white nationalist street gang, and Greyson Arnold, a pro-Nazi blogger whose services were once employed by the Washington state GOP.
One groyper wearing an AF pin calmly explained to this reporter why he did not believe women should have the right to vote or hold elected office. “I don’t think a lot of people shouldn’t have the right to vote. I shouldn’t have the right to vote,” he added, explaining that he’s 21, doesn’t own property or have children and thus, in his opinion, shouldn’t have a say in the direction of this country.
He and another groyper identified themselves as “incels,” comparing their involuntary celibacy to a disability. They insisted that they do not hate women despite believing that women should not vote or hold political office. Of course, just minutes earlier, Sanchez, Arnold, and other groypers in their group had harassed Amanda Moore, an independent writer who had gone undercover in MAGA world in 2020 and 2021, gleefully calling her “a slut.”
Undeterred by his banishment from CPAC, Fuentes vowed to hold an event nearby following Trump’s speech Saturday at an undisclosed location—revealed first by the Southern Poverty Law Center to Fuentes’ disappointment. As a line of mostly young men waited to enter the conference room at The Residence Inn by Marriott across the street from CPAC, a CPAC Shabbat event came to a close down the hall, with Jewish CPAC attendees milling about the same entrance from which groypers were entering. While the America First event was free, it was not open to the press, and this reporter was turned away.
In a livestream of the event, Fuentes is seen addressing attendees wearing a large black puffer jacket and sunglasses despite the dark room while Christian, dystopian, and abstract images flickered on the screen behind him.
“Transgenderism has got to go because it’s not true,” Fuentes says, agreeing with The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, who earlier that day had called for the eradication of “transgenderism.” “Well, in that case, feminism has got to go, too. Liberalism has got to be eradicated.”
“At the end of the day you know what else has got to go in a Christian society?” Fuentes asks the crowd.
“Democracy?” a woman yells out from the audience.
“Well that,” Fuentes says. “The other thing that has got to go from the public life at the highest levels is this Talmudic Judaism.”
His followers hollered their approval, erupting into chants of “Christ is King!”
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