Christopher Cantwell

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Christopher Charles Cantwell (born November 12, 1980), also known as The Crying Nazi,[1][2][3] is an American white supremacist,[4][5][6] white nationalist,[7][8][6] libertarian pundit, shock jock, and political activist. Part of the broader alt-right movement,[9] Cantwell attained notoriety during and immediately after his participation in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[8][10][7][11] He espouses a racist form of libertarian anarcho-capitalism, at odds with the libertarian philosophy more commonly espoused in the United States.

He grew up in Stony Brook, New York, and in 2012 moved to Keene, New Hampshire.[12][13] Cantwell attended Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, New York,[14] and acquired a lengthy criminal record in New York that includes DWI, weapons and stolen property convictions.[15]

Shortly before he became a white nationalist, Cantwell described himself as a men's rights activist but also an anti-racist anarcho-capitalist. He spent much of his early-to-mid 30s as a libertarian: running for office and engaged in practical activism. A 2014 episode of the Colbert Report chronicled his daily life harassing meter maids, which Cantwell justified by appeal to the non-aggression principle of anarcho-capitalism. Colbert also documented Cantwell's harangues against veterans, whom he accused of racism for "killing Arabs."

Broadcasting and writing[edit]

Cantwell began as a men's rights activist and has contributed to the A Voice for Men website.[16] In 2014 he wrote for CopBlock.org, a police-critical organization.[17] In the same year he was presented as one of three "Difference Makers" (for "fighting for their constitutional right to be total shitstains") on the Colbert Report which documented the "Free Keene Squad" harassing meter maids.[18] He also co-hosted the anarcho-capitalist radio show Free Talk Live but was suspended in May 2015, in his words, "for calling a social justice warrior a nigger on Twitter" and, after a reinstatement, again in September 2015, also on accusations of racism.[19][20]

Meanwhile, in December 2013, Cantwell started what he called Some Garbage Podcast, disseminated through YouTube and elsewhere, and in April 2015 renamed it Radical Agenda ("a show about common sense extremism").[21] In 2017, he deleted most of the episodes from YouTube after receiving warnings about community standards violations.[22] He increasingly moved from libertarian anarchist to white-supremacist ideas, to the point that in 2017 he introduced a weekly "What Would Hitler Do?" segment by "Hadding," a frequent caller to the show who also runs a Holocaust-denying site called National-Socialist Worldview.[23][24][25] What he described as his "sorry excuse for a studio in Keene, New Hampshire" included a Donald Trump "God-Emperor" poster, a "Don't tread on me" flag, a sign saying "White Lives Matter," as well as multiple guns lying on his desk.[26]

Ideology[edit]

Cantwell has self-identified as a member of the alt-right.[27] The Anti-Defamation League includes Cantwell in its list of people on the alt-right.[9] The Southern Poverty Law Center has a profile of Cantwell, where it says that he advocates white nationalism with a libertarian spin.[28][29][30]

Cantwell has identified as a libertarian.[31] By his own account, he was originally radicalized in 2009 after listening to a presentation by former Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik.[32] He announced as a Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 1st District in 2009 but failed to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.[14]

In 2013, police accountability activist Antonio Buehler confronted Cantwell over his rape jokes and increasingly racist and sexist rhetoric, thus beginning a long social media war between the two.[33] Buehler launched a campaign to get notable libertarians to formally reject Christopher Cantwell's ideas and influence on the "liberty movement" that Cantwell was trying to make his name off of. He called out Thomas Woods, Adam Kokesh, Jordan Page, and others.[34] Cantwell responded by launching a fake website under Buehler's name and produced numerous racist memes directed at Buehler.[32] When Buehler finally tired of the war, Cantwell identified other libertarian "social justice warriors" to go after, particularly Cathy Reisenwitz.[35] The conflict between Buehler and Cantwell ultimately reignited a discussion of "thin" versus "thick" libertarianism.

In 2013, he was expelled from the libertarian Free State Project for promoting violence against the government.[36][37]

Cantwell is an admirer of right-wing anarchist philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote: "There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society."[38] This is the basis for Cantwell's frequent reference to "physical removal" - often made specific as "helicopter rides" in the manner of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who had leftist opponents thrown out of helicopters over the sea.[39]

Although he endorsed Donald Trump for president in January 2016,[40] he said that Trump was not up to his standards because he wanted a president who was, in Cantwell's own words, "a lot more racist than Donald Trump" and "does not give his daughter to a Jew."[41] The latter comment referred to Trump's daughter Ivanka's marriage to Jared Kushner. Scholars Lisa Guenther and Abigail Levin explained that the comment posited that women are the property of men and also denied Kushner's whiteness on the basis of his being a Jew.[42]

Cantwell has also expressed admiration for political commentator Tucker Carlson, who, Cantwell says, "is basically telling white America to prepare for war as directly as he can get away with while remaining on Fox News. I couldn't agree with him more, and if he tells me to pick up a gun, I'm doing it."[43]

Unite the Right rally[edit]

Cantwell participated in the Unite the Right rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11–12, 2017. He was featured by Vice News in a video about the rally,[7] where he said: "I'm carrying a pistol, I go to the gym all the time, I'm trying to make myself more capable of violence." He then follows up with "we are not the aggressors, but we're not nonviolent. We'll fucking kill these people if we have to."[44][45][4][46][47]

Criminal convictions[edit]

Following the rally, Cantwell was indicted in Albemarle County on three felony assaults stemming from the August 11 torchlit march: two counts of illegal use of tear gas and one count of malicious bodily injury with a caustic substance.[48][49]

A video of Cantwell choking back tears and weeping after hearing that an arrest warrant for him was out was published on August 16, 2017.[45][50][13] This earned him the nickname of "The Crying Nazi."[51][2][3][52][53][54] Cantwell turned himself in to police on August 24, and was transported to Charlottesville, where he was initially ordered held without bond.[48][3] He was indicted on the tear gas charges in December, and paid $25,000 bail with funds donated by supporters on the white supremacist/neo-Nazi crowdfunding web sites Hatreon and GoyFundMe.[55] In March 2018, Cantwell was charged with public drunkenness in Loudoun County,[56][57] he ultimately pleaded guilty to this misdemeanor and paid $116 in fees and court costs.[58] Separately, prosecutors accused Cantwell of attempting to intimidate witnesses via his social media accounts.[59] As a result, the court imposed more stringent terms on Cantwell's bond.[59]

In November 2017, at the preliminary hearing, the unlawful bodily injury charge was dismissed,[49] with the court ruling that "so many people had pepper spray that night that some attacks could not be definitively attributed to Cantwell."[60] In July 2018, Cantwell entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault and battery due to his pepper-spraying of two people on August 11, 2017. He was sentenced to two concurrent jail sentences of one year, with all but seven months suspended; he was released from jail.[51][61] As part of the sentence, Cantwell was required to leave Virginia within eight hours and was banned from returning to the state for five years. Cantwell also pleaded guilty to violating of the terms of his pretrial release by making social-media posts about his victims, and was fined $250.[51]

Other aftermath[edit]

On August 16, 2017, Facebook said it had shut down Cantwell's Facebook and Instagram profiles due to statements he made in connection with the rally.[62][10][63] On August 17, it was reported that Cantwell had been banned from online dating service OKCupid after a woman reported receiving a message from him after watching his Vice News video.[64][65][66]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ryan Lenz (March 29, 2018). "The 'Crying Nazi' from Charlottesville admits he is working with the feds". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Tim Marcin (August 31, 2017). "Christopher Cantwell, the Charlottesville 'Crying Nazi,' Wants Your Sympathy From Jail". Newsweek. Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "'Crying Nazi' Christopher Cantwell denied bond on Charlottesville charges". New York Daily News. August 31, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Mark, Michelle (August 16, 2017). "The chilling worldview of a white supremacist who helped lead the Charlottesville rally shows why so many people are furious with Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ Simon, Darran; Flores, Rosa (August 24, 2017). "White supremacist Christopher Cantwell surrenders to police". CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Stevens, Matt (August 21, 2017). "Christopher Cantwell, White Nationalist in Vice Video, Braces for Charges". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "Charlottesville: Race and Terror". Vice News. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Facebook bans white nationalist's accounts over hate speech". Associated Press. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Jan, Tracy; Dwoskin, Elizabeth (August 16, 2017). "Silicon Valley escalates its war on white supremacy despite free speech concerns". Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ Bonos, Lisa (August 17, 2017). "OkCupid kicks out white supremacist Chris Cantwell: 'There is no room for hate'". Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  12. ^ Landen, Xander; Whitmore, Steven. "White nationalist from Keene claims there is a warrant out for his arrest". SentinelSource.com. 
  13. ^ a b Schinella, Tony (August 16, 2017). "Video Of Self-Proclaimed Fascist, Keene Talk Host Crying Goes Viral. In a live video feed, Christopher Cantwell, a former NY congressional candidate, cries about a possible arrest after "Unite the Right" riot". Patch. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "White nationalist sought to run for Congress". 
  15. ^ "Fascist leader in Vice News piece is from Suffolk County". 
  16. ^ Marcotte, Amanda (August 18, 2017). "Weeping Nazi started off as a 'men's rights activist', which is no huge surprise". Salon. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Christopher Cantwell - Cop Block". Cop Block. 
  18. ^ Terry Clark (November 20, 2014). "Free Keene Squad - Robin Hooders" – via YouTube. 
  19. ^ "Radical Agenda EP010 - My Anthony Cumia Moment". Christopher Cantwell. May 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Goodbye Cuck Talk Live". Christopher Cantwell. September 19, 2015. 
  21. ^ Cantwell, Christopher (April 18, 2015). "Radical Agenda EP001 – Patriots' Day". Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  22. ^ Cantwell, Christopher (June 14, 2017). "Radical Agenda EP316 – Strike 2". Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  23. ^ https://gab.ai/Cantwell/posts/8296918
  24. ^ "What Would Hitler Do? -- Radical Agenda, 30 June 2017 - Clyp". Clyp. 
  25. ^ "Public Healthcare and Forced Eugenic Sterilization". national-socialist-worldview.blogspot.de. 
  26. ^ Christopher Cantwell (June 10, 2017). "Banned From Facebook, Again" – via Internet Archive. 
  27. ^ Cantwell, Christopher (August 17, 2017). "Why I Consider Myself Alt Right". Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Christopher Cantwell". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Facebook Has Banned White Supremacist Christopher Cantwell". Associated Press via Time Magazine. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  30. ^ "UPDATE 1-Internet firms flex muscle to exile white supremacists (MSFT)". Reuters. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  31. ^ Cantwell, Christopher (March 7, 2017). "Libertarians and the Alt Right". Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Why I Consider Myself Alt Right". Christopher Cantwell. August 17, 2017. 
  33. ^ "An Epic Tale of King Baby". Ethan Glover. June 15, 2015. 
  34. ^ "@ThomasEWoods you're following the bigot @voteforcantwell who jokes about raping little girls?". Twitter. November 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ "#YesAllWomen is Complete Nonsense". Christopher Cantwell. May 28, 2014. 
  36. ^ "September 2013 Board Meeting Minutes". September 2, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2017. Whereas Chris Cantwell has made the following public statements, been offered the opportunity to retract, and has refused to do so: "It’s a terribly unpopular thing to say, but the answer, at some point, is to kill government agents," and "any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion [tax collection in the context of funding the salaries of all government employees] is morally justifiable..." Whereas the FSP Board believes this view exceeds the right of self-defense. Whereas the Policy and Procedure for Removing Participants (passed 7/11/04) states: Participants may be removed for promoting violence, racial hatred, or bigotry. Participants who are deemed detrimental to the accomplishment of the Free State Project's goals may also be removed. Therefore, according to the Policy and Procedure for Removing Participants, the FSP Board removes Chris Cantwell as a participant and declares him unwelcome to attend FSP-organized events. ...The vote was unanimous. 
  37. ^ Cantwell, Christopher (June 2, 2014). "Still Debating the Non Aggression Principle?". Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Physically Remove Democrats 3x10" Sticker - Christopher Cantwell". 
  39. ^ "Radical Agenda Helicopter T-Shirt (Short Sleeves) - Christopher Cantwell". 
  40. ^ "Radical Agenda EP094 - The Libertarian Case for Trump - Christopher Cantwell". February 13, 2016. 
  41. ^ Michelle Mark (August 16, 2017). "This white supremacist ..." Business Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017. 
  42. ^ Levin, Abigail and Lisa Guenther. "White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement." New York Times. August 28, 2017. August 28, 2017.
  43. ^ "Christopher Cantwell on Gab". 
  44. ^ "White supremacist Cantwell just sued Antifa for allegedly framing him in Charlottesville". Vice News. January 3, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  45. ^ a b Sinclair, Harriet (August 16, 2017). "WHITE SUPREMACIST WHO BOASTED ABOUT BEING 'READY FOR VIOLENCE' CRIES OVER POSSIBLE CHARLOTTESVILLE ARREST WARRANT". Newsweek. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  46. ^ Brennan, Christopher (August 16, 2017). "Facebook bans white nationalist Christopher Cantwell after VICE Charlottesville documentary". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  47. ^ "'Jews will not replace us': Vice film lays bare horror of neo-Nazis in America. A Vice News film crew embedded with a far-right speaker in Charlottesville last weekend seeks to highlight the motivations of white supremacists". The Guardian. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  48. ^ a b White nationalist Chris Cantwell, wanted in Virginia on 3 felony charges, turns himself in: police, Associated Press, August 24, 2017.
  49. ^ a b Lauren Berg, In new motion, Cantwell seeks summary judgment in pepper spray case, citing 'malicious prosecution', Daily Progress (July 8, 2018).
  50. ^ Tinoco, Matt (August 16, 2017). "White Supremacist Cries After Realizing He Could Be Arrested. Christopher Cantwell recorded this video after being featured in a documentary on the Charlottesville violence". Mother Jones. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  51. ^ a b c Justin Wm. Moyer, 'Crying Nazi' barred from Virginia after pleading guilty to assault during Charlottesville rally, Washington Post (July 20, 2018).
  52. ^ Hawes Spencer (August 30, 2017). "'Crying Nazi' Christopher Cantwell Says He's Just a 'Goddamn Human Being'". Daily Beast. Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  53. ^ Matthew Rozsa (August 24, 2017). ""Crying Nazi" Christopher Cantwell gives himself up to police". Salon (website). Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  54. ^ Ed Mazza (August 31, 2017). "Christopher Cantwell Really Hates Being Called The Crying Nazi". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  55. ^ Reeve, Elspeth; Owen, Tess (December 11, 2017). "The internet bailed Charlottesville white supremacist Chris Cantwell out of jail". Vice. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  56. ^ Cantwell facing new charge in Loudoun County, The Daily Progress (April 19, 2018).
  57. ^ Samantha Baars, Booze bracelet: Cantwell's public intoxication charge violates terms of bond, C-ville (May 1, 2018).
  58. ^ Trevor Baratko, White nationalist Chris Cantwell pays fine, closes out Leesburg misdemeanor, Loudoun Times (June 27, 2018).
  59. ^ a b Lauren Berg, Cantwell's bond restrictions tightened after Loudoun arrest, Daily Progress (April 26, 2018).
  60. ^ Rachel Janik, After hearing, Christopher Cantwell faces one remaining felony charge, Hatewatch, Southern Poverty Law Center (November 13, 2017).
  61. ^ Lauren Berg, White nationalist Christopher Cantwell banned from Virginia for five years after pleading guilty to assault at UVA torch march, Daily Progress (July 20, 2018).
  62. ^ Gomez, Luis (August 16, 2017). "OkCupid, Facebook, PayPal, Spotify are banning white supremacists". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  63. ^ Hatmaker, Taylor (August 16, 2017). "Tech is not winning the battle against white supremacy". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  64. ^ Brown, Jennings (August 17, 2017). "Before Getting Banned From OkCupid, White Supremacist Chris Cantwell Wrote Tips for Dating Online". Gizmodo. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  65. ^ Zorthian, Julia (August 17, 2017). "Dating Site OkCupid Just Banned This White Supremacist 'For Life'". Fortune. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  66. ^ Collins, Keith (August 16, 2017). "A running list of websites and apps that have banned, blocked, deleted, and otherwise dropped white supremacists". Quartz. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 

External links[edit]