Richard Spencer, who popularized the term “alt-right” as a label for contemporary white nationalists and is starting a Virginia think tank to promote his ideas, draws part of his income from cotton plantations in Louisiana, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Center, based in Emeryville, California, found that the Spencer family is absentee landlord for about 5,300 acres in six different farming companies in Louisiana.
The Spencer family also received more than $2 million in U.S. farm subsidy payments from 2008-2015.
Asked on the Reveal podcast whether he uses income from the farms to support his “alt-right” advocacy, Spencer would not specify, but claimed donations had increased to his institute tenfold in the last six months, significantly growing what was a $100,000 budget.
Reveal host Al Letson, who is black, remarked to Spencer that his grandfather built his estate at a time when Jim Crow laws preserved racial discrimination in the South. “I know that my grandfather was on the other side of those transactions,” Letson said.
Spencer told Letson, “I am proud of my grandfather. I am proud of what he built.”
He added that “We’ve all benefited from white privilege,” and “I want my children to have white privilege.”
Spencer grew up in Dallas but his family has deep roots in the south; according to the Center for Investigative reporting, Spencer’s mother Sherry inherited the family land from her late father, and today she is business partners with Spencer and his sister.