The right-wing commentator Michelle Malkin lost a long-term speaking gig Sunday due in part to her praise of a 21-year-old internet racist.
The organization Young America’s Foundation said it was cutting ties with Malkin and implied in a statement Sunday that it was due to her embrace of racists.
“Michelle Malkin in no longer part of YAF’s campus lecture program,” a spokesperson for the right-wing youth organization told the Daily Beast. The publication noted Malkin had been booked for speeches by YAF’s speakers bureau for 17 years.
“Immigration is a vital issue that deserves robust debate,” YAF said in a statement posted to Twitter. “But there is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists.”
Malkin responded to YAF’s statement in a defiant tweet:
The Keepers of the Gate have spoken. #AmericaFirst is not “mainstream.” My defense of unjustly prosecuted Proud Boys, patriotic young nationalists/groypers & demographic truth-tellers must not be tolerated. SPLC is cheering. https://t.co/yYyqocx1T5
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) November 17, 2019
Though YAF didn’t respond to TPM’s request for comment, the statement appeared to address recent comments of Malkin’s in a YAF-organized speech at UCLA on Thursday.
“They want me to disavow Nick Fuentes and VDARE and Peter Brimelow and Faith Goldy and Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys and Steve King and Laura Loomer and on and on,” Malkin said, naming a laundry list of right-wing provocateurs, some of whom espouse white nationalism. “They want to do to me what they’ve done to brilliant academics who’ve told the truth, like Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania and Darren Beattie and Jason Richwine and Steve Sailer.”
Her praise of Fuentes, in particular, attracted attention. Fuentes maintains popular YouTube and Twitter accounts. His followers, who call themselves “groypers” after a meme of the same name, have heckled or otherwise poisoned several recent campus Q-and-A’s with conservative figures by asking anti-Semitic, homophobic or racist questions.
A recent event with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, for example, illustrated how “groypers” have derailed discussions.
“You have multiple times advocated on behalf of accepting homosexuality, accepting homosexual acts in the conservative movement. How does anal sex help us win the culture war?” someone asked during the event’s Q-and-A.
Fuentes, who was broadcasting a livestream of himself watching the event, exclaimed, “Yes! This is our guy!” When another questioner approached the mic, Fuentes identified him as another “groyper” — “Look at this Aryan over here!” he exclaimed.
Fuentes attended the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in 2017, where he heralded “a tidal wave of white identity,” and has praised the Jim Crow South. He previously co-hosted “Nationalist Review,” which was described as a “weekly podcast about American nationalism, traditionalism, and alternative right-wing politics.” He’s said that “the First Amendment was not written for Muslims” or “immigrants,” and that “globalists” should be killed.
And he has said of the Jewish death toll in the Holocaust: “None of it really adds up.” He’s since backed off of this remark, in which he used the analogy of a bakery producing “6 million batches of cookies” to deny the Holocaust, saying that it was done for shock value. But the so-called “alt right” flourishes in the gray area between irony and ideology.
Fuentes has worked hard in recent weeks to make headlines by trolling a new brand of “mainstream” conservatives — including Donald Trump Jr., Ben Shapiro and Kirk.
Earlier this month, his supporters heckled Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at an event at UCLA after it was announced the pair wouldn’t take questions.
Referring to those efforts Thursday, Malkin said of Fuentes and his followers: “Here’s my message to the new generation of America Firsters exposing the big lies of the anti-American open borders establishment and its controlled opposition operatives: If I were your mom, I’d be proud as hell.”