A Critique of Richard Spencer’s Alt-Right Manifesto
Richard Spencer’s meta-political manifesto entitled, “The Charlottesville Statement”, elaborates on the alt-right movement’s stances on several topics including race, politics, and the family. Essentially the stances in his manifesto describe what it means to identify with the alt-right movement. Although there are many beliefs within this manifesto, I will focus specifically on critiquing and opposing Spencer’s argument on race, White America, and the relationship between race and human nature within his Charlottesville statement. I will use Boas’ essay, “What Is a Race” to help debunk Spencer’s argument regarding race, White America, and the relationship between race and human nature by demonstrating that his claims lack validity because they are based on socially constructed ideas and not scientific or anthropological evidence.
First, Spencer emphasizes that race is the foundation of identity, however, he fails to recognize that not every member of a race is equivalent. From the very beginning, Spencer stresses the importance of race, and in America race does matter to a certain extent. One’s race can potentially affect one’s social, economic, and political status. However, race is not the foundation of identity, because the characteristics used to solidify and define a race are arbitrary. The traits chosen to categorize a race are arbitrary and hold little significance, because regardless of the combination of