William H. Regnery II, a racist, reclusive multimillionaire who used his inherited fortune to finance vile white supremacist teams within the hopes of sooner or later forming an American whites-only ethnostate, died previous this month, his circle of relatives and co-workers showed. He was once 80 years previous.
Regnery, whose circle of relatives accumulated riches from its right-wing publishing empire, died on July 2 in Florida after a “lengthy combat with most cancers,” his cousin Alfred, the previous head of Regnery Publishing, showed to HuffPost.
Requested if he’d love to touch upon his cousin’s existence and legacy, Alfred Regnery spoke back: “No, it’s all been mentioned sooner than.”
Within the ultimate 20 years of his existence, William Regnery funneled masses of hundreds of bucks — and most likely a lot more — to extremist teams. He’s continuously credited with being some of the primary funders of the so-called alt-right, the resurgent fascist motion that won momentum all through the upward thrust of former President Donald Trump.
“William Regnery’s sordid affect was once felt from the deadly Charlottesville Unite the Right rally to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol,” mentioned Tarso Luís Ramos, govt director of Political Analysis Friends, a social justice suppose tank that screens the a ways appropriate.
“His patronage of white nationalists over greater than 20 years helped popularize a genocidal imaginative and prescient for a white ethnostate on North American soil and sinking concern of racial substitute within the hearts of a rising portion of the white American inhabitants,” Ramos added. “This imaginative and prescient is not going to be triumphant, nevertheless it gained’t both be simply extinguished.”
HuffPost first discovered of Regnery’s demise on Twitter, the place one of the many avowed white nationalists permitted on that platform mourned their benefactor’s passing.
“Invoice Regnery was once a just right guy, who cared in regards to the long run, and, as they are saying, ‘did one thing’ about it,” tweeted Richard Spencer, the racist who led the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group Regnery based.
“I’ll mild a cigar for Invoice this night,” added Spencer. “Leisure in energy, good friend.”
Kevin MacDonald — in all probability The us’s important anti-Semite, who authored a chain of books claiming that Jews are genetically hard-wired to break Western civilization — additionally tweeted that he was hoping Regnery would “leisure in peace.”
MacDonald and Spencer are each individuals of the Charles Martel Society, a secretive group of distinguished American fascists based and funded with just about $90,000 donated from circle of relatives charities and different tax exempt organizations affiliated with Regnery. (Nonprofits don’t seem to be legally required to spot person donors, so it’s conceivable Regnery in my view donated a lot more.) The society publishes The Occidental Quarterly, a magazine for which MacDonald serves as editor.
Different white nationalists who weren’t direct beneficiaries of Regnery’s largesse additionally expressed disappointment at his passing.
“Extraordinarily unhappy to listen to that the heroic William H. (“Invoice”) Regnery has handed,” tweeted Peter Brimelow, the founding father of the white nationalist basis VDare.
“My good friend and a real hero,” wrote James Edwards, host of the white nationalist radio display “The Political Cesspool.” “He set a sterling instance for the remainder of us to observe and upon his shoulders we stand.”
Regnery, who went by means of Invoice, was once born Feb. 25, 1941, right into a distinguished Republican circle of relatives.
His grandfather and namesake, textile rich person William H. Regnery I, was once a founding member of the notorious The us First Committee. The group, led by means of anti-Semitic aviator Charles Lindbergh, adverse The us’s intervention in Global Warfare II and counted many Nazi sympathizers amongst its ranks.
In 1947, Invoice Regnery’s uncle, Henry, based Regnery Publishing, which might develop into one in every of essentially the most influential right-wing media dynasties in The us. In its early years, the corporate revealed distinguished conservative thinkers, together with William F. Buckley, a racist and segregationist, and Robert Welch, founding father of the John Birch Society, the anti-communist conspiracist workforce.
Extra just lately it has revealed anti-Muslim bigots Robert Spencer and David Horowitz, and anti-immigrant crusaders Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, in addition to books from Republican senators and different politicians ― together with Donald Trump’s 2015 “Time to Get Tricky.”
When Henry Regnery died in 1996, The New York Instances eulogized him as “the godfather of modern conservatism.”
The Regnery circle of relatives’s affect prolonged past the publishing global. Invoice Regnery’s cousin Alfred Regnery was once an legit on the Division of Justice beneath President Ronald Reagan sooner than in the end taking up the circle of relatives publishing corporate.
Invoice Regnery began appearing an hobby in politics whilst a scholar within the early Nineteen Sixties on the College of Pennsylvania, the place he introduced a conservative scholar mag. He by no means graduated from Penn, alternatively, telling BuzzFeed News in an extensive 2017 interview that he was once “nonetheless a pair credit wanting some extent.”
He mentioned he left to paintings for the 1964 presidential marketing campaign of Republican Barry Goldwater, the far-right senator from Arizona. As BuzzFeed Information described, Regnery claimed to have hatched a peculiar scheme to suppress Democratic votes on Election Day that yr:
His maximum memorable effort, he claimed, was once a convoluted scheme referred to as Operation Dewdrop, supposed to suppress Democratic citizens in Philadelphia. On the time, he defined, the speculation was once that Democrats voted much less within the rain. So on election day, he mentioned, he attempted to seed rain clouds by means of the usage of dry ice and a twin-engine aircraft. It didn’t rain, he recalled, however he burned his arms from the dry ice canisters, a element that is helping upload a hoop of authenticity. Goldwater misplaced to Lyndon Johnson in a landslide.
Such peculiar disasters and embarrassments appear to have marked Regnery’s existence. In line with Alfred and any other cousin, Frederick Meyers, he just about ruined the circle of relatives’s textile trade, and the circle of relatives compelled him to surrender as president in 1981, courtroom data show.
Within the early Nineties, Regnery was dissatisfied with mainstream American conservatism, seeing it as insufficiently focused on race, in keeping with a memoir he revealed in 2015, “Left At the back of,” a copy of which Mother Jones reviewed. It horrified him that whites may sooner or later be a minority in The us.
In December 1999, Regnery convened a conference for distinguished white nationalists at a resort in Florida, the place he declared his trust in breaking apart the USA into a chain of enclaves in accordance with race and faith, a plan that will no doubt contain the violent ethnic cleaning of nonwhites.
“In remaining, I fee the members of this convention with the sacred activity of starting to safe for our kids’s youngsters a correct house,” Regnery mentioned on the convention.
Two years later, in 2001, he based the Charles Martel Society, named for the eighth century Frankish ruler the trendy far-right continuously glorifies for protecting Gaul, in modern day France, from an invading Arab military. Regnery staffed the group with a who’s who of notorious white supremacists, together with Sam Francis, who as soon as urged “imposing adequate fertility controls on nonwhites.”
In 2004, Regnery attempted to launch a whites-only courting web page, an effort he was hoping would build up the choice of white households, “because the survival of our race will depend on our folks marrying, reproducing and parenting.”
And in 2005, he based the innocuous-sounding Nationwide Coverage Institute (NPI), a white nationalist suppose tank on a project “to lift the awareness of whites” by means of learning “the results of the continuing inflow that non-Western populations pose to our nationwide identification.”
This paranoia over immigration from nonwhite international locations into The us and Europe — continuously referred to as the “great replacement” theory — has animated a couple of white supremacist massacres lately, together with the ones in Pittsburgh, El Paso and Charleston, South Carolina.
In line with a BuzzFeed News tally, nonprofits and different tax-exempt organizations affiliated with Regnery poured just about part one million greenbacks into NPI’s coffers from 2005 to 2015. (Despite the fact that William Regnery himself can have in my view donated extra.)
Regnery appeared content material to be the moneyman at the back of NPI and the Charles Martel Society, operating quietly at the back of the scenes.
“The place his family members have headed firms, held public place of job, and run high-profile civic teams, the more youthful William works difficult to stay his actions out of the general public eye,” the Southern Poverty Regulation Middle as soon as wrote of Regnery, including that whilst his members of the family “labored to domesticate an air of mainstream respectability, William ran headlong into the fever swamps of white nationalism, the place his familial and monetary clout allowed him to set himself up as a big drive shaping all the motion.”
Regnery tapped Richard Spencer to steer NPI in 2011. In Spencer, Regnery discovered anyone who relished the limelight. Additionally from a rich conservative circle of relatives, Spencer had pursued a doctorate at Duke College whilst making inroads amongst right-wing extremists, writing for a lot of publications, together with The American Conservative.
Spencer introduced two internet sites, AlternativeRight.com and RadixJournal.com, which in the end was necessary propaganda retailers for the so-called alt-right, a time period Spencer claims to have coined himself to explain a rising on-line coalition of racists, together with trolls and shitposters, neo-Nazis and Klansmen, Holocaust deniers and suit-and-tie fascists.
When Trump introduced his presidential marketing campaign in 2015, he continuously mimicked “alt-right” speaking issues, similar to calling Mexican immigrants rapists and proposing a ban on Muslims coming into the USA. The manager govt of Trump’s marketing campaign, Steve Bannon, had prior to now run Breitbart Information, which he described as a “platform for the alt-right.”
As Trump’s ballot numbers rose and the dimensions of his rallies swelled, the media clamored to give an explanation for what the alt-right was once and continuously discovered a prepared spokesman in Spencer, who gave interviews to just about any individual who would ask. He temporarily was the face of the a ways appropriate in The us.
In 2016, Regnery boasted in a speech that tapping Spencer to steer the NPI “secured my position in historical past.”
Regnery and the American white nationalist motion had been jubilant when Trump was once elected president. At an NPI convention in Washington, D.C., a couple of weeks after the election, Spencer shouted “Hail Trump!” and “Hail victory!” — the English translation of the Nazi cry “Sieg Heil!”
His supporters spoke back with Nazi salutes.
Cassie Miller, a analysis analyst on the Southern Poverty Regulation Middle, informed HuffPost that Regnery’s “subject material contributions helped to construct networks of racist activists and a big frame of pseudoscientific literature that, he was hoping, would legitimize his calls to construct a white ethnostate.”
Miller mentioned the 2 primary organizations he constructed, the Charles Martel Society and the NPI, had been “as soon as extremely influential” however famous that the NPI is now “in disarray.”
“It sounds as if to not be operational, and its demise knell most likely got here previous this yr when a pass judgement on ordered NPI to pay $2.4 million in damages to an Ohio guy injured on the Unite the Proper rally for his bodily and emotional struggling,” Miller mentioned.
Spencer and the NPI helped prepare the notorious Unite the Proper rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, the place some 1,000 white nationalists marched during the streets as clashes was more and more violent. In essentially the most vicious assault, a neo-Nazi drove his automobile right into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
Within the following months, the NPI arranged a couple of “unfastened speech rallies” on quite a lot of faculty campuses however had been continuously confronted and humiliated by means of counterprotesters.
Common anti-fascist organizing, court cases and regulation enforcement crackdowns have began undoing a lot of the alt-right that Regnery and Spencer helped construct, however their upward push didn’t come with out penalties.
“Regnery’s actual legacy isn’t what he constructed however the immense hurt that he led to,” Miller mentioned.
His demise was once announced at the web page of Lemon Bay Funeral House & Cremation Services and products in Englewood, Florida, now not a ways from his space in Boca Grande.
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