How white is Richard Spencer, really?

White nationalist Richard Spencer has the erect bearing of a Leghorn.

Richard Spencer strongly identifies as white, like his mother, despite rumors that his father is a tube of chicken semen she accidentally sat on at the fair. Spencer is the president and director of the National Policy Institute, a “racial realist” think tank he founded, and the executive director of Washington Summit Publishers, a publisher he also founded. He is about my age. His professional accomplishments make me wonder why I don’t run a policy institute and a publishing house, but maybe I’m just not as white as he is. It would be scientifically unsound to conclude that, though. We also must control for education. Spencer went from the prestigious St. Mark’s preparatory high school in Texas to the University of Virginia, then immediately to a master’s program at the University of Chicago, followed by two sessions at the Vienna International Summer University and then a PhD program at Duke. Given this trajectory—from prep school to grad school to president of his own think tank—it’s easy to understand why whiteness is so important to Spencer. Getting born to the right parents has been the key to his professional and political life.

Unfortunately, rumors persist that Spencer is only part white and part Orpington chicken. The “alt-right”—a term Spencer coined to describe the internet-savvy community of people who used to meet in the back of hardware stores—places a high premium on racial purity. Revelations of mixed heritage have undone promising white nationalists before.1 The rumor that Spencer’s father is not Dallas-area ophthalmologist William Spencer, but rather 750mL of chicken ejaculate manually collected by migrant workers, has dogged the young fascist for years. Had he not possessed the work ethic necessary to found his own think tank and publisher, it might have ruined his career.

Yet Spencer has not done everything he could to dispel these rumors. He has refused to release his long-form birth certificate to prove that the “Father” line does not say “Foghorn Leghorn.” No one has ever seen Spencer’s feet. He keeps saying “cuck.” These behaviors add fuel to the bonfire of internet speculation that Spencer is not 100% white, and is in fact disguising his chicken or chickenoid ancestry to preserve the foundation of his life’s work, i.e. his biological relation to his father.

These questions take on renewed urgency now that Spencer has announced that he is considering a run for Montana’s seat in the House of Representatives. He has residency in Whitefish, where he has carried on the work of racial science from the National Policy Institute offices in the building his mother owns, to which he commutes each day from his parents’ ski property. If Spencer hopes to win over the Montana electorate, which is almost zero percent poultry, he will need to prove that he is one hundred percent white. I call on him to submit to 23andMe or a similar DNA test, to prove that he is as white as his meteoric rise from prep school to vanity publishing says he is. Until he does, I will have no choice but to call him chicken.

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