Former Rand Paul staffer Jack Hunter ran a lengthy piece in the Daily Beast this week, criticizing me for co-authoring an explainer on the alt-right that wasn’t, as every other journalist’s attempt to chronicle the movement has been, a pointless collection of faux-outraged virtue-signalling.
I don’t normally respond when a Left-wing outlet cries “racist,” of course. That’s what they exist to do. But Hunter’s odd mixture of hero-worship and playing to the progressive gallery caught my eye. I’m intrigued by the bizarre tone of the hit job — at once slavishly admiring and superficially damning.
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) May 5, 2016
In the piece, he writes that he is “disturbed” by an auditorium full of energetic, mischievous students at one of my events chanting, “Cuck!” His headline and subhead also accuse me — somewhat laughably — of being the “face” of a racist hate movement.
It’s probably the first time that a face that’s enjoyed such close relations with America’s black population has been labelled a racist anything. Trust me, alt-right hardliners don’t like me any more than they like the Republican establishment or Hillary: I’m a degenerate, race-mixing gay Jew, and they don’t let me forget it!
That is to say, I’m a chronicler of, and occasional fellow traveller with, the alt-right. But I’m certainly no ringleader.
Although Hunter’s piece is gracious in tone, it’s still an attempted takedown. And even though Hunter sucks my metaphorical member enthusiastically throughout, and was full of effusive praise on Twitter — he’s understandably jumpy about me coming for him — I believe that a cursory examination of the editorial, and its author, will prove instructive.
I wasn’t familiar with Jack Hunter before reading the piece, of course, but after doing a little research into his past, Hunter’s motivations have become painfully obvious.
The career of Jack Hunter presents observers with the ultimate cautionary tale for robust young right-wingers who get caught saying stuff their friends in the media don’t like, and then dedicate the rest of their lives to bending and scraping to political correctness in a panicky and desperate attempt to retain social acceptability.
Hunter, you see, has a past. He attracted scandal, and was expelled from his position as an aide to Senator Rand Paul, after his background as pseudonymous radio host “The Southern Avenger” came to light in 2013.
As The Southern Avenger, Hunter wore a wrestling mask in the colours of the Confederate Flag and cracked jokes about tying the President of the NAACP to a tree and whipping him. It also emerged that he was a chairman in the League of the South, a neo-secessionist group.
Since the scandal, Hunter has been scrambling to distance himself from his old life. His initial response to the drama was to write a lengthy confessional for Politico, in which he recanted and apologised for his previous opinions. He now insists that he’s a changed man.
Our Jack is repenting for past sins, in other words, and using me as the vessel.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel for the guy. No one should have to undergo ritual public humiliation — except feminists, cyclists and vapers — and the destruction of someone’s career because they said a few stupid things when they were younger gives me no pleasure.
So I’m not going to be mad at Hunter for coming after me and the alt-right. His livelihood is now tied to the political establishment, and there’s little he can do but act as its penitent attack dog, atoning where possible for past indiscretions.
Nevertheless, we must face facts. In his efforts to save himself, Hunter has become a cuck. He’s writing sub-Podhoretz op-eds for liberal magazines and blind-firing at conservative commentators and groups that are far more effective at fighting the left than he will ever be.
The results can be unintentionally comic: witness a guy who claims to be speaking to conservatives and libertarians taking to the pages of the liberal Daily Beast to advertise his own moral virtue.
Or, hilariously, the subjects of his recent work, which includes an excoriation of Donald Trump’s “culture of violence,” a peculiar op-ed about transsexuals and political correctness, repeated feminist white-knighting and the headline “Bernie’s right.”
To say nothing of:
- Transgender is real and Rachel Dolezal doesn’t change that
- White folks need to calm down about Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar’s performances
- This Muslim should run for president
- Does conservative now just mean being ugly?
- John Kasich shows Republicans how to talk about gay people
Excuse me while I puke.
There appear to be no lengths, however excruciatingly cringeworthy, to which Hunter will not now go to pacify his politically-correct overlords. Others are starting to notice, too…
If I'm ever reduced to calling people "racists" on left-wing sites to establish my "anti-racist" street cred, shoot me. @Nero
— Tom Woods (@ThomasEWoods) May 5, 2016
“The alt-right has become impossible to ignore,” writes Hunter. “Because it’s racist. I’ve never met Milo Yiannopoulos and am not really that concerned with whether he’s a racist or not. Such accusations are what the left does ad nauseam and part of what Yiannopoulos rightly fights against… But I do think he flirts with racism.”
It’s an extraordinary accusation. My alt-right explainer, if Hunter had bothered to read it, clearly differentiated between the hateful and non-hateful components of the alt-right movement.
Given what I’ve since learned about Hunter’s own past, all I can say is this: if I’m guilty of flirting with racism, he has been finger-banging it in the back of a pick-up truck all summer.
Hunter previously supported the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, acted as chairman of the “League of the South” and argued that America needed to take action in order to protect the white race. As late as 2010, Hunter was praising alt-right icon Samuel Francis.
So you see, Hunter blasts the alt-right for its racism not so much because it’s the truth, but because it was once his truth. And by the way, his Southern Avenger alter ego wasn’t quite a youthful indiscretion. The guy is 42 this month. He was saying this stuff in his thirties.
As the cultural libertarian commentator Carl Benjamin has argued, “whenever an ideologue makes a character judgement about someone they are debating with, that character judgement is usually true about themselves.”
I’m not here to endorse or agree with Jack Hunter’s past. I do not — although had the scandal occurred a little later, I would certainly have defended The Southern Avenger’s right to hold his opinions without the fear of social ruin, just like I defended feminist Bahar Mustafa’s.
But it’s too late for that. After being dragged through the establishment’s public shaming machine, Jack Hunter lost his ability to speak his mind.
So called “troll’s remorse” is rarely the mark of a genuinely changed man. A writer with intellectual integrity would have fully acknowledged his past statements on race in a piece about me and the alt-right. Disclosures ought to have been suggested by his editors at the Beast, too.
Hunter’s oddly purple prose is instead the sycophantic behaviour of a provocateur who’s been exposed, beaten and then bullied into conformity. These men of half-measures are neither embraced by the original communities that harboured them, nor accepted by the new communities they surrender to.
Instead, they’re paraded in front of the public, like a captured foe at a Roman Triumph, before, at best, being quietly forgotten.
I come not to bury Jack Hunter, for clearly he’s already six feet under. Nor am I here to suggest that his original ideas and persona had any particular merit or appeal to me.
Rather, I’m here to explain why his current ideas aren’t worth serious consideration, and to warn future “Southern Avengers” against following his example.
Because while it may be okay to admit you got it wrong, that’s not the same as prostrating yourself before the powers that be in a desperate attempt to curry favour with your oppressors, in defiance of the facts and your conscience. That’s cuckery.
However wrong you may be, it doesn’t make the establishment’s tyranny over public discourse right.
I’ve written at length about this particular journalist because I find the psychological mechanisms of ideological cuckoldry so compelling. A friend remarked to me this morning that you could analyse Hunter’s late cucked phase as a sort of political Stockholm syndrome.
That feels accurate to me. One hit piece by the Free Beacon was enough to send Hunter into a tailspin. He rejected all his previous ideas seemingly overnight. Word on the street is that he begged former editors to take his old pieces down. And now he’s working feverishly to please people who hate him.
Remarkable stuff. Jack Hunter is a warning. He said stupid things that lost him a job with Rand Paul. Now he’s grown up a bit, he’s trying to mend these broken bridges by burning new ones — and it’s failing as miserably as it deserves to.
There is no path to redemption once you’ve fallen foul of the politically correct consensus. The only effective approach is to double down instead of backing down and show them that you are not afraid. But that, of course, takes courage. And intellectual integrity.
Be based, or cuck out — the choice is yours. In this case, I’d rather be the subject of the Daily Beast’s article, allegations of racism and all, than its terminally cucked author.
Aside from all the biographical stuff, Hunter’s thesis is plainly absurd on its face, isn’t it. In the past, racism was open in the US. People admitted it. Now, Hunter would like us to believe that the face of American racism admits to having tons of gay sex with blacks… or something.
Incidentally, on Facebook, when sharing his op ed, Hunter wrote: “My original title was ‘Milo Yiannopoulos is awesome. The alt-right is not.’ I like much of what Milo does. He’s really cool.” Pretty faggy, brah.
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