Just when you think prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer has hit rock bottom, something new happens.
Just after his nationwide tour imploded, forcing him to cancel early, his lawyer dropped out of Spencer’s white supremacist movement entirely. Just after Spencer was booted from Facebook, his fundraising efforts at the MakerSupport site fell apart. And just after ThinkProgress reported that Spencer had turned to Funded Justice for legal help, the site kicked Spencer off its platform — followed swiftly by GoDaddy’s announcement that it had pulled the plug on Spencer’s white supremacist site wholesale.
All of this while Spencer is staring down a lawsuit against leaders and speakers at 2017’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist killed one protester and injured nearly two dozen others when he drove his car into the crowd. Spencer is one of 26 defendants in the case.
With all of his outlets crumbling — save his Twitter account, which still remains live — Spencer has been forced to turn to another fundraising site. The key difference? This one doesn’t make any pretenses about opposing white supremacists like Spencer.
The site, Freestartr, says its mission comes with “an absolute free speech guarantee.” As the site writes, “Do not hate on individuals or groups, including on account of their sex, height, race, religion, lack of religion, sexual preferences or — wait, of course we’re kidding.”
The roster of fundraising campaigns, as well as its founders, speaks to the dregs of racist and fascistic voices who have found their way to Freestartr. The site is operated by Peter Duke and Chuck Johnson — himself already tied to neo-Nazi fundraising efforts elsewhere — and hosts campaigns ranging from PizzaGate conspiracy theorists to outright white supremacists.
Some of those who have taken advantage of Freestartr’s fundraising platform include Jack Posobiec, who once reportedly held a “Rape Melania” sign, as well as Laura Loomer, who once described Islam as a “cancer.” Theodore Bale, who has described black Americans as “half-savages” and called for women to no longer be allowed to vote, and Roosh Valizadeh, who has called for legalizing rape on private property, have also turned to the site for help raising money.
Also joining Freestartr alongside Spencer are representatives from The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi publication, and Douglass Mackey, an outright white supremacist. (Wrote one comment on Spencer’s campaign, “I’m sick of all these freeloadin’ Nazis that come into our country and ask for hand outs. Get a job loser!”)
Freestartr appears to utilize Stripe, a payment processor, to help fund these neo-fascists and white supremacists. A spokesperson for Stripe told ThinkProgress they could neither confirm or deny that Freestartr was a customer of Stripe, but a search of Freestartr’s source code on its payment page revealed Stripe’s involvement. The Stripe spokesperson said that they take issues of fundraising for those advocating for white supremacy “serious[ly].”
As it is, MakerSupport — which had previously hosted Spencer’s fundraising efforts — cited Stripe specifically as to why the site could no longer process any payments.
A few weeks ago, Stripe indefinitely disabled payouts for creators. Now, Stripe has terminated the MakerSupport account. We’ve taken a few days to attempt to resolve this with Stripe, but no progress has been made.
— MakerSupport (@GoMakerSupport) April 28, 2018
For the time being, Spencer is still able to raise money on Freestartr, and is already over $10,000 on his current campaign. As one person donating funds wrote, “Thank you for standing up for our people!”