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Nick Fuentes: the white supremacist travelling with Kanye West

Who is the 24-year-old conspiracy theorist who dined with the rapper and Donald Trump?

By Emily Tamkin

So I’ve been seeing a lot about Kanye West and his anti-Semitic rants, and I saw that he had dinner with Donald Trump on 22 November and went on Alex Jones’s radio show Infowars on 1 December? 

West has changed his name to Ye, but yes, that’s correct. 

But both times Ye was with this guy called Nick Fuentes? 

Oh boy. 

Who is he? 

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Where to begin? Fuentes is a white supremacist pundit. He’s only 24, but five years ago he was one of the people marching at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that brought together various extreme right groups. That year he started a live-stream show called “America First” and gained a following. His fans are known as “groypers”.

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Excuse me? 

It’s based on that meme with the frog.  

Don’t know it. Anyway. When you say “white supremacist pundit…” 

Yes, he has literally been labelled a white supremacist by the Department of Justice. He has said he wants to make the Republican Party “truly reactionary”. He is a known Holocaust denier and has compared dead Jewish people to baking cookies, which, I have to say, is one of the more hateful lines that I, a person who writes about Jewishness and anti-Semitism pretty regularly, have come across. In February this year he said: “Christianity is the religion of this nation. Not Judaism, not the Talmud, not that stuff. It’s just what it is. It’s just a fact.” In February at his Afpac (America First Political Action Conference), he also said: “They compare Putin to Hitler like it’s a bad thing.” Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican congresswoman from Georgia, was in attendance. 

What? 

Yes. She later said she didn’t know who he was. Incidentally, this is the same thing Trump said after his dinner with Fuentes and Ye was revealed. In a statement the former president said: “Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.” A source told Axios, however, that Trump was “very taken” with Fuentes during the dinner.  

I have another question. 

Why is the former president getting political advice over dinner from a 24-year-old? 

No. What happens now? 

I’m not sure, honestly. But I will note that Fuentes, in addition to his more openly hateful comments, also uses terms like “globalists” as a dog-whistle word for Jews and Jewish control. So do a lot of Republicans. To my mind the more long-term threat is not Fuentes, but the people who are able to carefully repackage the same message – that America should be for white Christians – in such a way that it’s slightly more palatable. Having said that, it should be the easiest thing in the world to say not just “I didn’t know who this person was”, but to add “and I am ashamed to have had a person who regularly espouses such views in my presence”.

But Trump didn’t? 

No. 

And what does that tell us? 

I leave that up to you. 

[See also: Ye, Adidas and the trap of celebrity anti-Semitism]