Karma can be a real beast when someone isn’t expecting it.
That’s the lesson that Richard Spencer, the public figurehead of the white nationalist movement, found out when he decided to hit his local gym in Alexandria, Virginia, for a quick workout.
Mr. Spencer has been in the news in the past year for hosting a white-supremacist gala at an Italian restaurant in the country’s capital, saying things such as “America belongs to white men,” using the Nazi salute at an alt-right conference to signal Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, and, finally, getting punched in the face on Inauguration Day. He has been called a “dapper white nationalist” who has inconsistently both claimed and denied the title of white supremacist, much to the delight of the media all over the world.
However, it seems that karma was not quite done with Spencer, as that fateful day at the gym shows.
C. Christine Fair, who is an associate professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, was present in the gym on the same day that Spencer was. She has been a long-time patron of Old Town Sport and Health; Spencer had only been a member for a mere two months.
Fair, who blogs regularly on accountability and other subjects, had no trouble confronting Spencer, who denied that he was, in fact, the white supremacist Richard Spencer when first approached by the professor.
Once the formalities were over, Fair proceeded to tell Spencer exactly what she thought of him, telling him explicitly that, in no uncertain terms, does “this country does not belong to white men.” She also went to tell him that she “found his membership at the gym to be an unfair burden upon the women and people of color- and white male allies of the same.”
Fair also called Spencer a neo-Nazi to his face, which then prompted the gentlemen to seek external interference from an African-American woman, who is also a trainer at the gym.
The irony of Spencer’s need to be defended by a woman of color against a white woman calling him a neo-Nazi is priceless, especially considering Spencer’s long-held position that anyone who isn’t a white Christian man is inferior to him.
In a surprising twist, Spencer admitted to the confrontation in an interview with BuzzFeed, telling reporter Tasneem Nashrulla, a woman of color, that: “I don’t come to the gym to do politics. But she started screeching and yelling all this stuff.”
Fair anticipated being kicked out of her gym because she also had a confrontation with the general manager, who asserted that Spencer had the right to join the gym because his politics had nothing to do with the public sphere. Fair decided to take her case straight to the company that owned her gym to see if anything could be done about Spencer’s presence.
Fortunately for Fair, US Fitness Holdings, LLC, sided with her and against the general manager, rescinding Spencer’s membership days after the story broke.
Spencer was upset by the decision to have his membership terminated, telling reporters, “I don’t know [why they revoked it]. I was a well-behaved member of this gym. I did not cause any controversy.”
There’s no word yet on whether Spencer will fight his membership termination, though it does not seem that the public, or US Fitness Holdings, is in any rush to support him at this time.