Editors’ Note: From its inception, VoxFairfax has planned to feature, on an irregular basis, a profile of a number of organizations in the county, to acquaint its readers with the many types, sizes, and scopes of these institutions. In part due to its access to Washington, Fairfax County is host, and perhaps incubator, to several organizations. In this first of the series, one high on our list has, unfortunately—or not, as the case may be—apparently shuttered its doors. But we believe it’s worth noting that this organization was our neighbor.
Founded in 2005, the National Policy Institute (NPI) established its headquarters in Alexandria. Its motto: For our people, our culture, our future. According to its website, the founders were William Regnery II, Samuel Francis, and Louis R. Andrews. Regnery is a scion of a wealthy Chicago publishing family with long ties to extreme right wing movements and organizations. Regnery is a subsidiary of the Salem Media Group, which, for example, employs conservative talker Hugh Hewitt. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), in 2004 Regnery attempted to lure investors into funding a dating service for heterosexual whites “of Christian cultural heritage” in the belief that survival of the white race depended upon whites marrying and propagating.
Francis, deceased in 2005, and Andrews, were well-known among racialists and white nationalists and, along with Regnery, have often been described as national representatives of white populism and nationalism.
NPI’s leader, Richard B. Spencer, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s from the University of Chicago, became president of NPI in 2011 following the death of Andrews. In a few years, NPI lost its IRS tax exemption for failure to file returns after 2012. But Spencer had founded a magazine called Alternative Right, which has lent its name to a longer lasting legacy: Alt-Right. Among others, they have advocated for the establishment of a white homeland in North America, without specifying a location.
Mostly, Spencer and NPI enjoyed brief notoriety by loudly and boldly supporting the emergence of white nationalism as a political plank in the 2016 presidential campaign and at a number of well-publicized conferences. In the end, however, the bombast and braggadocio simply petered out, and NPI was unable to meet its rent obligations and closed operations in Alexandria. R.I.P. Readers with greater curiosity should visit www.splc.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/richard-bertrand-spencer.