A Boston University student who attended last week's white nationalist "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said he has been accepted to Auburn and will be transferring in the spring after receiving what he said were death threats in Boston.
Nicholas Fuentes — a 19-year-old freshman at Boston University who hosted a right-wing show "America First" on the Auburn-based Right Side Broadcasting Network — told The Plainsman he received numerous death threats on social media after attending the rally, which was dominated by white nationalists, and Neo-Nazi sympathizers.
The Plainsman hasn't been able to independently verify that Fuentes has been accepted to the University. A University spokesperson said thus far he hasn't enrolled.
In the interview, Fuentes said he would be taking the fall semester off but in January will be transferring to Auburn, where he plans to press forward with his far right-wing views.
"I want to rally the troops in terms of this new right-wing movement," Fuentes said.
The Charlottesville rally — which was originally billed as a protest against the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville — morphed into a white power rally that ended in violence and the death of a 32-year-old , Heather Heyer.
Heyer died and 19 more anti-white-nationalist protesters were injured after being hit by a car allegedly driven by a Neo-Nazi sympathizer, James Alex Fields, in an attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions labeled as a domestic terror incident.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Fuentes called Heyer's death a "tragedy." But in an obstinate Facebook post just hours after the attacks, he called the white nationalist gathering an "incredible rally."
Read the full transcript of The Plainsman's interview with Nicholas Fuentes: Click here.
"You can call us racists, white supremacists, Nazis, & bigots," he wrote. "You can disavow us on social media from your cushy Campus Reform job. But you will not replace us. The rootless transnational elite knows that a tidal wave of white identity is coming. And they know that once the word gets out, they will not be able to stop us. The fire rises!"
Two Virginia State Police pilots also died in a helicopter crash after providing aerial assistance to other officers on the ground. Fuentes said he wasn't happy with the violence and tragedies that last weekend, but stood by his characterization that the rally was "incredible."
He said it was incredible "in the same way that someone would say that World War II was a great victory or winning the Cold War was a victory."
"I think it was a victory in a sense that we brought light to an issue that would have gone unnoticed, would have continued silently," Fuentes said of the push to remove Confederate monuments from places of prominence across the country.
Fuentes, who grew up in Illinois, has said he thought the event was a demonstration against "immigration, , and " and that it was a "about not replacing white people."
"I see this, and I think a lot of people in the South see this as a cultural genocide," Fuentes said. "I think if it was any other people and any other country in the world, the United Nations, the United States, the liberal press would call this cultural genocide. But because it's a certain group of people, the removal of our monuments and our history has gone unnoticed without media attention."
The right-wing media provocateur, who denies being a white supremacist or Neo-Nazi, became a well-known figure on Boston University's campus after being featured in a video from a university news source in which he spoke about why he would be voting for then-candidate Donald Trump. He endorsed plans for what he called Trump's "cultural transformation."
After facing on social media, Fuentes doubled down and wrote in a profane Twitter post that "multiculturalism is cancer" and that men who supported Hillary Clinton should "cut off your b---- immediately because you've lost your right to them."
"Multiculturalism destroys nations," Fuentes told The Plainsman. "Every country where it has ever been tried, it has been a failure. It has caused violence. It has caused conflict along all different lines."
Fuentes has repeatedly espoused racist, violent and Islamaphobic views on his Right Side Broadcast Network show. In one segment, he said the First Amendment wasn't written for "barbaric" Muslims. Later, in the same show, he said it was "time to kill the globalists" who he believes run the media.
"I don't want CNN to be more honest," he said in his on-air tirade. "I want people that run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged because this is deliberate."
"Globalists" is a term that has often been used with anti-Semitic overtones. Jewish groups consider it offensive and say it alludes to an attack that is commonly labeled against Jewish people — that they somehow secretly control the world.
When we asked about those comments directed at CNN, Fuentes said he "regrets nothing."
"That means people in the press who are supposedly supposed to be protecting the country face some consequences for their actions. While that didn't constitute a direct threat to CNN, perhaps that was rhetoric, I will say the sentiment remains."
Fuentes, for the last year, has been one of the main hosts on RSBN, which is run by a man who lives in Auburn, Joe Seales. The network gained a large YouTube and internet following after being one of the first outlets to every Trump event.
Their YouTube channel now has more than 257,000 subscribers, which rivals MSNBC's 573,000 and CBS News' 409,000. Even with the large following, Fuentes' show — like the others on the channel — typically got less than 2,000 views.
Fuentes announced on his Twitter feed Saturday that he would be leaving RSBN to launch his own platform. In the interview, he said RSBN being based in Auburn didn't play a role in his decision to transfer here.
"[I]t was one of my original choices to go to school when I graduated high school," Fuentes said. "Auburn University is a more wholesome campus. It has better weather and better people. And ultimately I think it will be friendlier territory."
Fuentes is just one of many who have been labeled as leaders of a rising tide of somewhat stratified alt-right and far-right extremist groups in the U.S. that have been using college campuses as breeding grounds for new recruits.
In April, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer came to Auburn and delivered a hate-filled speech on white supremacy. His visit followed a rise in white nationalism on Auburn's campus. An anonymous group launched a "White Student Union" and put out dozens of fliers promoting anti-Semitic and racist views. The same group later claimed responsibility for vandalizing a sign in front of Foy Hall, altering it to read "Goy Hall" — an offensive term adopted by white supremacist groups to refer to non-Jewish people.
By altering the sign, the group was echoing wider attempts to "reclaim" lost white superiority.
Fuentes said he disavows Spencer's "optics" including his use of Nazi imagery — including a torch-lit rally Spencer led in Charlottesville that beckoned back to the golden age of the Klu Klux Klan — but said he doesn't necessarily disagree with his message.
"What we're trying to say is pretty common sense in terms of being a traditionalist," Fuentes said. "The new right and some parts of the alt-right, what we're trying to bring to the table is a common sense, pretty palatable message."
Fuentes identifies as a "paleoconservative" and said he is not a white supremacist or Neo-Nazi "by any stretch of the imagination." He said he likely wouldn't be welcomed in those groups because of his Mexican ancestry and his membership in the Catholic church.
The KKK not only propagated attacks against black people but also attempted to block immigrants and alienate Catholics.
Either way, Fuentes advocates for a level of white "identitarianism" — a movement that espouses "white pride" and aims to preserve white culture and tradition — that most would agree verges on, if not crosses, the line into white supremacy.
Identitarianism, a term that originates in France, rejects multiculturalism and pluralism. They often claim to be traditionalists who say they want to preserve Christian values and principles, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Many also claim there to be a "white genocide" and seek to transform the immigration system in a way to prevent white people from losing their majority status, a sentiment Fuentes also espouses. "Paleoconservatism" has always been associated with neo-Confederate, white nationalist and anti-Semitic ideologies, according to Rutgers professor David Greenberg.
Most often, that view is at least implicitly from a white supremacist viewpoint, if not explicity.
"I think the racial aspect of it is completely semantic," he said. "If you were to take out 'white' and insert any other name of any other people and apply it to their country, it would be a universal movement that we're talking about."