The conservative Young America's Foundation (YAF) has dropped right wing columnist Michelle Malkin from its speakers program over her support for antisemite and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
Malkin's firing represents the latest salvo in an ongoing conflict between supporters of Fuentes and establishment conservative figures.
Since October, fans of Fuentes have been attending conservative college events organised by YAF and another conservative group, Turning Point USA, to heckle the speakers and disrupt their speeches.
The activists, who refer to themselves as 'Groypers' – as a nod to a Pepe the Frog-like toad meme adopted by the most extreme internet white nationalists – typically ask questions about United States support of Israel, in a bid to mainstream their antisemitic beliefs within the conservative movement.
Fuentes took part in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, praising what he called a "tidal wave of white identity" following the event. He has also used his Internet video show, America First, to deny the Holocaust and call for a return to racial segregation. "Even if it was bad, who cares?" he said of Jim Crow laws, adding that "it was better for them; it’s better for us.”
Despite this, Malkin has praised Fuentes, whom she named in a recent speech as "one of the New Right leaders," before calling on establishment conservatives to engage with them.
She laid the full extent of her support out in a speech for the YAF delivered on November 14, which she addressed to "the young men and women of this country who identify as America First conservatives."
She continued: "Another YAF speaker, Ben Shapiro, repeatedly denigrated an entire movement of young men who watch a YouTuber named Nick Fuentes, and are seeking answers to tough questions about where America is headed as masturbating losers in their basements who share memes. As a mom with brilliant right-thinking kids who, yes, live in my basement – and, yes, share memes – I found these obsessive references to young people’s dating lives and habits, by prominent conservative media personalities much older than their targets, to be tellingly defensive and touchy. Also: creepy.
"I will not be using my platform and my position to insult you, marginalize you, and shout you down."
YAF's tolerance toward Malkin appeared to have run out three days later, when they tweeted a statement distancing themselves from her views without mentioning her by name.
"Immigration is a vital issue that deserves robust debate. But there is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for Holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists," they said.
In response, Malkin tweeted: "The Keepers of the Gate have spoken. #AmericaFirst is not "mainstream." My defense of unjustly prosecuted Proud Boys, patriotic young nationalists/groypers & demographic truth-tellers must not be tolerated. SPLC is cheering." The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization that, according to its website, "battles racial and social injustice."
The spat drew the attention of conservative commentators including Matt Walsh, who tweeted: "Hi @michellemalkin. Fuentes called me a "race traitor" and "f*ggot" because I "work for Jews." He also said that black people who complained about segregation needed to "grow up." How do you feel about these statements? And in what way are they "America First"?"
In response Malkin replied with a link to a transcript of the speech she gave on the 14th.