Christopher Cantwell isn’t “a pussy”–he’s unstable

(TFC) – I was impressed with Vice reporter Elle Reeve’s coverage of the Charlottesville “alt-right” protests and counterprotests. With this coverage people are able to see firsthand the motivations and thoughts of the white supremacist leaders who organized the rally and the resistance they were met with. Particularly, as Reeve pointed out, we could see that the white nationalists were notably not talking about Robert E. Lee, but chanting about Jews. Reeve’s brave coverage also gives the public a starting point to look into these movements, and specifically, the leaders. One leader at the rally was named Christopher Cantwell, and he has since made national news a couple of times.

However, I thought the coverage did not show a full representation of Cantwell. Although to the average person or leftist, he seems like an erratic and potentially violent racist, he also comes off as something of a confident leader. He gives a lively performance, and flips between an excitable and aggressive supremacist leader to positioning himself as a wounded victim of injustice which makes him a fighter of the vanguard–a swing of emotions that to the average person should seem diametrically opposed. 

I think because the average person does not follow neo-Nazis like Cantwell online, and only see the faces of these movements as they pop up in a seemingly formidable fashion, everyone was shocked (and a bit tickled) to see a video of Cantwell, right after the protest, sobbing about an arrest warrant put out for him. This lead to a lot of people flippantly throwing around the word “pussy”–the likes of which have nothing to do with this man, other than the fact that one birthed him years ago. If we knew anything about him, we would know this instability is classic Cantwell behavior. A quick look into the self-published life of Christopher Cantwell reveals him to be not just erratic, but a completely unstable person.

In a compilation video on YouTube, Cantwell can be seen and heard firsthand screaming, fighting, yelling at and with women. There’s a personal video filmed in his car where Cantwell talks openly about his alcoholism, and his strained visitation with his children. There’s a clip of him sitting on the ground crying and yelling, “why?” There’s a reaction video he made to a snuff film of a man stabbing and mutilating another man, and Cantwell is eating a “nice hot bowl of chili”, and smiling.

There’s another audio video on YouTube where Cantwell goes into detail about his feelings on women and relationships. Here he presents another set of dichotomous behaviors. Where usually he is yelling, swearing, and using racist and sexist epithets, here he sounds calm, and reads off what sounds like a psuedo-legal brief which includes an articulate political argument as to why he should be allowed to hit women. Speaking to a woman he was involved with, he says, “it is not outside the realm of possibility that I will use force against you. If you enter into this relationship, I will take it as your consent to those terms,” and he justifies using violence as a responsibility of men. He also describes taking her hostage if he doesn’t think she should leave.

None of this should be shocking either, given that Cantwell used to write for the infamous A Voice For Men, as was reported on by Amanda Marcotte after his actions in Virginia. Cantwell’s views here align with his political views, because white supremacists are also male supremacists. When the Nazi party was elected in Germany in 1933, women were pushed out of public life and social leadership positions, and Hitler declared that equal rights for women could only result in deprivation of rights for men.

Cantwell, when revealing his unhinged misogyny, also admits (inadvertently?) in that last video that he was being medicated. He reveals this when he says her reaction could have been due to her “unfamiliarity” to the medications he is on, but he then says that the medications didn’t cause the outburst. However, he does then admit that he knows the medications that he is on can lead to increased aggression. He doesn’t clarify why he is on medication, but the proof of his instability mounts endlessly the further you peek into this guy’s head.

Freelance journalist Derrick Broze posted about his encounter with Cantwell publicly on Facebook. He detailed, “My direct experience with Cantwell includes speaking at a conference together in April 2013 and co-hosting Adam Kokesh’s live show in the summer of 2013 after Adam went to jail. I lived in the house with Cantwell, did the show with him, and went to the streets of D.C. for ‘man on the street’ interviews. In that short time it became perfectly clear he was not a stable person. I chalked it up to us simply having different approaches to communicating the message. He tended to be loud and angry and I was the opposite. Also, he drank till he was pissed drunk and in the years since has done meth on his own online show. Again, not a stable person. He needs help.”

Substance addiction, and specifically methamphetamine addiction, was part of Hitler’s Third Reich as well. With his release of the book Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, Norman Ohler shocked academics, readers, and journalists by presenting a missing link in the understanding of National Socialism—that it was fueled by drugs. Drug abuse was not only linked to Nazi leaders and Hitler himself, but was also used as a military tactic, such as the 1940 invasion of France through the Arennes mountains. Nazis passed out stimulants to their soldiers so they could fight their fatigue. Nazis even tried to make a cocaine-based chewing gum which they tested on political prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany. It takes a lot of energy to be a fascist, apparently, and methamphetamine fills in when Nazis run out of pure hatred.

Cantwell is passionate, sick, full of ideological hatred, and has been open about his abuse of substances. Substances that fueled the Third Reich. No one should be shocked by Cantwell’s crying and emotional gymnastics, he is an unstable man, and he fits the profile. We need to pull back the veil of illusion, stop being surprised, stop whittling reality down to name-calling, and look at people for who they truly are.

Follow Charles Rae at The Fem Column.