Posted on June 13, 2024

The Ultimate Insane Clown Party Candidate

Scott Greer, Highly Respected, June 11, 2024

Last month, the Minnesota state GOP picked their favorite to be the party’s Senate nominee. The man the party organization endorsed isn’t your typical Republican. He’s black, a former NBA player, and speaks in AAVE (African-American Vernacular English). He’s brash, vulgar, and beloved by Steve Bannon. And that’s why Royce White earned the party’s backing in the upcoming Senate primary.

White’s elevation represents a new nadir in Republican politics. There have been cringe black Republicans before. What sets him apart is that four years ago he led Black Lives Matter protests over George Floyd’s death. He has a very sketchy record in previous campaigns and in his personal life. White shouldn’t be a competitive GOP Senate candidate, not even in a race where the Republican isn’t likely to win. The black Republican is the ultimate Insane Clown Party candidate—and there could be more like him.

White has a unique background. He was a first-round draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He didn’t really pan out in the league, but he gained attention for demanding special treatment due to his anxiety disorder. This turned him into a darling among liberal reporters, who felt his claims made him a mental health champion.

He returned to the public eye after being one of the primary protest leaders in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death. Several outlets, such as the Washington Post, ran fawning profiles of him. White was willing to countenance violence in service of BLM’s goals.

“We had a peaceful protest, but I’m not saying that’s the only way to go,” White said at the time. “That’s a proud South Minneapolis community, and they need to protect it. They don’t need 10 people to record an officer kill a guy. You need one person to record, and the other nine people to go and remove the man, physically. That’s why I’m out here.”

He told the Washington Post back in 2020: “If you don’t have justice over an accumulated amount of time, the options for release of that pressure valve in people start to go away… If you . . . don’t give us justice over 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 200, 400 years, at some point, the options dwindle. That’s common sense. That’s not up for debate. The people criticizing the burning don’t want the refined version of that political emotion, which is black people with open-carry guns.”

White was also anti-Trump and made a violent threat towards the then-president on CNN. “If Donald Trump continues to threaten us with the military, this will escalate. We are tired of tyranny,” he declared. He also asserted that the president was racist:

Trump ran on populism and sovereignty as a philosophical principle that the communities govern themselves. So let the communities govern themselves. But for him, that only applies when it comes to white people. When it comes to blacks and Latinos: “We have to govern them because they’re out of control, they’re thugs.”

He threatened to form a new Black Panther Party to counter the police. He also endorsed looting as a bold act against injustice. Nearly a year later, he went on MSNBC to celebrate the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin.

But he dramatically changed in 2021. Allegedly, his change was brought about by Steve Bannon, whom he met in 2021. After Bannon took White under his wing, the former NBA player began railing against the deep state and liberals. He declared he was leaving the Democrat plantation because it abused blacks. He began going on War Room and Alex Jones, earning gushing praise from conservatives over his appearances. He decided to run against Ilhan Omar in 2022—as a Republican. He didn’t even get the party’s nomination, but that didn’t diminish his star power. He began guest hosting War Room and further building up his brand in conservative media after the failed campaign.

Conservative audiences appeared to love him for his no-holds barred talk. He doesn’t mince his words when he goes after the hated enemies of the Right. He’s also not afraid of going further than other right-wing commentators. For instance, he says women have gotten “too mouthy,” claiming he can say that because he’s black. Other War Room regulars would probably avoid such statements. That boldness strengthens his appeal.

When asked to clarify his politics, he offers a statement of pure Bannonism. He recently told the New York Times that he aligns himself with the “nationalist populist movement that has bubbled up around and with Donald Trump and other individuals like Steve Bannon.” According to White, this movement “rejects how corporate America and the corporate elite and the permanent political class has operated for a number of decades.”

Bannon, in turn, is a huge fan of White. “He’s got some opinions I obviously don’t agree with, but he’s a patriot. He’s a leader, a warrior. He’s a rising star in the MAGA movement,” he declared.

However, none of this takes away from his past BLM advocacy. It’s fine if someone converts from the other side, but that convert shouldn’t be elevated as a leader. The state GOP should certainly not overwhelmingly pick such a person as their favorite for a Senate nomination. (White still needs to win the primary to become the nominee.)

There are additional problems with White. He’s frequently been delinquent in his child support payments. A worse problem is how he spent his congressional campaign’s money. In that venture, he spent tens of thousands of dollars going to strip clubs, expensive hotels, and other such extravagances. The campaign reportedly withdrew over $100,000 from its coffers to finance these expenses.

White wasn’t ashamed of it. “If the FEC wants to fine us, that’s completely fine, there are much bigger scams with political campaigns,” White told The Daily Beast. But some campaign finance experts think the activity may in fact be criminal.

It seems White’s supporters aren’t bothered by any of this. They still see him as a MAGA star.

There are clear reasons why White is a hit among conservatives. There’s always been an enthusiastic audience for black Republicans. White further makes himself stand out with his charisma, wild rhetoric, and past stint in the NBA (conservatives love former athletes). His recent past as a BLM activist might even be a plus. Many conservatives love conversion stories, especially one where the convert claims the Democrats were the real racists he was protesting. The child support disputes and shady financial dealings won’t bother them much either. As long as White owns the libs in an entertaining fashion, he retains conservative support.

He’s a perfect representation of the Insane Clown Party. The ICP is defined by vibes, not by principles or ideology. It’s vaguely anti-establishment (especially when it comes to eschewing its ethics and aesthetics), wants to own the libs, will believe any conspiracy theory, and primarily wants to be entertained. With a good leader, this directionless mob can be set straight. With Donald Trump at the helm, this tendency among the base is guided towards helping him secure re-election. Trump himself brings the carnival, but he also advances serious ideas and represents something more than mere entertainment. He’s the avatar of the historic American nation. This is why he’s persecuted.

But without Trump, Trumpism could quickly degenerate into the party of Royce White. We no longer have a clear idea of what we’re doing. Instead, we’re just trying to shock the establishment in any way we can. This sentiment allows White to be a serious contender for the Senate.

There are other candidates like White. Valentina Gomez, a longshot candidate for Missouri Secretary of State, has built a large audience by delivering straight slop to the ICP. She recently released an ear-splitting rap in heavily-accented English. It’s unclear how this is supposed to connect with ordinary voters, but it has gained her audience on X. Republican candidates releasing rap videos could be a more common trend if the ICP takes over. J.R. Majewski, the GOP nominee in a competitive Ohio congressional race last cycle, also released MAGA raps.

This is truly what the multiracial working class party looks like–and it ain’t pretty.

Royce White most likely won’t win a Senate seat in November. But he can still impact the party with his campaign. Rather than demonstrating what the party shouldn’t be, White will provide a blueprint for other wannabe “anti-establishment” candidates to follow. They would no longer try to be normal, middle-class white people who focus on how the establishment has imposed anti-white racism in schools and failed to secure the border. Instead, these guys will fully embrace the ICP and mount entertaining campaigns as complete goofballs. In midwestern states with weak Republican parties (Minnesota and Michigan), such candidates could hasten the party’s demise at the state level.

They won’t win any races or advance our interests. But at least they will titillate their audience. And for a lot of conservatives, that’s all they really want.