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Who is Nick Fuentes? A guide to Kanye’s freakish far-right friend

‘Having sex with women is gay, and having sex with men is gay... really, it’s all gay!’

Kanye West has – to put it mildly – got involved with a bad crowd. After a tumultuous few months of antisemitic outbursts, West’s drift towards right-wing politics has taken an even more dramatic turn.

Last week, he travelled to Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida with Nick Fuentes, a 24-year-old political commentator who – even by the standards of the American right – is considered an extreme figure. The following day, West posted a somewhat ambiguous video on his newly-reinstated Twitter account, which suggested he was running for president. In the now-deleted Clip, West praises Fuentes while in conversation with his campaign manager, Milo Yiannopolous – a disgraced alt-right pundit whose career disintegrated back in 2017 when he defended paedophilia. 

Continuing their tour of right-wing buffoonery, West and Fuentes then appeared on a YouTube interview hosted by right-wing pundit Tim Pool, which took a turn for the absurd when West stormed off. This dramatic exit came after Pool offered the mildest possible pushback to his claim that Jewish people are conspiring to destroy him. Fuentes promptly followed, and the two were later pictured eating at a Japanese restaurant in a suburban strip mall. This, regrettably, is what West’s life has become.

It’s a sign of how far West has fallen that he is hanging out with someone who even most American conservatives (hardly a group of people known for their radical commitment to racial justice) consider to be beyond the pale. Even if you take the more sympathetic view – as some do – that West is experiencing a mental health crisis and being manipulated by unscrupulous actors, it’s doubly concerning that these are the people who have taken him under their wing. 

It’s probably safe to say that West is unlikely to become the next President, but he’s still an influential figure who is capable of shaping public discourse for the worst, and it’s worth trying to understand the forces which are shaping his ideology.  With that in mind, here is a guide to Nick Fuentes; Kanye’s new best friend and a profoundly sinister character. Content warning: just about every form of hate speech you can imagine.


Nick Fuentes doesn’t believe that women should have the right to vote or even to have political opinions. While he considers rape to be “not so big of a deal”, consensual sex between men and women is apparently where he draws the line. In fact, he considers sex to be inherently gay. “People are calling me gay because I haven’t had a girlfriend. If anything, it makes me less gay,” he said on a stream. His argument is that because gay men date girls all the time, the fact he’s never been laid makes him more heterosexual than anyone else – and that having heterosexual sex in itself is also gay, on the basis that it includes kissing, cuddling and spending time with women. The only really straight position, he believes, is to be an asexual incel. 

While bizarre, this is not an altogether new idea – throughout history women have often been conceptualised as a kind of feminising influence on straight men. Back in the 18th century, to call someone “effeminate” was to suggest they loved the ladies too much; that an insatiable lust for the fairer sex had diminished their masculinity. Later, gay Nazis such as Ernst Rhohm took up a similar idea, arguing that homosexuality was the manliest thing you could do – it was about “male bonding”; dudes hanging out away from women, with their frilly dresses, beguiling perfumes and corrupting wiles. But even if it’s not an entirely original notion, it is still an incredibly weird opinion to hold in 2022.


Unlike some figures on the right, who attempt to cloak their racism with a veer of plausible deniability, Fuentes is entirely unabashed about being a white supremacist. He’s not trying to to distance himself from the idealogy which made his name: he first rose to prominence in the wake of the infamous ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, in 2017, when racists marched the streets with Tikki torches and a counter-protestor was murdered. Following this tragedy, Fuentes became a central figure in the ‘alt-right’; a largely online movement defined by white supremacy, Pepe the frog memes, and an aesthetic sensibility at once self-consciously transgressive and incredibly corny.

While the alt-right movement is a modern phenomenon, Fuentes essentially has the same world-view that of a a small town sheriff in 1950s Alabama: he opposes sex between different races, and he wants to return to Jim Crow-era segregation: “It was better for them (African Americans) too,” he once said. “They had to drink out of a different water fountain, big fucking deal. Oh no, they had to go to different schools. Who cares, grow up”. He has also heavily promoted the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory, which posits that white people are being demographically and culturally erased. But if you call him what he is – a white supremacist – he’ll whine that this is an offensive slur. As always with these people, it’s identity politics for me but not for thee. 


Antisemitism shouldn’t necessarily be separated from racism – it’s all white supremacy – but it’s worth noting that Fuentes appears to have a specific ire towards Jewish people. Again, there is no plausible deniability here; no attempt at respectability. He is about as antisemitic as it’s possible to be, even going as far as to attack other alt-right personalities as ‘race traitors’ for working with Jewish people. 

Most damningly of all, Fuentes has repeatedly engaged in Holocaust denial, promoting conspiracy theories which posit that the number of Jewish people murdered by the Nazis has been exaggerated. This shouldn’t need saying, but to be very clear: there is an overwhelming, unambiguous and inarguable historical consensus that this is not the case. What’s more, promoting Holocaust denial is profoundly antisemitic in and of itself; an attempt to undermine and delegitimise the historical suffering of the Jewish people. As much as American politics has veered towards the right in the past decade, this remains a line that the majority of Republicans will not cross. After receiving considerable backlash from Jewish leaders and a number of mainstream conservatives, Trump himself released a statement claiming (implausibly) that had no idea who Fuentes was, although he did not go as far as denouncing his beliefs. 

The American right often tries to claim that the left throw around the word ‘Nazi’ in an attempt to delegitimise opposing viewpoints, but you’d be hard pressed to argue that it’s a hyperbolic way of describing Nick Fuentes.