Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was accosted by Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes on Friday as he was walking with his pregnant wife and young children to a conservative convention in West Palm Beach, Florida.
In a video shared on Twitter by journalist Andy Ngo, Shapiro, 35, is seen crossing a street with his family as they were heading to TPUSA's Student Action Summit where he is scheduled to deliver remarks along with other conservative leaders, including President Donald Trump, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck.
Shapiro was holding one of his young children with one arm and pushing a stroller with the other, as his expectant wife walked alongside them, when Fuentes approached the family with a handful of male supporters, known as "groypers."
"Ben! It's great to see you. Why did you give a 45-minute speech about me at Stanford and you won't even look in my direction?" Fuentes asked. But the Daily Wire's editor-in-chief who ignored him.
A woman is heard telling Fuentes: "Hey, hey, hey! He's with his kids!"
Nick Fuentes confronted Ben Shapiro and his family (including his young children) outside the TPUSA conference. https://t.co/ZBaJBORkZA— Andy Ngo (@Andy Ngo)1576880244.0
Fuentes, who is 21 years-old and reported to have "a long history of racist and anti-Semitic comments," continued following Shapiro about 10 feet behind him and yelled, "I know you're with your family but I can't get to you anywhere else!"
"That's our free speech warrior everybody. Champion of the battle of ideas!" Fuentes added as Shapiro walked away.
A woman approached the far-right provocateur and sternly told him: "He's with his children!" Several male voices are heard in the video discouraging Fuentes from approaching Shapiro.
Fuentes then turned to a small group of young men who were holding cameras next to him and said, "I guess he's just like Palestinians using human shields, right?"
Who is Nick Fuentes?
Nick Fuentes is a controversial online personality with a history of making overtly racist and anti-Semitic statements, according to Reason.
Fuentes, a former fellow traveler of alt-right leader Richard Spencer, has a long history of racist and anti-Semitic comments. While he has attempted to distance himself from the alt-right—he characterizes his views as nationalist rather than racialist—it's clear that what he means by "America First" is white nationalism. Indeed, he called conservative writer Matt Walsh a race traitor for inveighing against the El Paso shooter, and he has opined that Jim Crow was no big deal.
He also bragged on Facebook that he attended the 2017 white supremacist and neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia. A screenshot shows that Fuentes described the event as "incredible" and declared that "a tidal wave of wide identity is coming" and "you will not replace us" just hours after it was widely reported that innocent bystander Heather Heyer was killed at the march by a white nationalist.
Fuentes has also compared the Holocaust to baking cookies and questioned the number of Jews killed in the genocide, claiming "the math just doesn't add up." As TPUSA's Benny Johnson noted on Twitter, Fuentes has also mocked Dave Rubin for being "gay and Jewish" and accused him of hosting "a gay Jewish show."
He also once told a white woman that it would be "degenerate" for her to have intimate relationships with a black man.
Why did he target Shapiro?
Fuentes and his followers have a history of targeting mainstream conservative thought leaders. The "groypers" have spent several months trying to disrupt events throughout the country featuring speakers like Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, and Charlie Kirk, among others.
In early November, Shapiro delivered a widely-acclaimed speech at Stanford University where he denounced both the far left and the "alt-right." During his remarks, Shapiro detailed how neo-Nazis and "alt-right" personalities like Fuentes try to associate themselves with President Trump to legitimize their movement, and end up helping the political left in the process.
Ben Exposes Leftists & The Alt-Right In Six Minutes www.youtube.com
"First, you declare your allegiance to President Trump, and declare that you aren't really 'alt-right,' even though you obviously are," he said, according to the Daily Wire. "You show up to lectures wearing a MAGA hat in order to get the media to cover it – and in order to demonstrate that you're truly a representative of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump."
"You call yourself 'America First,' hijacking Trump's slogan, but twisting it to mean 'white Americans first," Shapiro said in a reference to Fuentes whose program is called "America First."
The author of "The Right Side of History" added that mainstream news outlets "eat it up" because they "love nothing better than suggesting that Trump is a white supremacist, despite the fact that he has repeatedly condemned white supremacism."
The Young America's Foundation recently cut its ties with commentator Michelle Malkin after she publicly defended Fuentes as a leader of "the new right."
"There is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists," the organization said in a statement.