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Texas prep school denounces white nationalist alumnus Richard Spencer

DALLAS -- The exclusive Dallas boys’ prep school that Richard B. Spencer attended is denouncing the activities and ideas of its white nationalist alumnus.

St. Mark’s School of Texas headmaster David Dini issued the statement of criticism after a Nov. 19 rally in Washington where Spencer, a member of St. Marks Class of 1997, shouted “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” as supporters raised their arms in Nazi salutes.

Without referring to Spencer by name, Dini said his activities have “been deeply troubling and terribly upsetting to our whole school community. We reject racism and bigotry in all its forms and expressions.” In his statement, posted on the school’s Facebook page, Dini hailed other St. Mark’s alumni for “expressing their outrage and disgust” toward the National Policy Institute, which Spencer heads, and the ideas that group promotes.

Spencer’s classmates have raised about $40,000 so far in a fundraising campaign to settle refugees in Dallas. One of them is Ben Kusin, former “Shark Tank” contestant and chief executive of deodorizing wipes company.

“This issue hits deep -- not just for me but for everyone,” he told WFAA-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth, adding about the rally, “When you see something like this, you have to say something.” 

Alt-right movement makes momentum with Trump presidency 02:43

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate group watchdog, describes Spencer as “one of the country’s most successful young white nationalist leaders -- a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old.”

“He wants to expel all these non-white Europeans from this country,” Kusin said. “Our countermeasure was supporting refugees coming into this country.” 

Spencer spoke with CBS News’ Jericka Duncan last week about how Donald Trump’s election was giving the alt-right a big boost.

“The word racist doesn’t have any meaning anymore,” he said. “It’s basically calling me a mean old guy.” 

Does he discriminate against people because of the color of their skin? Duncan asked him. 

“Everyone is discriminating in all sorts of things in terms of life,” he said. “I discriminate all the time – discriminating is living.” 

An email message to Spencer from The Associated Press drew no response Sunday.

Other school alumni include folklorist/musicologist Alan Lomax, rock stars Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs, actors Tommy Lee Jones and Luke and Owen Wilson, and investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald.

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