Loomer’s performance was another notch on the belt in a budding career of far-right provocation. It earned her a spot on Hannity, instant “alt-right” cachet online and the admiration of her arresting officers. (She was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct. Loomer reported that at the station the officers told her that her mugshot was “the nicest mugshot they’ve ever seen.”)
“Most people don’t really have the balls to get onstage and protest,” said Loomer, who is 24. “But the fact that I’m a conservative, and I’m a woman, and I’m nonviolent, and I’m just a New York resident, it makes a statement.”
Loomer is one of the few women — and one of only a handful of Jews — in the far right’s cast of characters. She is styling herself as a media voice that trumpets Jewish causes in one breath and decries “Muslim “refugee” predators” in the next. Just don’t slot her into the “alt-right,” the catch-all term for far-right Trump supporters steeped in internet culture. She’s part of a Twitter-savvy crew of Trump fans that are trying to use the tactics of the “alt-right” — memes, social media targeting and aggressive misinformation — to purge the far right of pervasive anti-Semitism while upholding the sanctity of white European culture.
In the backlash to the protest, people on Twitter from both the far left and the far right attacked Loomer on the basis of her Jewish identity. David Duke, former leader of the Klu Klux Klan, called her “classic controlled opposition.”
“They’ll say, ‘Oh, this stupid kike who stormed the stage of ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Oh, the Jews are always up to dirty tricks,’” Loomer said. “The only reason they’re attacking me is because I’m Jewish.”
Though the “alt-right” has never claimed unity, anti-Semitism has frequently proved a divisive issue for its biggest personalities, who have clashed numerous times over allegations of anti-Semitism and counter-allegations of philo-Semitism. In December, the meme wiz known on the internet as Baked Alaska was barred from the DeploraBall, a far-right inauguration party, for his history of anti-Semitic tweets. More recently, Loomer and a friend backed out of appearances at an “alt-right” rally in Washington in June, after Richard Spencer, the white nationalist icon and lover of Nazi salutes, was added to the list of speakers.
Loomer and the friend, the conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, organized a counter-rally at the exact same time in front of the White House. Many saw the dueling rallies as a sign that the “alt-right” as it was once known is now dead.
“They’re allowed to think the way they do,” Loomer said of Spencer and Baked Alaska. “I respected their right to say what they want to say, even if it’s anti-Jewish. But I’m not going to participate in it.”
Since June, people in Loomer’s circle — which includes Posobiec, the “meme mastermind” Mike Cernovich and the White House Press Corps “troll” Lucian Wintrich — have tried to rebrand in order to distance themselves from the “alt-right.” Loomer personally favors “New Right,” a term suggested by Cernovich.
Spencer said that the divide between the “alt-right” and Loomer’s so-called “New Right” is “a very serious divide that is ideological and political” — and nothing new.
“This divide was probably masked in 2016 because we were all on the Trump train,” Spencer said. “After the campaign ended,this very stark division has emerged.”