Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos' rendition of "America the Beautiful" prompted Nazi salutes from a crowd at One Nostalgia Place. They were all tossed out. (Credit: Youtube, via Buzzfeed)

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The Night Milo Yiannopoulos And His Racist Friends Invaded a Dallas Bar

BuzzFeed's video, of Yiannopoulos' karaoke session leading Richard Spencer and their pals into Nazi saluting excitement, cuts off before One Nostalgia Place threw them out.

Kent Smith, the owner of One Nostalgia Place, didn’t think much of the group of a dozen or so white men who came into the bar that Saturday night. It was 12:30 a.m. and they were dressed alike, all blazers and ill-fitting slacks. Maybe they were coming from a costume party or a themed benefit; such dress is not out of the ordinary for this Lake Highlands neighborhood bar. Karaoke was winding down about an hour after their arrival, as the bartenders prepped for last call. But a tall, thin man wearing a maroon blazer over a pink button down approached Smith and asked him for one more song.

He requested “America the Beautiful” and offered to tip the staffer manning the karaoke machine $25 to cap the night with it. This was April of 2016, a few months before names like Richard Spencer became part of the mainstream national dialogue about the state of our body politic. The man who requested the song was Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart tech editor who catapulted to fame on the white wave of the alt-right, and the video became an integral part of a BuzzFeed story yesterday that exposed how the website helped fuel the racist movement that flooded into Charlottesville, Virginia, with tiki torches, bigotry, and violence. The BuzzFeed story details how tech journalists and millionaires from Silicon Valley and Hollywood secretly asked Yiannopoulos to shame prominent women in media, and how Steve Bannon, the Breitbart chief editor and President Donald Trump’s ousted top adviser, further weaponized Yiannopoulos’ rhetoric to help cause chaos in the election.

But that night in April of last year, Yiannopoulos was there on the tiny stage of the Lake Highlands dive bar, belting out “America the Beautiful” as about a dozen white arms shot up in Nazi salutes. Spencer, the noted racist and Dallas native, was among them.

“They’re through the song and we start getting the heils and whatever salutes they’re doing and immediately we said, ‘Get your ass off stage,’” Smith told me last night. “We’re going, ‘You’re out of here!’ One of our bartenders got up onstage on the microphone and she said, ‘Look, motherfucker, get the fuck out of here.’”

One Nostalgia Place is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of dive bar tucked off Abrams, a sharp right turn east off Skillman. A blue-and-yellow sign reading “Cocktails Dancing” is more evident than its business name. It has speaker stacks with sound quality that has no business being in a karaoke bar, and it attracts an older, neighborhood crowd. There are Lone Star logos and framed George Strait 10×8 portraits. Seeing the One Nostalgia name behind Yiannopoulos and the Nazi salutes was incongruent, and when I brought up the story to the bartender, Chase Hughes, his reaction was: “They didn’t mention how we kicked them out right after.”

If you watch the video and listen closely at 56 seconds, you can faintly hear a high-pitched yell over the hollers from the crowd, although it’s tough to make out words.

“We got ’em in the parking lot, and there was never fisticuffs, but we were pretty blatant about ‘You’re leaving and you’re not staying here,’” Smith said. “They started chanting ‘Trump’ on the way out when we kicked them out. I hadn’t even thought of these guys until this popped up today.”

If you hadn’t seen the story, you wouldn’t have noticed anything different last night at the bar. When we arrived, just after 9 p.m., the person in charge of the karaoke was singing Elvis’ “Dixie,” which was jarring, considering. But that quickly gave way to a woman singing Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best.” He played Tom Petty between karaoke tracks. A woman from San Francisco sang Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta.” A man sitting next to her in a blue Golden State Warriors tee belted out a serviceable version of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” Half an hour later, a biker parked his motorcycle, walked in, tipped $4.50 on a $1.50 Diet Coke, and did a fine rendition of Willie and Waylon’s “Luckenbach, Texas.” Things looked normal, like they usually are. Maybe it’s why that night still stands out.

“Why would they come here, like this is some political platform?” Smith asked, looking at the traffic speed by on Abrams. “This place?”

Editor’s note: Originally, this piece referred to the Elvis song as “Dixieland.” As a commenter pointed out below, that’s a trilogy; the man sang “Dixie.” 

Comments

  • Happy Bennett

    This piece is an incoherent Gemisch of unfettered paranoia. The only thing that is missing is a hallucinatory rendering of the 2016 “Nazi”-Russian non aggression pact. (Maybe we need Karaoke control.)

    • Matt Goodman

      Thank you for your comment!

      • Happy Bennett

        You know –you ARE actually better than this. Your analysis of the Duntsch criminal medical malpractice case was excellent. If your editor (Edward R Burro?) has you writing pieces about crazy Milo circa 2016, you need to quit. Breitbart even purged itself of MIlo, as far as I know, some time ago.

        • Mavdog

          Breitbart did not “purge itself of Milo”, Milo Yiannopoulos resigned. Breitbart expressed regret when he left, is spite of the negative publicity Milo Yiannopoulos was receiving at the time as a result of his positive comments about pedophilia..

          • Matt Goodman

            @happybennett:disqus — the reason I wanted to write this story was to give the bar a chance to share its side. Its logo is all over that BuzzFeed story, which is currently the Internet’s journalism du jour, so I felt it fair (and interesting) to drive up there and ask them about it. Being associated with white supremacy can’t be a fun thing if you’re really not.

            And thanks for the kind words on the Duntsch piece.

          • Happy Bennett

            That’s right. I forgot. Thanks for the info.

        • JamieT

          Between Black Lives Matter declaring liberalism is white supremacy and the libidinous adventures of Harvey Weinstein, the only hope tendentious progressives purporting to represent Dallas have left is otherizing a gay Jew with a penchant for black men as their Emmanuel Goldstein.

          But realize you’re only replying to a sock puppet of Tim Rogers anyway: the bless-your-heart “Thank you for your comment!” has long been recognized as Tim’s signature line.

          • Happy Bennett

            Ron L Hubbard and Tim have much in common, IMO.

          • Benedict Donald

            First of all, it’s L. Ron Hubbard.

            Secondly, Milo is a pederast nazi-sympathizer. Being gay or of Jewish ancestry or even being a Martian doesn’t not exclude one from being a nazi.

            Christ you people are dense.

          • Mavdog

            Milo Yiannopoulos says he is a practicing Catholic.

            While it is said his mother was the daughter of a Jewish parent, one’s religion should not be categorized as hereditary. Except it seems to some who wish to make it such.

          • Benedict Donald

            “one’s religion should not be categorized as hereditary”

            Agree completely, it’s distressing that we even have to debate these things nowadays.

          • JamieT

            Fascinating. To which synagogues will you be bringing your new teachable gospel moment against matrilineal descent? I assume demand has already created a waiting list and that competition to receive your message is fierce.

          • Mavdog

            The concept of “matrilineal descent” is one, a Rabbinic view of Jewish status, and two, is what differentiates those who are born into the faith as opposed to those who must go through a process of conversion.

            Regardless, to be as you wrote “a Jew” one must observe the tenets of the Jewish faith or at the least identify as a Jew. Simply being the offspring of a Jewish parent(s) does not make anyone “a Jew”, they must desire to be Jewish. Religion is not genetic, it is interesting to read there are those who think otherwise.

          • JamieT

            As someone pointed out elsewhere, the comparative numbers of post-Holocaust Jews and Nazis pretty clearly demonstrate which one is the historical dead end threatened with its own self-extinction.

            And I’m thinking it’s safe to say that Jews worry far less about LARPers like Spencer and Anglin than they do about those who transparently and calculatingly reduce them to no more than dispensable utilities to be deployed in pursuit of their own political and financial agendas.

          • Benedict Donald

            You sure do spend a lot of time thinking about Jews. Lemme guess, you’re in it for the uniforms. Or is it ethics in game journalism? I keep forgetting.

          • JamieT

            The irony, it burns us, Precious.

          • Benedict Donald

            Milo’s password was LongKnives

            Have fun with your new friends, I guess.

          • JamieT

            This post and you in particular do highlight how easy it has become to use the Jewish people as unwilling tools to smear any desired target these days. Just catch Individual anywhere in public doing anything and capture on a cell phone blurry footage of faceless others in vaguely identical clothing Nazi-saluting the target as they shout “Heil, Individual! Heil, Individual!”.

            Of course, it would be easier to target some people more than others, but literally no one is safe from this sort of journalistic innovation.

          • Benedict Donald

            Poe’s law win’s again, I’m afraid.

          • JamieT

            Tautological double-bind memes like “Poe’s Law” “win” simply by being invoked; it’s logically impossible for them to ever “lose”. But thank you again for your superb demonstration of the latter-day progressive McCarthyism Jewish people are involuntarily being drafted into serving as your useful ideological beasts of burden.

  • Mavdog

    Isn’t Milo Yiannopoulos’ 15 minutes over yet? Provocation and the taking delight in flaming about people to get a reaction schtick gets old quickly.
    Richard Spencer and his fellow brown shirt goose steppers need to be confronted and denounced whenever they pop up to spread their racist anti-American ideology. Good that One Nostalgia Place did not passively tolerate the acts of this coterie of bigots but kicked their asses out.

  • Chris Ullom

    I was in there one evening Philip Kingston did a wonderful version of ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’

  • Jimmy Holcomb

    FYI—-Elvis’ “Dixieland” is actually “An American Trilogy”: a medley of a Confederate song (“Dixie”), a spiritual (“All My Sorrows”), and a Union song (“Battle Hymn of the Republic”), as originally put together by esteemed songwriter Mickey Newbury.

    Minor point…but, still…..

    • Happy Bennett

      D Mag analysts are afflicted with politically selective sensory neural hearing loss.

    • Matt Goodman

      It would’ve been “Dixie,” then. I’ll change and update. Thanks for the heads up.

      • Houston Oz

        I’m really angry, change and update now sir! NOW!!!