A University of Nevada, Reno, student who became a poster boy for white supremacy this weekend when a photo of him wielding a tiki torch and yelling during an alt-right rally appeared online and in newspapers said his life is now "spiraling out of control."
Peter Cvjetanovic, 20, also works in some capacity at the university, and told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Sunday that since the picture of him began making the rounds and he was identified by the Twitter account @yesyoureracist, he's "received death threats," and five of them were severe enough that he's going to report them to the Reno Police Department. He left Reno to attend the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, but told the newspaper he won't reveal when he's coming back to Nevada because he's afraid. "I will defend tooth and nail my views as a white nationalist," he said. "I love my culture and will fight for it but never in a violent way."
Cvjetanovic, a history and political science major, said he decided to attend the rally last month, and he was "there legally and committed no acts of violence." A counter-protester, Heather Heyer, died when a car plowed into her, and Cvjetanovic said it was a "tragedy people were killed and injured," but his words ring hollow to the people who signed two petitions on Change.org to have him expelled from UNR and those who retweeted his picture — the image shared by Kurt Eichenwald has been retweeted 170,000 times alone. "I understand the photo has a very negative connotation," he told KTVN. "But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I'm not the angry racist they see in that photo."