Just when Arizona was finally shaking off some discriminatory policies through successful litigation and voting out racist individuals, kicking Joe Arpaio out of office, it seems the whole country is entering the hateful path of the Alt-Right.
On November 14, after initial conciliatory remarks (such as a statement that he wanted to be a “president for all Americans”), President-elect Trump started to dismantle any hope for unity by naming Stephen Bannon, Breitbart News’ controversial media group executive, Chief White House strategist and senior counselor.
Breitbart News Network is the standard bearer of the Alt-Right movement.
To understand the danger of this media group, read through some of its most incendiary headlines: “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.” “Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage.” “There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews.” “Science proves it: Fat-shaming works.”
But what is the Alt-Right? According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that fights and tracks hate groups, the Alt-Right or Alternative Right “is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization.”
This movement uses social media and internet memes to attract younger audiences and foment racial divide. They also oppose feminism and immigration, and bully people on social media perceived to be Muslims, Jews, African-Americans and other vulnerable groups.
Alt-Righters “embrace white ethnonationalism as a fundamental value” and attack old-fashioned conservatism, especially when its message includes tolerance. They are also notorious internet trolls that intimidate social media users with threats of violence.
This ideology is very similar to Nazism, re-framed for the internet era.
It is so ironic that one of the signature accomplishments of the United States of America was to fight against fascism and Nazism during World War II and that now, in the era of Trump, a similar ideology is about to take over our institutions.