Recently in Reno Nevada, in an otherwise blistering and scathing attack on the bigot known as Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton named a political movement that to most of us, was unknown. The quote in particular, in reference to Trump’s volatile opinions, is as follows: “These are race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas, anti-woman –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’”
As you could expect, this got the media-circus-ball rolling, and suddenly everybody wanted a piece of the alt-right. Very soon the think-pieces started rolling in, with the left crying out in disbelief and the right in a position of mild disgust. In an article published by Breitbart (an alt-right establishment) titled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right”, Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari write that the alt-right “is a movement born out of the youthful, subversive, underground edges of the internet. 4chan and 8chan are hubs of alt-right activity. For years, members of these forums – political and non-political – have delighted in attention-grabbing, juvenile pranks.” Former Breitbart chairman, Steve Bannon, is now Donald Trumps new campaign CEO.
For the gamers reading at this point, the movement may be very familiar. Gamergate, as it is known, is and/or was an internet movement started in response to heinous claims that Zoe Quinn, a video game developer, entered a relationship with a Kotaku editor in exchange for positive reviews. These claims have been refuted, but under the guise of “ethics in gaming journalism,” the movement attacked women gaming developers, feminist critics, and anybody who expressed support for these groups.
Diane Rehm on NPR led a discussion on the movement, first with guests Norman Ornstein (resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute), Robert P. Jones (CEO, Public Religion Research Institute) and Rosie Grey (reporter, Buzzfeed). Rehm and her guests discuss why the movement has chosen Trump. Ornstein insinuates that Trump probably would deny affiliation with the alt-right, but has “a wink and a nod, […] a level of legitimacy that they lacked in history, except for the time back post Reconstruction when the Ku Klux Klan really had a substantial legal standing in good parts of the South.” That seems pretty damning. But the worst was yet to come.
Later, in a one-on-one interview with Jared Taylor, editor for the American Renaissance, which is described as “a race realist, white advocacy organization.” When asked what the term “race realism” entailed, Taylor responded with a statement which, coming out of anybody else’s mouth, would most likely be regarded as race-baiting satire. “Among the many positions held by the alt-right, we reject the notion that race is some sort of sociological optical illusion. Race is a biological fact, whether we wish to recognize that or not, and we completely reject the idea that all races are exactly equal and equivalent and in effect interchangeable.”
So there you have it. The racist, bigoted, white supremacist movement which has crawled its way out of the gutters of the internet and into the modern politisphere. With any luck (and an undivided Democratic vote), this nation will not succumb to this new-normal Neo-Nazi fan club.